Van Buren County awarded $150,000 grant to construct new agriculture education building

By | March 8, 2018 8:23 am

Chris Binkley, University of Tennessee Extension agent, and Daniel Owens, soil conservationist, recently joined Van Buren County Mayor Greg Wilson as he signed to accept a $150,000 grant to build a new agriculture education building. (Photo courtesy of Van Buren County mayor’s office)

Officials with Van Buren County, including Chris Binkley, University of Tennessee extension agent and soil conservationist Daniel Owens joined Van Buren County Mayor Greg Wilson, on March 6, for the acceptance of a $150,000 grant that will provide multiple usages for the county.

Van Buren County received notification, in January 2018, that the county had been awarded a grant from the Tennessee Department of Agriculture in the amount of $150,000. Now that the county has officially signed to accept the grant, the county continues toward achieving their 2018 improvement goals for the county.

Van Buren County will now move forward with the construction of a new agriculture education building, which is slated to serve multiple purposes for the county. This new building will be replacing the existing fair building, which has structural and foundation issues.

A parking lot located adjacent to the fairgrounds and existing county administration building will become the home of the new agriculture education building. The state grant requires the county to make an in-kind contribution, which Wilson stated the county anticipates it will invest approximately $25,000 to $35,000 in this project.

According to Wilson, the new agriculture education building, once built, will become the new home of the Van Buren County 4-H and Van Buren County Soil Conservation offices. Additionally, the building will serve as the new exhibit building for the Van Buren County Fair.

The University of Tennessee has already announced they will be purchasing new tables and chairs, as well as furnish the kitchen and offices in the new building.

Wilson also stated that this much needed new building can be used for cattle sales. The county plans to host cattle sales at the agriculture education building once a quarter.

The county anticipates beginning the construction process within the next 30-60 days.

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