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Ag Hall of Fame struggling for money, attendance

BONNER SPRINGS, Kan. (AP)--A sharp drop in its investment fund and in attendance is forcing the National Agriculture Center and Hall of Fame to look for some new ideas to raise money.

If the 100-acre student and tourist attraction cannot find a new business plan by June 1, some or all of the facility in western Wyandotte County might have to close, said Executive Director Tim Daugherty.

"We are in search of a new business model that can help us address financial shortfalls and at the same time tell the story of agriculture," Daugherty said. "Our role is more important than it was 15 years ago."

Despite the opening of the Kansas Speedway, the Village West shopping and dining complex and a stadium used by the Kansas City T-Bones and Kansas City Wizards, attendance at the Hall of Fame has dropped significantly.

And an investment fund used for about half of the facility's operating budget was reduced significantly last fall when the stock market fell, Daugherty said.

"We will have a significant shortfall," Daugherty said. "Those funds have been decimated."

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