News & Events

News Archive

View Archive Georgia Museum of Agriculture takes two top awards
November 19, 2020

Museum Copes with COVID, Gets Ready for Holidays

After being closed for almost six months because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at the Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College Georgia Museum of Agriculture. “The team at the Museum and all of our visitors continue to be very understanding and patient as we adjust to pandemic operations,” Museum Director Garrett Boone said.  “We have made changes to about every aspect of our operation, and now we are looking forward to a festive holiday season.” Museum Country Store Manager Tonia Carpenter said the venue’s convenient location at 1392 Whiddon Mill Road just off I-75 in Tifton makes it a popular Christmas shopping spot.  “We have new merchandise galore,” Carpenter said.  “I think the Georgia Grown products are going to be really great gifts this year.  We have peanuts, pecans, honey, and cheese straws.” New items also include Bundt pound cakes for $20 and pound cake loaves for $8, both made fresh to order.  Shoppers can also pick up syrup, grits, corn meal, and turpentine, all produced on site at the Museum.  “After being closed for almost six months because of the pandemic, we were able to slowly open back up, starting with the Country Store,” Boone said.  “People were ready to get out of the house and looking for something safe and fun. Thankfully, our Country Store and playground fit that bill. “We added cotton candy, hand-dipped ice cream, and popcorn to the Country Store as well as two pieces of playground equipment behind the store.  We also have umbrella picnic tables and comfortable benches in the shade to give guests a way to spread out and enjoy their ice cream and the playground.” Boone said the Museum’s children’s programs, “Toddler Time” and “Wiregrass Kids,” have been well received. The Museum’s other educational programs and field trips are re-opening cautiously and gaining momentum. Several school groups have visited on site for guided tours, and the Museum is also providing virtual educational programming. “We understand the situation these schools are in, and we are trying to meet their needs,” Boone said.  “Guided tours have been really popular with the home-school groups.  It’s just a different time for everybody.” Conference facilities are back open at the Museum but at a 50-person capacity.  The facilities have been used recently for corporate training, weddings and receptions, and birthday parties. “We are receiving a lot of inquiries for events,” Boone said. “People have been very understanding about the size of the groups, guidelines, and requirements brought on by the pandemic.”  Museum guests can also visit the Gallery where a unique presentation titled “Blood, Bone, & Stone” is now on display.  Museum Curator Polly Huff said the exhibit includes several hundred hand-crafted artifacts by Ocilla resident Jack McKey, a master craftsman of Naturalist and Native American Technology. Meanwhile Carpenter is ordering extra items for the Christmas rush at the Country Store. “We have some really unique little toys for kids that I think will go well,” Carpenter said.  “We also have a great selection of candy for stocking stuffers and Christmas party bags.” The Museum is open Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. and on Saturdays from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.  The Country Store has expanded its hours of operation to 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and from noon until 5 p.m. on Sundays.
November 3, 2020

Cane Grinding, Syrup Making at ABAC’s Georgia Museum of Agriculture on November 14th

Nothing beats the smell of sweet cane syrup cooking on an autumn afternoon.   Visitors to the Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College Georgia Museum of Agriculture will take a whiff of that delicious aroma on Nov. 14 at the always popular cane-grinding and syrup-making event. Museum Director Garrett Boone said June, the ever-faithful Museum mule, will be grinding the cane for the syrup kettle as the experienced cooking crew turn out this unique sweet treat.  The Museum is open that day from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.  Syrup cooking will take place from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. Boone said that although the Museum will be operating at a reduced capacity due to current COVID regulations and guidelines, Museum staff still look forward to offering special demonstrations and programs, such as cane grinding, just on a smaller scale. Cane syrup will be available for sale at the Museum’s Country Store along with grits, corn meal, and turpentine, all made on the Museum site at 1392 Whiddon Mill Road, just off I-75 in Tifton.  The Country Store has also expanded its offerings to include freshly made pound cakes, popcorn, cotton candy, and hand-dipped ice cream.  Boone said the Museum’s steam powered cotton gin will also be running on Nov. 14.  Visitors can take in the spectacle of Eli Whitney’s invention turning out a bale of cotton. Also, the Museum’s own blacksmith will be forging iron at the Blacksmith Shop in the Historic Village.  The 1917 Vulcan steam locomotive runs every Saturday around Agrirama Lake and straight through the center of the Historic Village. The steam train is always a source of wonderment for children who climb aboard as their ears perk up and their eyes grow wide at the sound of the historic train whistle. The Museum is open Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. and on Saturdays from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.  The Country Store has expanded its hours of operation to 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and from noon until 5 p.m. on Sundays.
September 3, 2020

ABAC’s Georgia Museum of Agriculture Opens to Public September 5

TIFTON—From old favorites such as a train ride featuring the 1917 Vulcan steam locomotive to new additions such as hand-scooped ice cream, visitors can take in all the sights and sounds of the Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College Georgia Museum of Agriculture when it opens to the public on Sept. 5. Museum Director Garrett Boone said the Historic Village staff is glad to be back in operation after almost six months of inactivity due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “We are excited to be back and welcome all our visitors,” Boone said. “The Country Store and Museum Main Hall have been up and running for a few weeks but now we’re opening back up the Historic Village.” Boone said ABAC’s Georgia Museum of Agriculture is an immersive experience into the agrarian and cultural traditions of the 19th century American South. Visitors can take a glimpse into the innovative and storied history of the Wiregrass region of Southern Georgia through hands-on learning experiences and a sweeping landscape of historic sites and artifacts. The Museum and Historic Village will be open on a Tuesday through Saturday basis from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. The Country Store, located at 1392 Whiddon Mill Road in Tifton, will be open from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday, from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and from noon until 5 p.m. on Sundays. “Our Country Store is going to be one of our most popular spots with everything we have added to it,” Boone said. “Besides the hand-scooped ice cream, we now have popcorn and cotton candy as well as all our toys and gift items. “We have also added some colorful picnic tables and umbrellas just outside the store where our guests can enjoy their treats. And perhaps most exciting to the little ones is the addition of three more large pieces of playground equipment.” Museum Curator Polly Huff said a unique multimedia event titled “Blood, Bone, & Stone” will be in the spotlight at the Museum’s Opry Shelter and the Museum Gallery on Sept. 19. “Presented in collaboration with ABAC’s School of Arts and Sciences, the event features Jack McKey, a master craftsman of Naturalistic and Native American Technology,” Huff said. “Guests of the day-long event will participate in the world premiere of McKey’s biographical film, which was created by Dr. Thomas Grant, an associate professor in the School of Arts and Sciences, and a team of ABAC journalism students.” The Gallery is located adjacent to the Museum’s Main Hall, which features dozens of exhibits describing the history of Georgia’s agricultural commodities, unique cultural pieces, and pays respect to the historic inventors and luminaries from eras past and present. The familiar whistle of the historic steam locomotive will once again sound throughout Tifton every Saturday this fall. Guests will purchase their train tickets inside the Country Store and then drive to the Museum Main Hall where they will be directed to where they can board the train in the Historic Village. “For the folks who have ridden the train in the past, this is a change,” Boone said. “Everybody loves the train ride, and they will still get the full experience.” In the Historic Village, guests can visit the Davis Grist Mill to see grits being made, the blacksmith shop, the print shop, the doctor’s office, the turpentine still, the Langdale Nature Center, the drugstore, the sawmill, the cotton gin, and the Tift House, formerly the home of Tifton founder Henry Harding Tift and his family. Younger visitors always love the animals at the Traditional and Progressive Farmsteads as well as the desks at the Sand Hill School House where interpreters relate stories of Georgia’s past and engage the youngsters in hands-on activities. Boone said school children will also return to the Museum for the Destination Ag program, which begins its fifth year this fall. “Destination Ag provides an interactive, educational experience for children and all guests focused on modern agriculture and natural resources,” Boone said. “Learning stations and exhibits connect guests to where their food, fiber, and shelter come from.” Destination Ag attracted a record 12,306 students to the Museum in 2019-20. Thanks to the Harley Langdale, Jr. Foundation, the program is presented at no cost to the visiting students. Boone said conference and meeting facilities at the Museum will also be open at a reduced capacity to conform to federal and state guidelines. Masks are required for visitors at all indoor areas of the Museum. Admission to the Museum Tuesday through Friday is $7 for adults, $6 for senior citizens 55 and up, $4 for 5 to 16-year-olds, and free for all children under four years of age. On Saturdays, admission is $10 for adults, $8 for senior citizens, $5 for 5 to 16-year-olds, and free for all children under four. For more information, interested persons can visit the Museum’s web site at https://gma.abac.edu/.
March 23, 2020

Harley Langdale, Jr. Foundation, Inc., Continues Support for Destination Ag at ABAC’s Georgia Museum of Agriculture

This year over 16,000 students from 12 different South Georgia counties have had the opportunity to learn about agriculture through the Destination Ag program at the Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College Georgia Museum of Agriculture because of past contributions to the ABAC Foundation from the Harley Langdale, Jr. Foundation, Inc. Now, the Harley Langdale, Jr. Foundation, Inc., has continued its support with a recent check presentation to Garrett Boone, Director of the Georgia Museum of Agriculture. "The Harley Langdale, Jr. Foundation is proud to help support Destination Ag as the instructors educate our children at an early age and expose them to agriculture and the working forest,” Donnie Warren, Executive Director of the Harley Langdale, Jr. Foundation, Inc., said. “We appreciate ABAC for what they are doing to enhance the opportunities of young people in our region and state."  The Harley Langdale, Jr. Foundation, Inc., has enabled ABAC’s Georgia Museum of Agriculture by contributing annually over the past five years to the ABAC Foundation to engage guests in the past and present of agriculture and natural resources through Destination Ag. With this support, Destination Ag provides experiential learning opportunities for the next generation of agriculture and natural resource leaders.  In the past year, Destination Ag has expanded to include Valdosta area schools to serve a total of 12 counties across South Georgia. Boone said the mission of Destination Ag is to be a dynamic educational program connecting students and teachers to the importance of agriculture and natural resources in their daily lives. “This mission is implemented through hands-on experiences and a focus on career paths in these industries,” Boone said.  “Destination Ag provides educational activities directly focused on agriculture and natural resources taught by ABAC students.”
March 11, 2020

ABAC’s Georgia Museum of Agriculture Offers Camp Wiregrass for Kids This Summer

Exploring worlds of old and new, creating crystals, making solar powered s’mores, and learning to use a compass are a few of the activities that children can enjoy during Camp Wiregrass sessions this summer at the Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College Georgia Museum of Agriculture. Children from 4 to 12 years old can experience these and many more adventures when they explore Georgia agriculture, history, and natural resources this summer. Registration for all sessions of Camp Wiregrass will be available beginning April 7 at 9 a.m. Registration can be completed online at abacgma.eventbrite.com. Discounts will be available for multiple siblings attending camps. “Camp Wiregrass provides a fun, interactive environment for children to engage in hands-on activities, games, and crafts,” Museum Assistant Director Sara Hand said. “Each camp offers unique activities and themes tailored to each age group.” For children 4-6 years old, “Young Scientists” and “Down on the Farm” are the two sessions available for Munchkins campers. Both camps will run from 8 a.m. to noon each day with drop off from 7:30-8 a.m. and pick up from 12-12:30 p.m. The cost of each camp is $60 and includes a snack, t-shirt, and all supplies. Campers will be going home before lunch. During the “Young Scientists” session on May 26-29, campers will transform into young scientists and create crystals, make machines out of found items, and learn the very basics of computer coding by making binary bracelets. “Down on the Farm” is scheduled June 16-19 and offers campers the chance to learn about the wonderful things that agriculture provides in everyday life. Children will experience tasks that farmers undertake and get hands-on sessions with crops and animals. Children will milk a robotic cow, shear a shaving cream sheep, work in the garden, build a miniature house, and more. Camps are also available for Explorer campers for those children 7-9 years old and Trekker campers for those who are 10-12 years old. Each of these camps runs from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., with drop off from 7:30-8 a.m. and pick up from 3-3:30 p.m. “Westward Bound” and “Wilderness 101” are the two sessions available for the Explorer campers. The cost of each camp is $110 and includes a snack, t-shirt, supplies, and afternoon water games. Campers must bring a sack lunch. “Westward Bound” for Explorer campers is set for June 8-12 and offers children the chance to embark upon a covered wagon journey of their own. The year is 1863, and the camp has decided to take up the call of the Homestead Act to move westward. Explorers will learn trail skills to help them on their way such as campfire cooking, reading trail signs, first aid, and animal husbandry. This immersive camp will teach campers about history, outdoor skills, team building, and more. “Wilderness 101” runs from June 22-26. During this camp, the 7-9-year-olds will learn to follow their instincts and discover ways to survive in the wilderness. On each day of the camp, children will explore nature and strengthen their survival skills. By learning how to make a fire, build shelters, use compasses, and make solar powered s’mores, campers will become more confident and comfortable in the wild and develop valuable skills. Trekkers can enjoy “Out of the Blocks” scheduled for June 1-5. During this camp, the 10-12-year old participants will experience all the joys of Minecraft in the real world. They will meet many villagers, including the blacksmith, as well as catch fish, plant crops, make crafts, and meet many animals, just like they would in the game. For more information on Camp Wiregrass, interested persons can contact Hand in the Museum’s Education Department at (229) 391-5208 or at museum@abac.edu.
June 6, 2017

Destination Ag receives $1 million

The Harley Langdale Jr. Foundation has committed $1 million during the next four years to continue the "Destination Ag" program at the Georgia Museum of Agriculture at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College. Destination Ag, in operation since September, connects students and teachers to the importance of agriculture and natural resources in their daily lives. Last August, the Langdale Foundation announced a $250,000 gift to the ABAC Foundation to launch a major agriculture and natural resources literacy program at the museum. Since then, Destination Ag has touched the lives of 5,000 elementary students in Tift, Colquitt and Cook counties. "ABAC and the staff at the Georgia Museum of Agriculture exceeded our expectations during the inaugural year of Destination Ag's operation," said Donnie Warren, Foundation executive director. "They are raising the bar for agriculture and natural resource education in our area." Museum Director Garrett Boone said the additional funding enhances the educational mission of the museum, which became a part of ABAC in 2010. "For the past nine months, the Harley Langdale Jr. Foundation has allowed us to provide a dynamic, living laboratory through Destination Ag that showcases agriculture and natural resources by offering transformational experiences to children and teachers across South Georgia," Boone said. Key components of the program include hands-on museum field trips for the young learners focusing on the value of agriculture and natural resources with an emphasis on careers. "By taking part in Destination Ag, these kids know where their lettuce and tomatoes and beef come from," said Wesley Langdale, the Foundation's chairman. "Everyone in this country wants safe food. Our kids need to know that we grow our own." Boone said that as the program develops, students in second through fifth grades will be added in the counties of Berrien, Irwin, Turner, Ben Hill and Worth.