GrapeNew
Aug. 26, 2016
           Tifton, Georgia

    (478) 227-7126


GOAT FARMER TO COMEDIAN
ED WILEY GOES FROM TIFTAREA FARM TO STAGES ACROSS COUNTRY

By FRANK SAYLES JR.
Tifton Grapevine

Fresh (well, maybe he doesn't feel that fresh after his trip) from a cross-country tour of comedy venues and 4,000 miles in a minivan with six kids, a local goat farmer is back home and preparing to go on tour with comedian Anita Renfroe.

Ed Wiley, who grows hay, raises goats and cattle on a farm in "the Greater Metro Tifton Area" while also working in computer technology, has embarked on a  full-blown career as a stand-up comedian.

Actually, Wiley has been a "comedian" all his life --  "Something's always been a little off with me" -- but 
says he only began working it "intentionally" the past few years, with many doors opening this past year. 

Until this summer, when he toured North Dakota, Oklahoma, Nashville, Tenn., and Atlanta, he had performed primarily in the Southeast, starting in small venues such as Dave's Bread & Coffee shop in Tifton.

His Midwest tour was a result of an online post. "I had a viral post; one of my girls found a Lynyrd Skynrd cassette tape in the creek here on our farm. 'It looks like it's from the Civil War,' one of them said," Wiley explained. "I later did something with it" online, which was viewed by folks across the country. Among those who saw it were talent booking agents, who brought him out to Icelandic, N.D., to perform.

"We drove through 14 or 15 states; I saw a lot of corn," Wiley said.

This year has been a busy one for Wiley; he won a comedy contest in Metro Atlanta in February; and in March, comedian Anita Renfroe attended his show in Canton, Ga., and later reached out to him.

"I will be touring six states all over the U.S. with her. It's a huge opportunity; I'm really excited to be sharing the stage with Anita."

Wiley said he does a stand-up and musical comedy show with his guitar. "I do some original songs, some parody shorts, impressions of George Bush, Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. I'm not a political guy; I pick on everybody in a comedic way."

Wiley does a "clean" comedy routine. "I do the same show in every venue; the same clean show I do in a church," he said. "I do humor about my life, living with six kids on a farm in rural Georgia. It's about my life and my family's life, living on a farm with six kids, six cats and a lot of bugs."

In his comedy routine, "I do mention Tifton being the 'Reading Capital of the World.' I'm somewhat of a marketing agent for Tifton around the country. The Tifton jokes are in good humor."

Wiley compared comedy to farming: "If you're in comedy to make money, you chose the wrong thing. You do it because you love it. So much is out of your control. As a Christian, I do the work and leave it to God. So many doors have opened, it's just inexplicable."

His national tour with Renfroe begins Sept. 10 in Little Rock, Ark. Ever the  goat  farmer, Wiley noted, "I promise to say the words 'goat' and 'bleat' at least once during each show."


FUNDING EDUCATION
LAWMAKERS TOLD TEACHERS NEED RAISES

Public education needs proper funding from the state, local legislators were told Thursday morning during the Tifton-Tift County Chamber of Commerce's annual legislative appreciation breakfast.
Rep. Clay Pirkle speaks at the Tift Chamber breakfast. Behind him, from left, are Chamber Chairman Morris Tankersley, former state Rep. Tony McBrayer, and state Rep. Sam Watson.

More than 80 Chamber members  gathered for the breakfast. State Rep. Clay Pirkle, Rep. Sam Watson and Sen. Greg Kirk discussed issues facing the upcoming General Assembly in Atlanta.

A number of local educators were in the audience and told the lawmakers that teachers need raises and that the state needs to fund Quality Basic Education, or QBE, as much as possible. QBE, begun in 1986 to ensure equitable financing for public education across the state, has never been fully funded.

Kirk also announced that he and state Sen. Vincent Fort, D-Atlanta, will meet in a series of forums
Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, center, speaks with Rose Crosby in Downtown Tifton. State Sen. Greg Kirk is at right.
across  the state, including one in Tifton on Sept. 22, to debate the so-called religious freedom issue. Kirk, an Americus Republican, led the effort last session to enact a law to protect people who oppose same-sex marriage, such as pastors, churches and faith-based organizations, from being forced to violate their religious beliefs. The  bill was passed by the legislature but vetoed by the governor.

Following the Chamber breakfast, Kirk had a campaign fundraiser at a restaurant in Downtown Tifton with Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle. At the event, Kirk announced that local prosecutor Bryce Johnson has been named as one of his campaign's managers.

Kirk is facing opposition in November from Democrat Ruenett Melton of Tifton for the District 13 senate seat. After the Tifton event, Kirk and Cagle made several visits to cities across South Georgia within the state Senate district.
Tickets Available at UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center and at 
the Tifton-Tift County Public Library

$80 per person for Dinner & Show; $35 for Show Only

For information, call 229-848-7043
TIFTAREA BOARD NAMES TRACY MONK
REALTOR OF YEAR

Tracy Monk of Professionals Plus Realty in Tifton has been named the 2016 Realtor of the Year representing  the Tiftarea Board of Realtors. 

She will compete with 29 other Realtors across the state for Georgia's Realtor of the Year

Monk has served as secretary, vice president and president of the Tiftarea Board of Realtors. She received the Graduate Realtors Institute (GRI) designation in 2007. In addition to the President's Award, she has been consistent in Circle of Excellence for her production. 

She also serves the community in children's ministry at First United Methodist Church, as a board member of the Tift County Foundation for Educational Excellence, as a liaison to the Pre-K Center and Northside Primary schools, as well as being a wife and mother.
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PUBLIC INVITED TO PRE-CONSTRUCTION MEETING ON 20th STREET PROJECT

The City of Tifton on Monday, Aug. 29, is holding a pre-construction meeting for the 20th Street resurfacing and waterline reloc ation project.

The meeting will be at 4:30 p.m. in the council chambers at Tifton City Hall.

Anyone interested in the project's details may attend. This will be a discussion meeting for affected businesses and residents to ask questions and learn about the project. Topics of discussion will include estimated timelines, project scheduling, potential alternative routes during the work and other related matters. 

For  information, call 229-391-3937.



UGA TIFTON PROF  RECEIVES AWARD  FOR EXCELLENCE IN EXTENSION SERVICE
Dr. Stanley Culpepper, at left, professor and Extension agronomist on the University of Georgia's Tifton campus, has received the 2016 Southern Region Excellence in Extension Award.

The award is presented by the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy, the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities.

Culpepper has been at UGA since 1999. His work includes statewide extension weed science programs for cotton, small grains and vegetable crops. He received the   D.W. Brooks Award for Excellence in Extension in 2009.

ABAC HAS FULL FALL CALENDAR

A number of public events are scheduled at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College during the fall semester, including  the 16th Annual Ag Classic at ABAC's Forest Lakes Golf Club on Sept. 26 and the Hispanic Heritage Celebration on Sept. 29. Coeds will compete in the annual Ms. ABAC contest Nov. 3. High school students interested in attending ABAC will visit the campus Nov. 12 for Stallion Day.

Fall events from the "ABAC Presents! Performing Arts Series" will feature the University of Georgia Symphony Orchestra on Sept. 11 at the Tift County High School Performing Arts Center, guitarist Shaun Hopper on Oct. 13 in Howard Auditorium, and Derek Evans as Teddy Roosevelt in "The Man in the Arena" on Nov. 6.

Other musical performances this fall include the First Tuesday Concert Series, which begins its 15th season. Performances include "A Night of Jazz" on Oct. 4, "A Night of Woodwinds" on Nov. 1, and the annual Christmas Concert on Nov. 29.

Other musical events include the Fall Choral Concert on Nov. 8, the Fall Band Concert on Nov. 14-15, and the Fall Jazz Concert on Nov. 17.

The Baldwin Players will perform Aristophanes' "The Birds" on Oct. 27-29.

Events at the Georgia Museum of Agriculture and Historic Village at ABAC include a 40th Anniversary Celebration on Oct. 1, the annual Trick or Treat in the Village on Oct. 29, the Harvest Celebration on Nov. 5, and the Native American Experience on Nov. 19


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TIFTON VA CLINIC GETTING READY

The new  Tifton Veterans Affairs Clinic is getting ready for its  grand opening on  Wednesday, Aug. 31

VA  staffers , above, pitch in to  put together furniture while the  flag is raised  this week at the  Tifton clinic  at  1824 Ridge Ave. North at 20th Street.


 

ARE YOUR PEANUTS MATURE?

University of Georgia Cooperative Extension peanut agronomist Scott Monfort gives a training session about peanut maturity on Thursday in Tifton for county extension agents. 

Knowing when to dig peanuts is critical information for extension agents to know and to relay to their county farmers.


Honor those who are fighting cancer and remember those whose battle was lost by donating to the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network with your purchase of a Lights of Hope luminary bag. 

Your donation of $10 or more per bag will help the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network urge lawmakers to make the fight against cancer a national priority. 

Lee Turner of Tifton will take the local luminary bags to Washington, D.C.

NEW CASA OFFICE IN TIFTON

Coastal Plain CASA has a new office, located at 113 East 2nd St. in Tifton. The CASA staff says it is excited about recruiting, training and supervising CASA volunteers from a new facility. An open house will be scheduled soon.

CASA is Court Appointed Special Advocates for children. Volunteers work to help foster-care children find safe, permanent homes.
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YOUR WEEKEND football_50_yard_line.jpg
                 ...at a Glance

FRIDAY, AUG. 26
  • Tift County High Blue Devils football vs. Cook County High Hornets, 7:30 p.m., (home opener) Brodie Field, Tifton.
  • Tiftarea Academy Panthers football @ Southwest Georgia Academy Warriors, 7:30 p.m., Damascus
SATURDAY, AUG. 27
  • Downtown Tifton Farmer's Market, 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Old Train Depot Platform, Tifton
  • Brothers de Soul concert, 7 p.m., Tift Theatre for the Performing Arts, Tifton

In Memoriam
BowenDonaldson

AUG 19
Leonard Frederick Matthews, 86, Tifton
Elmer "Junior" Apperson, 79, Albany
Henrietta J. Drummond, 89, O cilla

AUG. 20
Arthur "Artie" Edward Eld Jr., 81, Ashburn

AUG. 21
Frank Dennis Ross, 70, Tifton
Billy Rowe Wood, 78, Tifton
William Thomas "Bill" Pluta, 72, Ray City
Candice Wynn Fletcher, 34, O cilla
Travis Van Hogan, 53, Fitzgerald
Whaley Cleo Fulford, 74, Jasper, Tenn.

AUG. 22
Billy Eugene Heath, 88, Tifton
Leon White, 79, West Berrien Community
Henry "Fred" Parks, 65, Tifton
Deborah McCook Roberts, 62, Fitzgerald
Herman L. Roberts, 72, Alapaha

AUG. 23
Murray L. Haire, 75, Sylvester
Sara Willis Vickers, 84, Nashville

AUG. 24
Wallace Beard, 87, Sycamore

AUG. 25
Phillip Wright Crosby, Tifton
Teresa M. Gosney, 71, Fitzgerald
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           iheardit@tiftongrapevine.com   

 Frank Sayles Jr. 
Editor & Publisher
                       
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