TOULON — The first and only agricultural museum in Illinois launched a new website and announced a $2 million building fundraising campaign Jan. 8.
"The Midwest Agricultural Museum is dedicated to preserving and educating the public about the history and impact of agriculture on human life," said Chris McMillen, chairman of the board of directors. "The new website at midwestagmuseum.com allows donors to contribute directly online toward building a permanent facility for the museum's rapidly expanding collection. It also gives people a convenient and secure way to become members or renew their memberships."
The growing collection includes tools and equipment, historic films and photos, invention designs and prototypes, educational materials and relevant memorabilia. It also showcases many of the agricultural innovations that originated in the Midwest in the 1840s at the height of the Industrial Revolution.
A search committee is currently investigating several sites on major highways to enhance visibility. Farmland is especially sought so visitors can see how tools, equipment and techniques were — and are — actually used on a working farm. The farm's production would also provide income toward the museum's sustainability.