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View Archive ABAC’s Georgia Museum of Agriculture Launches Summer 2023 Youth Volunteer Program
August 18, 2023

Destination Ag Day coming to ABAC’s Georgia Museum of Agriculture

From a petting zoo to milking a fiberglass cow, Destination Ag Day on Saturday, Sept. 16 promises lifetime memories for all visitors to Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College’s Georgia Museum of Agriculture. From 9 a.m. to noon, visitors can explore how agriculture impacts them in their daily lives through a variety of hands-on activities. Guests can milk Buttercup, the fiberglass milking cow, to learn how milk is processed. They will also learn why prescribed fire is vital to forestry, explore some of the tools used by foresters, and learn how Georgia crops provide many products used in our daily lives. Additional agricultural-themed activities include crafts, a petting zoo, face painting, a bouncy house, tractor displays, and other interactive experiences to share the importance of agriculture with guests of all ages. “Destination Ag Day is not only just learning about agriculture, but also a celebration of how important agriculture is to each of us every day,” said Kelly Scott, the Museum’s Agriculture and Natural Resources Supervisor. Destination Ag at the Museum has provided field trip experiences in agriculture and natural resources for more than 55,000 elementary-aged children since 2016. The program has also connected with additional students and adults through outreach at schools, regional festivals, the Family Farm Book series, and the Traveling Trunks program in partnership with the Georgia Farm Bureau. “We are always looking for exciting ways to increase engagement with agriculture and natural resources,” Scott said, “Destination Ag Day is a fun way for us to connect children and families with where their food, fiber, and shelter come from.” Admission for the day is $12 for adults, $10 for senior citizens, $8 for ages 5-16, and free for children ages 4 and under. For more information, contact Scott at (229) 391-5221.
August 3, 2023

Sutton Rose Southern Series Exhibition Opens at GMA Gallery Sept. 9

Visitors to the Gallery of Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College’s Georgia Museum of Agriculture will experience a unique exhibition this fall, one that weaves writings of rural living with oil paintings of the South, both done by the same artist/author. GMA Curator Polly Huff will showcase this pairing of storytelling and artistry in the newest Gallery exhibit, “Brenda Sutton Rose: The Southern Series”. “This exhibition will tell a nostalgic story of rural Georgia living,” Huff said. “Brenda Sutton Rose is a uniquely and multi-talented Tifton treasure. I am thrilled to curate and celebrate both her incredible artistic talent as an oil painter, but also her writing, the two woven together like the fibers of a warm and familiar vintage coverlet.”The exhibit will open at 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 9 with a Georgia-grown reception hosted by ABAC’s Chef Jay Johnson featuring locally sourced treats depicted in some of the paintings and stories. At 6 p.m., the artist/author will give an informal gallery talk. Afterwards, Sutton Rose and Huff will lead guided gallery tours until 7:30 p.m. “To honor the stories told, we worked with local frame master Mike Ellis, who built custom frames for this exhibition out of reclaimed old barnwood,” Huff said. “This exhibit has been 18 years in the making, and I am thrilled to be the first museum curator to have access to both avenues of Brenda’s work for this one-woman show. Many of the excerpts which will be a part of this exhibition have been published as short stories, and many explore actual historic events which took place in the Tift area. Brenda has lived the South, and the land she writes about and paints lives within her.” “Although I've taken art lessons from numerous established artists, I consider myself to be a self-taught oil painter,” said Sutton Rose. “After 18 years of intensive and dedicated self-learning, of following my heart while inside my art studio, a paintbrush in my hand, my intention as a mature artist is to create something deep and soulful, something that sweeps the viewer from within and pulls them into the colors, and ultimately, into the story.” For one of the paintings which tells the story of baptisms at the Whiddon Mill Pond in the 1940s, Sutton Rose worked with a local pastor whose church baptized congregants in those waters. The pastor of Mt. Zion Church provided records of the church’s baptism records from 1947 to assist the artist in telling the story. Shekanah Dean, a junior Writing and Communication major from Tifton, served as the lead intern on this project, and Frances Nelson, an 11th grader from Tiftarea Academy in Chula was the project’s junior intern. Dean and Nelson spent the summer assisting the GMA Gallery in the curation of this unique exhibition and were especially instrumental in giving a digital voice to the stories and paintings, as well as designing and editing the interpretive content, according to Huff. After the September 9 opening night, admission to this exhibit is included in daily GMA admission, and is free with a valid GMA annual pass. The exhibit will remain on display until Dec. 15. Exhibit hours are 9 a.m. -3 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, and 9 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturdays. Many of the pieces showcased will be available for sale. Admission and annual passes can be purchased from the GMA Country Store. For more information on this and future exhibitions, interested parties can contact Huff at
July 6, 2023

ABAC’s Georgia Museum of Agriculture Sets Operating Hours for July

The Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College Georgia Museum of Agriculture will begin its annual summer operating schedule on Tuesday, July 11. Museum Director Garrett Boone said the Historic Village, Art Gallery, and Spinks Exhibit Hall will be open Tuesday-Friday from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. in July. Admission will be $9 for adults, $8 for senior adults, $7 for children ages 5-16, and free to children 4 and under. The Museum, Art Gallery, Historic Village and Vulcan Steam Train will be open each Saturday in July from 9 a.m.–3 p.m. Saturday admission is $12 for adults, $10 for senior adults, $8 for children ages 5-16, and free to children 4 and under. ABAC students receive free admission with a student ID. The administrative offices will remain open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.–5 p.m. during July. The Country Store will be open Monday through Thursday 9 a.m. -5 p.m. and Friday and Saturday 9 a.m.– 6 p.m. For more information on ABAC’s Georgia Museum of Agriculture, interested persons can call (229) 391-5205 or visit the web site at
June 16, 2023

ABAC’s Georgia Museum of Agriculture to Host Wiregrass Freedom Festival July 1

Break out the red, white, and blue on July 1 when visitors can celebrate their patriotic pride at the Wiregrass Freedom Festival at the Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College Georgia Museum of Agriculture.  Ride the 1914 Vulcan Steam Train into the Historic Village and enjoy numerous entertaining games and contests representative of the Wiregrass region of Georgia during the early 20th century.  All ages can enjoy traditional baseball, watermelon samples, and challenge their historic vocabulary knowledge with trivia in the Wiregrass School House. Guests can enjoy cane pole fishing in the Grist Mill Pond. Victorian-era paper firework crafts will add to the atmosphere. New this year is a watermelon decorating contest! Contest rules require watermelons to be decorated offsite and brought to the Museum for entry. More information on contest rules can be found at Watermelons can be submitted on Friday, June 30 from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. or Saturday, July 1 from 9:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. at the welcome desk inside the Main Museum located adjacent to I-75. Winners will be announced at 1:00 p.m. on the Museum’s Facebook page. The action-packed list of activities begins at 9 a.m. and continues until 4 p.m. at the Museum, located just off I-75 in Tifton. Museum Director Garrett Boone said “The event will highlight the history of America as we celebrate our great nation through fun, educational, and unique activities for the whole family. Celebrate the holiday with old-fashioned fun in the Historic Village.” Cool off with a slice of watermelon at the Cravey House or a hand-dipped ice cream from the Drug Store. Enjoy other sweet treats from Cole’s Cakery and Wilma’s Place when you visit the Tift House Lawn. Guests can break from fun in the sun at two comfort stations complete with shade and water. The Wiregrass Farmers Market will also be open for visitors. Local growers and producers will be offering fresh-picked produce from 9 a.m. until noon as well as hand-made goods for sale at the Market located under the pole barn behind the Country Store.    Admission for the day is $12 for adults, $10 for senior citizens, $8 for children 5–16 years of age, and free for children four and under. For more information, interested persons can contact the Museum at (229) 391-5205.  
June 5, 2023

Georgia Museum of Agriculture announces watermelon decorating contest

The Georgia Museum of Agriculture is introducing a new activity for this year's Wiregrass Freedom Festival - a watermelon decorating contest! Details and rules are below. All ages are welcome to participate! Each participant must create their own decorated watermelon at home. Must use a real watermelon, no other items will be accepted. Paint, markers, glue, and other decorations are acceptable. No carved melons, please! Melons may be pierced with toothpicks to attach decorations but may not be cut with a knife or carving tool. There is no theme. Be creative! Melons can be dropped off on Friday, June 30th from 10:00 am - 4:00 pm, or Saturday, July 1 between 9:00 am – 11:00 am. Please deliver melons to the welcome desk inside the Main Museum located adjacent to I-75. Winners will be announced on the Museum’s Facebook page on July 1 at 1:00 pm. You do not have to be present to win. Watermelons must be picked up by 2:30 pm on July 1, or they will be assumed by the Museum. Contact the Museum with questions at (229) 391-5208 or
March 29, 2023

ABAC’s Georgia Museum of Agriculture Launches Summer 2023 Youth Volunteer Program

Young adults ages 13-17 can enjoy immersive experiences and prepare themselves for the future as part of the Youth Volunteer Program at the Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College Georgia Museum of Agriculture (GMA). The program is designed to offer youth an opportunity to learn about the past, gain hands-on experience in the modern professional environment, and prepare them to become active participants in their community. Youth volunteers gain hands-on experience in museum operations such as providing public programs and learning historic skills such as woodworking and fabric arts. Along the way, youth volunteers make new friends, discover new skills, and earn volunteer hours. Youth volunteer a minimum of 30 hours during the summer and another 30 hours during the school year to assist with interpretation and museum operations including special events. Many of the students enjoy volunteering well beyond the minimum required hours as they discover numerous different avenues to get involved in museum operations. The summer portion of the youth volunteer program begins on June 1 and continues through mid-July. The summer schedule for youth volunteers includes activities on Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in June and July. Youth volunteers may also choose to volunteer additional days during the year as their schedule permits. Interested youth can register at Registration is due by May 5and can be emailed to, or mailed to Sara Hand, ABAC’s Georgia Museum of Agriculture, 1392 Whiddon Mill Rd., Tifton, GA 31793. Participants will be contacted following receipt of their application to schedule a brief orientation meeting with Museum staff to review additional program details. For more information on the Youth Volunteer Program, interested persons can contact Hand at (229) 391-5208 or at