Tidewater representatives, UGA Provost S. Jack Hu and  University of Georgia-Tifton Assistant Dean Joe West in front of one of the tractors donated to UGA-Tifton this fall.

Tidewater representatives, UGA Provost S. Jack Hu and University of Georgia-Tifton Assistant Dean Joe West in front of one of the tractors donated to UGA-Tifton this fall.

TIFTON — A partnership between Tidewater Equipment Company and the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences has led to the UGA Tifton campus receiving two tractors this fall to aid with field research.

The partnership allows researchers and field managers at UGA-Tifton to use the Case IH tractors before Tidewater replaces them with a new set in six months. Joe West, assistant dean for UGA-Tifton, said this partnership allows the university to save money and dedicate more resources to science.

One tractor is housed at the Plant Science Farm at UGA-Tifton, while the other is located at the campus’ Lang-Rigdon Farm but both are used at multiple UGA research farms in the area.

These tractors are complex, modern and up-to date and feature components, such as auto-steer technology, that are extremely beneficial to precision agriculture. Andy Carter, superintendent for field research services at UGA-Tifton, said having the best equipment available increases productivity among farm managers and researchers.

“The partnership provides the necessary up-to-date equipment for employees who are managing these farms, and having modern equipment allows them to be more productive and boosts their morale,” Carter said.

Both tractors are being used where research is performed on peanuts, cotton and several vegetable crops. The tractors are also used on projects funded by agencies such as the Georgia Peanut Commission, Georgia Cotton Commission and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Scott Tubbs, a cropping systems agronomist at UGA-Tifton, said having modern equipment helps the university when applying for grants to fund research.

“The contributions made through this partnership can help us get additional justification on grant funds from granting agencies,” Tubbs said.

This partnership also prepares students for the future by allowing them to gain experience with technology currently being used by farmers.

“[Students] learn that technology hands-on, so when they leave here they will already know the technology,” said West. “We want our people to be leaders in their field. When they go into whatever career endeavor they’re pursuing, they will be ready to lead and teach.”

Kayla Smith, a marketing representative for Tidewater, said educating future agriculture professionals is a key reason the company started the partnership.

“We partnered with UGA because we find agriculture education is very important and we know UGA has great education programs. We were excited to work with UGA to be able to help ag- education,” said Smith.

Because both Tidewater Equipment Company and UGA are driving economic forces in Tifton, this partnership also helps the region economically.

“We greatly appreciate Tidewater and their support,” said West. “It means a lot to the research being conducted here and the support it provides as we train future agriculture leaders.”

For more information about UGA-Tifton, visit https://tifton.caes.uga.edu.

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