Georgia first lady Marty Kemp played host to legislators’ spouses during a luncheon Thursday at the Governor’s Mansion. She used the gathering to announce her support for Department of Agriculture program called Georgia Grown. Bob Andres / bandres@ajc.com

Why the Georgia Governor’s Mansion is going ‘Georgia Grown’

The Georgia Governor’s Mansion is going Georgia Grown.

First lady Marty Kemp’s first-year agenda centers on the agriculture initiative, which is designed to market and boost products grown in Georgia.

And at a Wednesday lunch at the mansion, Kemp said the goal was to ensure that virtually all the food served at the residence was grown in Georgia.

“We’re going to continue to promote these products,” she said at a luncheon honoring the spouses of state legislators. “We’re going to see the farmers, to see the hardworking Georgians. We’re going to let people know we’re supporting them. It’s very important to us.”

Her husband, Gov. Brian Kemp, ran for office with an intense focus on rural issues, and he won the election thanks to huge margins in Georgia’s agriculture heartland.

The initiative comes as farmers across South Georgia are struggling to recover from Hurricane Michael, which dealt generational damage to some farmers. Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black said the Georgia Grown program will help speed the recovery.

“The best way you can help people is ask for a Georgia product in the marketplace,” he said. “Make sure you’re buying from a Georgia producer. That’s the way millions of our fellow citizens can help people who are producing these products, who are under distress from Michael.”

At the luncheon, everything on the menu was crafted and grown in Georgia — from the sourdough crackers at each table to the pecan cobbler served for dessert.

Marty Kemp encouraged those in attendance to return to their districts and strike up conversations with neighbors and friends about the importance of buying Georgia-grown products.

“People sometimes don’t think, when they go to the grocery store, that the blueberries, the peaches, the pecans — that somebody grew that,” she said. “It didn’t just appear.”

Stay on top of what’s happening in Georgia government and politics at ajc.com/news/georgia-government/.

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.

X