42nd Annual "Salute to Agriculture" Breakfast
Mervyn Jenkins Expo Center,
7:00 a.m., March 6th, 2009
Constitution-Tribune, Friday, 02 27 2009
CAPTION: Monsanto Mobile Technology Unit is a 53-foot long, 1,000 square-foot interactive display featuring the latest advances in seed breeding, biotechnology and new product development designed to help farmers be successful. The unit will arrive in Chillicothe Thursday, March 5, and will be available for tours Thursday and Friday.
The second annual Salute to Agriculture for Livingston County farmers will showcase the Monsanto Mobile Technology Unit, a unique showcase of agricultural science and innovation, when it appears at the Litton Agri-Science Learning Center in Chillicothe, Thursday and Friday, March 5 and 6. The Chillicothe Area Chamber of Commerce has secured Monsanto as the corporate sponsor for this year’s event. The company has sent letters to farmers within a 60-mile radius to invite them to visit their traveling exhibit. Tours for local farmers, seed dealers, ag youth and community leaders will be available from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Thursday and from 7 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Friday.
The Chillicothe Area Chamber of Commerce recognizes the vital role agriculture has played and continues to play in our area, state and nation. “We truly appreciate the efforts of those who work to promote agriculture and ag-related businesses and we are pleased to be able to stage this event again this year,” said Martha Berry, a member of the Chamber board of directors, who again is co-chairing this year’s event with Mayor Chuck Haney. The Chamber is excited to have the Monsanto Company come aboard as the corporate sponsor of the event and to bring their unique and traveling exhibit here for two days. “On behalf of Monsanto and Brenda Cockrell, customer relations manager, we want to say thank you,” said Chamber President Diane Garber.
Monsanto will also be sponsoring an Ag Day Breakfast at 7 a.m. on Friday, March 6, at the Mervyn Jenkins Expo Center with the Chillicothe Area Chamber of Commerce. Assisting the Chamber with the breakfast will be the ag instructors and Chillicothe FFA Chapter members. The Chamber is requireing the invited farmers of Livingston County to call the Chamber office at 646-4050 with their reservation by noon on Wednesday, March 4.
New Ag Director to Speak at Ag Day Breakfast
Constitution-Tribune, Monday, 03 02 09
Missouri Director of Agriculture Dr. Jon Hagler will deliver the keynote address for the Ag Day Breakfast at 7 a.m. this Friday, March 6, at Mervyn Jenkins Expo Center as part of the Chillicothe Area Chamber of Commerce Salute to Agriculture.
Hagler, a lifelong horseman, continues to operate a small farm near St. James, where he trains and sells Missouri Fox Trotters, the Missouri state horse. Over the past three years, Dr. Hagler served as Gov. Nixon’s principal adviser and liaison on agriculture issues and was instrumental in drafting the governor’s agricultural and environmental policies. Hagler, 41, was raised on a horse farm in Dent County and has maintained his own operation, Cheyenne Farms, since 1997. Since 2005, he has met with farmers in every corner of the state on Gov. Nixon’s behalf to learn about their operations, assess their needs and develop the governor’s agriculture policy.
Prior to becoming Gov. Nixon’s agricultural adviser on the campaign, Dr. Hagler served as the senior corporate development officer for the University of Missouri-Rolla (now, Missouri University of Science & Technology). In this capacity, Hagler served as the university’s point of contact with numerous major corporations including agricultural science and research corporations and developed a comprehensive corporate-partnership strategy.
1st Annual Ag Salute 2008
The 2009 North Missouri Prospect Steer & Heifer Show at the Livingston County 4-H and FFA Fairgrounds attracted over 110 head of cattle Saturday at the Missouri Club Calf
Association point-sanctioned junior show.
The show was held in conjunction with the Green and Gold classic,
hosted by the men of AGR, Northwest Missouri State University Chapter.
By Catherine Stortz Ripley,
Constitution-Tribune, Tuesday, 03 03 2009
$500,000 for New Ag Building
Published: Wednesday, January 21, 2009, C-T
CAPTION: The Jerry Litton Family Memorial Foundation is awarding $500,000 to the Chillicothe FFA Alumni Association to help fund construction of the new agricultural education building at the Litton Agri-Science Learning Center. Pictured are, front row, from left: Randy Constant, R-2 board president; Dr. Linda Gray Smith, R-2 superintendent; Bonnie Mitchell, Litton Foundation secretary/treasurer; Ed Turner, Litton Foundation vice president. Back row, from left: Rusty Black, Jim Grozinger and Leda Schreiner,
former agriculture instructors; Merle Doughty, Don Chapman Jr., Kenneth Churchill and Jim Summerville, Litton Foundation board members.
C-T Photo / Laura Schuler
The Jerry Litton Family Memorial Foundation is awarding $500,000 to the Chillicothe FFA Alumni Association for the new agricultural education building at the Litton Agri-Science Learning Center.
The donation, according to Ron Wolf, co-director of the GRTS, is a result of planning completed and a commitment made by the late Mildred Litton prior to her death on Dec. 25, 2008.
“The Litton Foundation has been a long-time supporter of agriculture education, FFA and other school activities,” said Wolf. He noted that the foundation has contributed more than $1.4 million to the development of the Litton Agri-Science Learning Center, the Jenkins Expo Center and to the support of student projects. “Many school projects would never have been possible without the initiative, the support and the generous contributions. The Litton Foundation is truly a loyal and committed supporter of agriculture and the FFA,” Wolf said.
The Grand River Technical School received a Vocational School Capital Improvement grant in June 2008 for up to $1.3 million to be used on the building. The grant will reimburse the R-2 district half of the total cost of the project.
The proposed agriculture building will be 15,000 square-feet and will include classrooms, a shop, laboratory, greenhouse and offices. In addition, a display dedicated to the Litton family will be included in the new facility at the Litton Center. The estimated cost for construction is $2 million.
Construction on the agriculture education building is likely to begin this summer. Bid proposals, Wolf said, will be sent out in late March to early April. Construction is hoped to be completed by the summer of 2010. The building will be located north of the parking lot of the Jenkins Expo Center and west of the Rotary shelter house.
School district plans are for the agriculture education program at Grand River Technical School to move from the GRTS to the new facility in 2010. The addition to the GRTS will allow the agriculture program to consolidate the facilities already in place at the Litton Agri-Science Learning Center. The move by the agriculture program will provide additional space at the GRTS for existing programs and the development of new programs.
The current GRTS facility was built in 1967 for 350 students and eight programs. Currently, the GRTS has over 650 students and 14 programs.
Swans at Litton Ag Center
Wednesday, November 12, 2008, C-T
CAPTION: The pond at the Litton Agri-Science Learning Center now has two new residents — tame mute swans, donated by Tom Burke, of Platte City, Mo. According to Steve Radcliff, fair board president and Jenkins Expo Center event manager, Burke raises the birds and, while visiting the facility during a cattle show in September, decided the pond should have swans. The birds arrived Saturday. They will stay on the pond until it freezes and then be brought inside the Litton center for the winter.
C-T Photo/Laura Schuler
Steam and Gas Show
- Sept 26-28, 2008
Catherine Stortz Ripley, C-T
Published: Monday, September 29, 2008
The Way We Were
CAPTION: The featured tractor of
this year’s Harvest Days was the Ford. There was also a large display of Sears and David Bradley large garden tractors. Harvest Days concluded with the antique and classic tractor pull on Sunday.
Catherine Stortz Ripley, C-T
The Livingston County Fairgrounds were filled with the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of life in the country many years ago during the 22nd annual Old Time Harvest Days. The three-day event, which ended Sunday, was sponsored by the Livingston County Steam & Gas Association whose motto is “Preserving the Past for the Future.”
The featured tractor of the this year’s Harvest Days was the Ford. There was also a large display of Sears and David Bradley large garden tractors. Harvest Days concluded with the antique and classic tractor pull on Sunday. Throughout the fairgrounds were a number of demonstrations including water well drilling and oats threshing. The old-time water well drill was powered by a single horse walking in circles as the equipment drills down. The drill was in operation Friday and Saturday until it hit rock about 15 to 16 feet below the ground’s surface. Through water witching (using a divining rod), it was believed that water was around 27 feet down. The threshing machine is owned by Larry and Mary Grothe. Association President John Meneely said the annual steam and gas association event — which was only the second one at the new fairgrounds — was successful with ideal weather conditions as well as a good number of vendors and exhibitors.
The old-time water well drill was powered by a single horse walking in circles as the equipment drills down. The drill was in operation Friday and Saturday until it hit rock about 15-16 feet below the ground's surface. Through water witching (using a divining rod), it was believed that water was around 27 feet down.
Photo by Catherine Stortz Ripley,
The Livingston County Fairgrounds were filled with the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of life in the country many years ago during the 22nd annual Old Time Harvest Days. The threshing machine is owned by Larry and Mary
Photo by Catherine Stortz Ripley,
Old Time Harvest Days
CAPTION: Tina-Avalon 5th grader Marti Mills tried her hand at grinding corn into feed.
Photo by Amanda McKay,
Steam and Gas Association Old-Time Harvest Days was crowded this morning with area elementary school students.
Dan Files of Brookfield and Ed Harper of Browning had a fire
burning this morning, creating tools with heat and pressure. After
stoking the metal in the blazing hot coals, the shape was pounded
out with a heavy mallet to form the handmade tools.
Photo by Amanda
State Budgets $1.1
Million for Ag Center
By Amanda McKay
C-T News Reporter
Published: Thursday, May 15, 2008
Grand River Technical School may soon receive $1.138 million in state funds to build a new agricultural education facility at the Litton Agri-Science Learning Center.
The agriculture program offered at GRTS currently takes up about a quarter of the space at the school and Rep. John Quinn said that building a new center will free up valuable space that GRTS desperately needs. Ron Wolf, director of GRTS, said that the current GRTS building was originally built for about 350 students and is now being used to house nearly 700.
The funding is part of the Missouri state budget set up for capital improvement projects. “Our state budget for the next fiscal year comes in at 22.4 billion dollars,” said Quinn. “We have taken the time to make sure every single dollar is being spent wisely.”
Quinn also stated that one of the most important services the government provides is education. “This marks the fourth year in a row we have increased funding to education,” said Quinn. The budget will include funding for multiple projects within the State of Missouri, including plans to build a new GRTS Ag Center. Quinn stated that he addressed the importance of Chillicothe's Grand River Technical School and how beneficial this type of program was to Missouri.
Plans would include a 15,000 square foot facility with lab space and classrooms. The ag department would then be moved to the Litton Ag Center.
"It would be to our advantage and to the teacher's advantage to have class and labs all in the same spot," said Wolf. He also stated that moving the ag department
would free up much needed space at the current school for new programs.
The newly sketched agricultural building is still in the planning stages. The new building has been reported on at board meetings but is stalemate at the current time. "We're waiting on the state," said Wolf. The governor has to sign the bill to pass. The money will then be available July 1 of the next fiscal year and then has to be spent within two years after that date.
Grand River Technical turned in an application for the funds last October. "We had support from our legislators," stated Wolf. "John Quinn and Brad Lager wrote letters of support for us to get this bill passed."
The budget bill is through appropriations and now awaits Gov. Matt Blunt's signature. The state will reimburse general revenue funds up to $1,137,500. The funds are a 50/50 local match, which means that even after the bill is signed, GRTS will need to raise matching funds for the project;
totaling $2.275 million.
Project at Litton Agri-Science Learning Center Nears Completion
Published: Friday, November 23, 2007
The final phase of a expansion project at the Litton Agri-Science Learning Center is nearing completion.
Ag Power and Structures and Ag Construction II classes in the agriculture department at Grand River
Technical School, are assisting with the construction of a pole building which measures 22 feet by 96 feet.
Click on photo to
According to Rusty Black, agriculture instructor, the building is the final phase of a three-phase project which began just over five years ago costing an estimated $75,000. Funding was provided through several area foundations including the Browning Foundation, Litton Foundation, McCall Foundation and the Livingston County Community Foundation.
The new building opens to the south of the Litton Ag Center and has the ability to divide into several pens. The new building will be used for sheep, cattle and goats.
The pens are not yet constructed but will be in the future. “The skills that the students are learning include plumbing, building construction, concrete construction, electricity and work ethic,” said Agriculture Instructor Leda Schreiner. “The skills learned will hopefully help them in some area around their own homes.”
Construction of this building is the final phase of the expansion project. The first phase began four years ago when the hog barn was expanded. The second phase of the project included finishing the interior of the original building which housed livestock. According to Black, now that livestock is not housed on the interior of the building anymore, the construction of this building was necessary.
The students, under the direction of Agriculture Instructor Keith
Dietzschold, plan to have the building completed by spring 2008.
businesses and individuals have assisted in the construction of
the building. John and Jeremy Williams of At Your Service
Construction provided professional insight, guidance, and labor.
Keith Dennis of Dennis Construction, LLC laid the underground
electric line to the new building, and Lauhoff Construction
completed the dirt work for the new building and surrounding area.
"All who utilize the Litton Center should thank the students,
advisors, and local individuals who have put their time into
making improvements to the Litton Center," Schreiner said.
"Without this type of support, the Litton Center would not be
as successful as it is today."
By Megan Neis
03 02 07
C-T Photo by Megan Neis in a plane flown by Phil Griffith
Caption: The new Livingston County 4-H and FFA Fairgrounds is taking shape with the multi-purpose expo center and the cattle building (toward the top of the picture) essentially completed. The bulk of the new fairgrounds project is being funded through donations from four local foundations and the Chillicothe Industrial Development Corporation. Funding from those sources are: Jenkins Foundation, $725,000; Litton Foundation, $400,000; Browning Foundation, $50,000; McCall Foundation, $100,000; and CIDC, $50,000.
The new Livingston County 4-H and FFA Fairgrounds is taking shape with the
multi-purpose expo center and the cattle building essentially completed.
The multi-purpose building, built by Copeland Development & Construction
Co., Inc., is 28,000 square feet 8,000 of which will be enclosed and
heated and air conditioned. When put to use for the county fair, the
enclosed portion of the expo center is where the items formerly housed in
the green building will be. The livestock shows will also be held in the
According to Ron Wolf, Grand River Technical School co-director, the wings
coming off the the multi-purpose building will house all livestock,
excluding horses. There is a walk-way between the multi-purpose building and
the cattle barn. The cattle barn was constructed by Morton Buildings Inc.
Plans to pour gravel at the new fairgrounds site is scheduled to occur once
the ground settles and dries.
Wolf reported that the Livingston County fair board is currently working on
getting an arena at the new fairgrounds. Also, in the future, the board has
plans to construct a horse barn, pour concrete, make a parking lot and
possibly construct a storage shed. The Chillicothe Rotary Club will also be
constructing a shelter house.
The 2007 Livingston County 4-H and FFA Fair
will be held at the new fairgrounds. According to Wolf, several groups have already made plans to hold events in
the multi-purpose building and livestock shows are scheduled for the
fairgrounds in April.
The bulk of the new fairgrounds project is being funded through donations
from four local foundations and the Chillicothe Development Corporation. Funding from those sources are: Jenkins Foundation, $725,000;
Litton Foundation, $400,000; Browning Foundation, $50,000; McCall Foundation, $100,000; and CIDC, $50,000.
The Chillicothe R-2 School District is the owner and operator of the new fairgrounds.
Midwest of Chillicothe Donates $20,000 to Fairgrounds Project
Monday, April 9, 2007
Bank Midwest of Chillicothe presented $20,000 to help with building the Livingston County 4-H and FFA Fairgrounds.
Bill Everett, vice president and banking center manager of Bank Midwest in Chillicothe presented the check to fair officials on Friday.
“Bank Midwest is proud to be a major contributor to the new fairground project,” said Everett. “This project is extremely important to the benefit of our youth and the future growth of Chillicothe and Livingston County.”
The $1.4 million project underway at the future site of the Livingston County 4-H and FFA Fairgrounds is progressing well. In fact, the huge multi-purpose building (now called the Jenkins Expo Building) is all but completed with three months left before the 2007 Livingston County 4-H and FFA Fair.
Pledges $50,000 for New Fairground Project
& Trust Chairman, Bill Young, has made a pledge of $50,000
from the bank to support the new construction for fairgrounds at
the Litton Agri-Science Learning Center northwest of Chillicothe.
"Citizens Bank & Trust is proud to be a lead corporate
donor funding this project that benefits our county, our school,
and our youth," said Young.
The project is a
combined effort of the Livingston County 4-H and FFA Fair Board,
Chillicothe FFA Alumni, and the Chillicothe R2 School District.
The money donated from the bank is funding the finishing work,
including drainage, of the cattle shed directly east of the
Jenkins Exposition Building.
New Building at
Fairgrounds Going Up
Multi-purpose building, cattle barn may be done by January
11 17 06 By LAURA SCHULER
The $1.4 million project underway at the future site of the Livingston County 4-H and FFA
Fairgrounds is well underway and the huge multi-purpose building and nearby cattle building are nearing completion. The
Chillicothe R-2 School Board received an update on the project during Tuesday evening's regular November meeting held at district headquarters.
"Things are looking really good," said Ron Wolf, Grand River Technical School co-director. "The multi-purpose building is really massive and it's about two-thirds done." he added, explaining that the building is expected to be completed by the end of 2006. Specifically, the multi-purpose building is 28,000 square feet - 8,000 of which will be enclosed and subsequently heated and air conditioned. When put in use for the county fair, the enclosed portion of the building is where the items formerly housed in the green building at the former fairgrounds site will likely be placed. The show ring will also be placed in the area and the wings coming off of the building will be open and house all livestock, excluding horses and cattle.
The cattle barn, located just east of the multi-purpose room is almost completed as well. Wolf said that the walkway between the multi-purpose building and the cattle barn still needs to be finished. Water, sewer, and electricity has already been installed. "The main thing we have left to do in order to have a county fair there is have the arena built," Wolf said, adding that the project will be done sometime over the winter and should be finished by next spring, depending on the weather. The campground is also expected to be completed by that time.
The bulk of the project is being funded through donations from four local foundations and the
Development Corporation. Funding from these sources are as follows:
- Jenkins Foundation, $725,000
- Litton Foundation, $400,000
- McCall Foundation, $100,000
- CIDC, $50,000
According to Chillicothe R-2 School Superintendent Dale Wallace, some of those funds have been pledged on an annual basis for a period up to five years. Wolf said that he has
received commitment from a few local banks and announcements regarding their respective donations to help fund the project will be announced
within the coming months.
The multi-purpose building, the wings off of it and the cattle barn are considered to be part of Phase 1 of the project. Phase 2, according to Wolf, includes concrete work in the cattle barn, construction of the horse barn, and building stalls for it. Wolf said that the temporary plans for the site also includes a new shelter house donated by the Chillicothe Rotary Club. He noted that bids were being taken on that project now and the building will likely go up next spring.
The site of the new Livingston County 4-H and FFA Fairgrounds encompasses 16 acres, in addition to the 22 acres currently housed in the Litton Agri-Science Learning Center, which will also be utilized during fair time.
Copeland Development & Construction Co., Inc., is the contractor for the multi-purpose building project after submitting a winning bid of $897,982. Morton Buildings Inc.,
constructed the 280 by 100 square foot cattle barn.
While the buildings at the new fairgrounds site have been going up, the ones at the former fairgrounds site, just east of Chillicothe, have been going down. According to Bob Peters, a member of the Livingston County
Fair Board's building committee, all of the buildings at the former fairgrounds have been sold to Todd and Bob
Rounkles as of Oct. 14. Peters said he was excited about the activity going on in the new fairgrounds site.
"We're pretty excited about the project. It's going to be a very attractive facility and will be a great asset to the community," Peters said.
on this project...