(The Center Square) — Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed a trio of bills intended to support the state’s farmers.
“As the global marketplace continues to react to Russia’s unprovoked and unjust war in Ukraine — Europe’s breadbasket — the importance of the ag sector here in America, and especially here in Georgia, will only continue to grow,” Kemp, a Republican, said in prepared remarks. “Our farming families are more important than ever, and that’s one of many reasons why [it is] so crucial we protect their way of life.:
The first measure, House Bill 1150, the Freedom to Farm Act, “increases and clearly defines protection for both farmers and property owners while still addressing bad actors,” Kemp said.
It, in part, limits when agricultural facilities and operations may be sued for being a nuisance.
“The Freedom to Farm Bill protects that right for producers who operate in the way they are supposed to, in the places they are supposed to,” Tom McCall, president of the Georgia Farm Bureau (GFB), said in a news release last week. “We’re grateful that our state lawmakers understand the importance of protecting Georgia’s largest industry and we thank those who supported this bill.”
A second measure, House Bill 1303, expands the state’s elementary agriculture education program, first established in 2018, while a third measure, Senate Bill 396, the so-called Farm to Foodbank bill, should provide more Georgians with fresh produce and protein from the state’s farmers.
“The Farm to Foodbank legislation does something I’m always supportive of, it makes state government more efficient,” Kemp said. “By updating the code section of this program — first established in 1998 and both underutilized and never funded until now — we are connecting foodbanks in need directly with farmers who will benefit from being able to bring more products to market.”
By T.A. DeFeo | The Center Square contributor