2018-06-13 / News

New FFA barn going up at Eastern Michigan State Fair


Lapeer County Agriculture Society fair board members Ian Kempf, Jeff Schluessler, John Whitaker, Dennis Root, Bryan Zender, Allen Woodworth, Steve Hansen, Jim Slack and Bill Seidell and junior fair board members Jennifer Gibbs and Keegan Houghten show off the new FFA barn under construction on the Eastern Michigan State Fairgrounds in Imlay City. 
Photo by Phil Foley Lapeer County Agriculture Society fair board members Ian Kempf, Jeff Schluessler, John Whitaker, Dennis Root, Bryan Zender, Allen Woodworth, Steve Hansen, Jim Slack and Bill Seidell and junior fair board members Jennifer Gibbs and Keegan Houghten show off the new FFA barn under construction on the Eastern Michigan State Fairgrounds in Imlay City. Photo by Phil Foley IMLAY CITY — The Future Farmers of America’s Miracle of Life and Petting Zoo will have a new, and bigger, home this year when the Eastern Michigan State Fair opens July 24 for its five-day run.

Orchard Construction is completing a new 50-by-172-foot pole barn next to the Walker Horse Barn. Fair Manager Ian Kempf said The Lapeer County Agriculture Society announced the $160,000 project earlier this year and its expected be complete by the end of the month.

Part of the cost, Kempf said, was paid for by a $23,000 grant from the Michigan Dept. of Agriculture.

Tammy Hyatt, the agriscience teacher and FFA advisor at the Lapeer County Education and Technology Center (Ed-Tech) in Attica Township, said the new space will have room for a tractor simulator, a “fake” cow and other educational exhibits.

Kempf said barn will be available for special events when it’s not being used by the FFA during the fair. The first special event in the barn will be the FFA’s annual 100-Mile Appreciation Dinner, set for July 13.

Among those being appreciated at the dinner will be Jim Riehl’s Friendly Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram. Kempf said the Lapeer dealership agreed to sponsor the barn.

“Ram has been a big supporter of FFA for several years,” said Tim Wilcox, Friendly’s sales manager. He added Ram also sponsors the Pro Bull Riding Tour and last year the dealership became an Ag Certified Dealer. “Farmers can come and buy Ram truck as an implement for farm, get a newsletter and discounts at fertilizer companies, among other benefits.

The new FFA barn, which will be painted FFA blue, wrapped with a gold stripe, replaces on old 45-by-120-foot structure. Hyatt said the FFA has gotten some large signs to put on the inside.

‘It’s going up pretty fast,” said Kempf.

— Phil Foley

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