Pork producers pitch in to help Casey Ag/Expo

May 20, 2004|BRENDA S. EDWARDS

LIBERTY - One of the first new buildings on the Central Kentucky Ag/Expo Center grounds will be dedicated Sunday afternoon.

The dedication will be at 2 p.m. and guests will get a taste of the Casey County Pork Producers' famous pork burgers. "We think we have a good product," said Art Mills, president of the Pork Producers. "It tastes good."

The Pork Producers, a group dedicated to helping the community, donated a 60-foot by 120-foot steel building that has been erected on the grounds and will be used for public and private events.

"Hopefully, people will use the building for meetings and other gatherings," said Mills. "The Ag/Expo belongs to the county," he said.


The building was erected with donated labor by local students, adult volunteers and state inmates at Casey County Detention Center. The Pork Producers only paid for some of the building and frame, said Mills. Casey Fiscal Court paid for the concrete flooring.

Casey Vocational School spent classroom hours wiring the building, which will have an office, concession area, restrooms and large meeting room. Mills said while there will be no kitchen, caterers will have a place to prepare and serve food.

When the building is finished, it will be worth an estimated $80,000.

County Judge-Executive Ronald Wright said major work at the Ag/Expo has been done by volunteers and through donations and grants.

"I think this (multipurpose building) will be an asset to the county," Wright said. "It's amazing how many groups have come together to offer help."

Wright said the county needed the Ag/Expo as a place to hold the county fair and other large events. He said Casey was one of few counties in the state that did not have a fairgrounds.

Mills said the multipurpose building will be used as a Floral Hall during the Casey County Fair in June. "It will have plenty of room for Floral Hall."

The new building shows what the Pork Producers are trying to do to help out, said Mills.

Next project is to get tables and chairs

The next project is to get tables and chairs in the building. Mills challenges other civic organizations, churches and private citizens to donate tables.

"A lot of groups can use the building. Hopefully, they will donate a table or money."

Organized in 1985, the Casey Pork Producers has raised money from the sales of pork burgers and chops at festivals and fairs in Casey and surrounding areas. He said the members work hard for the non-profit group.

"We don't try to hog in, and try to go where anyone asks us to," said Mills.

"I don't think we have a member that raises hogs anymore, but we don't have a member who doesn't like pork," Mills said. "Our main purpose is to promote farm products. We try to do things that will help the community."

The organization gave three scholarships to Casey County seniors this year. Mills said it only intended to give one, but there were three deserving students.

The Pork Producers were recognized last month as the 2004 Agriculture Group of the Year by the Liberty/Casey County Chamber of Commerce. Besides Mills, officers are Jay Goode, vice president; Joan Lawhorn, secretary/treasurer; and Mark Woodrum, Greg Goode, Hershel Lawhorn, Ronnie Summers, Fred Harper, Clarence Rigney, Gerald Helm, directors; and Marion Murphy, advisor.

Construction on a concession stand nearby is almost finished, and an outdoor classroom is under construction by the Casey High FFA class and local Conservation District. A shelter at the classroom is near Green River on the north side of the Ag/Expo.

A horse show ring was built last year and new bleachers were installed last week.

The next major project at the Ag/Expo Center will be the addition of an outdoor western arena for rodeos and other horse events. A Farmers' Market on the grounds also will be open during the summer months.

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