MAPLEWOOD — U.S. Rep. and Senate candidate Tim Ryan visited the Gibbs’ Family Farm in Maplewood on Thursday afternoon to hold a farmer roundtable to discuss the concerns of farmers in Shelby County.
Ryan pulled into the Gibbs Family Farm in a small, rented RV that he and he his wife Andrea and youngest child, 8-year-old Brady, are using to tour Ohio to meet people across the state to talk about important issues.
“I’m really excited to have Congressman Ryan right here on our farm in the heart of rural Ohio,” said farmer Chris Gibbs to the roughly 30 farmers assembled at the top of the gathering on his property. “This is what it takes for candidates to connect with farmers and rural folks. They show up to talk, — no, listen — and have those ‘one on one’ conversations with rural Americans. Congressman Ryan knows that instinctively.”
After brief, individual hellos with each person in attendance, once in front of the group under a tent in Gibbs’ driveway, Ryan began by explaining he was there to talk to all voters, regardless of party, and wished to listen and learn about their concerns. He said he has gone up against his own party standing up to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Vermont Rep. Bernie Sanders, as well as opposed former President Barack Obama, in the past
“There’s never been a greater county that provides more freedom than the United States; if the light goes out here, the light goes out. And I’m worried for our kids that if we keep fighting with each other and we are Democrats and Republicans first and not Americans first, that we are going to run into a lot of problems,” Ryan said. “I think there is an exhausted majority in this country, Democrats, Republicans and Independents; just exhausted. Everybody, just stop, and let’s get back to having some conversations about solving some really, really big problems. And that’s why I am here.”
Ryan then went on to talk about his concern with China, which he said is expanding across the world in technology, solar power, etc. He said China is coming for America, yet Americans are busy fighting one another about “dumb stuff.”
Various concerns were raised by those in attendance during the meeting including inflation, the ability to pass on or carry on the generational farm/business, infrastructure, China tariffs, and even a brief conversation on the Second Amendment (the right to bear arms) came up. Ryan said he feels a major problem right now is the need for good jobs, where people can have a life and be able to participate in their communities, versus having to work 6-7 days a week for years on end.
“The number of solid middle class jobs just aren’t there,” Ryan said. “… That to me is why infrastructure is important, workforce development is important, education is important, bring back manufacturing is important, that’s why the tariffs in China is important. That’s how you grow the economy…”
When asked about his stance on the Second Amendment, Ryan said he goes out hunting a couple of times a year and thinks guns need kept out of criminals and terrorists hands, but in general, common sense is needed. Mental health was mentioned as needing addressed by Seth Middleton, of Sidney. Ryan said he was going to push back a little, noting mental health is available world-wide but mass shootings are unique to the U.S. Ryan said where he comes from, if an 18-year-old went in to buy a semi-automatic weapon and numerous rounds of ammo, someone would step up and ask where the kid’s parents were, or say, “where’s your dad?”
Bert Regula, of Jackson Center said, “I think you hit the nail right on the head there. I think the problem is there are no dads in the home and these kids are being brought up by single mothers who are doing the best they can. Some parents don’t care about their kids. I told my kids the most important piece of furniture they’ll ever have is the kitchen table because that’s where you sit around and talk about the issues of the day. Talk about how their day was.”
At the close of the gathering, Gibbs said, “I think the congressman’s message that he understands the value of hard work resonated with the farmers and those who serve the ag community here today. What impressed me most is what he didn’t bring to the farm today. He didn’t being rhetoric designed to divide us as Americans with hot-button cultural issues and he certainly didn’t bring a laundry list of things that were wrong with our America. When any candidate starts down that road, I just quit listening.”
Ryan is currently a representative in the U.S. House and is running against JD Vance to be elected to the U.S. Senate. Current Sen. Rob Portman announced he would not seek re-election after his current term ends which leaves a Senate seat open in Ohio.
Elections will be held on Nov. 8. 2022.
For more information on Ryan visit timforoh.com.