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Site approved for new agricultural history museum

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

BLISSFIELD, Mich. (AP) - A former canning company site in southeastern Michigan has been selected as the future home of an agricultural history museum.

  The Daily Telegram of Adrian reports that the Blissfield Village Council approved leasing land to the Agricultural Awareness & Preservation Museum board of directors.

  The deal includes an option to buy the property for $225,000. The council approved the measure Monday by a 7-0 vote.

Museum board member Frank Baker said the group can begin to complete the strategic plan for the museum, which will educate the public on the history and importance of agriculture. They hope to raise about $8 million for construction and to buy more property to host agriculture-related events.

  The museum's board looked at other sites, but decided on Blissfield because of its rich agricultural heritage. The village is about 55 miles southwest of Detroit.

  Farming artifacts and children's toys will be among the items displayed.

  A design concept shown in May showed the 30,000-square-foot museum as three connected barns. It would have two floors with the upper mezzanine overlooking the entire main floor. Adjacent land could be used as a classroom setting and a demonstration farm.

  Fundraising is to continue throughout next year. A groundbreaking could be held in late 2015. Officials are targeting 2017 for the museum's opening.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.