Cullman County Commission gives $200K toward Agriplex community hub

The North Alabama Agriplex (Nick Griffin for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. – At its February meeting, the Cullman County Commission approved a $200,000 appropriation toward the building of a new community hub at the North Alabama Agriplex. 

“We always appreciate the support of the commission, especially in a large endeavor like this,” noted Rachel Dawsey, executive director of the North Alabama Agriplex. “As a non-funded state agency, we rely on the tremendous financial support of our community and our nonprofit, corporate and government partners to cultivate a community passionate about preserving our agricultural heritage, to educate and feed our neighbors and to grow a sustainable future.” 

To better serve North Alabama and to continue the work of Food for Life, the Agriplex is raising $2.3 million to construct this community hub. Located on its current property in Cullman just off U.S. Highway 278 and I-65, the 8,525 square-foot facility will feature a fully equipped demonstration and teaching kitchen and workspace shared with the Cullman County Extension Office.  

The Alabama Cooperative Extension System has a county office in all 67 counties across the state. The Extension System relies on cooperation from local county commissions to provide office space from which the Extension can serve the county. The support of the Cullman County Commission for the expansion at the Agriplex is also a commitment to provide a home for the Cullman County Extension Office. 

Near the current John T. Williamson Heritage Center, the new facility will enable the Agriplex to broaden its efforts in reducing food insecurity and promoting nutrition education as young and old alike learn to prepare, preserve and enjoy delicious, locally grown produce. The expansion will also enhance the Agriplex’s current instruction in heritage agricultural skills and sustainable living and provides the opportunity for job training courses in the food service and agriculture industries. The North Alabama Agriplex plans to break ground on the expansion in 2024. 

Founded in 2000, the North Alabama Agriplex works to preserve agricultural heritage, educate and feed its neighbors and grow a sustainable future.