From the Minnesota Historical Society:
Governor Dayton signed the capital budget / bonding bill Tuesday, June 17, 2014, which includes a $10.5 million request for the Minnesota Historical Society’s Oliver H. Kelley Farm in Elk River. This project provides for expanded educational programs supported by an improved visitor center and new farm buildings that are able to accommodate the growing number of Minnesotans coming to learn about farming and food in the past, present and future.
Once complete, the renovations will allow the farm to serve thousands of additional visitors per year. The plan will:
- Increase the size of the visitor center, bringing visitor amenities up to current standards.
- Develop interactive, changing exhibits and expand public program space.
- Create engaging classrooms.
- Add videoconferencing and internet access so the farm’s programs can reach schools throughout the metro area and Greater Minnesota.
- Create a guest animal shelter for visiting animals from program partners where visitors can interact with and learn more about today’s farm animals.
- Build a four-season shelter for school group lunches, additional programming and community rental space.
- Create a teaching kitchen for demonstrations and workshops regarding cooking, food preservation and healthy eating.
- Expand and modernize the restrooms, including adding a family restroom.
- Expand staff support space and storage areas.
- Overhaul and increase maintenance support areas.
Final design work will begin this summer, with construction work slated to begin in early 2015. A grand opening of the new visitor center and support buildings is planned for May 2016.
“Students from across the state will have access to hands-on learning in state-of-the-art facilities. But it’s even bigger than that. The new visitor center and expanded programming will help us reach families and tourists too, to share the story of Minnesota’s farm-to-table agriculture and its role in today’s global economy.”
– MNHS CEO and Director Steve Elliott
A huge THANK YOU goes out to all of the Friends of the Kelley Farm and everyone who showed their support for the Farm in the last few years as this capital request was being developed and deliberated. We can’t wait to present our updated facilities and programming! READ MORE ABOUT OUR PLANS >