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      Gov. Deal makes a pair of stops in Tifton

      A new lab in Tifton is being called one of the most important for the Department of Agriculture. Governor Nathan Deal even came out for the ribbon cutting.

      The facility is now one of the hubs for checks on food quality in Georgia.

      Many of the things that come out of this laboratory is important first of all for food safety purposes, but also for the future of the development of crops, of seed varieties, just various agricultural products, said Governor Deal.

      Consider the recent outbreak listeria in cantaloupe; Governor Deal says labs like this one will help keep those problems from growing.

      Laboratories give us the opportunity to identify what the problem is and identify what the source of the problem is so that the entire industry does not have the devastating effect from those types of problems that develop, said Governor Deal.

      The building will also house a fuel lab, one that's being relocated from Atlanta to Southwest Georgia.

      We're protecting the integrity of the fuel supply, making sure that a gallon is a gallon; a pound is a pound. All those will be certified and calibrated here. It's an exciting day but a very, very important facility for Tifton and for Georgia, said Gary Black, Georgia Agriculture Commissioner.

      The governor made a second stop while he was in Tifton today. He attended the Celebrating Rural Georgia Conference to swear in members of the Georgia Rural Development Council.

      The governor also helped give out some grants to companies dealing with agriculture.

      Even though we have seen job migration and population migration out of some of our rural counties, we still know these are great places to live and the main thing we need to do is to stimulate their local economies so people that want to remain in their local communities can do so and they will have good jobs that will allow them to do that, said Governor Deal.

      Next week Governor Deal plans to head to Asia to discuss opportunities in trade and investment.