Ag and Forestry Museum

Photo courtesy of Mississippi Ag and Forestry Museum

On November 13, 2014, disaster struck the Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum as a devastating blaze decimated favorite attractions – the veterinary infirmary, children’s barnyard and maintenance shop. But hope has not been lost. The museum received an outpouring of support from the people of Mississippi and local businesses. “In Mississippi, we are known for showing up with ‘chainsaws and casseroles’ in the midst of disaster, and this unfortunate event was no exception,” says Lise Foy, former director of the museum. Fundraising efforts are already underway to restore the lost attractions. Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Built to Amaze! presented Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce Cindy Hyde-Smith a golden hard hat and a donation to the rebuilding efforts. The Mississippi Forestry Association’s Eat in the Street dinner, the Mississippi Ag & Forestry Expo, and a Raising the Barn benefit concert have also generated money for the cause. “This fire will not stop our efforts to teach the next generation about the importance of agriculture,” says Karyn Thornhill, chairman of the Ag Museum Foundation. “The fire, while devastating, has provided us with a unique opportunity to rebuild and enhance the museum experience.” Even in the face of tragedy, the foundation board is determined to bring the museum back better than before with the addition of new exhibits to entertain and educate the public. “The Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum is one of our state’s hidden jewels. One of my goals while serving as Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce has been to enhance the museum making this unique attraction a crown jewel,” says Cindy Hyde-Smith, Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce. “While a part of history was lost during the fire, we have not lost our determination and commitment to making upgrades and improvements so that our visitors have a memorable experience when they visit our grounds. I can assure you that we will not only rebuild; we will rebuild even bigger and better.” Thanks to community support and a passionate board and staff, the Ag Museum will surpass its former glory and go on to educate countless generations about the importance of agriculture. “As we rebuild and improve the Ag Museum, our team is committed to providing the most interactive, educational experience possible,” says Aaron Rogers, executive director of the museum. “The future of the Museum is extremely exciting, and we know the people of Mississippi will be tremendously proud of the final results.” For more information about how to help, visit msagfoundation.org, call (601) 432-4500 or email [email protected]. To make a tax-deductible donation, go to the website or mail your donation to MS Ag Museum Foundation, 1150 Lakeland Drive, Jackson, MS 39216.

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