The Wisconsin Agricultural Education Center (WAEC), a non-profit organization which plans to build an interactive attraction that will educate the public on the role agriculture plays in daily life, has received a $5 million Non-State Grant with the recent passage of the State Budget.

The Non-State Grant allows the use of state funds on non-state construction/development projects that have a statewide public purpose. This grant is a 50% matching fund and WAEC is currently in the planning stages of a capital campaign to raise the other funds necessary to move forward with the project

“Agriculture is an $88.3 billion dollar industry for the state of Wisconsin,” noted WAEC Board President, Julie Maurer. “Our organization is thrilled that Governor Walker and members of the legislature in Madison saw the value in this project and see the benefit of investing in it to ensure a strong agricultural sector in the state.” Senator Devin LeMahieu said, “This is an exciting project – connecting consumers with food production will be great for the state.  I’m happy to have helped and worked with the organization to ensure it was supported in this budget.”

Currently the WAEC is in the planning stages of the center with exhibit development, fundraising, and the recent hiring of an executive director. Once built, the center will provide a hands-on agricultural educational opportunity for Wisconsin residents and visitors of all ages from around the world. The goal of the center is to showcase the importance of agriculture in our community, Wisconsin’s diverse agricultural landscape, how agriculture and environmental sustainability are compatible and how consumers are able to connect with their food. “We are excited to give Wisconsinites and travelers to this great state the opportunity to connect with how their food is produced,” stated Melissa Bender, WAEC Executive Director.

For more information contact Melissa Bender, 1290 North Avenue, Cleveland, WI 53015 at 920.693.1372 (office) or 920.946.9384 (cell) or at [/fusion_text]