The dream for a Madison County Agricultural Education Center is still very much alive.
“With a project this complex, there may be periods that on the surface not much appears to be happening, but there is always behind the scenes activity,” said Ag Center Board member Thomas Harrell. “A lot of folks are involved and busy. We are steadily moving forward.”
County ag leaders aim to provide a venue off Hope Thompson Lane in Danielsville across from the high school to enhance educational opportunities for students and facilitate continuing adult education.
“Tangible community support has been incredible,” said Ag Center Board Chairman Terry Chandler. “Since organizing the non-profit structure, the ideal property adjacent to the high school was located and purchased, plans and goals were established, the mammoth grading-engineering-site preparation work has been completed, the initial joint parking is in use, and water sources are secured. To date, over $760,000 of work has been completed, all made possible by the contributions of partners in our community. We are now ready to press toward construction.”
Madison County Young Farmer Advisor and Ag Center Director Cindy Jones offered more insight into recent activity.
“Several of us involved in the project have also been working with our board of education and school administration in developing and planning the concepts for our upcoming College and Career Academy,” said Jones. “The two are completely separate, but both offer great benefits to our students. The C&C Academy will be part of the new high school, offering new opportunities in work-place readiness in areas like mechanics, welding and metal fabrication, medical and culinary fields. This includes partnership with Athens Technical College for other areas as well. The Madison County Ag Center’s design is to fill in gaps that conventional classroom models leave. Our goal is to offer hands-on learning venues to excite our students about learning, and encourage and prepare them to move forward in their education. The Center will provide even more power to the C & C Academy package! We are striving to prepare our next generation of community and industry leaders.”