Standing in a field of alfalfa on the family's 600-acre ranch, Montezuma County matriarch Phyllis Snyder gathered her children and grandchildren next to a John Deere swather for a photo with Rep. Scott Tipton.
"All you guys need to stand here," she instructed. "Let's put the kids in front."
On Friday, Oct. 10, Tipton was honored on the Phyllis and Sidney Snyder ranch near Lewis by the Colorado Farm Bureau for his tireless work in the 113th Congress on behalf of agriculture issues that impact farmers. He was presented with an American Farm Bureau Federation's Friend of Farm Bureau Award.
"This means a lot to me, more than I can tell," said Tipton as he received the plaque. "I'm really thankful for this."
In a subsequent press release, Tipton said he was proud to stand with the farmers and ranchers that work incredibly hard to grow the nation's crops. He added the agriculture community's economic impact in Colorado alone included 175,000 jobs and $41 billion.
"From removing unnecessary regulatory burdens to helping write the Farm Bill in the House Agriculture Committee, agriculture issues have been a priority for me in Congress, and I will continue to work to advance policies to ensure that American agriculture producers are able thrive and grow," Tipton said in the statement.
Snyder said congressional leaders in the state tapped to receive the honor must demonstrate a minimum legislative scorecard of 80 percent on key agricultural issues.
"We are proud of your hard work," she told Tipton, shaking his hand.
A member of the Colorado Farm Bureau board of directors, Snyder added that she wished congressional leaders from both sides of the aisle would work together to further strengthen the future of farming and ranching for families like hers. She said the biggest threat were new Environmental Protection Agency permit proposals on navigable waters, which would impact crop rotation and grazing, for example.
"They want to come out here and control all of our drainage," she explained.
Snyder said another agricultural concern included special tax deductions for equipment purchases that expired at the beginning of the year. She added it's burdensome to have a tractor break down during the middle of a harvest.
"We've been waiting on Congress to do something," said Snyder.
Colorado Farm Bureau president Don Shawcroft said in a statement that Tipton was no stranger to agriculture and rural Colorado.
"He has fought for tax reform to allow farms and ranches to be passed from one generation to the next, and worked to halt needless regulations in Washington, DC from negatively impacting at home," said Shawcroft.
Tipton serves on the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committees and as chairman of the House Small Business Subcommittee on Agriculture, Energy and Trade.
The Friend of Farm Bureau award is given to members of Congress whose voting records and number of bills sponsored align with the American Farm Bureau Federation's priority issues.