BAINBRIDGE – Georgia Governor Brian Kemp applauded the efforts of Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College to educate the workforce for Georgia’s largest industry on Tuesday when he signed two bills concerning agriculture on the ABAC Bainbridge campus.
“We can’t thank you enough for what you’re doing with one of our most prized resources in our state, educating our future workforce,” Kemp said to ABAC President Tracy Brundage and the standing-room only audience that attended the signing in the ABAC Bainbridge Library.
“That is one of the top issues that we are selling across the country but also around the world as to why people need to come to our state and create good jobs and give our citizens, especially in rural Georgia, economic opportunity and prosperity no matter their zip code or what town they live in.” Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Tyler Harper introduced Kemp to the audience.
“I am proud to say I am an ABAC alumnus,” Harper said. “It’s only fitting to do what we’re doing in the heart of ag country. Our state can’t be successful unless Georgia’s number one industry of agriculture is successful, and that’s part of what we’re doing today.”
Brundage said that ABAC was honored to host the event.
“We have so many different parts of the agricultural industry represented at our college,” Brundage said. “It’s always great to see Agriculture Commissioner Tyler Harper. He’s a real testament to what an ABAC education can do.”
Brundage said that ABAC’s 14 bachelor’s degree programs are geared toward graduating students who can contribute to the Georgia workforce in a broad way. Two of those degrees, business and nursing, are offered in their entirety in Bainbridge. All the degrees are available at ABAC’s primary location in Tifton.
The two bills included House Bill 545, which creates an Agricultural Commodity Commission for Citrus Fruits, and Senate Bill 220, which creates the Georgia Farmland Conservation Fund, both of which Kemp said received bi-partisan support in the legislature.
“I am proud to sign these bills that will boost our state’s citrus production and farmland conservation efforts,” said Kemp. “Georgia is home to a diverse and thriving agricultural sector, and citrus is one of our fastest-growing crops. By establishing this Commission, we are ensuring that our citrus growers have the resources and representation they need to succeed in the global market.
“We are also investing in our rural communities by creating a fund that will provide matching grants to protect the land of farming families from development and preserve our state’s number one industry.”