- Associated Press - Friday, September 11, 2015

BLISSFIELD, Mich. (AP) - Progress is being made on plans to transform a former canning company site in southeastern Michigan into an agricultural history museum.

Organizers recently announced an update on the project, now called the American Farm Museum and Educational Center. The board of directors for the center, earlier known as the Agricultural Awareness and Preservation Museum, said they’re prepared to launch a capital campaign.

An aim of the project is to create a place where people can gain understanding and renewed appreciation for the farming industry.

“Farming is in a huge transitional period not only in methods, equipment and final product but also the public perception and demands are changing at the speed of light,” Pete Durbin, a member of the development committee, said in a statement.

The board said a feasibility study, business plan and strategic plan have been completed. They’re wrapping up work to inventory, pack and move collections that would be part of the museum. An initial effort seeks to raise $2.5 million for the project.

Plans call for a groundbreaking for an initial multi-purpose building next spring in Blissfield, a village about 55 miles southwest of Detroit. It will be a place for the museum to keep a farm toy collection and other donated farm equipment, tools, toys and paper memorabilia.

“The major purpose of this first building will be to provide storage, however a small area of it will be divided into gallery and office space,” said John Tuckerman, development committee co-chairman.

Additional volunteers are being sought for the American Farm Museum and Educational Center. Plans for the museum were announced in 2014.

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