For immediate release
Kelley Farm: Quick Facts
The Minnesota Historical Society is asking the state Legislature to support a $10.5 million capital budget request to fund a much needed expansion of the Oliver H. Kelley Farm in Elk River so it can better serve students, teachers, tourists and Minnesota families with meaningful, hands-on experiences.
The Kelley Farm by the numbers:
- Today, the farm serves nearly 30,000 visitors a year, including 15,000 students on field trips from more than 60 Minnesota school districts located around the state.
- The shortage of space and outdated facilities means the Kelley Farm is forced to turn away field trips for 4,000 students annually.
- With the $10.5 million capital budget request, the Kelley Farm would be able to serve an additional 15,000 visitors per year providing students, teachers, tourists and Minnesota families with meaningful, hands-on experiences.
- The site is 189 acres, which includes all of Oliver Kelley’s original farm. It is a working farm complete with crops, gardens, oxen, cows, horses, sheep, hogs and chickens. The livestock breeds are very similar to those found on Minnesota farms in the 1860s.
The revitalization plan will:
- Triple the size of the visitor center, bringing visitor amenities up to current standards.
- Develop interactive changing exhibits and expand public program space.
- Create engaging classrooms.
- Add videoconferencing and internet access so the farm’s programs can reach schools throughout the metro area and Greater Minnesota.
- Create a guest animal shelter for visiting animals from program partners where visitors can interact with and learn more about today’s farm animals.
- Build a four-season shelter for school group lunches, additional programming and community rental space.
- Create a teaching kitchen for demonstrations and workshops regarding cooking, food preservation, and healthy eating.
- Expand and modernize the restrooms, including adding a family restroom.
- Expand staff support space and storage areas.
- Overhaul and increase maintenance support areas.