Gov. Kemp signs two agriculture bills to law at ABAC

Gov. Kemp visits South Ga, signs bills expanding farmland
Published: Apr. 19, 2023 at 4:03 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

BAINBRIDGE, Ga. (WALB) - Georgia is known for peaches and peanuts, and now, the Governor is welcoming yet another crop in greater numbers. The signing of the bills was at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Bainbridge. These bills are about protecting farms and the advancement of the citrus industry.

Senate Bill 220 serves as the advancement of the citrus industry and House Bill 545 protects farms for future generations.

Senate Bill 220 is the Georgia Farmland Conservation Act, and according to Governor Kemp, the state has been losing agricultural land as it became more challenging to maintain a family farm.

“This bill will help us preserve agriculture land for future generations of Georgians and ensure that our state’s number one industry remains strong despite those pressures, by creating a conservation fund for farmland,” said Gov. Kemp.

“In 2013, Georgia just had 4500 Citrus trees, in 2021 alone, over 300,090 citrus trees were planted in our state,” Gov Kemp said. “In one year, farmers planted 86 times the entire number of citrus trees in Georgia a decade ago.”

The House bills were directed towards agriculture-- particularly for the advancement of the citrus industry and to preserve land for the next generation of farmers.

“House Bill 545 which I will sign shortly will help us ensure that Georgia continues to benefit from this growing industry in a successful and sustainable way by creating the agriculture commodity commission for citrus fruits housed under the Department of Agriculture.” Gov. Kemp said.

This signage is huge for ABAC because they are known for their outstanding agricultural program.

Agriculture Commissioner, Tyler Harper is an ABAC Alum, and he said these bills have plans to continue to advance in Georgia.

“These two pieces of legislation advance our state’s number one industry, it protects agriculture, it allows our state to continue to be successful, it allows us to continue to have the best state to live work, and raise a family,” said Harper.

President of ABAC, Tracy Brundage said, great things can come out of a smaller college like ABAC.

“We have so many different parts of the Agricultural industry represented and we’re so pleased to see Commissioner Tyler Harper who is an ABAC Alum and I think he is a full testament to what an ABAC Education does and can do,” Brundage said.

Gov. Kemp said it was important for him to sign this bill right here in Bainbridge as he continues to advocate for rural Georgians.