An exposition center for Northwest Missouri has been an idea in the making for many years. The vision began with a 4-H group needing a facility showcase their animals and host contests. After exploration into the complete needs of the region, the scope of the project grew. Recognizing the economic benefits of a multi-use venue to serve not only Northwest Missouri but to the rural areas of the MINK region, the Agri-Business Expo Center, Inc. (Ag Expo) was formed as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization.
During 2010 and 2011, development continued with a project feasibility study. A 145-acre site, just east of St. Joseph with high visibility from U.S. Highway 36, was deemed outstanding for the purpose of the project and acquired. Progress continued in 2012 with the hiring of a staff and opening of a local office. Shortly thereafter, a master facilities plan was developed and engineers were selected. The Missouri Department of Transportation awarded Ag Expo a grant for construction of a diamond interchange on U.S. Highway 36, providing access to the site and connecting it to the existing Interstate 29, U.S. Highway 169 and U.S. Highway 71 corridors. The United States Department of Agriculture awarded Ag Expo two grants to fund a portion of the preliminary engineering work and strategic business planning. Regional partnerships have been formed with numerous businesses, government entities, academic institutions and industry associations, all of which have given significant support to the project.
Construction is slated to begin on the interchange in April 2016.
board of directors
Dr. Laurel Vartabedian
Advisor to the Board
President & CEO
Director of Development