Chamber Receives Three Star Grant for DeKalb Agriculture Building

July 14, 2022
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The Smithville-DeKalb County Chamber held a Ribbon Cutting ceremony at the DeKalb County Agriculture Building Wednesday during the DeKalb County Fair to celebrate the new interior projects. With the support of the DeKalb County Mayor’s office, the Chamber applied for and was awarded a $50,000 Three Star Grant to create a commercial kitchen and 2 meeting/classroom spaces for the new agriculture building.

According to Chamber Director Suzanne Williams, “Jeff McMillen oversaw all the construction. I can’t say thank you enough for all the time and energy Jeff spent on getting everything done in such a timely manner.” Williams continues, “We believe the economic impact of this project will be significant. These additions will provide a generous space to hold diverse events, trainings, sales, auctions, meetings, programs, and more all throughout the year.”

Plans are for this multi-purpose ag building to be utilized in numerous ways including DeKalb Cattle Association events, equipment auctions, school functions, concerts and other entertainment-type events, culinary classes, 4-H development programs, cattle and horse sales, Senior Center events and programs, Community Events, Birthday Parties/Family Reunion type events, trainings, and various uses during the DeKalb County Fair.

An Ag Center Task Force will be formed to research resources, create entrepreneur courses for agriculture businesses, and to investigate agriculture-related resource enhancement for DeKalb County. Community Partners will include the DeKalb County Fair Association Board, DeKalb County Government, City of Alexandria Mayor and Aldermen, Smithville-DeKalb County Chamber of Commerce, Alexandria Lions Club, DeKalb Cattlemen’s Association, U.T. Extension, DeKalb County 4-H, DTC Communications, Alexandria Senior Center reps, School Agriculture Students, local businesses, and many local volunteers and farmers. In addition, we plan to work closely with and seek input from the Tennessee Department of Agriculture.

Williams expressed her appreciation to Three Star Director Jody Sliger and the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development. “This project wouldn’t have happened without their support. We feel that DeKalb County businesses and especially the small businesses in Alexandria will benefit significantly from the events held throughout the year at the DeKalb County Agriculture Center.”