To host even more shows and competitions, Michigan State University is advancing Project RAISE (Raise for Agriculture Industries, Shows and Education), which is a new initiative to expand the university’s Pavilion for Agriculture and Livestock Education.
Farm Bureau Family of Companies is getting behind the project and has pledged $100,000 toward MSU’s proposed $4 million, 40,000-square-foot expansion. The increased capacity is designed to meet the future needs of Michigan’s agricultural community.
The expansion will provide a second indoor arena, allowing concurrent events, increased animal housing, exhibit space, and an indoor area for warming up animals before events in the main arena.
“We believe this expansion effort has the potential to bolster education and awareness of Michigan’s agricultural industry, as well as create a national attraction for showcasing Michigan agricultural products, livestock, equipment and more,” says Carl Bednarski, president of Michigan Farm Bureau Family of Companies. “As the voice of agriculture, investing in and supporting programs that benefit our industry is an important tribute to our history and our future.”
Originally opened in 1996, the MSU Pavilion for Agriculture and Livestock Education typically accommodates more than 96 events annually, with numerous livestock events, including the Michigan Livestock Exhibition. The site hosts numerous instructional activities and programs targeted to 4-H and FFA youths in Michigan.
Additionally, it hosts several equine and commercial events, including the RV Show and the Annual Home and Garden Show — drawing people from all over the state and beyond.
The pavilion has a significant effect on the local economy with a cumulative economic impact (since the facility opened in 1996) estimated at more than $161 million, according to MSU. The venue brings in more than 92,000 people each year, contributing an estimated $5 million to the local economy annually.
“The proposed pavilion expansion will greatly increase the number and size of shows and events possible and is expected to directly increase the economic impact of this major venue showcasing Michigan agriculture to over $7.2 million annually to the local economy,” Bednarski says.