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Ag Expo Center idea discussed
Jon Flanders.jpg
Jon Flanders

Warren Ag Commission chair Jon Flanders attended the Economic and Agricultural Development Committee meeting Tuesday to discuss ways to enhance agriculture in Warren County.

Building an Ag Expo Center in Warren County was mentioned as a five-year project.

The Warren Ag Commission was created in 2019 under the Governor’s Rural Task Force, along with the McMinnville-Warren County Chamber of Commerce. The goal was to have a board that could help promote, educate and attract tourism to the county related to agriculture. 

Flanders came to reintroduce the Ag Commission after its strong start in 2019 but unfortunate stall in 2020. Flanders said, “We were never able to move past the first stage.”

The commission is trying to start again after gaining traction before the pandemic. 

“Part of this task force grew out of economic community development for the state,” said County Executive Jimmy Haley. “Agriculture was identified as one of the important features that we need to be trying to showcase, and agritourism is big across the state.”

Some ides to bring agritourism to Warren County were suggested: videos showing the nurseries and farmers market, bus tours of different agricultural hot spots in the county, and Flanders said that in five years, he’d like to see an Agriculture Expo Center.

Economic and Agricultural Development Committee chair Carl Bouldin said, “This Agricultural Expo Center, Warren County could pull that off. Lebanon has and they have huge promotions from monster truck racing all the way down to cattle shows.”

Flanders said that it’s all about promotion. They need to see how the committees will interact with each other and get the Warren Ag Commission running again before concrete plans for the Expo Center can be made.