Vermont dairy farmer testifies in support of biotech crops

Joanna Lidback, a dairy farmer from northeast Vermont, spoke on the importance of biotech crops during a hearing of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry on Wednesday.

Lidback and her husband used modern technology and innovation on their 50-cow dairy farm to be economically and environmentally sustainable.

"Biotech crops are essential to keeping our feed prices affordable,” Lidback said. "To compare, a non-GMO basic feed would cost us $555 per ton; the similar conventional feed we currently purchase is $305 per ton. We purchase 16 tons of grain per month and if you do the math, we’d be paying an additional $4,000 a month or $48,000 a year for non-GMO feed. I don’t see how we could profitably farm with those increased costs; I’m certain our small farm would be pushed out of business.”

Lidback also spoke to the Senate committee about the Vermont food labeling law that will go into effect next year.

“In my opinion, the new label wouldn’t better inform consumers but instead serve as a warning sign,” Lidback said. “If a small percent of consumers are to drive a GMO labeling requirement, I believe it should be done in a voluntary and cohesive way at the federal level. Again, I don’t believe those consumers who can least afford it should have to bear the burden for such a small percentage of consumers who are pushing mandatory labeling.”

Organizations in this Story

National Council of Farmer Cooperatives

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