Oct. 17, 2017
Tifton, Georgia

North  America's Premier Farm Show -- the 40th Annual Sunbelt Ag Expo -- got under way today in Moultrie with exhibits, demonstrations, the farmer of the year selection and a new initiative to produce T-shirts both "grown and sewn" in Georgia.

Sunbelt Ag Expo
VIDEO: Welcome to the Sunbelt Ag Expo
The Ga. Department of Agriculture unveiled the new line of "Georgia Grown" 100 percent cotton T-shirts  sourced from South Georgia cotton and ginned at Osceola Cotton Co. in Ocilla.
Platinum Sportswear receives the finished fabric and sews the
 shirts at its facility in Wilkes County. The entire process is  completed within a 600-mile radius.  The  state's Georgia Grown program has partnered with local screen printers, including the Georgia Industries for the Blind, to complete the design process for local businesses and organizations. All of the shirts are completely customizable and feature a 100 percent Georgia Grown cotton tag.

"With the largest row crop industry in this state being cotton, it is an honor to present 100 percent
Spotted is Brian Kemp, the Ga. secretary of state and candidate for governor.
cotton shirts grown and sewn in Georgia," said state Agriculture Commissioner Gary W. Black. "We are thrilled to identify a transparent supply chain to produce a high-quality, Georgia-made product that consumers will be 
proud to wear." 

Also Tuesday,  Robert Mills Jr., a first-generation farmer who grows tobacco and raises beef cattle and pullet breeder chickens
Kirsten McAlpin of Tifton finds "Dolly Parton" in the Tennessee Spotlight Booth at the Expo.
near Callands, Va., was selected as the overall winner of the Swisher Sweets/Sunbelt Expo Southeastern Farmer of the Year
Mills was  chosen over nine other state winners who were finalists for the award.

His farm encompasses 2,244 acres with a diversified tobacco enterprise. Mills grows flue-cured tobacco, organic flue-cured tobacco, dark-fired tobacco and tobacco harvested as a bioenergy crop. Winter wheat is his other main cash crop. He also grows pearl millet and hay.

He hopes to expand his Angus-based beef herd to 400 cows. He raises about 34,000 of the pullet breeder chickens each year.

Among the state farmer winners this year is Everett Williams of Madison, Ga.

The Sunbelt Ag Expo runs through Thursday at Spence Field.

All Photos by Christine Tibbetts
John R. Tibbetts of Tifton, who served in Iraq, Afghanistan, Turkey and at the Pentagon on 9/11, surveys the granite maps at the Global War On of Terrorism memorial at Fort Benning in Columbus.

For the Tifton Grapevine

Gold Star mothers and brothers, generals, veterans and deeply caring citizens this week honored nearly 7,000 military men and women who died since the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center in New York City. Among those at a ceremony was Retired Lt. 
Two pillars evoking the Twin Towers in New York with a steel beam from wreckage of the North Tower.
Col. John Tibbetts, a Tifton native and the 2018 Georgia Teacher of The Year.
"As much as we would like to have a peaceful future, that is not yet the case. Here, we honor those who have given their livessince 9/11," said Ret. Gen. John Abizaid on Monday in dedicating the new memorial to the Global War On Terrorism at the National Infantry Museum at Fort Benning in Columbus.

The memorial features nine bronze statues of infantrymen sculpted by Dana Erichsen in
Bronze infantrymen stand tall at the memorial in the courtyard of the National Infantry Museum in Columbus.
Zanesville, Ohio, two concrete pillars representing the Twin Towers joined by a 13-foot steel beam from the
North Tower wreckage and eight granite panels with the names of those who have died in the Global War On Terrorism. 
Rubbings and close-up photographs of names were already underway as the dedication unfolded. Blank panels anticipating additional names are an intentional part of the living memorial Clearly etched-on-granite maps of Afghanistan and Iraq allow veterans to pinpoint their service locations and missions with memorial visitors.
All nine infantrymen statues are life-sized plus a quarter. Front and center is Medal of Honor recipient SPC Ross McGinnis, killed in action in 2006; he stands on top of a five-sided platform paying tribute to those killed in the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001

Tifton's Tibbetts was on duty in the Pentagon on that Sept. 11.
The National Infantry Museum Foundation received a 2017 Governor's Award for the Arts and Humanities this month for chronicling the history of the U.S. Army infantrymen from the American Revolution to Afghanistan. Admission is free.


Tifton City Manger Pete Pyrzenski, at center, and Houston Shultz, right, the city's e nvironmental management director, square off for a shooting competition at the city police firing range. 

According to Police Chief Buddy Dowdy, the result was too close to call, so it was officially ruled a draw. 

Looks like there is a rematch in the future.


For the month of  September, the Tift County Sheriff's Office arrested 60 people, some on multiple charges, says  Sheriff Gene Scarbrough.

He said that 30 fraud charges were filed, 23 drug charges, 19 charges of parole-probation violation, 16 for crimes against a person, nine for property crimes, nine for obstruction of officers, six for failure to appear, three child support violations and eight various other non-traffic charges. Traffic stops led to the filing of seven charges of driving under the influence and five drug charges. 

The sheriff also reported the following statistics for September:

Deputies conducted 1,864 business and property checks, 484 mobile home park and subdivision checks, 48 school checks and answered 2,557 calls for service. Deputies served 127 warrants, 60 civil papers and 305 subpoenas.

Deputies completed 532 reports, 35 accident reports, issued 132 traffic citations, 29 warnings and verified the addresses of 63 registered sex offenders residing in Tift County. Sheriff's deputies patrolled 60,455 miles in September. 

Scarbrough said the transport division handled 47 transports totaling 107 hours and 4,122 miles. 


Jones Welding & Industrial Supply
1340 Main St., Tifton
Oct. 12


Shannon Kehoe, center, an agricultural communications major from Myakka City, Fla., was recently crowned Ms. ABAC 2018 at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College. Finalists include, from left, Delaney Foster of Perry, third runner-up; Meredith McGlamory of Abbeville, first runner-up; Ms. ABAC; Madison Williams of Winder, second runner-up; and Delanie Israel of Smithville, fourth runner-up.


A total of 52 Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College students will receive FFA American degrees at the 2017 National FFA Convention and Expo on Oct. 27 in Indianapolis.

Less than 1 percent of all FFA members meet the strenuous requirements necessary to receive the American FFA Degree. Dr. Jerry Baker, ABAC provost and vice president for academic affairs, will receive the Honorary American FFA degree at the convention.

Baker said ABAC's Collegiate FFA is successful because of the bonds that formed between high school agriculture teachers and ABAC.

"Students who receive the American FFA degree spend extensive time prior to college in the various high school FFA programs," Baker said. "We have a number of students who connect with ABAC's agricultural program because of their experiences with the FFA organization and then they continue at the collegiate level afterward."

Baker said the basic student eligibility for an American FFA Degree requires an active FFA membership of three years with 540 hours of secondary school instruction in an agricultural education program. The student also must have graduated from high school one year prior to the national convention at which the degree is granted. The students must be prior recipients of the state FFA degree.
Baker said the final steps for American FFA Degree eligibility are difficult.  "Attaining this degree takes up a lot of personal time," he said. "Additional requirements include earning at least $10,000 and productively investing $7,500 after entering an agricultural education program. One student in our program in recent years had a cut-flower business and sold blueberries. She used both of those endeavors to fulfill this requirement." 
The final qualification to receive the American FFA Degree is for each student to devote a minimum of 50 hours of volunteer service to each of three different community causes or charities.

"We want our students to be well-rounded individuals," said Baker.

The National FFA organization provides leadership, personal growth and career success training through agricultural education to 649,355 student members who belong to one of 7,859 local FFA chapters. The Georgia association has more than 41,000 members, making it the third largest association in the nation.


Smile Doctors Braces by Fender-Goggans
 616 Virginia Ave., Tifton
Oct. 13


1511 Valley Drive, Tifton, GA
MLS # 127960

Lot in Tift County, 0.82 acres, zoned for mobile home. City water and sewage ready for connection. The vacant lot has a water meter, and electricity is available.
 Dwana Coleman
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