OCT. 13, 2017
Tifton, Georgia

A Service  of
Sayles Unlimited Marketing

"North America's Premier Farm Show," the Sunbelt Agricultural Exposition, opens Tuesday, Oct. 17, in Moultrie, unveiling more than 4,000 product lines from 1,211 exhibitors during the three-day event. More than 100 new exhibitors are participating as they showcase the latest in farming technology, research and equipment.
"We offer something for everyone involved in, or interested in,  agriculture ," says  Chip Blalock , expo executive director. "We're celebrating our 40th anniversary. In 1978, we had 410 exhibitors on 25 acres. Today, we will host 1,200 exhibitors encompassing 100 acres of exhibit space and a 600-acre research farm. Twenty-three of our exhibitors have participated in all 40 shows, and we thank them for supporting the Expo and its mission to provide the latest and greatest ag technology and educational information to the American farmer."
Tennessee is the 2017 Spotlight State promoting the theme, "The Soundtrack of America -- Made in Tennessee." The exhibit will showcase Tennessee's cultural diversity, agricultural history and the sounds of Tennessee, such as the blues and the King of Rock 'n Roll in Memphis to the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville. Get a taste of the iconic Moon Pie, made in Tennessee and turning 100 this year.
On Tuesday, the Swisher Sweets Sunbelt Expo Southeastern Farmer of the Year will be announced, selected from the 10 Southeastern farming states.
During the Expo , some of the South's leading chefs will do daily cooking demonstrations at 11 a.m., noon and 2 p.m. Chefs include Georgia's own Lauri Jo  and Chip Reed of Zac Brown's Southern Ground . Chef Holly Chute of the Georgia Department of Agriculture will tout the Georgia Grown campaign, and Chef Ivy Odom of Moultrie  is cooking up ideas at the Time Inc. Food Studio in Birmingham .  
A farmer favorite is the field demonstrations, depicting the harvesting of cotton, peanuts, corn, soybeans and hay by various machines side by side.

Other Expo favorites are the American Grand Finals stock dog competition and horse riding demonstrations. Renowned horse trainer Cal Middleton of Kansas City provides a clinic on how horse owners can get top performance from their animals. At the Livestock Pavilion, see beef presentations, poultry exhibits, sheep and goat exhibits, and stop by the aquaculture exhibit to taste farm-raised catfish

New this year is a  Circle Tram,  transporting visitors around the outside of the 100-acre exhibit area.    

Show hours are 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday, and 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Thursday. Admission is $10 per person per day. Children under 10 are admitted free with a parent. A multi-day admission ticket is $20. Credit cards and personal checks will not be accepted at the ticket booths during show days.

The Sunbelt Expo is located four miles southeast of U.S. Highway 319 on Ga. Highway 133 near Moultrie.

Are you a nurse or someone in the healthcare field seeking a new career opportunity?

Meet and exceed your career goals at Tift Regional Medical Center
  • Located in Tifton, Tift Regional is a growing regional referral facility serving 12 counties in South Central Georgia.
  • At Tift Regional, you will find a center of excellence where both medical professionals and patients thrive.    
  • Tift Regional has exciting inpatient and outpatient nursing opportunities available. 
  • With innovative staffing models, Tift Regional strives to provide fulfilling work/life balance for its valued employees.
Tift Regional will be holding open interviews in Tifton on October 16, 2017
To RSVP, contact Emily Beeman at  or 229-353-7697


State and local government agencies, along with some non-profit groups in four newly declared counties -- including Tift -- will be receiving additional aid in the aftermath of Hurricane/Tropical Storm Irma.

President Trump had previously approved Public Assistance Grant funding for temporary emergency work, including debris removal, in all 159 Georgia counties on Sept. 15, and had okayed permanent work for 102 counties on Sept. 28. An amendment issued on Wednesday, Oct. 11, authorizes the permanent work for an additional four counties: Tift, Lowndes, Echols and Effingham.
The amendment provides federal reimbursement for eligible projects to repair or replace damaged infrastructure including public facilities such as hospitals, schools, fire and police stations, public parks, roads and bridges, utilities and other infrastructure damaged by the recent storm.

The Public Assistance Grant Program is a reimbursement program paid to state and local governments. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA ), which was created by President Carter in 1979, pays at least 75 percent of the cost of disaster-related expenses, such as infrastructure repairs, overtime and debris removal. Typically, the remaining 25 percent is split between state and local governments at 12.5 percent each.


Southern Regional Technical College (SRTC) received two awards  recently during Georgia's annual GED Awards Luncheon in Atlanta.

The event, sponsored by the Technical College System of Georgia's (TCSG) Office of Adult Education, was held during the Georgia Adult Education Fall Conference in front of nearly 700 attendees who gathered to celebrate the GED recipients and honor the staff's service.

SRTC was awarded for the Largest Percentage Increase in GED Tests taken by centers serving 200-400 students and for having the Highest GED Completion Percentage in a medium program.

"I am  proud of our instructors and students for this achievement. These awards exemplify the quality instruction that SRTC students receive. Research shows that students attending the adult education program have a higher passage rate on the GED test, and SRTC is no exception. Not only are our students prepared for the GED test, but they perform well on the college entrance exam when matriculating into credit programs," said Melissa Burtle, SRTC adult education director.  

In the past decade, the GED testing program has awarded 166,378 diplomas. Georgia was the first state to offer the GED test on a computer in December 2011 and was the first to implement a complete transition of the GED mobile computer-based testing in corrections facilities in 2014

TCSG has 66 GED testing centers and 63 mobile testing sites, providing testing for three Youth Challenge Academies, three Job Corps centers, more than 83 correctional institutions and 11 youth detention centers.

Additionally, the Southwest Regional Certified Literate Program, part of the State's Certified Literate Community Program (CLCP), received two additional awards: Advocacy Award, GED Testing Scholarships (multiple county CLCP); and Advocacy Award, Tutor Hours (multiple county CLCP).


Corey Cleghorn of Tifton is among 11 members of a team representing ithe United States during the biennial WorldSkills Competition  this week  in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Cleghorn is competing in mechatronics as a member of the SkillsUSA WorldTeam. The mechatronics contest is a two-person event. The other team member competing alongside Cleghorn is Joshua Whittington of Hogansville. The 44th international event  begins  this Saturday.     
The SkillsUSA WorldTeam members are among more than 1,300 competitors in the international competition. The competitors in the WorldSkills mechatronics contest are judged on their knowledge of mechatronic systems in programming equipment control systems for a design circuit.

Cleghorn won the right to compete by earning a college/postsecondary silver medal in the 2015 SkillsUSA Championships. He has also successfully completed other qualifying prerequisites prior to being chosen for the team.

"Being chosen to represent the United States in the WorldSkills Competition means I'm being given a chance to prove my knowledge in my field on the biggest stage possible," Cleghorn said. "It took years of practice, training and dedication to get to this point, but I've been willing because I love what I do."

While attending Moultrie Technical College (now Southern Regional Technical College) in Tifton, Cleghorn and his teammate Whittington took industrial systems technology classes.

"Corey was an excellent student, and we always encouraged him to study what interested him. He loved building things and spent a lot of time building with magnets, blocks and Legos. He also loved electronics. He was introduced to mechatronics when he entered Tift County High School," said his mother, Amie Cleghorn.

"He immediately began to research and study anything and everything he could find regarding mechatronics. He watched video after video, read websites and fell more in love with it every day. He has been dedicated since day one and applies 100 percent of his efforts to being the best," Cleghorn's mother said. 

In the WorldSkills Mechatronics contest, working under time constraints, competitors are judged on their knowledge of mechatronic systems. In the competition, a design circuit is built and tested, and the competitor programs equipment control systems.

Every two years, hundreds of young people from more than 77 countries and regions compete in the WorldSkills Competition

WorldSkills is a not-for-profit membership association open to agencies or bodies that have a responsibility for promoting vocational education and training WorldSkills provides a means of exchange and comparison of world-class competency standards in the industrial trades and service sectors of the global economy.

SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled work force.


A large crowd attended the Tift County Foundation for Educational Excellence's lobster and steak dinner fundraiser Thursday night at Black Shank Pond. Besides dinner and music, guests also had the opportunity to bid on several auction items, including a week at a beach house on St. George Island, a stay at a condo in Ponte Vedre Beach and a private guided fishing excursion.


The Tift County High Blue Devils face the Lowndes High Vikings tonight at The Brodie in Tifton for a region matchup of undefeated teams.

On Wednesday night, a crowd of Blue Devil supporters came together for a bonfire-pep rally outside the Elks Club, as seen in the photo.

For those without tickets to tonight's game, a table will be set up at the student entrance in the Commons at the high school today between 11:35 a.m.-1:40 p.m. Tickets will also be sold at the visitors' side ticket booth at Brodie Field today from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Presale tickets are $7.


Students representing the University of Georgia's Tifton Campus said it was a "dawggone" good day at the Georgia National Fair in Perry recently when the U.S. secretary of agriculture came by their booth. Sonny Perdue, former Georgia governor and a Perry native, posed with the students.


Dr. George Vellidis always wanted to teach but he never anticipated he would be director of academic programs for the University of Georgia's Tifton campus.

Vellidis assumed his new post this fall semester"The previous director left this position in excellent condition. I would like to continue his legacy and to contribute by expanding the graduate offerings on the Tifton campus," Vellidis said.

There are 80 students enrolled in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at UGA Tifton. Of those students, 55 are undergraduates studying in one of four majors: agribusiness, agricultural education, agriscience and environmental systems, and biological science. The rest of the UGA Tifton student population are graduate students pursuing master's degrees in either agricultural and environmental education or plant protection and pest management.

Additionally, up to 40 master's and doctoral students who are enrolled in majors offered on the UGA Athens campus conduct research with faculty on the Tifton campus. These students split their time between the Athens and Tifton campuses and take most of their courses on the Athens campus.
To make earning a graduate degree more convenient, Vellidis hopes to make more graduate courses available in Tifton.  He also wants to make prospective students aware of the new Double Dawgs Program that provides students the opportunity to earn both bachelors and master's degrees in five years when it usually takes six or more.

"The University of Georgia is the state's flagship university and is ranked the 16th best public university in the country. We want to provide students in Southern Georgia access to the university and offer them as many educational opportunities as possible," Vellidis said. "The Double Dawgs Program is a unique opportunity that no other college in Southern Georgia is able to offer."

. a Glance

  • Tift County High Blue Devils football vs. Lowndes High Vikings, 7:30  p.m., Brodie Field, Tifton
  • Tiftarea Academy Panthers football @ Westfield Hornets, 7:30 p.m., Perry
  • Wiregrass Farmers Market, 9 a.m.-Noon, Georgia Museum of Agriculture, Tifton
  • Social Bike Ride hosted by Tift Area Greenways Association, 5 p.m., Lamplighter Pub, Tifton

In Memoriam

OCT. 5
Thomas "Tommy" "Jitterbug" Elize Williams Jr., 77, Sycamore
Clara Mae Walker, 88, Sylvester
Johnny Lee Redding, 65, Sparks

OCT. 6
Sally Ruth Bennett, 81, Lenox
"Jerry" Gillespie, 88, Adel
Sue Wilkes, 70, Adel
Marsha Chatting, 64, Adel

OCT. 7
Ernestine Steedley Oliver, 74, Tifton
Sam Adams Sr., 63, Adel
Darrell Wayne Handley, 60, Nashville
Katie Tucker Gray, 25, Mystic

OCT. 8
Lee Jackson Fant Jr., 79, Tifton
Thedocia Edwards, 101, Tifton
Dorothy Carter Reddick, 79, Cook County
Albert Timmons "A.T." Bragdon, 77, West Berrien
The Rev. Huey Nichols, 83, Douglas

OCT. 9
Geoffrey L. Kent, 51, Sylvester 
Carolyn Hullett Young, 69, Sylvester
Rita Rose Mary Dye, 79, Ocilla
Charles Winslow Futch, 79, Sparks
Bennie Joe Tyson, 72, Macon

OCT. 10
Thomas "Elbert" McBrayer, 89, Tifton
John W. Griffin, 97, Sylvester

OCT. 11
Danny P. Smith, 69, West Berrien


59 Chase Circle, Tifton, GA
MLS # 126159

NEW CONSTRUCTION:  New and growing subdivision; 3 bedrooms, 2 baths and split floor plan; 1,650 square feet. Wood and ceramic tile flooring, modern kitchen, 2-car garage and pond access.
 Dwana Coleman
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