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Final Plans Unveiled for Agri-Expo Center in Buchanan Co.

A one of a kind, multimillion dollar Agri-Expo Center is expected to change the landscape in Buchanan Co. <br>&nbsp;
(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) It's been talked about for years but Friday developers unveiled the final plans for the facility.

This pasture looks bare now. A site once considered for fairgrounds in Buchanan County, the open land will be transformed into a multifaceted Agri-Business Expo Center.

"It very quickly grew into something beyond that and now we're calling it an agricultural campus," said Marty Grey, Board of Directors Chair.

The entire campus is expected to cost roughly $40 million.

And after three years in the making, the master plan is ready.

"This will be used by us as a tremendous marketing tool and we continue our capital campaign locally to solicit support for this project," Grey said.

The expo center, which is funded by donations and corporate partners, will take more than eight years to complete. But will be the only one of its kind.

"St. Joseph, Missouri, northwest Missouri and the Midwest really is the heart of the bread basket of the agricultural industry in this country," Grey said.

"I think in the next ten years it will put Buchanan County at the forefront of Ag-education, research and development," Dan Hausman, Board of Directors Treasurer said.

The expo center will sprawl across 150 acres, bringing the agriculture epicenter to Buchanan County.

The multi-million dollar expo center will be located off highway 36 in St. Joseph, where the heart of the campus will be a 90,000 square foot exhibit hall.

The exhibit hall will be used year round for trade and livestock shows with a variety of educational outlets following the mission, educate, innovate and cultivate.

"This is where Ag-education is going to take place in the future,"  Hausman said.

The campus will also feature an arena, business complex, retail shops and lodging capabilities.

"I think the community is going to benefit from the expanded, economic development. Just the traffic and tourism that will come through town," Hausman said.

A project of this magnitude doesn't happen overnight, but after years of development, the Agri-Business Expo Center is expected to bring around 800 jobs to the area.

The Agri-Business expo center has already teamed up with the MU Extension and has surrounding universities on board.

The plan is to break ground for the beginning phase in fall of 2013.
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