New complex to embrace Pittsylvania County agriculture

CHATHAM—The grand opening of the Olde Dominion Agricultural Complex signifies more than just a building opening.

"We have come a long way from just wanting to build a new Pittsylvania County Farm Bureau office," said Donnie Moore, treasurer of the Olde Dominion Agricultural Foundation, which was created to support the complex. "We’re excited about what this will do for the whole area.

"The complex will be one-stop shopping for the whole agricultural community."

The grand opening is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Feb. 19 at the complex on U.S. Route 29.

The facility, which houses the Pittsylvania County Farm Bureau and the offices of the local Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service and soil and water conservation district, is a total of 76,000 square feet. It also will be home to the Pittsylvania office of Virginia Cooperative Extension and includes an indoor livestock arena that seats 500 people.

"This is a way for agriculture to give back to the community," said Jay Calhoun, a member of the foundation board. "The complex is open to everyone and will be a tremendous asset to this county."

Office space and the arena will be rented out. Calhoun said the board has had requests to host an American Kennel Club dog show, a remote-control airplane convention, high school graduations and other events.

Before the complex was built, "our kids from Gretna had to drive almost to North Carolina to compete in livestock shows," Moore said. "We’re going to open this up to everyone who wants to use it."

Contact Moore at 434-250-0327, Calhoun at 434-688-1196 or Kim Fortune, Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, at 804-786-3501.

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