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Tipton shares disappointment with farmers

David James of James Ranch discusses local food production with U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton and local farmers and ranchers Friday. Tipton said he was disappointed the farm bill did not pass the House on Thursday.

U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Cortez, met with local farmers and ranchers just a day after the typically bipartisan farm bill failed to pass the House.

Tipton, who voted for the farm bill, said he was “very disappointed” the bill didn’t pass and was surprised to see its defeat.

“This is part of our national defense,” he told local food producers at a forum Friday afternoon at James Ranch north of Durango. “Can you imagine what would happen if we had to rely on the Chinese for our food?”

The House voted 295-234 against the five-year, half-trillion-dollar bill Thursday night, with 62 Republicans joining the “no” vote, saying it was too expensive.

The bill would have expanded some subsidies, cut $2 billion annually from food stamps and let states impose new work requirements for people who receive them.

Also at the forum, Tipton addressed concerns local food producers have. The growers said government regulation isn’t flexible enough for small producers and urged the congressman to keep them in mind when he proposes new legislation.

“Local people want to support local food production, and that has nothing to do with government,” said David James, founder of James Ranch.

Tipton acknowledged that most legislation is geared toward big agriculture and that “one-size-fits-all legislation is a real challenge.”

jdahl@durangoherald.com

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