Volunteer Spotlight - Mr. Brad S. Barbee CGM - Keep Tift Beautiful (KTB)

Volunteer Spotlight - Mr. Brad S. Barbee CGM
Keep Tift Beautiful (KTB) Board

Originally from Ashburn, GA, Mr. Brad Barbee followed his “true passion” and began a professional career in golf course/ grounds management at Tifton Family Golf/Turf Farms in 1997. He graduated from ABAC in 1999 with an Associates of Applied Science in Environmental Horticulture/Golf Course Management. Upon graduation, Mr. Barbee accepted a position in Newnan, GA as an Assistant Superintendent at the Newnan Country Club. In 2001, Barbee relocated to Washoe Valley, NV to serve as an Assistant Superintendent at Thunder Canyon Country Club. After electing to move closer to home, he accepted a job in 2003 at World Woods Golf Resort in Brooksville, FL, until he was promoted to Superintendent of the Rolling Oaks course. In 2008, an opportunity became available at ABAC to serve as the ABAC Grounds Manager. In 2013, Barbee became the 158th Certified Grounds Manager with the Professional Grounds Management Society. While working at ABAC, he enrolled and graduated in 2015 with a BAS in Turfgrass. Mr. Barbee currently lives with his wife and three daughters in his childhood home in Sycamore, GA. The City of Tifton is grateful for Mr. Barbee’s generous time and service to our community.

We asked Mr. Barbee to answer a few questions about his time on the KTB Board and what it means to him.

How long have you served on the KTB Board? 
2 years.

What motivated you to volunteer your time and serve on our city board?
The president’s office at ABAC was looking for interested individuals to serve on the KTB board, as an ABAC representative and after speaking with a few board members, I felt that I could be of service to KTB. I joined KTB in this capacity and soon fell in love with the organization and was voted in as President for the 2018-19 terms. Grounds management and Horticulture are my passion, so I think KTB and I make a good partnership.

What is the most memorable accomplishment of your volunteer experience?
Working with some great volunteers at the KTB Community Garden and watching us grow together as individuals, as we grow our garden! The garden represents the community and by KTB managing the garden, we have a vested interest in not only providing a safe and beautiful garden for our community to enjoy but also to educate others on the importance of proper composting, pollination efforts and maintaining our waterways. Seeing what the garden has become in just 2 years, is a true testament of good folks doing great things, by working together to accomplish goals for our vision.

We have 100% occupancy of the planter boxes and they are all now teaming with life. Karen Harris, is our Garden Coordinator and has done a quality job in managing the property, recruitment of passionate gardeners and now, there is a waiting list and a strong need for building even more planter beds! Future plans are to build more box planters in the fall, with some being handicap/bending impaired accessible! You can say we are growing not only fruits, flowers and vegetables, but people as well and it feels so good to be a part of something so great! 

What other boards, civic groups, and communities have you served on?
Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College - Kappa Sigma Fraternity – 2015 Campus Advisor – current, Tree Campus USA – 2013 Founding Chairman – current, BASS Club advisor 2008 – 2015, Physical Plant Safety Coordinator – 2013, Alumni Association Board Member – 2017 – current

Keep Tifton Beautiful – ABAC Representative 2017, President 2018 - current

Sports Turf Managers Association – GA Chapter - New Membership Committee – 2013, 14 Chairman

 Professional Grounds Managers Society / Georgia Chapter – VP 2015-2016 and President 2017-2018

What encouragement would you give others who are thinking about serving on a City Board?
Go all in and select something that you will be passionate about! Life is too short to be doing something you dislike and volunteering for a City Board position should be not only fun and rewarding but give you a sense of pride, knowing you’re giving back to your community. After you select an area that suits your passion, share that passion with the others in your group and do great things! There is no greater feeling in working well with others to accomplish goals and visions set in place and making our community better today and tomorrow.

Although there is not currently an open position on the Keep Tift Beautiful (KTB) board, The City of Tifton currently has a vacancy on the Historic Preservation Commission (HPC).  If you are interested in serving on the HPC or another City Board, please contact Jessica Jones at 229-391-3970 or jjones@tifton.net.