Congressman Scott Tipton (CO-03) joined 54 of his House colleagues in a letter to House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas and Ranking Member Collin Peterson to request the continuation of specialty crop research and pest management programs that impact almost half of the U.S. agriculture economy, including many Colorado farmers. The letter asks for the continuation of current specialty crop programs in any extension of the Farm Bill.
Tipton continues to be a vocal advocate for passage of the five-year Farm Bill to provide long term certainty for the Agriculture community. As a member of the House Agriculture Committee Tipton helped craft the Farm Bill, adding an amendment to better meet the water system needs of rural communities.
"Specialty crops play a vital role in our nation's agriculture economy -- accounting for nearly half of total farm-gate value and contribute to our $44 billion agriculture trade surplus. According to the most recent agricultural census for specialty crops conducted by the USDA, more than 1.3 million people were directly employed by specialty crop producers. Unlike commodity crops, specialty crop producers and processors do not receive federal subsidies," the letter states. "The Farm Bill programs that support specialty crops and their producers are only a fraction of the total cost of the Farm Bill, yet they have broad effects across the country. Farmers that contribute greatly to rural economies throughout the nation receive vital benefits from these programs, and during a time when our country faces high unemployment, especially in rural areas, we need to be doing everything possible to keep these jobs available and prevent further unemployment."