BCFF shares plans for ag center, arena in Greenville

Published 4:48 pm Friday, September 3, 2010

If we build it, they will come. At least, that’s what the Butler County Farmers Federation is hoping as plans fall into place for an agricultural center/livestock arena and other structures on the 85 acres of land they have purchased between Highway 10 and Norman Road.

Tom Duncan of the BCFF discussed the project with members of the Greenville Rotary Club Thursday.

“We have an architect currently working on some drawings for us,” Duncan said.

“We are looking at constructing an office building where Soil Conservation and other agencies can relocate, and community center with a meeting area that could be utilized by different civic groups.”

Also envisioned on the site: an enclosed livestock center where evacuees from coastal storms could bring and house their animals in a safe, FEMA-certified structure.

Duncan said the project was still in the “crawling stages,” but citizens could look to the agricultural center in Andalusia to get an idea of what they hope to develop with the Greenville site.

“We really don’t have anything like this close by. If we could bring horse shows and other events to our town, it would be a great thing for the community,” Duncan said.

According to Duncan, the BCFF is currently seeking out grant writers to help assist in finding funds for some of the construction, and is hoping the City of Greenville will apply to bring city sewage on top of the hill (all the land is located within the city limits).

While construction on the site is still very much in the planning stages, activities are already planned for October.

“Right now, there is a 16-acre corn patch on the land, which is going to be transformed into a ‘Corn Maze’ for the fall,” said Duncan.

And while their pumpkin patch isn’t yielding much this year after a very hot summr, Duncan said there would be some small “punkin” for little ones to take home.

“We are also planning to take some hay bales out there so folks can do hay bale painting and I am working on an ear corn cannon right now,” Duncan said with a grin.

“We’ll set up some targets for that. Those are fun to shoot.”

The BCFF is looking at opening the site each weekend in October.

“Also, if there are schools interested in coming out, we will try to work it where there are volunteers during the day and have a hayride for the kids. We want this site to be something the community can enjoy this fall,” Duncan said.

Duncan said the BCFF is hoping to get as many people and organizations involved in the project as possible.

“We want to create something that will outlive all of us and bring more prosperity to the area down the road. The more folks we can get to join us, the better it’ll be for our town and our community,” he said.