County’s ag building is asset for community

Published 9:10 am Friday, June 1, 2012

There’s no doubt that agriculture is the key industry in Decatur County, and that’s one reason why we are so excited to see the new agriculture building almost completed.

The new 9,724-square-foot building, located on Coachman Street adjacent to the Cloud Livestock Facility, will house the Decatur County Cooperative Extension Service as well as the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) and Natural Resources Conservation Service (NCRS). In addition, the county’s 4-H program will be housed in the building.

The existing building that houses these offices was built in the 1950s, has a leaky roof, and is in a general state of disrepair. The new building contains more space, and is built with “green efficiency” in mind — for example, all of the flooring is made from recycled material.

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Farmers who use the services of the FSA and NRCS, as well as students who enjoy the county’s 4-H programs, will enjoy the benefits that the new building provides. The building includes a small kitchen, which could be used for future cooking classes, and a large conference room.

In addition, the county did a good job of saving money by utilizing inmate labor for much of the construction. Even federal officials visiting the building for inspections remarked at the quality of its construction.

The building will have its public open house Friday, June 15, likely at 10 a.m., and we hope that the citizens will get a chance to visit the county’s newest asset.