The Georgia General Assembly is getting ready to review a new bill titled
the House Bill 853 Georgia Right to Grow Act. (In general terms) The bill
is intended to protect the citizens of Georgia from local governments by
preventing local governments from passing laws/ordinances prohibiting or
restricting people from growing their own food.
While in committee honey bees were added to this bill! (Meaning it will
strictly prevent local governments from prohibiting beekeeping including
ordinances) The bill has passed in committee and is now going on to the
As a beekeeper in Georgia you would be foolish not to allow your voice to
be heard on this matter. No matter how you feel you should tell your
Representatives yes, or no in this matter!
Here is a supporter’s website.
Their Facebook page (Georgia Food Rights)
Here is a spreadsheet of all the Reps in Georgia (see the tabs at the
bottom of the sheet)
Here are links to maps of the house and congressional districts.
Here is the bill as it stands now.
House Bill 853 (sub)
The House Committee on Agriculture and Consumer Affairs offers the
following substitute to HB 853: A BILL TO BE ENTITLED AN ACT
To amend Chapter 1 of Title 2 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated,
relating to general provisions relative to agriculture, so as to provide a
short title; to preempt certain local ordinances relating to production of
agricultural or farm products; to protect the right to grow food crops and
raise small animals or honeybees on private property so long as such crops
and animals or the products thereof are used for human consumption by the
occupants, gardeners, or raisers and their households and not for
commercial purposes; to define a term; to provide for effect on certain
local authority and causes of action; to provide for an effective date; to
repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes. BE IT ENACTED BY THE
GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA:
This Act shall be known and may be cited as the "Georgia Right to Grow Act."
Chapter 1 of Title 2 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating
to general provisions relative to agriculture, is amended by adding a new
Code section to read as follows:
(a) As used in this Code section, the term 'crops' means fruits and
products of all annual or perennial plants, trees, and shrubs.
(b) No county, municipality, consolidated government, or local government
authority shall prohibit or require any permit for the growing or raising
of food crops, rabbits, honeybees, or chickens, with the exception of
roosters, in home gardens, fully covered pens, hives, or fully covered
coops on private residential property so long as such food crops, animals,
or honeybees or the products thereof are used for human consumption by the
occupant of such property and members of his or her household and not for
(C) This Code section shall not prohibit or impair:
(1) The authority of a local governmental entity to abate a public
(2) Any cause of action brought by a private citizen to abate a private
nuisance under Code Section 41-2-3."
This Act shall become effective upon its approval by the Governor or upon
its becoming law without such approval.
All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are repealed.
Dan Scales, President