Thank you to everyone who chose to #BeTheOne during the 2018 Giving Challenge! Your dollars will make an impact on the Museum!

Read our 2016 Giving Challenge

Story below! 

Giving site opens at 12 PM, May 1st.

The 2018 Giving Challenge is presented by the Community Foundation of Sarasota County with giving strengthened

by The Patterson Foundation 

Be the One to Make a Difference at

Your Favorite Agricultural Museum!

Have you wondered how some of our 2016 Giving Challenge dollars were spent? How did your contribution make a difference here at the Manatee County Agricultural Museum? Last year between funds from the Giving Challenge and our fundraiser, Night for the Museum, we were able to institute one large change here at the Ag Museum. We upgraded our lighting to LED! Over the years we had been using a combination of incandescent, fluorescent and halogen bulbs in 206 fixtures throughout the Museum.  It was our desire to have consistent lighting for several reasons:


  1. We want to provide the optimum lighting for our visitors to see our artifacts and read our exhibit signage

  2. We want to provide the best lighting possible for the contents of the Museum. LED is the best light to prevent fading and wear on our Collection.

  3. We want to be good financial stewards of our non-profit funds. LED bulbs give us the most bang for our buck!


Our soft white, consistent lighting allows visitors to fully see and appreciate all that the Ag Museum has to offer. Our core exhibits such as the Manatee County Agricultural Hall of Fame, the large equipment in our Barn, and the interesting artifacts in our Citrus Room can all be enjoyed with our improved lighting. In addition, we have several special exhibits each year which benefit from the consistent lighting. LEDs are also cooler, so the ambient temperature inside the Museum is much more comfortable for visitors.


LED bulbs do not emit UV light. UV light is the enemy of museums everywhere as over time it fades and destroys works of art, photographs, and archival materials. Our Collection is much safer under LED lighting and allows us to maintain the Collection for perpetuity without UV exposure.  All light, no matter what type, is unkind to artwork, such as paintings, over a long period of time. The Ag Museum is doing its best to be responsible for items in the Collection as well as pieces on loan by improving the lighting situation. It is easier to preserve the authenticity of objects when kept under LED lighting.


LED lighting is cost effective, too! The bulbs last much, much longer than other types of bulbs we have used in the past therefore the replacement cost is less.  LEDs require much less electricity to power and because they are cooler, our rooms do not require as much air conditioning/electricity. In 2015, the electric bills for the Museum totaled $5337. We began the conversion to LEDs in 2016 and our annual electric cost was $5059 that year. And in 2017 we just about completed the conversion to LED and our annual electric cost totaled $4409. That is a 17.5% decrease in electricity costs since beginning the conversion!


We have four lighting fixtures remaining that still need to be changed to LED. We plan to accomplish this in the next few months and our conversion will be 100% complete. We are so pleased with the results! We would not have been able to accomplish this modification at the Ag Museum if it were not for the funds raised through the 2016 Giving Challenge. Thank you very much for your support!


We are participating in the 2018 Giving Challenge. We hope that we can count on your continued support so that we may continue to educate our community about Manatee County’s rich agricultural heritage, teach our young students about where their food comes from, and support agriculture today and into the future. Join us on this journey and Be the One who can make a difference here at the Ag Museum!



Tuesday-Friday, 1st & 3rd Saturday 

10:00-12:00, 1:00-4:00


1015 6th Street West

Palmetto, FL 34221

(941) 721-2034