Gov. Kemp promises to continue helping farmers

Published 4:18 pm Friday, October 25, 2019

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Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp made a stop in Bainbridge Wednesday to speak with farmers about his continued efforts to help them recover from Hurricane Michael, as well as other projects on the horizon.

Agriculture is the largest industry in Southwest Georgia, and farmers across the state lost millions of dollars in damages after Hurricane Michael churned through Georgia last October.

With many farmers struggling, Kemp assured the room that he would continue fighting for them.

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“We are trying to raise awareness to people around the state, the United States and the world that we can do great things in rural parts of our state,” said Kemp. “I tell people all the time, we can’t harp on the tough issues all the time. We have got to be positive about rural Georgia. We got a lot of opportunity, we got a lot of resources, we got great farmers growing crops and fiber and chicken, and we need to be promoting more manufacturing plants that can value add to goods right here in the state and keep diversifying the economy down here.”

Kemp said he spoke to President Donald Trump recently and brought up the issue of federal aid money “not flowing” to farmers like he hoped, and that would soon be addressed.

To help boost the economies of the rural areas of Georgia hit from Hurricane Michael, Kemp has focused on major economic development that can bring hundreds of jobs to regions in need. Creating more “megasites”, 1,000-plus acre locations for manufacturing plants, training workers to market the sites and hiring an economic coordinator to strike deals for major industrial development are ideas Kemp is taking very seriously

“We also recently rolled out the rural strike team to work on economic development issues in all parts of our state outside of our metro areas,” said Kemp. “We are always working on economics everywhere anyway, and certainly in our metro areas, but I feel like we need to focus on rural Georgia.”

Kemp also addressed medical cannabis, which he is a proponent of, and stated there was a tremendous amount of money and influence behind that legislation.

“I know a lot of people have been frustrated that it has taken so long, and I apologize for that, but it is better for us to be diligent and to be right than to be fast and to be foolish,” said Kemp.