Lansing, Mich. - April 5, 2021 -- The Farm Bureau Family of Companies has announced a $100,000 pledge to benefit Michigan State University's Project RAISE (Raise for Agriculture Industries, Shows and Education), an initiative to expand the university's Pavilion for Agriculture and Livestock Education.
MSU has proposed a $4 million, 40,000-square-foot expansion through Project RAISE to increase capacity and 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 prior to 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,' said Michigan Farm Bureau Family of Companies President Carl Bednarski. '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 over 96 events annually, with numerous livestock events, including the Michigan Livestock Exhibition. The Pavilion also hosts numerous instructional activities and programs targeted to 4-H and FFA youth in Michigan.
The Pavilion also hosts several equine and commercial events including the RV Show and the Annual Home and Garden Show -- drawing people from all over the state of Michigan and beyond. Beyond the recreational and educational value of the numerous events held to both exhibitors and spectators, the Pavilion also has a significant impact on the local economy.
The cumulative economic impact since the facility opened in 1996 is 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 said.