TIFTON – Gov. Brian Kemp attended the Georgia Museum of Agriculture for the Field to Closet kickoff event Friday.

While extolling the virtues of business in South Georgia, the governor defended the controversial election law he signed a couple of weeks ago.

"People are not hearing the facts of what the legislature did to make sure that Georgia has secure, accessible and fair elections," Kemp said. "We are being unfairly targeted by Major League Baseball and some in corporate America who they simply don't understand what the facts are. I want everyone to know we are going to continue to fight to get the truth out there."

MLB pulled the All-Star Game from Atlanta because of the election law, which some critics claim suppresses voting in Georgia, especially in communities of color. Corporations, such as Delta and Coca-Cola, have also criticized the law.

But business was the focal point of Kemp's visit to Tifton.

"This project shows a lot of great innovation from this part of our state," Kemp said of Field to Closet. "It is great to see things like this happen and come together."

"Field to Closet was founded to work with brands and retailers to increase the use of cotton in the products, change the economic distribution of the supply chain to include the farmer, and allow people access to sustainably produced, 100% natural cotton fiber with traceability to farms where the Deltapine cotton was grown,” Ed Jernigan, founder and chief executive officer of Field to Closet, said in a statement. 

According to Field to Closet's website, the project will culminate this summer with 15 hospitals in rural Georgia receiving medical scrubs at no cost.

The cotton for the scrubs, traced from the grower through completion, is spun into yarn at Parkdale Mills in Rabun Gap, according to a statement; the yarn is made into material at Hornwood in Lilesville, N.C., and the scrubs are cut and sewn at America Knits in Swainsboro, Ga.

Kemp noted the importance of projects such as Field to Closet. After shortages of personal protective equipment during the pandemic, the state had to rely on products from overseas.

The Georgia Museum of Agriculture is part of the Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College campus. ABAC has been pushing to find ways to use more Georgia Grown products, ABAC President David Bridges said.

ABAC supplies its dining hall with products from 11 Georgia producers. 

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