WELD COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – Weld County commissioners are coming together to declare a “Meat-In Day” on March 20 in support of Colorado farmers and ranchers. The announcement comes after Gov. Jared Polis announced a “Meat Out Day,” also taking place on March 20.

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The goal was to support a plant-based diet for the day. This is just the latest fuel in the fire following the proclamation. Some say it stands against rural Colorado and the state’s agriculture industry.

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“Weld County is not that far from Denver, but sometimes it feels like we’re a world apart,” said Weld County Commissioner Scott James.

For James, the issue hits home.

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“Why would one want to tamp down an industry at the expense of another?” James said. “I grew up working on feed lots and ranches. I understand the lifestyle, I understand that it’s not only a method of making a living, it’s a matter of living, and it’s a lifestyle.”

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After backlash from the Colorado Cattleman’s Association and the American Hereford Association, CBS4 asked Polis if he regretted the decision at a news conference last week.

“I’ve focused on expanding markets for Colorado beef products, and we’ve worked on trade deals with Taiwan,” Polis said. “One of my quarantine hobbies was learning to cook some of underappreciated cuts, including flanks and round steak, and I’ll put my brisket against anybody’s brisket in the state.”

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While preparing meat may be a quarantine hobby for the governor, for some rural Coloradans, producing meat is a source of income.

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“I don’t want to be the person who looks that rancher or farmer in the eye and say, ‘This is coming out of your pocket,’” James said.

Andrea Flores