Governor Kelly Participates in
Barn Raising at New American Royal Campus

Yesterday, Governor Laura Kelly attended a barn raising to mark the beginning of construction on the new American Royal campus in Kansas City, Kansas. The facility will be home to a one million square foot food and agriculture educational complex. 

“The agriculture industry is the lifeblood of our great state, and this new American Royal campus is going to serve as a national leader in education, events, and engagement – creating a food and agriculture innovation district that will be unlike any other in the world,” said Governor Laura Kelly. “It will also play a critical role in building up our workforce by instilling in young visitors a sense of pride about Kansas’ deep agriculture heritage, perhaps inspiring them to pursue a career here.” 

The American Royal has been a Kansas City tradition since 1899, with a mission to be the nation’s leader for food and agriculture education, events and engagement. The American Royal has placed an intentional focus on developing the nation’s epicenter for food and agriculture. The new complex in Kansas City will expand programming from the current 14 weeks to year-round events and activities. 

Over the first 20 years of operations, the American Royal main complex is expected to generate an annual total economic impact of $526 million and more than 5,000 jobs. The facility is expected to host its first event in late 2025 or early 2026. 

“The American Royal is constructing a purpose-built complex designed to attract visitors year-round to Kansas and Wyandotte County for food and agriculture events,” said Walt George, chair of the new building committee and secretary of the American Royal Board of Directors. “It all starts today with the barn, although it sounds so simple to just call it the barn.” 

Nearly 500 competitors, volunteers, board members, and supporters witnessed American Royal begin the vertical construction process as the first piece of steel was placed on its new facility. The facility will span more than 390,000 square feet and include three arenas and a state-of-the-art learning and engagement center. 

“The new American Royal complex will be a place where relevant conferences, collaborations and events focused on innovations in food, fiber and fuel can happen,” said Cliff Illig, member of the American Royal Board of Directors. “Visitors of all ages and backgrounds will come together to learn, celebrate and advance an industry that impacts each and every one of us, every single day.” 

More information about the American Royal and the new facility can be found here

Photos from the event are available for media use below.