Kubota Tractor Corp. today announced Wayne County Ag Center, in Collinwood, Tennessee, as the winner of the Kubota “Hometown Proud” community revitalization grant program. Wayne County will receive a $100,000 grant and loaned equipment from Kubota to help develop the grounds for the county’s first and only dedicated Agricultural Center (Ag Center).
Nearly 400 grant applications were received from nearly every state in the country, according to Kubota. In May, Kubota identified the top five finalists and then called on the public to vote to help determine the winner of the $100,000 grant and use of Kubota equipment to refresh or revitalize a community project.
Wayne County is beginning construction of the Ag Center within an existing industrial park that has been used for hay production for more than 30 years. The facility will house the local UT Extension and Soil and Conservation offices, a 125-person training/meeting room, commercial kitchen, and a covered pavilion to provide outdoor classroom and event space.
The facility will be used for ag-related shows, demonstrations and eventually, community gardens. Local Kubota dealer, Brown Equipment Co., in Loretto, Tennessee, will provide the needed equipment and serve as a resource to the Wayne County Ag Center team as they bring their project to life.
“We were so grateful to have been chosen as a finalist, to actually win was far beyond our expectations,” said Jim Mangubat, County Executive for Wayne County. “All five communities have such great projects, and I sincerely wish them the best."
Agriculture and forestry are Wayne County’s leading economic drivers, and the county is home to over 650 farms covering more than 130,000 acres of farmland. This project will allow for the expansion of existing ag-related programming, encourage more entrepreneur farmers, and provide training to increase farm production levels, with the hope of increasing the number of jobs in the agriculture industry within the county.