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View Archive Destination Ag reaches a record number of students in its third year
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.
February 10, 2020

Georgia Museum of Agriculture takes two top awards

Two of the top awards at the annual Georgia Museums/Alabama Museums Association Joint Conference belong to the Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College Georgia Museum of Agriculture, according to a press release. Museum Curator Polly Huff brought home the 2020 Best Museum Exhibition Award, Category One, for “One Small Step: Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Moon Landing Day and Everyday Life in 1969” and the 2020 Special Project Award, Category Two, for “A to Z: A Story of Hope, Healing, A Book, An Exhibit, A Springboard,” the release states “It’s a real honor for me to accept these awards on behalf of the Gallery at the Museum,” Huff said. “The Exhibition Award recognizes outstanding achievement in projects with a budget below $1,000 by the institutions, friends, and supporters of the Georgia Association of Museums (GAM). The Special Project Award encompasses projects with budgets below $25,000.” On the “One Small Step” project, Awards Committee Chair Christy Crisp of the Georgia Historical Society said, “The decision to use existing college archival materials and collection items from the 1960s to round out the exhibit, and also the community-sourced Moon Landing objects were particularly interesting and resourceful aspects of this project. This was a creative project that seems to have expanded the museum audience.” Huff said the “One Small Step” exhibit was built around a Moon Landing Day letter written by then-ABAC President Clyde Driggers. Huff collaborated with NASA to display images, audio, video, and written journals from the Moon Landing and led a crowd-sourced effort which produced some unique exhibit items. Brittany Bass from Arcadia, Fla., and Jason Gentry from Blakely were the ABAC interns assisting on the project. Of the “A to Z” project, the Awards committee said, “This inspiring and multi-faceted project is a testament both to the artist and to the creativity of the Gallery’s curator in developing such opportunities.” “A to Z” was a carefully curated exhibit for children of all ages built by Huff to spotlight the work of Tifton resident, artist and illustrator Donna Falcone. A debilitating case of Lyme Disease ended Falcone’s long career in Early Childhood Education in 2009. For years, she has helped children, college students, and teachers find their creative voices. “Now she has discovered her a voice of her own through a venture into alcohol inks and through a serendipitous connection with the Gallery that had the desire and connections to springboard her talent and works into a full-blown exhibition,” Huff said. “A to Z” included displays of alcohol ink art from Falcone’s book, “A is for Azure,” musical performances by the artist, a children’s art workshop, and an interactive children’s activities corner. Over 200 museum professionals from Georgia and Alabama attended the conference, which was held in Columbus. Huff has been a member of the GAM Board of Directors for the last six years, serves at the state’s GAM Membership Chair, and participates in the GAM Legislative Group. During the conference, Huff was also the co-host for a session which included a tour of FDR’s Little White House in Warm Springs.
November 1, 2019

GMA ag literacy program partners with YANMAR America EVO//Center

The Destination Ag education program at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College’s Georgia Museum of Agriculture recently committed to a partnership with YANMAR America EVO//Center. The EVO//Center will incorporate the Destination Ag curriculum-based agriculture and natural resource educational programming into its Academy, which is a focal point of the EVO//Center. Destination Ag programming will complement the current YANMAR Academy field trip offerings and community outreach. “We are extremely excited about this partnership and the opportunities that lay ahead,” said Garrett Boone, director, ABAC’s Georgia Museum of Agriculture (GMA).  “Since the inception of Destination Ag, our goal has been to have a statewide presence.  Having Destination Ag in the northern part of the state, with a global partner that shares our same objectives, is a tremendous stride forward in achieving that goal.” “A sustainable future begins with education,” said April Zoby, EVO//Center marketing and event coordinator. “Working with local school systems and helping to develop a passion for the past, present, and future of agriculture is an incredible opportunity.  My goal with the curriculum that Destination Ag has shared, as well as with existing programs, is to make our programs fun, engaging, memorable, and exciting for the children who visit the YANMAR EVO//Center.” Destination Ag, which launched in September 2016, provides a dynamic, living laboratory that showcases agriculture and natural resources by offering transformational experiences to children and teachers. This program connects students and teachers to the sources of their food, fiber, and shelter and emphasized the importance of agriculture and natural resources in their daily lives.  In the past three years, Destination Ag has touched the lives of over 22,000 elementary school students. YANMAR America’s EVO//Center opened north of Atlanta in Acworth in 2017. This 50,000-plus square foot facility features a multi-purpose showroom and a state-of-the-art training academy.  The facility is focused on the customers’ experience and is designed to support dealers, customers, and community through a mission of empowering sustainability. “What a great partnership,” said Jared Adams, EVO//Center’s marketing and events manager.  “YANMAR’s mantra, ‘A Sustainable Future,’ and the EVO//Center’s ‘Empowering Sustainability’ fit perfectly in line with the curriculum offered by ABAC and the Destination Ag program.  ABAC and the GMA team have eagerly supported our joint efforts to make this a statewide program.  We, at YANMAR America’s EVO//Center, are proud to be Destination Ag of North Georgia.” Through this partnership, both programs will be able to leverage each other’s resources to expand the sustainable agriculture educational mission that both organizations uphold.  The partnership will expand the Destination Ag curriculum offerings beyond the confines of South Georgia to create a significant presence across the state and beyond. “YANMAR America is excited to be part of this great program offered by ABAC’s Museum of Agriculture,” said EVO//Center’s Tim Miller, senior manager, learning and development. “Destination Ag has helped thousands of Georgia school children learn about agriculture, food sources, and forestry products.  The YANMAR EVO//Center and Academy are proud to join forces and bring this exciting curriculum to the students of North Georgia, many of whom are not exposed, or even aware of, the state’s leading industry.” Key components that make up Destination Ag that will be offered at the EVO//Center include onsite curriculum based field trips; hands-on, experiential learning; post-secondary student-led instruction; a focus on agriculture and natural resource based careers; development of community and industry partnerships; community outreach; and the development and implementation of elementary agriculture and natural resource educational materials. For more information about Destination Ag or ABAC’s Georgia Museum of Agriculture, interested persons can visit gma@abac.edu.