Truck & Tractor Pull Sept. 21-23

Trucks and tractors of all shapes and sizes will rev their engines and roar down the track Sept. 21-23 at the AET Truck and Tractor Pull sponsored by the Agricultural Engineering Technology Club at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College. On Sept. 21, ABAC students and the community can participate in the amateur night beginning at 7 p.m. Participants may enter their vehicles in the event for fee. Gates will open at 6 p.m. On Sept. 22-23, the Southern Pullers Association will provide the show featuring professional pullers. On Sept. 22, gates will open at 6 p.m., and pulling will start at 7 p.m. On Sept. 23, the gates open at 5 p.m., and pulling will start at 6 p.m. For information, contact AET club advisors Ray Lundy at rlundy@abac.edu or Todd Hicks at thicks@abac.edu.

Source: Tifton Grapevine

Georgia Peanut Commission to dedicate education center Sept. 6

The Georgia Peanut Commission plans to host a dedication of the commission’s education center on Wednesday, Sept. 6, at 4:30 p.m., at the GPC office in Tifton. The GPC office is located at 445 Fulwood Blvd. Tifton, GA 31794. Members of the public are invited to attend. “We are proud of our education center and the opportunities it provides visitors to learn more about Georgia peanuts,” Tim Burch, GPC board member and peanut farmer from Baker County said. “Visitors can learn everything from production, to economics, to global impact; all important aspects of Georgia’s official state crop.” The new education center features interactive touchscreen monitors with peanut-specific activities and games, self-guided exhibits related to the peanut business, global implications, how peanuts grow and are harvested, as well as an eight minute video of peanut production from land prep to harvest viewable in 3-D format. Additionally, a live peanut plant exhibit is set up to allow visitors to see a peanut plant growing. Not only can visitors see the stems and leaves, the exhibit also showcases the roots and pegs forming underground through tempered glass. Furthermore, the education center features the Georgia Peanut Hall of Fame portraits. Members of the Hall of Fame are recipients of the highest award given by GPC and have demonstrated leadership and stimulation of peanut industry growth, development, research and education. The center’s newest addition includes hand-painted murals by local artist, Jill Whitley. The murals depict peanut production in South Georgia and feature peanut industry agribusinesses.  The Georgia Peanut Commission education center has been made possible through industry support and Georgia peanut farmers. The GPC board of directors invites everyone to attend the dedication event and celebrate the commission’s efforts to educate others about Georgia peanuts. For more information about the programs of the Georgia Peanut Commission, visit www.gapeanuts.com.

Scott Speaks in his Home Town

Recently Representative Austin Scott had the opportunity to be back at home. He met with and spoke to the Tifton Rotary Club on issues and concerns important to the community. He appreciated the good conversation and company, and thanked them for sharing their thoughts and concerns with him.

SRTC Staffer Donates Wheelchair To GED Student

A GED student at Southern Regional Technical College in Tifton is getting help both inside and outside the classroom. New student Kierean Hayes recently began attending classes to obtain his GED. Both Karen Boss, instructional aid for adult education, and Hayes’ instructor, Audrey Bailey, have noticed him struggling with his wheelchair that was falling apart after 11 years of heavy use.  They became concerned this personal barrier could become an issue for him to achieve his life-long goal of obtaining his GED. Student Affairs Assistant Paula Moser also noticed Hayes was unable to maneuver himself easily as he passed by her desk each day on the way to class. Moser decided to donate a wheelchair to Hayes that now enables him to “wheel” the halls with ease. The SRTC staff said they are hopeful this is “one more tool that allows Kierean to achieve his goals and receive his GED soon.” At left is Paula Moser with student Kierean Hayes.

Source: Tifton Grapevine

Perdue Homecoming U.S. AG Secretary Meets Farmers, Local Residents at UGA Tifton

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue came home to rural Georgia on Friday, holding a “listening session” as part of his Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity, and speaking to the Georgia Farm Bureau. The former Georgia governor from Perry has been holding listening sessions around the country and said that he consistently hears four things at nearly every such meeting: A need for fair trade deals; Labor issues are a growing problem; Too many regulations from bureaucrats who don’t understand the issues; The need for widespread broadband in rural areas.

Source: Tifton Grapevine

Recent ABAC Grad Completes Internship in Congress

Brittany Sherrod, daughter of Jim and Bobbie Sherrod from Swainsboro, has just completed an internship in Washington, D.C., with U.S. Rep. Austin Scott, R-Tifton. Sherrod is a recent cum laude graduate of Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College with a degree in agriculture. “Our internship program provides college students or recent graduates an opportunity to learn more about the legislative process while gaining valuable work experience. It allows them to experience how our federal government works first-hand,” Scott said. “I am grateful for the opportunity to serve the constituents in Georgia’s Eighth District. Learning the inner-workings of our government’s legislative process has been an amazing experience, and I would absolutely encourage others to apply,” said Sherrod. Scott offers internships to college-aged students and to recent college graduates who have an interest in the legislative process. Individuals selected to be interns have the opportunity to gain a comprehensive view of the procedures of a congressional office and how the legislative process works. In some cases, college students may be able to obtain academic credit. Students interested in becoming a congressional intern may visit the web site: austinscott.house.gov/services/internships.

Source: Tifton Grapevine

New UGA Tifton Weather Station Offers Data

The University of Georgia Tifton campus now has its very own weather station. The UGA Tifton WeatherSTEM unit sends real-time, local weather information to the Internet, keeps a record of all data collected and provides a STEM-based (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) curriculum for instructors use in the classroom.  Anyone may access up-to-date weather developments through the UGA Tifton WeatherSTEM — and there are daily “cloud cam” time-lapse videos from the Tifton campus. Tifton is the latest UGA site with the new technology. UGA already had installed the weather stations in Athens at Sanford Stadium, at the State Botanical Garden and in two other locations on the main Athens campus.  The stations link to the web and provide tools such as text alerts for changing weather conditions and forecasts. Users also can replay time-lapse videos from attached webcams. The WeatherSTEM systems can be useful for research, teaching and for promoting emergency preparedness.

Mell Baptist Dedicates New Office

On Sunday, Aug. 13, 32 representatives from 11 churches dedicated the new office for the Mell Baptist Association at 817 N. Central Ave. in Tifton. The Mell Baptist Association is composed of 29 Southern Baptist churches and missions in the Tiftarea who voluntarily cooperate to promote missions and evangelism. Its purpose is to encourage and strengthen churches, and partner with churches to reach people with the Gospel. The dedication service included prayers by Steve Davis, pastor of Zion Hope Baptist Church; by Rodney Owens, pastor of First Baptist Church Ty Ty; remarks from Tom Hocutt, associational missionary; and a message by Steve Tucker, pastor of Liberty Baptist Church. The dedicated building was purchased in April and remodeled without debt.

Solar Eclipse Shortens School Day in Tift County

The solar eclipse on Monday will not only shorten the amount of daylight; it will also shorten the local school day. The eclipse is expected to be at its peak in Tifton at approximately 2:40 p.m. Monday, Aug. 21, and local schools will dismiss students early. Tift County public schools will be releasing early on Monday as, it says, a “safety precaution.” Each school will dismiss students three and a half hours earlier than the normal dismissal time. Tiftarea Academy will also dismiss early — at noon Monday — for the solar eclipse. In Tift public schools, for example, students normally released at 3:30 p.m. will be let out at noon. Students will receive lunch before they leave, the school system said. The Kids Advocacy Coalition after-school program will be closed. Student athletes are asked to talk with their coaches about practices on Monday. Practices can be held after 4 p.m., but it will be up to each coach whether or not to do that because transportation could be an issue. “After thoughtful deliberation and research concerning the upcoming solar eclipse, the decision has been made to release students early Monday, Aug. 21, 2017. As superintendent, I realize there are many items for consideration with the most important being student safety,” Tift Schools Superintendent Patrick Atwater said in a written statement. “As a school system, we have plans for natural disasters, fire drills, tornado drills, bomb threats, inclement weather, chemical threats, intruders on campus and multitudes of other protective plans for faculty, staff and students. However, we do not have a plan for a 100-year solar eclipse,” Atwater said. “After consulting with local ophthalmologists, reviewing research from NASA and other reliable sources, it has been determined for the safety of students, we will dismiss early. … We strongly encourage parents/guardians to educate their children of the dangers of improperly viewing the solar eclipse.” Tiftarea Academy noted that solar eclipses are never safe to watch without taking special precautions.  “The solar eclipse will occur throughout our normal dismissal time. In order to ensure the safety of our students and staff, we will follow our early dismissal schedule. This action is being taken as a result of safety concerns related to this event. We feel it will be safest for our students to be off of the buses and roads during the actual eclipse,” Tiftarea Academy said in a statement released. *We realize this is an educational moment, and each teacher will use this opportunity to teach their students about the event in the days leading up to it. However, the safety of our students is always our No. 1 priority.*  Tiftarea Academy will follow a normal half-day schedule with no lunch or break. Bus riders will be dismissed at noon, and car riders/drivers at 12:10 p.m.

Source: Tifton Grapevine

College Course Expand with Five New Bachelor’s Degrees

When fall semester classes begin Wednesday at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, a record number of students will be enrolled in bachelor’s degree programs; among the 13 bachelor’s degrees are five new programs approved Aug. 8 by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia. “This is the largest number of bachelor’s degrees we have offered in the history of ABAC,” says President David Bridges. “It’s also the most number of students enrolled in bachelor’s degree programs in the history of ABAC. I think it bodes well for the future of this institution.” The Tifton college says 1,973 students are enrolled in bachelor’s degree programs as compared to 1,828 students enrolled in those programs in 2016. At its most recent meeting, the Board of Regents approved ABAC bachelor’s degrees in agribusiness, agricultural communication, history and government, rural community development, and writing and communication. “We already have about 200 agribusiness majors. That program is off to a very strong start. I think the addition of the new degrees gives us a broad range of programs for students to choose from for their ABAC education,” Bridges says. “I have said it before, and I’ll say it again: The value of an ABAC education is absolutely priceless. The ABAC experience is life-changing for these students.” ABAC offered only associate degrees for 75 years until 2008 when 41 students enrolled in bachelor’s degree programs. Bridges says ABAC added nursing and agricultural education last year, “Adding ag education to our curriculum last year is going to have a phenomenal impact on our legacy in agriculture,” Bridges says. “The more ag education teachers we have out there, the more students we will get back. I believe ag teachers have more influence on the students they teach than maybe any other teacher in high school.” ABAC also offers bachelor’s degrees in agriculture, biology, business and economic development, environmental horticulture, natural resource management, and rural studies. Bridges expects the overall enrollment to be close to the 3,475 students enrolled during the 2016 fall term, which included students from 154 of Georgia’s 159 counties, 21 states and 26 countries. “We have increased our enrollment over the previous year in three of the past four fall semesters,” Bridges says. Freshmen began moving into ABAC Lakeside and ABAC Place on Saturday. Bridges said both housing complexes are almost full with 1,300 students living on campus. Combined with the students who are living in the community, the start of fall semester classes grows the Tifton population by several thousand people within a few days. Those students are a big reason why ABAC has a $330 million annual economic impact on Tift and surrounding counties, the college says.
Source: Tifton Grapevine