News & Events

October 31, 2019

ABAC Names Rural Studies Head, Launches Track in Community Health

TIFTON-- With the naming of Dr. Adrian Israel Martinez-Franco as the new head of the Department of Rural Studies, Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College is launching a new Community Health track in the Rural Community Development bachelor’s degree program. Dr. Matthew Anderson, Dean of ABAC's School of Arts and Sciences, believes the appointment of Martinez-Franco and the new Community Health program will have far reaching implications for ABAC students. “We are very excited that Dr. Martinez-Franco will be joining ABAC in this role,” Anderson said.  “I am confident that the Department of Rural Studies will thrive under his leadership, and students graduating from the programs will leave ABAC with the skills and knowledge to make a positive impact on the communities of rural Georgia and beyond. “The Community Health track is designed to prepare individuals for a variety of roles in the rapidly growing healthcare field.  As the healthcare industry expands, it will require not only clinical practitioners providing direct care to patients but also many healthcare professionals working in a variety of support and administrative roles.” Anderson said that students pursuing the Community Health track will be prepared to fill a critical healthcare need and will be ready to work in private business, industry, community organizations, and healthcare settings upon graduation from ABAC. Martinez-Franco holds a master’s degree in Health Systems Management and a Doctor of Medicine degree from the National Autonomous University of Mexico. He has also held a faculty appointment at the National Autonomous University of Mexico and served as head of its Biomedical Informatics Department. In recent years, Martinez-Franco has served as a Fulbright Scholar in Residence at ABAC.  He will assume his Rural Studies department head duties on Nov. 1. “It is an honor for me to continue serving the ABAC community,” Martinez-Franco said. “This is a perfect fit to continue my career.  Since I was a medical student the focus of my training has been community development and the preventive model of attention.” Given ABAC’s emphasis on student-focused pedagogy, and the Rural Studies Department’s specific focus and interdisciplinary nature, Martinez-Franco is indeed likely to find himself at home in his new role. “I discovered a passion for teaching while I was a medical student, and I went full time into academia in 2010 when I left a position in the health system related to telemedicine in rural communities,” Martinez-Franco said.  “Since 2010 I have been working with interdisciplinary groups and developing different subject matter related to population health and health informatics.” ABAC’s Department of Rural Studies is home to an interdisciplinary faculty with specializations in sociology, psychology, criminal justice, and now rural community health. The department offers a Rural Community Development B.S. degree that provides students the skills needed to create positive social, political, economic, and cultural changes in rural communities.                                                      ###
October 30, 2019

Kubota Provides ABAC Students with New Equipment for J.G. Woodroof Farm

TIFTON—With the assistance of the Kubota Corporation, life on the J.G. Woodroof Farm has never been better for the students at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College. Kubota recently announced that it will provide a M7-151 Premium Tractor, a BV5160 Baler, and a Rotary Tedder for use by ABAC students on the Woodroof Farm during the 2019-20 academic year. “It's an honor for Kubota to be able to work with ABAC and its students,” Kubota Tractor Regional Sales Manager Clay Dell said.  “These students represent the future of agriculture.  Partnerships like this help to strengthen our brand awareness and allow exposure to our products in South Georgia.” Dr. Mark Kistler, Dean of ABAC’s School of Agriculture and Natural Resources, said the college has had a solid relationship with Kubota for a long time. “We are grateful for our continued corporate partnership with Kubota,” Kistler said.  “The use of the tractor and hay equipment is invaluable to our farm operations but most importantly, it exposes our students to the latest in agricultural technology through their courses and laboratories.” Kubota Corporation introduced its first tractor to the United States in 1969. Filling a product void in the American marketplace for a sub-compact tractor, the Kubota 21 HP L200 was an overnight success. Kubota Tractor Corporation (KTC) was formed in 1972, and the company continued to expand its product line for the U.S. market.  This expansion has continued for the past 40 years, and Kubota now offers products in a wide variety of segments including lawn mowers, utility vehicles, construction equipment, agriculture tractors and hay equipment. Dell said Kubota’s brand statement, “For Earth, For Life,” is a mission that Kubota employees dedicate themselves to as a global company.                                                                       ###
October 28, 2019

Music Educators to Perform at ABAC First Tuesday Concert November 5

TIFTON—Music educators from throughout South Georgia will combine their various talents for a delightful evening of music on Nov. 5 at 7 p.m. in the First Tuesday Concert at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College.   Dr. Susan Roe, Head of the ABAC Department of Fine Arts and the creator of the First Tuesday series, said the event is a part of the 18th season of the First Tuesday Concert Series and will be held in the Chapel of All Faiths.  The public is invited to attend at no charge. Roe said the concert will feature strings, voice, winds, and percussion from Baroque to Broadway, ranging from solos to ensembles.  Selections will include “Music of the Night” from “Phantom of the Opera,” “Amazing Grace,” “You’ll Never Walk Alone” from “Carousel,” and “Prelude to Act I” from “La Traviata.”  The First Tuesday Concert Series features regional and professional artists in five concerts on selected first Tuesdays during the year. Vocalists at the concert will include Tift County High School (TCHS) ninth grade choral director Stan Smith and TCHS drama instructor Jake Alley.  Jonni Snyder, a retired violinist with the Albany and Valdosta symphonies, will perform on the violin.  Betsy Jones, a general music teacher in the Tift County school system, will play the cello.  Trent Lumpkin, a Worth County Elementary general music and instrumental instructor, will be on the string bass. Zoe Hobby, a former applied voice instructor at ABAC, will be a piano accompanist.  On the flute will be Lesli Holton from the Worth County Middle/High School chorus, Kailyn Fowler, a principal and an ABAC band student, and Tiftarea Academy Band/Choral Director Sheri Wyles.  Charlotte Cook, former Colquitt County choral director, will play the oboe. Dr. Sara Eastwood, ABAC Band Director, will play the clarinet along with ABAC band student and principal Amanda Corey and Paul Conrad, a retired minister of music.  Cristal Sylva, a principal and ABAC band student, will play the bass clarinet, and Irwin County High School Band Director Michael Staub and Tift County Middle School Band Director Andy Ballard will play the alto saxophone. Dr. Scott Phillips, who directs the ABAC Jazz Band, will be on the tenor saxophone.  Irwin County Middle School Band Director Kaycee Johnson and former Lowndes County Middle School Conductor Deborah Bradley will play the trumpet along with Stan Smith.  French horn instrumentalists will be former Ware County Band Director Alan Carter and former Worth County Band Director Miki Hutchinson. Worth County Middle School Band Director Stacy Adams will provide baritone, and the trombonists will include former ABAC and TCHS Band Director Woody Leonard, TCHS Choral Director Scott Rains, and Dr. Bill Hornback, a retired surgeon from Tift Regional Medical Center. Percussion performers will include Worth County High School Band Director Johnny Hallman, Tift County Middle School Band Director Drew Ellis, and ABAC employee Jessica Wade. Other performances in the First Tuesday Concert series include A Celebration of Christmas Music on Dec. 3, the Dave Potter Jazz Quartet on Feb. 4, Music for the Harpsichord and the Piano featuring Dr. Jennifer Huang on March 3, and Back to Broadway on April 7. A Celebration of Christmas Music will be a unique First Tuesday Concert.  Tickets for this special event are $10 for adults and $5 for children 10 and under.  All proceeds will go toward ABAC music student scholarships. For more information on the First Tuesday series, interested persons can contact Roe at sroe@abac.edu .   ###
October 11, 2019

Explore ABAC During Stallion Day on November 9

TIFTON—High school seniors will have a chance to win a $500 tuition waiver and much more on Nov. 9 during Stallion Day at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College.  Registration begins at 8 a.m. in the Donaldson Dining Hall. Stallion Day kicks off with campus tours guided by the ABAC Ambassadors from 8-8:45 a.m. followed by Club Connections in Gressette Gymnasium and a continuation of campus tours. Information sessions on topics ranging from Financial Aid, the Honors Program, and Student Engagement Programs are then on the agenda. Visiting students will also be able to stop by the different schools of study based on their area of academic interest to learn more about the programs being offered. A free lunch for the visiting students will be provided in the dining hall from noon–1 p.m.  Meals are available for guests and can be purchased the day of the event. Students and guests can take advantage of sessions on financial aid, scholarship information, and housing as well as tours of the ABAC Lakeside freshman housing complex during the afternoon. Prospective students should sign up ahead of time for the Stallion Day event at www.abac.edu/visit or by calling (229) 391-5004. There is no charge for prospective students for this event.  If there are any questions regarding Stallion Day, prospective students can contact the admissions office via e-mail at admissions@abac.edu . ###
October 7, 2019

Allman Brothers Music Coming to ABAC at the Tift on November 7

TIFTON—The music from one of the most popular bands of all time will occupy the spotlight on Nov. 7 when Tribute: A Celebration of the Allman Brothers Band rocks the ABAC at the Tift series in historic, downtown Tifton. Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College Arts Connection Director Wayne Jones said the concert begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Tift Theatre, which is now managed by ABAC personnel. “Rigged with all the vintage equipment, these guys interpret the Allman Brothers’ catalog in such a way that these classics from the 60s and 70s come alive again,” Jones said.  “This should be a whale of a concert.” Based in Atlanta, Tribute began playing the Allman Brothers’ music in 2013.  The musicians have earned a reputation for the authentic Allman Brothers’ sound around Atlanta and throughout the Southeast. Tickets to all ABAC at the Tift concerts can be purchased online at www.purplepass.com/ABAC or by calling (229) 391-4895.  Each event begins at 7:30 p.m. at a cost of $35 per person. The ABAC at the Tift series features original artists and tribute bands performing music by some of the greatest rock, soul, and rhythm and blues singers.   “I Am King: The Michael Jackson Experience” opened the series.  Other events include “Southern Accents: The Ultimate Tom Petty Experience” on Feb. 13, and Cornell Gunter’s Coasters on April 30.                                                             ###
October 14, 2019

Poet David Baker to Speak at ABAC Bainbridge on November 4

BAINBRIDGE—Award-winning author and poet David Baker will speak at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College Bainbridge at 6 p.m. on Nov. 4 as a part of the Carter Arts and Lecture Series at the Charles H. Kirbo Regional Center. Baker is an award-winning author of 12 books of poems and has won fellowships as well as various awards from the Poetry Society of America, the Pushcart Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Guggenheim Foundation. Dr. Michael Kirkland, Executive Director of ABAC Bainbridge, said Baker’s poems explore an individual’s sense of engagement with natural surrounding and embrace complicated notions of history, home, and memory. “ABAC Bainbridge and the Carter Arts and Lecture Series are excited to bring a scholar and poet of Mr. Baker’s caliber to southwest Georgia,” Kirkland said.  “He is an accomplished and decorated poet.  We look forward to his visit and encourage the community to support the event.” Now in its seventh season, the Carter Arts and Lecture Series features compelling speakers, distinguished authors, and performing artists at ABAC Bainbridge.  Kirkland said the events are designed to bring ABAC students and the community together to educate, inspire, and spark imagination. Other presentations in the Carter Arts and Lecture Series include comedy vocalists Three Redneck Tenors on Jan. 16, Mike Wiley in “Breach of Peace” on Feb. 21, historian Michael Francis on March 12, and jazz vocalist Myrna Clayton with the ABAC Jazz Ensemble on April 17.  The series is sponsored by the Thomas M. Kirbo and Irene B. Kirbo Foundation. Tickets for the series are $40 for adults and $15 for students 18 and under.  Tickets can be purchased online at www.purplepass.com/Carter or by calling (229) 243-6980.  Individual tickets for David Baker are $5 for adults.  For more information on any of the performances, interested persons can call (229) 391-4895.                                                           ###