June 3, 2016
         Tifton, Georgia

    (478) 227-7126

FarmMkt Logo

Summertime is surely here as the Downtown Tifton Farmer's Market opens Saturday, June 4, with a street festival at the old train depot platform on the corner of Third Street and Tift Avenue.

The day's events get under way with a 5K Run to the Market road race beginning at 8 a.m. Registration opens at 7:15 a.m. From 9 a.m-12:30 p.m., the Farmer's Market itself will be open along with live entertainment, tractor and farm equipment displays, children's activities including face painting, story time and a bouncy house -- and a lot of food and fun.
The  Downtown Tifton Farmer's Market will be open every Saturday morning going forward through Saturday,  Oct. 1.


Georgia is ranked No. 39 in the nation according to a new report on senior health.

America's Health Rankings Senior Report -- which is released by  United Health Foundation -- says the obesity rate among Georgia seniors has increased to 29.5 percent in 2016, f rom 25.4 percent in 2013.

But Georgia does have some s trengths: A l ow prevalence of excessive drinking, h igh hospice
care use, and a h igh percentage of senior health screenings

Other highlights include:
  • In the past year, SNAP (food stamp) reach decreased 21 percent from 87.7 percent to 69.3 percent of adults aged 65-plus in poverty.
  • In the past two years, preventable hospitalizations decreased 15 percent from 65.2 to 55.1 discharges per 1,000 Medicare beneficiaries.
  • In the past three years, smoking decreased 25 percent from 10.8 percent to 8.1 percent of adults aged 65-plus.
  • In the past three years, very good or excellent health status increased 16 percent from 32.9 percent to 38.1 percent of adults aged 65.
But among the c hallenges among seniors are l ow flu-vaccination coverage, a h igh hip fracture rate, and a l ow percentage of quality nursing-home beds.

Georgia has more than 1 million people 65 and older. That amounts to roughly 10 percent of all the state's residents, and it's bigger than the entire population of some states. And Georgia's senior population is expected to swell during the next two decades.

Other states in the South wound up in the bottom third of the rankings. They include Texas, at 41; Tennessee, 43; Alabama, 44; Kentucky, 45; Arkansas, 47; Mississippi, 48; and Louisiana, which was 50th.

Massachusetts replaced Vermont as the healthiest state for seniors, according to the 2016 report, which used 35 measures of senior health.

Besides looking at people 65 and over, the report also compares the health of middle-aged Americans in 2014 to middle-aged Americans in 1999 and reveals health concerns for the next generation of older Americans.  By 2030, the senior population is projected to increase by more than 50 percent in 25 states, including Georgia, whose increase of people 65 and older is projected to be 61.4 percent.


The Tift County Food Processing Center, an educational public service, is now open to help residents process their own food, allowing them to eat healthy by controlling the amount of salt, sugar and fat in their diet.

Located in the back of the Agriscience Building behind Tift County High School  (enter the bus entrance off New River Church Road) the processing center is open 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays through July 3, is closed July 4-9, and open on July 10. It is open by appointment during other times of the year.

Agricultural education teachers with the Tift County School System are responsible for operating the canning plant, whose  purpose is to provide instructional services in preparation, processing and preservation of food products for home use.

The only cost in fully canning produce is 65 cents per metal quart can or 15 cents per glass jar (glass jars are not provided by the facility). Can costs are subject to change from price fluctuations.  Blanching for freezing costs $1 per blanching tray (more than 50 ears of corn or two bushels of peas per tray).

Foods that can be processed include o kra, s quash, c abbage, a sparagus,  peaches, carrots, c orn, s oup, p ears, s paghetti sauce, b oiled peanuts, b erries, b eans, t omatoes, a pples, g reens, p otatoes, p eas and d ry products such as flour and sugar.

Anyone who wishes to process food for home use may use the facility. S ervices available include w et-pack canning, d ry-pack canning, b lanching, p eeling, c ooking, c orn creaming and p ea shelling.

The food processing center is provided through the cooperative efforts of the Tift County Board of Education, Tift County Board of Commissioners, Tift County Agriculture Education Department and the Georgia State Department of Education.

For  information, call 229-387-2475 or 229-387-2400.


Tifton's Leroy Rogers Senior Center has just received a new 15-passenger van recently approved by Tifton City Council.

The van will be used to transport local seniors on recreational outings.

"Best-Selling Truck for 39 Straight Years"

511 West 7th Street
(229) 382-1300


The "Jackson Five" -- Bill Jackson of the Tift County Foundation for Educational Excellence and his family -- recently gave up an afternoon to get the Summer AR Reading Center set up.

The Accelerated Reader summer program will be open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11 a.m.- 7 p.m. from June 7 through July 14 at the United Way of South Central Georgia Betty Jo Roach Community Center on Fourth Street.

Readers may take AR tests on books read during the Reading Center hours.


College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
University of Georgia

Seeing Georgia pecan trees covered in blooms this spring has University of Georgia Cooperative Extension pecan specialist Lenny Wells encouraged about this year's crop.

Although harvest time is still five months away, Wells and Georgia farmers are assessing what pecan season will look like by the appearance and number of female flower blooms.

"To produce fruit, the main thing that you've got to have is those female flowers. If you look at those trees early on and you're not seeing those female flowers on there, then you're definitely not going to have any nuts," Wells said. "If you see the female flowers early in the season, you at least have the potential for them to develop into a good crop."

Looking at pecan trees a few weeks ago, Wells saw plenty of blooms opening among the 140,000-plus acres devoted to pecans in Georgia, but not all of these flowers will develop into nuts.

"At that time, a lot of those flowers looked kind of weak, and a lot of times those weak flowers will end up dropping off. We have seen some of that, but overall I still think we're looking at a decent crop," he said. "I don't think it's going to be a record crop or anything, but I do think we have the potential for a pretty good crop."

Wells added that "Desirable" pecans have a heavy bloom of female flowers already, but will likely drop between 40 to 60 percent of blooms in June. This is what growers of the Desirable variety expect every year, but it's also why it's an in-demand variety.

Desirables are consistent because they do not bear an extremely heavy crop from one year to the next, said Wells. The number of flower blooms this season's Desirables maintain remains to be seen and is the deciding factor as to whether Georgia's most popular variety will produce a bumper crop.

Considering all of the challenges that Georgia pecan growers can face during the summer, it's still too early to estimate this year's crop in yields, Wells said. The pecan trees need good pollination and have to overcome pecan scab disease, which is prevalent among Georgia's most productive varieties. The trees must also fend off any late-season insect problems, especially Desirables.

"Certainly, disease is going to be an issue. Scab is already a problem in Southwest Georgia, where pecan acreage is widespread. Farmers are already seeing some scab on Desirable varieties. That's going to be a battle, but it's a battle every year," Wells said. "The more rain we receive this summer, though, the more intense that battle becomes."

According to the UGA Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development, pecans generated $313.3 million in farm-gate value in 2014. Georgians can be tentatively optimistic about a similar performance this year.

"The foundation for a good crop is there," Wells said. "When you're looking at a tree and see more than about 60 or 70 percent of your terminal branches with flowers on them, that's a sign you've got a good crop."

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        a Glance


  • Run to the Market 5K, 8 a.m., Old Train Depot, Third Street and Tift Avenue, Tifton
  • Downtown Tifton Farmer's Market & Festival, 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Old Train Depot Platform, Tifton
  • Wiregrass Farmers Market, 9 a.m.-Noon, Georgia Museum of Agriculture, Tifton

In Memoriam

MAY 26
Faye D. Troxell, 81, Tifton
Jimmy Drury, 65, Fitzgerald
Oscar Acosta Gomez, Tifton
Sylvia S. Lewis, 81, Adel

MAY 27
Danny Bob Broome, 66, Tifton
Ronnie Melvin Brogdon, 72, Alapaha
Minnie Land Young, 99, O cilla

MAY 28
"Mike" David Michael Williford, Tifton
Keith Lamar Murray, 39, Nashville

MAY 29
Frances Hall Moore, 89, Worth County
Daisy Lane Tison, 97, Ashburn

MAY 30
Mary Savanna "Sarah" Colvin Lindsey, 61, Tifton
James Edward Dean, 57, Fitzgerald

MAY 31
Ana Balderas, 55, Tifton
Charles Robert Huff, 69, Ashburn

Shirley Sue Stripling Baldree, 79, Tifton

James Edwin Barnhill, 70, Tifton
380 Upper Ty Ty Road, Tifton, GA
MLS #: L125323A

Surrounded by nothing but nature,   beautiful 3 bedroom/3 bath home on  106.79 acres with pecan grove, pastures, creeks and streams.

    Dwana Coleman

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