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Missoula agriculture community proposing bond for their own space at fairgrounds

Missoula 4H
Posted at 1:45 PM, Jul 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-27 15:55:50-04

MISSOULA - Members of the local agriculture community will propose a $19 million bond to the Missoula County Commission.

The money would provide a building the ag community would call their own at the Missoula County Fairgrounds.

The biggest advocates for the proposal are a part of the next generation.

“Part of 4H and FFA is envisioning the future and believing in it," said Blue Mountain 4H President Gus Turner. "And this is what this kind of embodies in itself.”

It takes two weeks to set up and tear down the facility every year for the Western Montana Fair in August.

At the Missoula County Fairgrounds, the agriculture community puts in more work than what is on display during fair week.

“We don't even think about the things we can do, because we're so limited on space,” said farmer Jon Turner.

Those involved in 4H describe it as a family. With roughly 500 students a part of several clubs, finding a space to meet is a challenge.

“This new facility would unlock new potential for us to practice year-round and for everyone to hone their skills completely,” said Blue Mountain 4H club member AJ Sharkey.

Sharkey takes part in archery, and his fellow member, Tennyson Smith, helps lead the cooking club- where they give back to the community by cooking meals for those in need.

“If we had more space and a year-round facility, we could use definitely implement more things like that,” said Smith.

Wise beyond their years, these 4H members say the building would be providing more for future generations.

“But it's not going to affect me personally, but I know that it's gonna affect people greatly and it's going to benefit everybody else," said Gus Turner. "The kids that I see coming in...the young kids coming to my meetings; I see that these kids are the future if I can make the future just a little bit better for everybody else. It'll impact me and I look back a world greatly.”

The proposal will be presented to Missoula County Commission during Thursday’s meeting. The hope is to have it on the ballot for voters to vote on in November.