The National Agricultural Center & Hall of Fame, which is based in Bonner Springs, Kan., will be closing its doors.
The museum blames a tough economic climate for a decrease in donations and corporate support. The Ag Center, as it’s often known, says it plans to close for the rest of 2014 while it seeks more funding and charts a way forward.
“It’s expensive to run the facility on a day-to-day basis and when we lost some private funding we just had to make some tough decisions,” said Jody Albers, president of the Ag Center’s Board of Directors.
The museum’s season normally runs from April to November and the Ag Center says temporary workers will staff events already scheduled at the center for this summer. Albers, though, says she’s hopeful the museum will re-open for the 2015 season.
“Our board is very optimistic,” Albers said.
While daily attendance and event bookings have grown in recent years, according to Albers, with five buildings sitting on more than 150 acres, the museum and grounds are expensive to run.
The museum was chartered by Congress in 1960 as a monument to U.S. agriculture. But it doesn’t receive any federal, state or local funding.
Read more about the center's funding challenges in this 2011 Harvest Public media report.