Livestock expo project begins

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Selma Times-Journal

Convenience for Dallas County farmers will come in the form of a livestock exposition building project that is getting off the ground.

Completion of the first phase of the facility would come two years from now at the earliest, according to Jimmy Holliman, director of the Black Belt Research and Extension Center.

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“We want to move as fast as we can,” said Holliman, whose office is directing the work. “There’s been a need for something like this for a long time. There are several breeders associations in the state, and in this area, there’s not many places they can come to. This allows for those possibilities.”

The extension center is using a $50,000 grant from the Alabama Resource Conservation and Development Council to complete the first phase of the 16,000-square foot structure. Once that is done, the building will be ready to use for basic purposes such as livestock shows and flea markets.

It will be built in Marion Junction, which falls inside County Commissioner Curtis Williams’ District 3.

“The Marion Junction area has been a place that’s helped all other farmers in the area,” Williams said. “Dallas County has always been an agricultural area, so this is going to help out a great deal.”

Holliman said as more funds become available, it would become possible to add to the structure. Although it won’t be large enough to hold rodeos, ideally it would be a place to hold any other type of event.

That comes as good news for both local and visiting farmers. The closest such facilities to Selma are located in Autaugaville and Montgomery.

“I predict it will be fully utilized,” Holliman said. “We’re going to try to serve all areas of agriculture.”