Gov. Nathan Deal traveled to Tifton today to sign two bills pertaining to the agriculture and gaming industries, HB 225 and HB 277, at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College.
"Agriculture is the states' oldest and largest industry, and I'm proud to sign legislation that will help to keep it strong and thriving," said Deal.
Deal first signed HB 225, a bill that will help to promote responsible agriculture and best practices by giving a strong working definition for "sustainable agriculture" that will be understood by producer and consumer alike.
"Growing Georgia's economy through sustainable agriculture is critical to ensuring that we have a viable future for Georgia's No. 1 industry," he said.
An estimated 50,000 farms cover more than 10 million acres in Georgia. Currently, one in seven Georgians work in agriculture, forestry or related fields. The economic impact of the industry exceeds $65 billion annually.
The governor then signed HB 277, which intends to attract more people to take up hunting through greater access to deer.
"People come from all over the world to hunt our prized deer population, and the sport is an economic engine for many rural parts of Georgia," Deal said. "HB 277 also helps address a growing problem in Georgia as it expands hunters options for going after feral hogs. The cost of crop damage from feral hogs is tremendous, and this legislation helps Georgia farmers protect their livelihood."
Georgia is the No. 1 destination for hunting in the United States. Deer hunting in Georgia is responsible for an estimated 10,000 jobs in the state.
Bills can be read in their entirety at http://www.legis.ga.gov/en-US/default.aspx