TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey’s Museum of Agriculture is shutting its doors.
The 30,000-square-foot facility bear Rutgers University’s Cook College campus in New Brunswick was founded in 1984 to chronicle the state’s farming history. It houses a collection of equipment and conducts tours where legions of schoolchildren saw farm animals and learned about agriculture.
But the museum has struggled financially in recent years and lost its $90,000 annual state appropriation last year as Gov. Chris Christie worked to close an $11 billion budget deficit.
Museum trustees plan to cease operations Monday and start disbanding the nonprofit organization that runs the facility, a process that will take a few weeks to complete. Officials hope new funding can be found during that time and note that the museum is not in debt, but they would need about $100,000 to get it back on track.
If the facility does close permanently, two full-time employees and several part-time workers will lose their jobs. The museum’s building and part of its collection will be returned to Rutgers, but no decision has been made on what to do with the rest of its farming and American Indian artifacts.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)