May 29, 2015
                                  Tifton, Georgia                                    
                      (478) 227-7126


University of Georgia, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences

A "green superfood" is making its way into the mainstream and into the fields of southwest Georgia farms, according to a University of Georgia vegetable expert.

In the past, kale has been grown for use as a garnish for salad bars. Increased consumer demand in connection with kale's many health benefits has Georgia farmers planting, and selling, more of the leafy green, said

UGA Photo

University of Georgia Extension horticulturist Tim CoolongGeorgia growers who have traditionally cultivated collard, mustard and turnip greens have now added kale.

"Consumer demand has increased, so large growers have been asked to grow it," Coolong said. "They can sell what they're growing, and because of the demand they can sometimes market it at a higher price point than other greens. If consumers demand it, growers will grow it."


Kale is typically grown like other greens, making it easy for existing growers to incorporate it into their farming systems, he said. Kale has a similar flavor to traditional greens, and there are multiple ways to prepare it. Its growing popularity is linked to its perceived health benefits, according to Coolong.


"Researchers have focused on the impact of lutein levels in kale, with some studies showing that a lutein-rich diet, featuring vegetables such as kale, can help slow macular degeneration along with a number of other positive health attributes," Coolong said. "Although many associate high levels of carotenoids with more colorful vegetables, kale has long been known to have abundant levels of carotenoids, among the highest levels of all vegetables."


According to the National Institutes of Health, dietary carotenoids are thought to decrease the risk of disease, particularly certain cancers and eye disease.


"Leafy crops are good to eat, and other greens can be just as nutritious as kale," Coolong said.


With such a high demand placed on kale, UGA researchers are evaluating a wider selection of varieties that growers may plant. Seed supplies of some of the more traditional varieties have been short due to the increase in popularity, Coolong said.




Frank Sayles Jr. of Tifton is announcing his candidacy to represent District Four on Tifton City Council.


"Tifton is a great city, and its best days are still ahead," Sayles said. "I would be honored to represent our citizens as we help Tifton grow while maintaining our quality of life."


Sayles said it is important for the city and county to work together and to have a clear vision of where we want to go as a community.


"No one person has all the answers; it takes a team. Better decisions are made when we open the process and get ideas from each other and move forward in unity," Sayles said. "Tifton can once again become the shining star of South Georgia. We can recapture the 'can-do' spirit that marked our city in its earlier days.


"We must always have pride in our past, belief in our present and faith in our future."


Sayles has extensive involvement in the community, currently serving as incoming president of the Tifton-Tift County Foundation for Educational Excellence; serving on the board of the United Way of South Central Georgia, where he has been president and campaign chairman; sitting on the board of the Tifton Rotary Club, where he is a past president; and serving as vice-chairman and a founding member of the Tifton-Tift County Public Library Foundation. He served two terms as president of the Tiftarea YMCA; has been vice-chairman of the Tifton-Tift County Chamber of Commerce; has served as secretary of the Tifton Merchants Association; has spent several years on the steering committee for Tifton's Hometown Holidays Christmas Celebration; and has helped oversee the operation of the Downtown Tifton Farmers Market and the Tift Theatre.


He created the Downtown spring and fall "Concerts in the Garden," which, for more than eight years, offered the community a free Friday concert while recognizing and celebrating local talent and bringing folks to Downtown Tifton.


Sayles currently manages an assisted living facility in Tifton and also operates a marketing business. He spent about a dozen years as publisher of The Tifton Gazette and previously served as an editor, reporter and newspaper executive at papers in Valdosta and Dalton, Ga.; in Florence and Charleston, S.C.; and in Virginia and West Virginia.


As a journalist, he has covered government at all levels -- from city councils, state legislatures, governor's offices, Congress and the presidency, interviewing four Presidents of the United States. He also was involved as an industry leader, serving as president of the Georgia AP (Associated Press) Association in Atlanta; serving on the board of the Georgia Press Educational Foundation; serving as a committee chairman of the Georgia Press Association; and conducting seminars for the Southern Newspapers Publishers Association.


Sayles also has assisted with delivering Dale Carnegie classes in Tifton and Valdosta, and has been a trainer for an international publishing company, conducting management and sales seminars throughout the United States and Canada.


A graduate of Old Dominion University, Sayles has had management training at the Medill School of Journalism and the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, and has attended people management training in Orlando at the Disney Institute.


He resides in Tifton's Historic District with his wife, Bonnie, and son Nick.

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On Thursday, June 4, "Swamp Gravy," the Official Folk Life Play of Georgia, will present a one-hour performance for the South Georgia Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church.


This free event is open to the communityThe special theatrical presentation will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the University of Georgia Tifton Conference Center.


While steeped in Southern tradition, "Swamp Gravy" presents stories of universal appeal -- stories about life and death, about family, and community.


"'Swamp Gravy' is about how people grew up in the little town of Colquitt, Ga.," said Tyron Spearman, coordinator of the Tifton-Tift County Tourism Association, a member of Tifton First United Methodist Church, and chairman of Tifton First UMC's communications committee. "They tell the real stories of yesteryear."


The stories celebrate Southwest Georgia's rural life, culture and diversity. Colquitt's volunteer actors perform inspiring productions that include comedy, music and choreography, and tell family stories from daily life, tall tales, and Southwest Georgia folklore.


"Swamp Gravy tells true life stories of Colquitt (Miller County) and Southwest Georgia, featuring original music and local talent," said Katherine A. Willis, artistic director for the Colquitt/Miller Arts Council. "Our performance for the Methodist Conference will center around the fiery preacher from one of our most iconic productions, 'Swamp Gravy: The Gospel Truth,' and his famous sermon on the 10 Commandments. Illustrating his sermon will be scenes and music from other popular productions in our 23-year history, spicing up the sermon with emotion and humor that we all can relate to."


Tifton and Tift County look forward to hosting the South Georgia Conference again this year, Spearman said.


"We've been looking for something that we could do on behalf of the citizens of Tifton to show our appreciation for the conference coming (here), and we thought it would be a great idea to sponsor this and invite the community so all of us can be together and enjoy the 'Swamp Gravy' production."





It's time for the biannual South Georgia Photography competition and exhibit sponsored by the Tifton Museum of Arts and Heritage.  


Professional and amateur photographers, ages 18 and up, may submit photographs for the event scheduled June photography 19-July 10 at the museum.


Photographers may submit a maximum of three photographs. The best will be included in the exhibit and will be eligible for prizes totaling $800. A qualified judge will choose the prize winners, who will be announced at an opening reception. Emphasis will be placed on creativity, originality and quality of work.


A non-refundable fee of $5 must accompany each print submitted. They must be brought to the museum on Tuesday or Wednesday, June 16 or 17 from 4-7 p.m. All photos must be framed and ready to hang, and may be no smaller than 8"x10" and no larger than 36"x36," including framing.


A complete list of rules, plus a required application form, may be found on the museum's website, or contact Jeannie Rigdon, 229-382-5083 or email


An opening reception will be 5:30-7:30 p.m. Friday, June 19.  Admission is free. The exhibit will continue through July 10 and will be open Tuesdays - Fridays, 1- 5 p.m.; Thursdays, 1- 7 p.m.; and Sundays, 1-3 p.m.  The museum is in downtown Tifton at 255 Love Ave.


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Tifton, Georgia

             a Glance 

  • Loop the Lake 5k/1-mile run/walk, 8 a.m., Lake Blackshear Resort, Cordele
  • Downtown Farmers Market, 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Train Depot Platform, Tifton
  • Wiregrass Farmers Market, 9 a.m.-noon, Ga. Museum of Agriculture, Tifton

In Memoriam

MAY 21

Eugene Willis Gibbs, 94, Brookfield

Albert M. Hill Sr., 78, Brookfield
 Gregory Hill Griffin, 54, Savannah

Harold David Conger, 64, Nashville

Mary Ellen Carmichael, 85, Irwin County
Charles Jack Sargent, 79, Milledgeville


MAY 22

Dr. Sammie D. Dixon, 75, Tifton

Frances Murphy, 90, Adel
 Thomas (Tom) Dillon, 87, Sycamore

Patricia Sutton, 85, Adel

 David Jones, 59, Sylvester

MAY 23

Leonard Carl Griffin Sr., 64, Vienna 

Hubert Lamar Kennedy, 64, Tifton 


MAY 24

Sylvia Crum Evans, 81, Tifton 

Gary Garrett, 56, Sparks 


MAY 25

Tracy Henry Green, 51, Eldorado 

Jane Ellen Paulk Day, 72, Chula

Daisy Joiner Ross, 61, Ocilla
John Alberson, TyTy 


MAY 26

Leora "Lee" Francis Johns, 77, Sylvester 

Carolyn Griffin Odem, 93, Sylvester

Mary Jane Williams, 89, Nashville
Thelma Jean Davis, Ashburn 


MAY 27

Jean Elizabeth Warren, 82, Adel 

James E. Henderson, 69, Eldorado

Velma Lee Mitchell, 78, Fitzgerald

Betty Joyce Tankersley Walters, 85, Ocilla

Margaret Adams, 94, Fitzgerald

MAY 28

Clara Mallard Tubbs, 90, Chula  




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