Celebrates 40th anniversary of “one of the largest farms in the world”
Posted on June 22, 2019
MEMPHIS, Tenn., June 22, 2019 – United States Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today joined the Memphis community in celebrating Agricenter’s 40th anniversary. As governor, Alexander worked with the Tennessee General Assembly to secure $4.5 million in state funds to build the Agricenter.
“Agriculture is one of, if not the, most important industry in our state. More than 66,000 Tennessee farms contribute tens of billions of dollars a year to our state’s economy,” Alexander said. “My priority for Memphis as governor was jobs – helping Memphis be more of what it naturally is, America’s distribution center. That’s why my first act as governor in 1979 was creating the Memphis Jobs Conference, which led to $20 million in state funds to restore Beale Street, the Orpheum Theater and the Cook Convention Center and to build the Agricenter.”
“I specifically worked with the state legislature to secure $4.5 million for the Agricenter Commission, which worked on plans to build a 30,000-ft. facility to house agriculture equipment and offices. … I thought it was important for folks in the agriculture community and in the region to know the needs and problems of the industry and come forward with a project based on the future and would address the needs in a workable fashion.
“Because of the contributions of Bill Morris, Ham Smythe, Lee Mallory, and so many more, the Agricenter has been a huge success story in Tennessee. There are more than 550 people who work at the Agricenter, which contributes over $524 million a year to the local economy. It is one of the largest farms in the world -- attracting more than 1.3 million people to the campus annually, including more than 25,000 children, with over 10,000 participating in educational programs. And it has partnered with over 60 companies to research best practices for 21st century agriculture.”
Alexander concluded, “For over 40 years, Agricenter has invested in the Memphis community, and I know it will continue to bring people together, invest in agricultural education and research and successfully adapt to the changes in our new economy.”