The National Agriculture Center and Hall of Fame, Bonner Springs, will close its doors temporarily this season, according to an announcement today.
“The Board of Directors believes that this is an opportune time to regroup and rethink the Center’s future,” said Jody Albers, president of the Board of Directors.
“Our balance sheet is strong, and our board of directors and partners are committed to a bright future,” Albers said. Event and daily attendance have grown substantially over the last several years. The previous staff and leadership have done a tremendous job, but without continued private funding the board has had to make a tough decision, Albers said. The National Agricultural Center and Hall of Fame will be completely reimagined in the months ahead, she said.
The facilities and grounds will play host to a variety of events throughout the year. Temporary volunteer or part-time staff will be made available for scheduled events. The facility offers a variety of spaces for rent and will continue to do so during this period, she said. Staff will attend to the upkeep of the buildings and grounds and the preservation of the collection. Maintenance of the buildings and grounds will continue as usual. The community and patrons will be able to visit the website to get updates and to express thoughts on the future, she said.
Unified Government Administrator Doug Bach, installed at a meeting May 15, pointed to growth of Wyandotte County during the past several years and pledged to continue it.
“I know you expect growth to continue, not just in areas it already has, but all over the community,” he said.
“The future of Wyandotte County is bright and our community is one that has faced serious challenges and has rebuilt itself. We have become the tourism capital of Kansas, and our region,” he said.
“We have become an economic engine that keeps the Kansas economy running,. and I am asked regularly how does Wyandotte County continue with all these successes. The answer is simple, citizens who are committed to their community and the elected leaders who are dedicated to improving the quality of life from north to south and east to west,” Bach said.
He cited several new projects in the community, including the downtown healthy campus, and also thanked commissioners, employees, family and residents.
After the installation, the UG Commission discussed Community Development Block Grant funding, and appointed a committee that will look into targeting the funding to be used in tandem with economic development efforts.
Former Sen. Bob Dole came back to Kansas to visit the people who got him elected to office.
Bob Dole is truly a Kansas legend. While in office he did a lot for Kansas; in downtown Kansas City, Kan., there is a federal courthouse named after him.
“I want to thank Kansans for what they have done for me, I really appreciate that. I really miss being in office representing Kansas,” said former Sen. Bob Dole.
Dole was a student at the University of Kansas in 1945. When the war broke out he decided to volunteer for the Kansas Army Reserve and eventually he got sent to fight in the Army during World War II. He was injured and he received the Purple Heart. When he got back from the war, Kansas is where he decided to run for public office.
When asked you think of the temporary closing of the National Agricultural Hall of Fame in Bonner Springs, Kan., he replied “I was not aware that they were temporarily closed. Agriculture plays a major role in the American way of life. We should all be proud of our agricultural history. I will find out from Sen. Pat Roberts on what is going on with the National Agricultural Hall of Fame.”
Former Sen. Bob Dole was a strong advocate for the family farms, particularly in Kansas, his home state.
More than 100 people came by the Hilton Garden Inn in Kansas City, Kan., to greet him, including Congressman Kevin Yoder and State Sen. David Haley. Many marveled at Dole’s wit. For the most part he is in good health, and he still lives in Washington, D.C.