April 29, 2004
Tifton-- Major traffic arteries meet in Tift County. Highway 82 crosses Highway 41 and Interstate 75. It's also a place where the region's past intersects with its future.
If you want to step back in time, the Georgia Agrirama is the place to be. "We want to show how life was in rural wiregrass Georgia," says Agrirama Curator John Johnson.
That's just what visitors to the state's official living history and agriculture museum get. "They get a glimpse into how life was in the late 1800s and early 1900s," said Johnson.
Middle school students from Alpharetta, are some of the 50,000 people who will visit this farming village re-creation this year. "The rural farmers could grow and live off most everything they produced except for a few items," Johnson said.
The Agrirama's goals are preservation and education. "To show how their ancestors worked and strived and had to work hard to make a living. And to show where they came from, so we kinda get an idea of where we're going."
And this is where Tifton is going. "This 32 million project is the largest such project in the nation," said ABAC President Dr. Mike Vollmer. This 835-apartment residential development is changing the ABAC campus.
It may also help the college help Tifton become the center for agricultural research in the southeast. "We want to attract agricultural research, not only start-up firms but larger firms to this area. We want to bring in those high-tech jobs that right now we're lacking," Vollmer says.
As ABAC's President and the Chairman of the Chamber Board, Mike Vollmer is one of many Tifton leaders looking ahead. “It's a very, very good progressive city, but we realize that what's good today won't be good tomorrow."
But in Tifton it's easy to see that what's good for the future has deep roots in the past.
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