National Agricultural Center and Hall of Fame

634 N 126th St., Bonner Springs, KS 66012 - United States

913-721-1075

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The purpose of the National Agricultural Center and Hall of Fame is to educate society on the historical and present value of American agriculture and to honor leadership in agribusiness and academia by providing education, information, experience and recognition.

Agriculture touches the lives of every living person. The food we eat, the clothes we wear, the way of life that developed the values, economy and culture of our nation all find root in agriculture. Yet, today, few people understand or appreciate agriculture as the dynamic and pervasive force that has shaped our nation’s past and that will shape the world’s future.

To awaken people to the importance of agriculture and help them understand and appreciate its influence, agribusiness leaders of the 1950s in Kansas City and throughout the country envisioned the creation of the nation’s premier center for agriculture. To this end, the focus of the proposed institution would be the American farmer and farming and would include not only the rural heritage which has been so influential in shaping America, but also the science and technology of farming that are shaping our world of tomorrow.

The National Agricultural Center and Hall of Fame, or the Ag Center as it is more commonly known, became a reality when it was issued a federal charter by an act of the 86th Congress and signed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower on August 31, 1960. This rare federal charter, which is a historic beginning shared with organizations such as the American Red Cross, the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Future Farmers of America, charged the Ag Center to serve as the national museum of agriculture and a memorial to farming leaders.

Although the museum was created by federal action, it receives no appropriation from local, state or federal government. The Ag Center is entirely funded by private and corporate donations, and revenue generated by admissions, memberships, special events and facility rentals.

Exhibits

The Museum of Farming is more than 20,000 square feet of floor space devoted almost entirely to large antique farm machinery and implements.

The Gallery showcases artifacts including the plow US President Harry S. Truman used as a youngster along with a prairie schooner, loom, 1903 Dart truck, horse-drawn mail wagon, traveling exhibits and kids play area.

The Art Gallery houses a large collection of rural art.

The Agriculture Hall of Fame provides extensive information about its members and their contributions to agriculture development. The 200-seat theater, made possible by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, also displays information about members of the National Association of Farm Broadcasters.

The Smith House was donated by sisters Etta Blanche Smith-Dahlgreen and Kathryn Charlotte Smith-Wilcox. It was moved from their homestead and completely reassembled on our grounds to show an authentic 1890s farm home. It stands as a tribute to their pioneer parents and grandparents who came to Kansas from Wisconsin shortly after the Civil War.

In Farm Town is the Island Creek School House, a one-room school house built in 1917 in Piper, Kansas, and used as a school until 1961. Youngsters can experience a day at school complete with state accredited curriculum. Farm Town also contains a hatchery, blacksmith shop and general store. Then go through the Santa Fe Depot before hopping on the miniature narrow-gauge Union Pacific train for a ride around the lake.

Stroll through the peaceful grounds and see our resident flock of geese down by the lake. The Master Gardeners’ vegetable, flower and pollinator gardens add beauty and valuable resources for our bees. Learn about the importance of bees in agriculture at the bee hives.

Location

Participation in Museum Day is open to any tax-exempt or governmental museum or cultural venue on a voluntary basis. Smithsonian magazine encourages museum visitation, but is not responsible for and does not endorse the content of the participating museums and cultural venues, and does not subsidize museums that participate.