The Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum has completed a rebuilding project more than five years after a fire destroyed parts of their campus.
The LeFleur Museum District attraction cut a ribbon on Wednesday for their new Children’s Barnyard and multi-purpose center.
The 2,500 square feet of barns, hen stalls, turn out areas, chicken coops and a hay barn are highlights of the build. Chicken, rabbits, goats, cows, mules, pigs and “world-famous rodeo horse,” Gunsmoke, make their home here.
Mississippi Agriculture Commissioner Andy Gipson said the project does more than replace the barn that was burned in November 2014.
“We view this as a new beginning for the Ag Museum,” Gipson said. “This is the educational and outreach arm of the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce for young people, most of whom in our state have never lived on a farm, have never experienced farm life or may not know where their food comes from.”
The new Children’s Barnyard, multi-use center, antique equipment barn and maintenance shop was funded by the $1M insurance proceeds from the 2014 fire. No state dollars were needed to complete the project.
“This (barn) is for you,” Gipson said, “the children, every boy and girl in the state of Mississippi; this belongs to you.”