Friday, March 5, 2021
Tifton, Georgia
Dr. David Bridges, president of Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, says ABAC students can expect a return to normalcy for the 2021 fall semester when it begins Aug. 11.

“Our plan is to return to normal operations in the fall,” Bridges said. “I want our existing students to know that, and I particularly want incoming freshmen to know it.”

Along with the other 25 institutions in the University System of Georgia, ABAC offered only online classes for the final weeks of the 2020 spring semester and the entirety of the summer term, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Students during the 2020 fall term took a mix of online classes and in-person classes. Now in the middle of the 2021 spring semester, ABAC students take mostly in-person classes with some online classes.

“I want students taking in-person instruction in a safe environment this fall,” Bridges said. “We will make available a limited number of online classes for those students who still may not feel comfortable sitting in a lecture hall.”

Thinking beyond the classroom, Bridges said “I want students living in on-campus housing, going to club meetings, playing sports, and eating in the dining hall,” Bridges said. “Give our students what they deserve, the total college experience.

“ABAC has always been known for its friendly atmosphere and a quality education that prepares students for life. Even during the pandemic, we have not backed off that premise.”

ABAC enrolled 3,990 students during the 2020 fall term, the second largest enrollment in the history of the college. Those students came from 155 of Georgia’s 159 counties, 53 of Florida’s 67 counties, 19 states, and 24 countries. A record 2,353 of those students enrolled in the 12 bachelor’s degree programs that ABAC offers.
We are hosting a Class A CDL ONLY career fair
(must be 21 years of age to operate CDL vehicle with UNITED). 

Saturday, March 6
9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Social Distancing will be practiced, so please wear your mask.
Tifton Campus Conference Center of University of Georgia
15 RDC Road
Tifton, GA 31793

Please apply online prior to the event: Click Here!
Frank McGill of Tifton, affectionately known throughout the Georgia agricultural community as "Mr. Peanut," passed away surrounded by family Wednesday at the age of 95.

The legendary University of Georgia Cooperative Extension peanut specialist working out of Tifton, McGill was credited with developing the peanut industry in Georgia to where it is today.

"Once in a generation, someone comes along who forever changes a segment of agriculture,” said UGA College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences Dean Sam Pardue in 2019. "When in comes to peanuts, Frank McGill is that person. Scientists, farmers and even former U.S. President Jimmy Carter will tell you, without hesitation that Frank McGill was extremely instrumental in developing the peanut industry in Georgia.”
The family will hold a private memorial service, but which will be broadcast live at 2 p.m. Saturday on Tifton’s First United Methodist Church Facebook page and YouTube channel.

McGill began his career with UGA as a county agent in southwest Georgia and later became the state’s UGA Cooperative Extension peanut specialist. He worked at the Coastal Plain Experiment Station in Tifton and was a member of the UGA Cooperative Extension peanut team that developed a “package approach” for peanut production in Georgia.

McGill traveled to 21 countries during his career as a peanut consultant. In Honduras, Suriname and Barbados, he “jump started” local peanut production and helped eliminate the protein deficiency known as pellagra in local residents. He also served as a technical advisor to the Georgia Peanut Commission, U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee, National Peanut Council and the National Peanut Growers Group.

His honors include being named president of the American Peanut Research and Education Society and chairman of a special task force requested by the U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee to determine the 40-year impact of peanut policy on the family farm. UGA named him a D.W. Brooks Distinguished Professor of Agronomy and Progressive Farmer magazine named him Man of the Year. McGill received the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences’ Medallion of Honor in 2019, and in October 2018, he was honored by the UGA Graduate School as an Alumnus of Distinction.

He was inducted into the Georgia Peanut Hall of Fame in 1982 and received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Peanut Council in 1999. In 1996, he was inducted into the Georgia Agricultural Hall of Fame and received the American/World Agriculture Award from the National County Agents Association in 2000. He also received the Valor Award from the Southern Peanut Farmers Federation. Mr. McGill was selected as one of 12 UGA scientists whose work has impacted the world in the last 100 years as part of UGA’s centennial celebrations.

At his retirement in 1982, the numerous monetary donations he received were used to create the J. Frank McGill “Up with Peanuts” Scholarship. As a result, a substantial scholarship has since been awarded each year to a rising junior or senior UGA crop and soil sciences major.

After retirement, McGill remained an active voice in the peanut industry. He served as president of the American Peanut Research and Education Society, chairman of the U.S. Task Force on Peanut Policy and the U.S. Peanut Improvement Working Group. He also worked as a peanut consultant with M&M Mars for 16 years, followed by four years as a part-time consultant with the National Peanut Laboratory.

In 2019, Dr. Joe West, former assistant dean of the UGA Tifton campus, said "I believe he is part of the reason the (peanut) industry is as strong as it is, and production is as great as it is.”

“His wise counsel, steady advice and dedication to teaching the latest principles and production practices helped triple Georgia peanut yields, changing the economic future of southwest Georgia, which now produces nearly half of the nation’s total peanut crop," added Pardue. For more information about McGill’s career, see UGA CAES News
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Local businesses and restaurants are preparing baskets with an Easter theme for Literacy Volunteers of Tifton-Tift County’s upcoming “Baskets on Parade” online auction, helping to take the annual Choc-It-Up fundraiser to Facebook and Instagram.

At least 15 baskets will be featured containing gift items from the stores and other local services. Social media watchers may bid on pictures of the baskets beginning next week. The winning bidders will be announced at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 1, just before Easter. Those who wish to participate should like the Literacy Volunteers Facebook page, and people will be invited to share the event for a chance to win chocolate cakes from Publix. The Howard Center is sponsoring the event. Donations enable the program to recruit and train tutors to work with adults who want to improve their reading skills and to pay for GED test fees.
Cotton growers affiliated with Sconyers Gin & Warehouse in Sycamore received four awards recently.

For these awards, the state is divided into four regions. In each region, an award goes to one grower in each of the following categories: less than 500 acres, 500-1,000 acres, and 1,000 acres and up. This cotton was ginned at Sconyers Gin & Warehouse in Sycamore. Winners include Chad Hawkins for less than 500 acres; Wendell Hobby for 500-1,000 acres; and Wilson Keene for 1,000 acres and up. Chad Hawkins also won best overall in his district.
Above, from left: Clay Watson, Wilson Keene, Rick Riley.
Below, from left Clay Watson, Chad Hawkins, Rick Riley.
Bottom photo, from left: Rhonda Cook, Wendell Hobby
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March dog
Electra is a young female dog ready for a home. She can be adopted at the Tift County Animal Shelter. The shelter, located on Highway 125 S. The shelter is open to the public for adoptions from 1-6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.

For more information, call 229-382-PETS (7387).
Pets of the Week are sponsored by:
Branch’s Veterinary Clinic
205 Belmont Ave., Tifton, 229-382-6055  
FEB. 25
Jerry Robert Doggett, 68, Sylvester
Albert Henry Folsom, Sr., 95, Nashville
Sally Richardson, 79, Irwinville
Shirley B. Tankersley, 73, Irwin County

FEB. 26
Virginia "Gini" Fowler, 83, Hanceville, Ala.
Lynnell Reynolds Fulmer, 84, Chula
Samuel Lee Hillmon, 81, Austell
James Travis “Trabone” Vickery, 53, Nashville
James Oswald Whitley, 81, Ocilla
Larry Steve Yawn, 71, Ashburn

FEB. 27
Sandra Leggette Colas, 54, Ashburn
Patricia Ann Harper, 83, Nashville 
Tony Hutto, 81, Irwin County
Amy Slappey Strenth, 50, Sylvester

FEB. 28
 Terri "Phon" Shealey, 58, Adel
 Robert E. "Bobby" Singletary, 59, Sylvester

Samuel Lee Young, 71, Sylvester
Todd Larry Young, 49, Ocilla

Virginia (Jenny) Decker Fletcher, 88, Tifton
J. Frank McGill, 95, Tifton
Larry Saunders, 73, Poulan

Vera Estelle Ford Walker, 89, Tifton

Tifton Grapevine
e-published every Tuesday and Friday

Frank Sayles Jr.
Editor & Publisher
Bonnie Sayles
Managing Editor
A Service of Sayles Unlimited Marketing LLC, Tifton, Georgia