Durward Taylor is a happy fellow. The Sen. Bob Martin Eastern Ag Center in Williamston, which he manages, recently opened a new horse barn unit that increases the center’s capacity.
The new barn has 152 stalls, bringing total capacity to 456. That will enable the center to book larger horse shows and allow existing shows to expand.
Taylor, along with Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler, Rep. Edith Warren, Sen. Clark Jenkins and other state and local officials, recently cut the ribbon on the new 29,000-square-foot barn unit.
The project was funded through a $3 million appropriation from the General Assembly in 2007. Construction began in February 2009 and was completed in early March of this year.
“This center has been a great asset for the community here by drawing visitors to the area, providing business opportunities and supporting jobs,” Troxler said. “We want to see the ag center continue to succeed and create more opportunities for Williamston and Martin County.
“Local support for the ag center has been great since it opened in 1998, and we appreciate the way the community has embraced our newest project here,” Troxler said.
Last year, horse shows at the Sen. Bob Martin Eastern Ag Center drew more than 5,300 horses and 13,000 people, with an estimated local economic impact of more than $4 million. The center also brings in concerts, truck pulls and rodeos, and has a meeting center that hosts business meetings, wedding receptions and other events.
In the short video below, Taylor, the center’s manager, talks about the importance of the new barn unit and other aspects of the ag center.
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