Farm Progress

Updates include a new visitor’s center, guest animal barn and other features.

Paula Mohr, Editor, The Farmer

March 1, 2017

2 Min Read
GRAND OPENING: Visitors will see the new and the old at Oliver Kelley Farm’s grand opening May 6-7.

Visitors are welcome to attend the grand opening of the renovated Oliver Kelley Farm, near Elk River, on the first weekend in May.

The state of Minnesota helped fund the $10.5 million revitalization project to update and expand on-site facilities.

The Kelley farm is home to the original 189-acre parcel of land that Oliver Kelley farmed in the mid-19th century. Kelley helped to found the National Grange in 1867. Forty acres that Kelley cultivated are still in operation, and 15 acres are devoted to telling the story of agriculture from 1900 to today.

The Kelley farm welcomes nearly 30,000 visitors per year, including 15,000 students on field trips from more than 60 school districts.

New buildings and activities include:

• The Visitor Center is complete with classrooms, a teaching kitchen, a community room, a STEM-based exhibit, a retail area and staff support space. Videoconferencing and internet access will be available here so the farm’s programs can reach schools throughout the state.
• A guest animal shelter is on-site for visiting animals from program partners. Here, visitors can interact with and learn more about today’s farm animals. A maintenance building and a maintenance barn are located nearby.
• A four-season lunchroom-classroom-shelter building has been built as well.

The special weekend opens with an invitation-only breakfast for donors on May 6, followed by the public opening at 10 a.m. Celebration activities include guest chef demos in the learning kitchen, planting a seed cup, making your own vinaigrette to take home, and playing 19th-century games.

The grand opening will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 6-7. The farm is located on Highway 10, between Anoka and Elk River, at 15788 Kelly Farm Road NW, Elk River. Site admission is from $6 to $12; Minnesota Historical Society members get in free.

Visit mnhs.org/kelleyfarm for more information about the Oliver Kelley Farm and its grand opening.

 

About the Author(s)

Paula Mohr

Editor, The Farmer

Mohr is former editor of The Farmer.

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