SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — There are some exciting things in the works for the Stockyards Ag Experience Plaza after receiving a $1.5 million gift from T. Denny Sanford and First Premiere Bank.
This gift not only means that planning and construction can get underway for the plaza, it also allows the organization to name the plaza after their founder, Jim Woster.
It’s a dream that’s been in the works for years, and is now one step closer to becoming a reality.
A $1.5 million gift allows crews to complete the Stockyards Ag Experience Plaza in one phase, while also honoring its founder.
“Really make it that big splash that we want it to be and obviously the biggest thing for us is that we are now able to name this outdoor project after our founder, Jim Woster, which is a big deal and really exciting for us,” Abby Bischoff, Executive Director.
“The money now, every plan that Abby and John and everybody’s put together we are going to be able to do the way we want, I mean exactly the way we want it. It was going to be a really good deal before but now we get a chance to do something pretty special,” Woster said.
The plaza will offer visitors a hands on experience, showing them where their food comes from.
“That’s the fun thing to me is the educational component and to see the excitement on the little ones as they understand what a hamburger is or where wheat came from and why it ties into Wheaties or pasta or whatever it is. I just love it,” Woster said.
The plaza will educate both kids and adults as the industry continues to change.
“I think that’s important because as we’re changing, agriculture is changing, demographics are changing, people are changing, but people want to know and people want to learn and they’ve got a lot of questions and we think we can be apart of telling that story,” Woster said.
Some of the ideas they have been working on include a play farmhouse, pens that will allow them to bring in livestock on occasion, and play structures representing things you would find on the farm, such as an old commodity building.
They don’t have an official opening date, but they are hoping to start breaking ground in 2023.