Cultivate understanding and appreciation for the role of agriculture in the world
To create a premier venue for interactive agriculture education: past, present, future
From its rich agricultural history, to its valued contribution to modern agribusiness around the globe, this region stands strong. Ideally suited, the American Farm Museum and Education Center lies within a day’s journey for over half the nation’s population. We will strive to use our
rich heritage to not only explain modern agriculture but to influence the future. This will not be just a destination of beauty and nostalgia, but one of educational excellence.
Within five years, Tri-County Historical Museum, Inc., d.b.a. American Farm Museum and Education Center will strive to accomplish the following:
Design, construct and open a nationally recognized educational center which will capture the significance of the US farmer and also explain his role in the food production processes.
Demonstrate how the design of the elements used in the site’s layout, landscaping,and architecture are sustainable, environmentally friendly and within the reach of everyone.
Construct storage for museum exhibits which today includes: a million dollar-plus agricultural toy collection, full-sized farm equipment, and historic farm structures.
Develop a variety of interactive exhibits which entice visitors learn more about the food supply chain as well as the wide variety of production methods available.
Demonstrate how modern agriculture will sustain and benefit mankind’s health and preserve the Earth.
A Sense of Place…
World renowned architect Friedrich St. Florian has been retained to design the complex. His instructions were to design a space that takes visitors from the mid-1850’s into the 21st Century. The complex will contain galleries inviting interactive participation as visitors learn about the various facets of farm life. The Past will be used to knit together how farming, a way of life, changed as technology, human needs, population growth and world politics flexed their influences. The Present will be used to ground visitor’s minds as they are moved towards understanding the demands, influences and possibilities of the Future.
The historical town of Blissfield, Michigan, population 3,279, is located in the southeast corner of Lenawee County and has been chosen for our site. Architect Friedrich St. Florian has said, “Blissfield is the quintessential American farm town” with its late 19th and early 20th Century two story brick buildings. The post office first opened in March 28, 1828. The Erie and Kalamazoo Railroad, the first train line operating the first steam locomotive west of the Allegany Mountains, ran for the first time in November, 1836. Though the railroad was important for travelers, it more importantly gave farmers the much needed access to eastern markets for livestock and grain sales. This, combined with of some of the flattest, richest farm soil east of the Mississippi, helped to make this region one of the largest agricultural production areas in the nation.
Agriculture is the second largest industry in Michigan contributing over $101.2 billion annually. Total employment resulting from ag is 923,000 which translates to about 22 percent of the state’s employment. Michigan produces over 300 commodities on a commercial basis including tart cherries, blueberries, dry beans, floriculture products, and cucumbers for pickles. Field crops however have the largest impact with revenue of $95 million. Lenawee is Michigan’s number one county in soybean, corn and wheat production. With 1,424 farms, Lenawee has more farms than any other county in the state and is ranked third with 399,349 acres of farm ground.
It is right that Blissfield has been chosen for the site of American Farmer Museum and Agricultural Center. It is located on US 223 just minutes west of the nation’s major north/south US 75/23 corridor. The Ohio Turnpike is 20 minutes to the south. Traffic volume in front of the chosen site averages 18,000 vehicles per day with upwards of 24,000 per day in the summer.
Within a thirty minute drive is the Michigan International Speedway and the Irish Hills Recreation Area with its 50 lakes. More than nine universities, colleges, junior colleges and vocational training sites are available within 45 minutes. It is a farming community with a grain elevator, a major ethanol plant, an agricultural and human food supplement production business, and fertilizer and farm chemical businesses.
Within an hour drive, you will find not one but two export ports, the largest flour mill east of the Mississippi, two soybean processing facilities and a supporting agricultural system that is too large to itemize.
In addition, Blissfield knows how to welcome and provide for the traveler. Twelve restaurants serve a variety of foods. Accommodations can be found in two bed & breakfast inns located within the village in historic homes. The picturesque downtown is dotted with a multitude of shops and an antique mall. There are three model railroad organizations in town and the Adrian-Blissfield Railroad offers train themed excursions and dinner trains. Within fifteen minutes east in Sylvania, Ohio is the Wingate Hotel and a variety of restaurants and 7 miles west in Adrian are four motels and over 30 restaurants. Major health facilities are available in Adrian and Sylvania.