MONTGOMERY, Ala., Sept. 14 — Alabama Farmers Federation today announced plans to begin due diligence on a site selected for the Alabama Farm Center at iconic Hallmark Farm in north Jefferson County.
The Federation entered into a real estate contract with Hallmark Farm Cooperative District to purchase the approximately 500-acre property, located along I-65 in Warrior at Exit 280. Federation and Alfa Insurance President Jimmy Parnell said execution of the contract allows the organization to take next steps regarding due diligence and fundraising for the proposed project.
“We are excited about the prospect of moving forward with the Alabama Farm Center at Hallmark Farm,” Parnell said. “The location was chosen after a competitive site selection process throughout Alabama. Jefferson County is working cooperatively with the Federation to bring a state-of-the-art agriculture and event center to the heart of the Southeast. The Farm Center would create jobs, enhance tourism and bolster the economy. It’s been more than 70 years since Alabama invested in a regional agricultural center. Current facilities are outdated and can no longer meet the needs of Alabama. We are excited to be part of the Alabama Farm Center, which will serve our residents and attract visitors from across the country.”
Parnell said the Federation has identified potential sources for approximately 70% of the $158 million budget needed to complete the project. Those plans call for an indoor livestock arena, covered outdoor arena, two livestock barns and an exhibit hall. The executed real estate contract is anticipated to create momentum to solidify funding commitments from public and private partners.
“The Alabama Farm Center will benefit the local community, Jefferson County and Alabama as a whole,” Parnell said. “We have talked to leaders across the state who are eager to invest in creating a premier agriculture and event center for the State of Alabama and the Southeast.”
In addition to livestock expositions, the Alabama Farm Center would host an annual state fair and year-round events while serving as an educational facility for the state’s youth.
The due diligence phase is expected to conclude by June 2024 when it is anticipated the project will be formally announced to move forward.