Governor Kemp stops in Vienna to promote farm industry, signs two bills into law

Governor Brian Kemp made stops at the Georgia Museum of Agriculture in Tifton and the Ellis Brothers Pecans in Vienna.

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VIENNA, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Governor Brian Kemp spent the day in Southwest Georgia signing two new bills into law and promoting the state’s farm industry. He made stops at the Georgia Museum of Agriculture in Tifton and the Ellis Brothers Pecans in Vienna.

During his visit, the Governor signed House Bill 693 into law. The measure addresses road safety and right-of-way concerns when it comes to wide-load farming vehicles. State Senator Larry Walker (R-Perry) explains the new law recognizes instances where a wide-load farming vehicles may not be able to safely move to the right-hand-side and gives them priority on the road.

Governor Kemp also signed Senate Bill 222 in law. It designates the pecan the official state nut. Georgia lawmakers debated selecting the pecan over the peanut. While Georgia is the number one state producer of both pecans and peanuts, Senator Walker explains that a peanut is not an actual nut. It is consider part of the legume, or bean, family.

However University of Georgia Horticulture Professor Lenny Wells says pecans are not nuts either. He says they are drupes, a fruit with flesh on the outside and a big seed in the middle.

Lawmakers say the Georgia Peanut Commission is in support of the pecan as the official state nut.

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Shelby Coates is an evening anchor/producer at 41NBC News. She anchors the 5, 5:30, and 6 evening newscasts. She also works behind the scenes producing the 5:00pm and managing newsroom assignments. She returns to 41NBC after working in Evansville, Indiana as the Morning/Noon Anchor and Executive Producer for WEVV. Shelby also spent time in Spartanburg, South Carolina, where she spent three years anchoring and producing the weekend morning newscasts at WSPA-TV. She also worked as a general assignment reporter, receiving several honors for her investigative and consumer reporting. Shelby has spent time working as a news anchor/reporter in Chattanooga, Tennessee; Macon, Georgia; and Abilene, Texas. Shelby is a native of Clarksville, Tennessee. She graduated from Abilene Christian University in Texas with a bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Journalism and Mass Communication and a minor in sociology. Shelby has a passion for empowering local communities, church ministry, public speaking, strengthening women and mentoring young people.