Friday, Nov. 19, 2021
Tifton, Georgia
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GrapeNew
Tallahassee school children fill the Country Store on Wednesday at ABAC's Georgia Museum of Agriculture as school field trips have started back after being temporarily halted by the pandemic.
'EDUCATIONAL' AND 'MEMORABLE'
SCHOOLROOM VISITS RETURNING TO NORMAL
AT GA MUSEUM OF AGRICULTURE SINCE PANDEMIC
By BONNIE SAYLES
Tifton Grapevine
The Country Store at the Georgia Museum of Agriculture (GMA) in Tifton was teeming Wednesday with fifth graders buying items such as grits, popcorn, Christmas gifts, and "fidget poppers."
 
An adult among the 10- and 11-year-olds told the Tifton Grapevine that this was just two of the seven fifth-grade classrooms coming on chartered buses from Gilcrest Elementary School in Tallahassee, Fla.

“I’ve been coming for 10 of the past 12 years,” said Greg Kenton, math and science teacher. “It’s different every year. I’ve really been impressed with the activities over the past five years. There’s something for everybody, and the kids have time to explore and have fun.”

He said the field trips have been educational and memorable as long as he can remember.

The Georgia Museum of Agriculture & Historic Village, operated by Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, was formerly the Georgia Agrirama and has been an educational – and fun – destination for school children for decades.

“Offerings and activities depend on the skill sets of the staff,” said Garrett Boone, GMA director. “We have new exhibits in the museum in the main hall, different lesson plans, cooking and eating the meal, quilting, plowing the mule.” 

Boone said that the museum pivoted and "offered free virtual workshops when schools shut down during the COVID pandemic. Schools were uncertain how to proceed.” For most of 2020, he said “field trips weren’t on their priority list; now it has picked up.” 

Since late October and all through November, schools have been visiting GMA five days a week, nonstop, Boone said, and it's continuing into next month. School groups will stop Dec. 17 for Christmas and start back Jan. 31.

“We are booked five days a week into March,” he said. “We anticipate the spring will be back to normal.”

Normal means 22,000 to 23,000 pre-K to fifth-grade schoolchildren visiting GMA annually for the historic workshops, tours, and for "Destination Ag," an interactive, educational experience for children focused on modern agriculture and natural resources. Through a variety of programs, the children connect to where their food, fiber, and shelter come from – agriculture.

Kenton, the teacher from Tallahassee, said two classes from his school visited on Tuesday, two on Wednesday and three more on Thursday this week. He said it works out better to have smaller groups of students interacting than to bring the entire grade at once. 

Tallahassee schools have been very supportive,” Boone said. “We try to surprise repeat guests with new activities. We want the familiarity to be there, but we also want to show them something new.” 
FOR 2nd YEAR, UGA ALUMNI NAMES TIFTON COMPANY AS ONE OF FASTEST GROWING
By FRANK SAYLES JR.
Tifton Grapevine
For the second consecutive year, Grist Pallets of Tifton, owned by brothers Kyle and Derek Grist, has been named among the "Bulldog 100," a list of the 100 fastest-growing businesses owned or operated by University of Georgia alumni.

The University of Georgia Alumni Association has just unveiled the 2022 list. Grist Pallets was also on the Bulldog 100's 2021 list for the fastest-growing businesses owned or operated by alumni.

Grist Pallets is a wooden pallet recycler. It takes used wood pallets, repairs and resells them, or dismantles and reuses the wood to repair marketable pallets. On a smaller level, the company also recycles cardboard and plastics.

Kyle Grist graduated from the UGA College of Agriculture in 2005, with a degree in ag engineering. He previously attended ABAC and played basketball at Oxford College of Emory University. He graduated from Tiftarea Academy in 2000

“It is an honor to leave home, go off to college, get a degree, and be able to come back to make a difference here in business,” Grist told the Tifton Grapevine when he was named to the list last year.

Grist said their pallets are made of 100% recycled wood. The pallets are sold to local distribution centers and produce packing sheds. The business is located at 40 Expressway Lane in Tifton.

He has attributed having one of the fastest-growing businesses among UGA grads to the economy and to filling a local void.
FITZGERALD DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR GETS STATE AWARD FOR LEADERSHIP
Jason Dunn, executive director of the Fitzgerald-Ben Hill County Development Authority, has received state recognition for a committee he chairs for the Georgia Economic Developer’s Association (GEDA).

Dunn, who has been executive director since 2015, recently was named GEDA Committee Chair of the Year for his "outstanding leadership" chairing the organization's Professional Development Committee.

The award was presented at GEDA's annual awards luncheon recently in Atlanta.

"I truly appreciate the recognition from my peers. Thank you Georgia Economic Developer's Association," Dunn said.

During his career at the Fitzgerald-Ben Hill County Development Authority, Dunn is credited with helping capture more than $75 million in capital investments, the construction and re-purposing of 400,000 square feet in manufacturing facilities, developing the Highway 319 Business Park, and recruiting several new manufacturing projects into the community.

A 1998 graduate of the University of Georgia’s Warnell School of Forest Resources, Dunn has served as board chair of Locate South Georgia, a 20-county economic development collaborative.
TIFT SEES 7 CONFIRMED COVID-19 CASES, NO DEATHS
IN PAST WEEK, DPH SAYS
By FRANK SAYLES JR.
Tifton Grapevine
Tift County reported seven confirmed COVID-19 cases and no related deaths during the past week, according to the Ga. Department of Public Health (DPH).

During the past two weeks, Tift County recorded 12 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 34 total cases when rapid Antigen positive cases are added, the DPH said.

Tift County’s confirmed cases in the past two weeks represent 29 cases per 100,000 population, and 83 cases per 100,000 with Antigen positives. Tift's testing positivity rate for the virus was 2.2% during the two-week period, the DPH reported.

There have been a total of 4,881 confirmed cases and 139 deaths in Tift since the pandemic began, according to DPH data.
TIFT COUNTIAN WINS NATIONAL
FFA AWARD AT U.S. CONVENTION
Brady Walker of Tift County was among 14 national FFA champions from Georgia at the recent 94th National FFA Convention in Macon.

Walker won the National FFA Proficiency Award for fiber/oil crop production. He has worked on this Supervised Agricultural Experience project for more than a year, previously winning region and state.

The Georgia FFA Association’s success at the convention included the election of a Georgia FFA member as the 2021-2022 National FFA Southern Region vice president.

Erik Robinson, a member of the Effingham County FFA chapter and a student at the University of Georgia, was elected from among 36 candidates to serve as one of six national FFA officers for 2021-22. He will take a one-year leave of absence from his UGA studies to travel more than 100,000 miles across the U.S. and Japan serving as an ambassador for the national FFA organization and for agricultural education. 
TIFT COMMISSIONER BEGINS ANNUAL COAT DRIVE FOR CHILDREN
TIft County Commissioner Melissa Hughes has once again begun her annual coat drive to provide winter coats for local children.

The "Keep ‘em Warm Coat Drive" is going on through Dec. 18. Children's coats may be dropped off at Kelly Cleaners and at the second floor commissioner's office in the Charles Kent County Administrative Building on Tift Avenue.

The Tifton Housing Authority and PLIGHT members will distribute the coats.

Contact Hughes at 229-326-0241 regarding donations and pickups.
CHAMBER OF COMMERCE'S ANNUAL T.A.L.K. PROGRAM BEGINS
The Tifton-Tift County Chamber of Commerce this week kicked off its annual "T.A.L.K." program – "Tomorrow's Aspiring Leaders – Kids."

Fifty eighth graders from Eighth Street Middle SchoolNortheast Middle School, and Tiftarea Academy will be participating in leadership activities throughout the year. Sponsoring the program are Colquitt EMC, Georgia Power, Heatcraft, South Georgia Banking Co., Southwell, and Synovus Bank.
At a recent ceremony dedicating G.O. Bailey Elementary School's Little Free Libraries are, from left: Lisa Daughtrey, parent coordinator; Tift Superintendent Adam Hathaway; Savannah Harvin, GATE teacher; Ivy Chu, fifth-grade student; Juve Elizalde, assistant principal; Shae Tucker, principal; Michelle Woodard and Billie Jo Abney, PTO officers; and Faith Connell, paraprofessional. 
G.O. BAILEY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL CREATES 'LITTLE FREE LIBRARIES'
Parents, teachers, staff and students have created Little Free Libraries at G.O. Bailey
Elementary School in Tifton.

The Little Free Library project grew out of discussions between Lisa Daughtrey, who is the school's parent engagement coordinator, and Savannah Harvin, Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) resource teacher. The Georgia Department of Education has designated November as Parent Engagement Month, and the project was developed to provide free books to both adults and children who live near G.O. Bailey Elementary.

Principal Shae Tucker endorsed the project, which became a collaboration of staff, students, and parents. The school's fifth-grade students submitted designs, with Ivy Zhu’s design chosen. G.O. Bailey’s Parent Teacher Organization bought the materials for the libraries, built by Assistant Principal Juve Elizalde, who followed Ivy’s design.

Faith Connell, kindergarten paraprofessional, sketched and painted a decorative tree
to place between the libraries, and several students helped paint and put the final
touches on everything. Media Specialist Lauraleigh Shealy donated the first books.
TIFTON
2012 Pineview Ave., Tifton, Ga 31793
TIFTAREA ACADEMY FOOTBALL TEAM ADVANCES IN PLAYOFFS VIA FORFEIT
The Tiftarea Academy Panthers advance in the GISA Class AAA playoffs after tonight’s scheduled opponent, Frederica Academy, had to forfeit because of COVID-19 protocols.

"We are disappointed and wish them all the best and speedy recoveries," Tiftarea Academy said on social media.

As a result, the Panthers advance to next week's semifinals against the winner of the Bulloch Academy vs. John Milledge Academy game.
FITZGERALD TEENAGER NAMED
MISS TEEN OF GEORGIA 2021
Shelby Smith, 17, of Fitzgerald, daughter of Connie Alexander Smith, has been named Miss Teen of Georgia 2021

Young women, ages seven and older, are eligible to participate in the program which culminates with a national competition in Atlanta.

As Miss Teen of Georgia, Shelby will serve as an ambassador for American Pageants’ charitable campaign: Special Olympics’ Spread the Word to End the Word. 

Shelby he will be able to compete for the national Miss Teen of America title or National Ambassador 2022 and for more than $350,000 in scholarships, cash, travel and prizes, organizers said.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR POLICY: 

Letters must address local issues only. All letters are subject to editing for brevity, for libelous statements and for egregious language. 

Include your name, phone number and address for verification purposes. Email letters to: IHeardIt@tiftongrapevine.com


THANKS FOR LEN LASTINGER SCHOOL PLAYGROUND DONATION

TO THE EDITOR: I would like to show recognition to Justin Hale, Hale's Heating and Air, for donating tether ball sets for Len Lastinger Elementary School playgrounds. 

The students have enjoyed learning to play a new game.
Lynn Harrell
Site-based Assistant
Len Lastinger Elementary School
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YOUR GUIDE TO ACTIVITIES THIS WEEKEND IN THE TIFTAREA

This Sunday, Nov. 21, begins National Bible Week, which is the week of Thanksgiving Day, from Nov. 21-27. President Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaimed the first National Bible Week in 1941. Since then, every president has continued the tradition of celebrating the Holy Bible during Thanksgiving week.
FRIDAY, NOV. 19
  • "The Odd Couple: Female Edition" performance, 7 p.m, Tift Theatre for the Performing Arts, Downtown Tifton

SATURDAY, NOV. 20
  • Real Men Give Back's Bass Fishing Tournament, 7 a.m., Enigma
  • Cane Grinding & Syrup Making, 9 a.m., Ga. Museum of Agriculture, Tifton
  • Holiday Market, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Ga. Museum of Agriculture, Tifton
  • Thanksgiving Meal in the Park for the needy, hosted by Union Church, 3 p.m., Fulwood Park, Tifton
  • "The Odd Couple: Female Edition" performance, 7 p.m, Tift Theatre for the Performing Arts, Downtown Tifton
TIFTON GRAPEVINE'S DOG OF THE WEEK
“Oreo" is available for adoption at the Tift County Animal Shelter on Highway 125 South between 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  
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NOVEMBER 11
Sandra Newbern Baldree, 73, Tifton
Michael Scott "Hotdog" Odum, 44, Worth County
Joe David Thomason, 69, Tifton
Melanie Morrow, 43, Ashburn
Wayne Allen Hampton, 40, Nashville
Marilyn Kemp, 94, Sylvester

NOVEMBER 12
Ermagene M. Denson, 96, Tifton
Janet Lynn Archer, 65, Lenox
Ella Virginia "Ella V." Cunningham, 79, Poulan

NOVEMBER 13
Ramona Louise Boyt McCann, 98, Fitzgerald

NOVEMBER 14
Rashad H. Daniels, 28, Tifton
Meegan Britt Phillips Fussell, 49, Irwin County
Dr. Harold Warren Tripp, 75, Reidsville, native of Lenox
Darrell Brady, 75, Adel
Teresa Tanner Burgess, Ashburn
Brenda Copeland, 63, Doerun

NOVEMBER 15
Aldo Ramirez, 14, Tifton
Sherill Wayne Howell, 74, Worth County

NOVEMBER 17
Carrie “Olline” Rutland Young, 96, Tifton 
Kathy Sue Lawrence Harbin, 65, Tifton
NOVEMBER 18
Evelyn Patricia “Patsy” Adams, 78, Nashville
Tifton Grapevine
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Frank Sayles Jr.
Editor & Publisher
Bonnie Sayles
Managing Editor
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