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May 26, 2021

Spinks Selected for Roy R. Jackson Award at ABAC

TIFTON—Kim Spinks has been selected as the 2021 recipient of the Roy R. Jackson Award for Staff Excellence, presented each year to the top staff member at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College. Presented in memory of Roy R. Jackson, Sr., award recipients must have completed at least 10 years of continuous full-time service to ABAC.  Award criteria states that the staff member must be dependable, loyal, reliable, and one who contributes to the growth and development of the college beyond the normal call of duty. Now serving as the Office Coordinator for the Office of Academic Support, Spinks has been an ABAC staff member for 22 years. A coworker states Spinks is always pleasant and professional, whether her focus is on a recruit, applicant, student, graduate, parent, alumnus, visitor or an ABAC employee.  She has proven to be flexible and adaptive at ABAC, serving in various positions and working well as a team member or alone, depending on the task, and is always ready and willing to assist any co-worker when needed in a pinch.  Another coworker writes that Spinks processes graduation applications promptly and adds a personal touch by sending a lovely congratulatory note to the soon-to-be ABAC alumnus as well as to their advisor.  In so doing, it keeps both the advisor and student up-to-date and informed.  One colleague says Spinks is service-oriented and “others-minded, always going above and beyond to assist ABAC students.  I believe our students, faculty, and staff would all agree that this year’s awardee has a genuine desire to make the ABAC experience positive.” ###
May 25, 2021

ABAC Faculty Member Selected for Georgia Agricultural Education Hall of Fame

TIFTON—Dr. Farish Mulkey, an assistant professor of agricultural education at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, has been selected for the Georgia Agricultural Education Hall of Fame.  Mulkey joins two current ABAC faculty members, Dr. Frank Flanders and Von Peavy, in the Hall of Fame. “We are extremely proud of Dr. Mulkey and the fact that ABAC now has three active faculty members in the Hall of Fame,” Dr. Andrew Thoron, Head of the Department of Agricultural Education and Communication at ABAC, said. “I think this proves without a doubt that ABAC is vested in agricultural education in Georgia.” Mulkey began his 32-year career in agricultural education as a classroom agriculture teacher and FFA advisor at Macon County High School in 1988.  His career continues today at ABAC where he advises, teaches, and prepares the next crop of agricultural educators. In a career that saw him teach both middle and high school in Macon County, Worth County, Bainbridge, and Stephens County, Mulkey and his students have achieved a great deal of success. He served as advisor to 61 state degree recipients, 14 American Degree recipients, 18 state and four national Career Development Event winners, and nine state proficiency award winners. The role of an agricultural education teacher is very diverse. In addition to teaching and guiding students, agriculture teachers are expected to make an impact on their community and their profession. Just as he did as an FFA advisor, Mulkey excelled at those expectations. Mulkey served as a Young Farmer advisor, providing instruction for adults in his community, was named Teacher of the Year in his school system, participated on local Farm Bureau boards, and served on committees within the Georgia Vocational Agriculture Teachers Association. A Georgia Agricultural Education Hall of Fame spokesman said that Mulkey's very decorated and successful career was not highlighted by the many plaques, trophies, and ribbons that his students earned; rather his career is highlighted by the character that he exhibited and instilled in the young people he taught in class. ###
May 24, 2021

Luke-Morgan Receives Teaching Excellence Award at ABAC

TIFTON—Dr. Audrey Luke-Morgan has been selected as the 2021 recipient of the W. Bruce and Rosalyn Ray Donaldson Award for Teaching Excellence at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College. First awarded in 1965, the purpose of the prestigious award is to publicly recognize superior instruction and exemplary service to the college by honoring one faculty member each year, as chosen by a special representative committee of faculty and students. The recipient is honored with a recognition plaque and a monetary award. To be eligible for consideration for the Donaldson Teaching Excellence Award, a faculty member must be a full-time instructor with five or more years of continuous service to the college. An Associate Professor in the School of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Luke-Morgan has taught at ABAC since 2012. She received an associate degree from ABAC, a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from the University of Georgia (UGA), a Master of Science in Agricultural Economics from UGA, and a Ph.D. in Public Administration from Valdosta State University. To best meet the needs of her students, Luke-Morgan has each student complete a biography and self-assessment so that she can tailor each course to target skills such as public speaking or use of spreadsheet software. “I believe that you must move out of your comfort zone to reach your full potential to learn and grow,” Luke-Morgan said. Several letters of support reference Luke-Morgan’s passion and fire for her subject matter. Dr. Mark Kistler, Dean of the School of Agriculture and Natural Resources, said, “she strives to kindle each student’s curiosity for lifelong learning.” A peer recommendation states that she peaks the students’ interest in introductory classes where they often struggle with terminology with “practical and everyday examples to demonstrate use and application. She then pushes her juniors and seniors to rise to a much higher bar of performance in her classes.” A former student writes, “It is very easy to lecture about all of the things you know, but to translate that knowledge into a conversation that everyone can understand is a special gift that makes the best professors.” Luke-Morgan was the 1992 valedictorian at Fitzgerald High School. In 1994, she was selected as the top academic student at ABAC, receiving the J.G. Woodroof Scholar award with a 4.0 grade point average. ###
May 20, 2021

ABAC’s Polly Huff Receives Top Honor from Georgia Association of Museums

TIFTON—The Georgia Association of Museums (GAM) recently honored Polly Huff from Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College with the Museum Professional Award, the industry’s top honor for a museum professional currently serving in the state of Georgia.  Huff, the curator at ABAC’s Georgia Museum of Agriculture (GMA) in Tifton, received the award at the virtual meeting of the Georgia Association for Museums Conference.  “The Middleton Shoe Shop,” an original exhibition at the Museum curated by Huff, also won the Exhibit Award in Category 2, which encompasses project budgets below $25,000. Nominating Committee Chair Virginia Howell, Director of the Robert C. Williams Museum of Papermaking, and members April Moon Carlson, Independent Museum Consultant; Christa McCay, Curator of the Marietta Museum of History; and Holly Beasley Wait, Director of the National Civil War Naval Museum, singled out Huff for “more than two decades of producing innovative exhibits, maximizing limited resources in incredibly creative ways, and being an advocate for the museum field.” In her role as the ABAC curator, Huff oversees a collection of more than 100,000 GMA artifacts. She has designed and installed over 100 significant exhibitions at the GMA, the Art Gallery, and satellite locations; oversees the institutional archives on campus and at the Museum; handles the curatorial duties at ABAC’s Fulwood Garden Center; and is the staff liaison for Tifton’s Wiregrass Farmers Market. “The Middleton Shoe Shop” project took the Museum’s curatorial staff on a journey across the country and back to the 1800s when a cache of mysterious shoe shop artifacts donated by an Indiana resident was discovered at the GMA 40 years after the donation had taken place. Months of intense research with the assistance of museum colleagues from across the country eventually identified the shoemaker in the lone photograph stored with the artifacts as James Middleton, a Tifton shoemaker who lived and worked in the area in the late 1800s-early 1900s. Huff and restoration specialist David King built an exhibit duplicating the exact scene of Middleton’s shoe shop depicted in that lone photograph. Working with local restoration photographer Charles Styer, Huff recreated a life size rendering of the shop complete with a wall mural of the Middleton wagon, a lifelike museum figure replica of Middleton himself, and a display of several hundred shoemaking artifacts. The exhibit’s wooden shoe forms were treated with a special museum wax, which infused the nostalgic scent of shoeshine paste into the experience.  When the pandemic brought everything to a halt in 2020, Huff and her senior media intern, Tristin Clements from Tifton, filmed the exhibit installation and converted the opening into a virtual event, offering it to Museum guests in the early days of the pandemic to the sound of a nostalgic 1890s tune. Huff was recently elected for a third term on the GAM Board of Directors.  She is a frequent panelist and presenter for the state organization and its membership.                                                             ###
May 18, 2021

ABAC Begins Four-Day Work Week

TIFTON—For the second consecutive summer, Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College will utilize a four-day work week. ABAC President David Bridges said ABAC’s hours of operation will be from 7 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. on a Monday through Thursday basis. The college will be closed on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.  “Closing three days a week will save energy during the hot months of the summer,” Bridges said.  “Employees can also enjoy a three-day weekend with their families during this time.” The four-day ABAC work week began May 17 will continue through July 24.  Summer term classes begin at ABAC on June 1.  The fall semester opens Aug. 10. ###
May 17, 2021

Abbeville Graduate Receives Top Award at ABAC Commencement

TIFTON—Meredith McGlamory, an Agricultural Communication major from Abbeville, received the ABAC Alumni Association Award as the top graduate participating in the commencement ceremony on Friday at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College. Because of social distancing guidelines, ABAC hosted three commencement ceremonies, two in Tifton and one in Bainbridge.  A total of 302 graduates participated in the ceremonies.  McGlamory received a plaque and a check for $500 from the ABAC Alumni Association, which sponsors the award and conducts the interviews which lead to the selection of the winner. The recipient of the award must participate in the commencement ceremony.  The award recognizes scholarship, leadership, and citizenship. From her role as Homecoming Queen to the time she rode on horseback carrying the flag for the Alpha Gamma Rho Breast Cancer Barrel Race, McGlamory has experienced all sides of ABAC. A stellar academic student with a 3.73 grade point average, McGlamory was a Distinguished Honor Student and made the Dean’s List and the President’s List.  She interned with Bayer Crop Science where she worked on experimental chemical plots in row crops.  She also went on a study abroad trip to Belize and took part in a mission trip to Bolivia. At one point in her ABAC career, McGlamory was the Social Media Intern for the Sunbelt Agricultural Exposition.  She also served as an active member of the Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow.  McGlamory has worked at the Georgia Peanut Farm Show, and she traveled with other ABAC students on the annual Farm Tour when they visited Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. Closer to home, McGlamory has guided visitors on the Sunbelt Expo trams, dealt with small animals at Branch’s Vet Clinic, and worked in Plant Pathology at the Coastal Plain Experiment Station.  A Ms. ABAC Finalist, she often helped to recruit new students at Stallion Day. One of McGlamory’s references said, “she strives for success in everything she does and always represents ABAC in a positive manner.” McGlamory plans to travel to New Zealand after graduation to take part in an outreach ministry program. Summer term classes begin at ABAC on June 1, and the fall semester opens Aug. 10. ###

News Archive

View Archive Abbeville Graduate Receives Top Award at ABAC Commencement
September 20, 2022

AET Truck and Tractor Pull on October 6-8 at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College

TIFTON—Trucks and tractors of all shapes and sizes will rev their engines and roar down the track on Oct. 6-8 at the Fall AET Truck and Tractor Pull sponsored by the Agricultural Engineering Technology Club at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College. The event is open to all ABAC students, faculty, staff, and the public. Gates open at 6 p.m. each night. During the event, trucks and tractors pull a weighted sled down a dirt track. The weight moves toward the front of the sled as the vehicle pulls it down the track, making it more difficult to pull. Trucks and tractors are divided into various weight classes. ABAC has two pulling tractors, Altered Allis and Cracker Jack. On Oct. 6, ABAC students and the community can participate in the amateur night that begins at 7 p.m. The admission fee will be $5 per person. Children five and under get in free. Participants can enter their vehicles in the event for a cost of $5 per pull. On Oct. 7-8, the Southern Pullers Association will provide the show which will feature professional pullers. Admission will be $15 for adults; $10 for children 6-10 years of age; $10 for students with an ABAC I.D.; and free for children five and under. Trackside Parking will be $50. For more information on the AET Truck and Tractor Pull, interested persons can contact AET club advisors Ray Lundy at rlundy@abac.edu or Todd Hicks at thicks@abac.edu. ###
September 19, 2022

ABAC President Visits Bainbridge Campus, Attends Martha Mitchell Portrait Unveiling

BAINBRIDGE – Dr. Tracy Brundage, the new president of Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, made her first trip to the ABAC Bainbridge campus recently, meeting with many of the top officials on campus and leaders from the community. Brundage spent a portion of her day at the ABAC Bainbridge library where a portrait was unveiled honoring Martha Mitchell. Mitchell started her career as the assistant librarian at Bainbridge College when she moved to the community in 1973. She held that position until her retirement and later became a library associate until her death in August 2021. “This was a fitting tribute to a woman who obviously meant so much to this college,” Brundage said. “It was an excellent visit, and I enjoyed meeting and talking with the faculty, staff, students, and members of the community. “ABAC Bainbridge is a tremendous resource, and it’s obvious that the college means a lot to this community.” Brundage toured the campus and had a question-and-answer session with faculty and staff before attending the reception to honor Mitchell. Complete bachelor’s degrees in business and nursing are available for students at ABAC Bainbridge. ABAC students in Bainbridge can also receive an Associate of Science in Core Curriculum and an Associate of Science in Nursing. ABAC Bainbridge students can also finish the core curriculum classes for bachelor’s degrees in Biology, History and Government, and Writing and Communication before transferring to ABAC Tifton for the final two years of the curriculum. ###
September 15, 2022

ABAC Namesake Key Figure in Constitution Day on September 17

TIFTON—During his lifetime, Abraham Baldwin never set foot on the Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College campus. But the ABAC namesake will always have a natural tie to the nationwide Constitution Day on Sept. 17 because Baldwin was one of only two Georgia signers of the United States Constitution 235 years ago on Sept. 17, 1787, in Philadelphia. When the 39 men signed the Constitution, they set the stage for a quality of life in America that still exists today. The Constitution is the oldest and shortest national constitution in existence. William Few was the only other Georgia signer of the 4,543-word document. Baldwin was born on Nov. 22, 1754 in Guilford, Conn., as the son of a blacksmith. He enrolled at Yale College at the age of 14 and completed his degree in 1772. He studied theology and served on George Washington’s staff as a chaplain during the Revolutionary War. When the Revolutionary War was over, Baldwin began a study of law. After being admitted to the bar, he moved to Georgia in 1783 to set up a law practice near Augusta. Georgia Governor Lyman Hall then asked him to develop an educational plan for Georgia on both the secondary and post-secondary level. One year later, Baldwin was elected to the Georgia House of Assembly and in 1787 he represented Georgia as a member of the Constitutional Convention. Baldwin later became the first president of the University of Georgia. He also served in the United States House of Representatives and in the U.S. Senate. A colorful panel depicting his career is a key part of the ABAC history exhibit in the Tift Hall administration building. Over 3,600 students are taking classes at ABAC this semester from 26 countries and 16 states. ABAC attracts students from 155 of Georgia’s 159 counties and from 58 of Florida’s 67 counties. ###
September 14, 2022

Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College Students Celebrate National Teach Ag Day on September 15

TIFTON—National Teach Ag Day is Sept. 15, and Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College students have solid reasons to celebrate. For the fourth consecutive year at the spring term commencement ceremony when 34 agricultural education graduates walked across the stage, ABAC produced more graduates with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural education than any other college or university east of the Mississippi River. “These graduates will help with the severe nationwide shortage of Agricultural Education teachers that has existed for over 40 years,” Dr. Andrew Thoron, Head of the Department of Agricultural Education and Communication at ABAC, said. ABAC currently has over 230 agricultural education majors enrolled for the 2022 fall semester. Forty of those students will be student teaching in classrooms across the nation this spring. “Being an agriculture teacher is a life-changing career choice,” Ellen Poeschl, Director of the National Association of Agricultural Educators (NAAE), said. “Agriculture teachers have the opportunity to make a difference every day, mentoring and inspiring young people. “The demand for agriculture teachers remains strong, and the National Teach Ag Day is critical to the NAAE mission of ensuring a quality and diverse supply of agriculture teachers. The Ag Ed program at ABAC is a great example of building the pipeline of extraordinary agriculture teachers who will impact the communities they serve.” To prepare students for the classroom, ABAC faculty work diligently to instill effective pedagogy, technical knowledge, and leadership skills. Graduates are prepared to teach both middle and high school Ag Ed courses. In 2021, an elementary agricultural education teacher program was established at ABAC, the first of its kind in America. ABAC also established a partnership with Murray State University to encourage graduates to continue their education in a master’s degree program. With its specialized curriculum in the School of Agriculture and Natural Resources, ABAC is in a unique position to offer Ag Ed students coursework in selected areas such as animal science, horticulture, and agricultural mechanics. Thoron said Ag Ed graduates find a job market which is quite receptive to their skills. “While our goal is to have students enter the teaching profession in agriculture, students and industry employers find this degree meets many needs,” Thoron said. “We develop students who are founded in agriculture content knowledge and have the teaching and people skills that make them a valuable leader and a model employee across the industry.” Prospective students who seek more information about the Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Education at ABAC can contact the ABAC admissions office at admissions@abac.edu . Spring semester classes begin at ABAC on Jan. 9, 2023. ###
September 13, 2022

Carpenter Named Manager of Stores & Shops at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College

TIFTON – Tonia Carpenter sits up in her desk chair with an excited look on her face when she talks about the ideas she has for the Stallion Shop, the official bookstore in the heart of the Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College campus. As the new Manager of the ABAC Stores and Shops, she is constantly thinking of unique ways to attract visitors, both on and off campus. “There are a lot of things I want to do,” she said. “I’m always looking at new items, new products, different styles. And I like to get feedback from the students. They are our customers, and we want to know what they are looking for.” Carpenter began her ABAC career in 2007 as a Stallion Shop employee when the store was in Branch Hall. She moved to ABAC’s Georgia Museum of Agriculture in 2011 where she was the manager of the Country Store and the Village Drug Store. Earlier this year, she added the pro shop at ABAC’s Forest Lakes Golf Course to her duties. In her new position, she heads up all four facilities. That’s no small task, but it seems to come natural for Carpenter. “I’m a people person,” she said. “I love interacting with the students. When I was at the Museum of Agriculture, it was different because I got to meet people traveling through from all sorts of places, and that was fun too. “Here, I like to talk with our students. We want to help them find what they’re looking for, but I enjoy talking to them and giving them some encouragement. That’s a part of the job I really enjoy.” Carpenter’s research is not relegated to just those conversations. She is planning to send a survey to students to get ideas on what they would like to see in the Stallion Shop. She even finds herself scouring social media platforms such as TikTok to see what is trending with students. Deidra Jackson, ABAC’s Vice President for Finance and Operations, believes Carpenter’s experience will help improve all of ABAC’s stores and shops. “She will be able to lead the ABAC Stores and Shops in providing the best-in-class customer service and expand our product offerings for students, faculty, alumni, friends of the college, and our customers of the Museum and Forest Lakes,” Jackson said. “I encourage everyone in the community to visit one of the ABAC Stores and Shops and those outside of the area to visit us online or through social media. That support will help us provide the most affordable, hands-on experience for our students.” Carpenter also believes the Stallion Shop, now located in the Carlton Center, can become more interactive with ideas ranging from more food and beverage offerings, possible new sitting areas, and more. The ideas seem to come quickly for Carpenter, whose investment in ABAC goes beyond her office hours. Her husband, Tim, is the college’s Director of Facilities and Land Resources. Their son is an ABAC part-time staff member, and their oldest daughter is an ABAC graduate. “We’re an ABAC family,” Carpenter said. “I’ve really enjoyed all the jobs I’ve had here. We have phenomenal student workers, and I think we have a great team. “I’m excited about the changes that we’re looking at but everything we do is for our students, and we want the community to feel comfortable coming in as a way of supporting ABAC as well.” ###
September 9, 2022

Dr. Jeff Newberry Opens Jess Usher Lecture Series on September 27 at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College

TIFTON—Five fabulous presentations with storytelling venues ranging from Ireland to Scotland to King Arthur’s England will highlight this year’s Jess Usher Lecture Series at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College. Dr. Jeff Newberry, a professor of English and ABAC’s poet-in-residence, opens the series at 7 p.m. on Sept. 27 when he speaks on “The Right Kind of Tradition: Seamus Heaney, Irish Identity, and the Southern Problem.” Each event is open to the public at no charge with no ticket required. All events in the series will be held in Howard Auditorium on the ABAC campus. Formerly known as the ABAC Lecture Series, this special collection of presenters has been renamed in memory of Dr. Jess Usher, a former ABAC faculty member and lecturer in the series, who passed away in 2021. Newberry’s presentation focuses on Heaney, a Nobel Prize-winning Irish poet, who was raised in Northern Ireland, site of the famous “troubles” of the 1970s and 80s.  “Heaney’s move to the Republic of Ireland represents his movement to a sense of Irish heritage that’s anchored in both locale and local culture,” Newberry said. “Heaney’s writing about Ireland demonstrates a kind of tradition that isn’t exclusionary. “This tradition provides an effective model for the contemporary American Southeast, a place of changing demographics that complicate the notion of heritage.” Sponsored by the Tom M. Cordell Lecture Series, Jim McSweeny will speak on “Our National Experience, The National and Federal Archives” on Oct. 11. Dr. David Nelson’s topic on Nov. 17 is “Microbes and Xenophobes: Scotland’s Moral Panic Over Italian Ice Cream, 1880-1920.” Nelson is a professor of history at ABAC. Abdur Rahman Muhammad, also sponsored by the Cordell Lecture Series, addresses “Journey for Justice in the Malcolm X Assassination Case” on Jan. 24, 2023. Dr. Thomas Grant, a professor of journalism at ABAC, and Kaci West, a senior lecturer at ABAC, wind up the series on March 13, 2023, with “Literature and the Landscape,” a tantalizing look at how they followed the trail of The Knights of the Round Table in England and Wales. ###