DECATUR COUNTY, Ga. (WTXL) — Just over one year after Hurricane Michael, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp wants to make sure rural farmers in the Peach State know they are not forgotten.
The governor made an important stop Wednesday in Decatur County to meet with those farmers and discuss their needs. He is making a promise to farmers that he will continue to push for more resources in rural southwest Georgia.
Hurricane Michael cost these farmers millions of dollars in damage.
Michael also changed the lives of many in southwest Georgia, especially for farmers like Justin Long, who lost thousands of dollars because of the storm.
"Rural Georgia right now is at a tipping point after the storm hit us," Long explained. " There is no economy in southwest Georgia except agriculture ... we are a large employer."
And because of those huge losses following Michael, these farmers believe the state needs to take steps to boost the economy of southwest Georgia.
"If we got the money, we're going to spend it," Long asserted. "We need employees that are going to work for us. Right now we're in a very bad tipping point than where we were five years ago."
Governor Kemp says he plans to push lawmakers to realize the potential that rural Georgia has.
"We've got to be positive about rural Georgia. We got a lot of opportunity. We got a lot of resources," said Kemp. "We've got great farmers growing great crops."
Because the governor believes better days are coming, he says he's trying to raise awareness.
"We're trying to raise awareness not only to people down here but people around the state, people around the U.S. and people around the world that we can do great things in the rural parts of our state," said Gov. Kemp.
The Georgia Department of Agriculture estimates farm damages due to Michael to be as high as $2.8 billion.