South Georgia farmer Philip Grimes was named the Swisher Sweets/Sunbelt Expo Southeastern Farmer of the Year on Tuesday at the Sunbelt Expo in Moultrie.The Tifton resident, who was nominated by former University of Georgia Extension agent Brian Tankersley, credits UGA Extension for his success in the field and with Tuesday’s distinguished award.“It’s a very humbling experience,” said Grimes, who is the first Georgia farmer to win the award since 2010. “Extension is very important to what we do as far as making decisions based on what they’re telling us.”Grimes has farmed for 37 years and operates 2,210 acres with peanuts, cotton, cantaloupes, broccoli, snap beans and corn. The Grimes family’s farming business has grown from 200 acres of rented farmland in the mid-70s. The biggest portion of his land — 850 acres — is planted in cotton, but he also operates Docia Farms and a state-of-the-art cantaloupe packing shed.“Philip has been outstanding in his yields. He does an extra amount of management. You can go back to probably five years ago and ask him what he planted on a certain field and he could tell you when he planted in that field and he can tell you what the field made,” Tankersley said.With the Southeastern Farmer of the Year award, Grimes wins a $15,000 cash prize and use of a Massey Ferguson tractor for a year from Massey Ferguson North America.Farmers from 10 states vied for the annual award, including Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.Along with being an accomplished farmer, Grimes is active in the Tifton community. He is a member of the Tift County Farm Bureau, Tift County Extension Leadership Advisory Group and was named the Chamber of Commerce Farmer of the Year.“I love to farm, and (I) am real passionate about my crops,” said Grimes after being named the Georgia Farmer of the Year earlier this year. “I’ve been blessed by God, and he’s guided me for years and years. It’s just a blessing that I have what I have.”
Topics : TikTok on Monday stepped up its defense against US accusations that the popular video app is a national security threat, denouncing what it called “rumors and misinformation” about its links to the Chinese government.The video-snippet sharing service launched an online information hub as its Chinese parent firm faced a deadline set by President Donald Trump to divest TikTok before the app is banned in the United States.On a web page titled “The Last Sunny Corner of the Internet,” TikTok maintained it was setting the record straight about the platform. As tensions soar between the world’s two biggest economies, Trump has claimed TikTok could be used by China to track the locations of federal employees, build dossiers on people for blackmail, and conduct corporate espionage.The US leader early this month also ordered a ban on the messaging app WeChat which is used extensively in China.On Friday, Trump signed a separate executive order for ByteDance to sell its interest in Musical.ly, the app it bought and merged with TikTok in 2017, citing national security.TikTok said the US action “risks undermining global businesses’ trust in the United States’ commitment to the rule of law, which has served as a magnet for investment and spurred decades of American economic growth.”TikTok also repeated its intention to “pursue all remedies available to us in order to ensure that the rule of law is not discarded.”China meanwhile Monday slammed Washington for using “digital gunboat diplomacy” in the TikTok case.Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian on Monday said TikTok had done everything required by the US, including hiring Americans as its top executives, hosting its servers in the US and making public its source code. But the app has been “unable to escape the robbery through trickery undertaken by some people in the US based on bandit logic and political self-interest,” Zhao said at a regular press conference.TikTok separately Monday announced an alliance with music distribution platform UnitedMasters, playing to budding artists and their fans despite US steps to bar the popular app.The deal to integrate UnitedMasters into TikTok promised to build on a trend of the platform being way for musicians to be discovered by posting short-clip videos.Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. “TikTok has never provided any US user data to the Chinese government, nor would it do so if asked,” the company said in the post.”Any insinuation to the contrary is unfounded and blatantly false.”US user data is stored here, with a backup in Singapore, according to TikTok.The company, owned by China-based ByteDance, also launched a new @tiktok_comms Twitter account to address issues in real time.