ABAC Cattlemen’s corn-holing for a cure

“Breast cancer has affected many of our members, past and present, in one way or another, so it hits close to home,” says Savannah Maddox, Vice President of the ABAC Cattlemen’s Association. Last Tuesday, on Oct. 23, the Cattlemen’s held their second annual “Savin’ the Ta-Tas Cornhole Tournament” in hopes to raise money for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.  Students and Faculty from all over campus were invited to join in this friendly fundraising event.

Students and Clubs participating in the tournament, and those attending were able to donate towards their favorite teams. All proceeds raised were donated to the research foundation. Each team of two had names like “Cruisin’ Cornholers,” “Small Town Throw Down,” “Bagnificent,” and “Bad News Baggers.” The winning team, “The Gruesome Twosome” sponsored by ABAC’s Turf Club featured the players Andrew Brice and Hodges Hunter.   The Cattlemen’s hope to keep this tradition going so future students can look forward to the event every fall, much as they do for the AET’s annual Truck and Tractor Pull. Previously, the club held a barn dance but changed it to a Cornhole tournament to promote the event to others outside of the club. “We figured that a cornhole tournament would allow us to reach out to other people and clubs on campus outside of the ABAC Cattlemen’s Association,” said Maddox adding, “Everyone is welcome to come out and take time to relax in the craziness that is October.”

The Cattlemen’s Association decided to hold a breast cancer awareness event as it was a topic they all felt very strongly about. “We as a club have a platform to put on a fundraiser such as this, and we want to take advantage of our resources and make a difference.” The club chose the Breast Cancer Research Foundation as they wanted to make sure they donated to a credible organization and it happens to be one of the highest rated organizations in the United States. By the end of the night, the Cattlemen’s Association raised a total of $390, which was a significantly larger amount than they raised the previous year. They hope to continue to keep the fundraiser growing each year, with students from all over campus anticipating the event.


ABAC Cattlemen’s Sixth Annual chili cook off

Students gathered at the Ag Science Building as the ABAC Cattlemen’s Sixth Annual All-American Beef Chili Cook-off heated up. Students competing proudly served their chili trying to get students to vote for their favorite. Most importantly, the panel of three judges, who are veterans, would decide who would walk away with the grand prize of $50 and a gift bag.

Trying to bring awareness to Veterans’ Day, The Cattlemen’s Association decided to host the chili cook-off in their honor. The panel of judges would get to taste each competitor’s chili and rate them according to color, taste and other guidelines.

‘“It’s been interesting, a lot of different kinds of chili with some interesting taste I’ve never tasted before,” laughed Craig Garey, a veteran and a police officer here at ABAC, who was one of the judges. He, along with any other veterans, got to eat for free instead of paying the five dollars required to try the unlimited chilies there.

The event was successful according to the Cattlemen’s Association’s secretary and the one who organized the event, Caitlyn Corban. The money raised from the event—which wasn’t much­—would go back to the chapter, but Caitlyn says that wasn’t the focus of the event, “We wanted to bring awareness to Veterans’ Day and who is a veteran on campus.”

Photo courtesy of ABAC SANR Facebook Page.

She, along with a committee in the Cattlemen’s chapter got together to set up the event and prizes that went together easily with all the chapter member’s help.

“The event went super well for me with the help of members, officers and advisor,” said Caitlyn, which was evident with the number of people there to try out the food and choose their favorites.

After the voting was done and the three judges had finished their rating of the chili, the winners were announced. Sigma Alpha’s Hannah Roberts came in 3rd winning $25, Dr. Mark Kistler was second winning $35 and Alpha Gamma Rho out-cooked the competition getting first and the grand prize of $50 and gift bags that the runner-ups also received.

After the success of the event, the Cattlemen’s Association is looking forward to hosting their next event, the Christmas tree decoration in the AG Science building.


ACT Speaker Series brings Congressman Austin Scott

Congressmen Austin Scott spoke with the Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow at their speaker event before midterm elections about different topics in agriculture. Scott represents Georgia’s Eighth Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. His family has lived in the district for generations, and he is proud to represent the area.

At the event, Scott said, “I don’t have to tell anybody in this room how important agriculture is to our economy.” As Scott introduced himself, he recalled his memory of the debate in Atlanta over the name change of Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College to Abraham Baldwin College. He remembers it as one of the greatest fights in Atlanta he has ever seen.

After easing into his speech with historical context from ABAC, Scott discussed the challenges agriculture has experienced the past few weeks.

Hurricane Michael impacted farmers all over his district, and the storm affected the income farmers were expecting to make this year. He specifically talked about cotton farmers and the loss of revenue the cotton industry is facing.

Scott pointed out that seeing destroyed crops does more than just affect a farmer’s income. The sight of overturned trees or plants leaves a toll on the farmers and their families. After months and years of hard work, it’s devastating for everyone involved when situations like Hurricane Michael arise.

One of the challenges that Scott discussed with the ACT club was how to help farmers after the hurricane fairly. Some farmers experienced a 10 percent revenue loss while other farmers experienced close to 90 percent loss of revenue. He didn’t specify how to ensure fairness when relieving farmers.

Throughout the speech, Scott made it clear that he felt bipartisanship was happening more than what the media portrayed.

He said he has worked side by side with Democratic politicians when it came to helping Americans. Scott feels like the media paints a picture of two polarized parties, and he firmly believes the divide is not as severe.

Scott reassured the audience of students that Georgians have good people at both the state and federal level that are looking out for our best interests. He also believes the people at United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) are just as good as the ones representing our state in politics.

A keynote that Scott brought up was college students graduating and returning to their rural communities. Usually, when students graduate, moving back to their hometown seems undesirable, but the fact is, if students brought back skills and knowledge to rural communities that they learned in college, it could give these rural communities the boost they need.

Scott discussed with students opportunities in working with agriculture policy, and other places students could find work in the agriculture industry. Agriculture has been a part of Scott’s life since childhood, and he was eager to speak with students interested in agriculture.

The final thought Scott left the ACT club with was a piece of advice, “Go to a country that is truly poor.” Scott said, “You’re going to have so much more respect for the gifts and opportunities you have in the country.” Scott has gone on trips all over the world with fellow politicians, and some—if not most—of the countries he has traveled face extreme poverty.


ABAC Farm receives a donation at Ag Expo

TIFTON— Using modern technology with top of the line equipment in laboratory experiences prepares students at ABAC for real-world careers upon the completion of their bachelor’s degrees. Thanks to a recent donation to the J.G. Woodroof Farm at ABAC from the CDS-John Blue Company from Huntsville, Ala., and LMC Ag from Albany, that preparation for the future received a shot in the arm.

CDS-John Blue donated a gauge and wheel drive, a flow divider, a 6055 pump and a blockage monitoring system. LMC Ag donated a toolbar, 200-gallon tank, Clymer Coulter System and liquid plumbing.

ABAC Farm Manager Trey Davis said the four-row colter unit’s applicator is equipped with a liquid flow blockage monitoring system that wirelessly connects to a tablet and alerts the operator of blockage issues.

“Technology is moving at a fast pace, and our industry supporters are ensuring that the hands-on experience will continue to be what makes ABAC a great choice for students,” Davis said. “This equipment helps the nitrogen get into the ground where the plant needs it. We will be using it on cotton and corn at the Woodroof Farm.”

Jason Goodwin is a 2008 ABAC alumnus who is the LMC Ag Sales Manager.

“We work closely with Trey on exactly what they need at the farm,” Goodwin said. “Through this donation, LMC Ag reaffirms our commitment to agricultural education.”

Craig Mashburn, Director of Sales and Marketing for John Blue, said, “We appreciate what ABAC does for the ag industry by promoting sound agricultural practices through the education of students. We hope this equipment will help the faculty educate students for years to come.”

Dr. Mark Kistler, Dean of the ABAC School of Agriculture and Natural Resources, is well aware of the importance of industry partners.

“Industry partners such as LMC Ag and John Blue ensure that our students graduate with the knowledge and skills necessary in the latest agricultural technologies,” Kistler said. “Donations such as this strengthen our programs because they expose our students to farm technology equipment.”


Shop local at the Wiregrass Farmers Market

In the south, buying local is big deal. Now is your chance to help support these producers. On Oct. 6, 2018, the Wiregrass Farmers Market at ABAC’s GMA opened for its eighth fall season.

The Wiregrass Farmers Market began in 2011 when a group of local volunteers was concerned with sustainability and clean, local foods. So, they sought out local growers and producers to start a weekly farmers market at the  GMA. The market is overseen by a volunteer board of directors and a part-time manager, with the GMA Curator Polly Huff serving as the liaison and support person.

The market is held every Saturday from April to Aug. 9-12. Then, the vendors will take a summer break during the months of August and September, where they will reopen during the first week of October for the fall market season, which will run until Nov. 17.

The primary purpose of the Wiregrass Farmer’s Market is to provide local residents the option to purchase clean, locally grown food.

All the items at the market are grown or handmade by the person who is selling it. Some of the items available for purchase at the market consist of locally grown eggs, meats, cheeses, honey, artisanal bread, baked goods, coffee, soaps, wooden bowls, handmade knives, flowers, canned jams and more.

If you are interested in checking out the Wiregrass Farmer’s Market, it is held in the pole barn behind the GMA Country Store. Admission to the market is free, and it is encouraged for visitors to park in front of the GMA Country Store. The market will be open until Nov. 17 from 9 a.m to 12 p.m, so get out there and purchase locally.

If you have any questions about the Wiregrass Farmers Market, you can visit the website at or contact the Georgia Museum of Agriculture Curator Polly Huff at