LCRA awards $25,000 grant to Cat Spring Agricultural Society


New community center will host community events, agricultural education

LCRA representatives present a $25,000 grant to the Cat Spring Agricultural Society to complete the construction of a new community center. The grant is part of LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program. Pictured, from left to right, are: Cheryl Mellenthin, Mark Chapman Foundation president; Kate Ramzinski, LCRA Regional Affairs representative; Milton Dittert, society vice president; James Hering, society director; Malcolm Dittert, society president; Margaret D. “Meg” Voelter and Matthew L. “Matt” Arthur, LCRA Board members; Mary O’Neal, society treasurer; Tim Lapham, Austin County judge and society member; Marilyn Nelson, society events coordinator; Elizabeth White, society secretary; and Linda White, society member.
AUSTIN COUNTY, Texas – The Cat Spring Agricultural Society will have a new space for community events and agricultural education, thanks to a $25,000 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority.

The Community Development Partnership Program grant, along with $250,750 in matching funds raised by the nonprofit agricultural society, will be used to complete construction on a new metal building that will serve as a community center. The building will be located on the grounds of the historic Cat Spring Hall, a round dance hall built in 1902 that hosts concerts, benefits, weddings and other activities.

Mary O’Neal, treasurer for the Cat Spring Agricultural Society, said that a venue previously used for large events on the grounds has deteriorated.

“Many events and memories were created in the old building,” O’Neal said. “But a new structure is needed for the numerous activities we already host and hope to expand into. This was something we had always dreamed of, but it wasn’t until a few very generous people came forward with their donations and ideas that we really got going on the building.”

The new building is expected to hold up to 300 people. It will include restrooms, and will feature roll-up doors, patios and a barbeque area.

“With the multiple covered porch areas, everyone will be able to enjoy the outdoors rain or shine,” O’Neal said.

The Cat Spring Agricultural Society, established in 1856, is Texas’ oldest agricultural society. It supports agricultural education, seed trading and local farming. On the first Saturday in June, the society celebrates its legacy at June Fest, now in its 168th year.

Events hosted by the society draw visitors from Austin, Colorado, Fayette and Harris counties. The society plans to use its new building for both community and private events, including festivals, family reunions and birthday parties, as well as agricultural educational seminars presented by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, Gulf Coast Winegrowers Association, Austin County Livestock Association and Texas Farm Bureau.

“Our community is very excited to have this new space,” O’Neal said. “There’s really nothing else in our community like this.”

The community grant is one of 44 grants awarded recently through LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program, which helps volunteer fire departments, local governments, emergency responders and nonprofit organizations fund capital improvement projects in LCRA’s wholesale electric, water and transmission service areas. The program is part of LCRA’s effort to give back to the communities it serves.

Applications for the next round of grants will be accepted in July. More information is available at

About LCRA

The Lower Colorado River Authority serves customers and communities throughout Texas by managing the lower Colorado River; generating and transmitting electric power; providing a clean, reliable water supply; and offering outdoor adventures at more than 40 parks along the Colorado River from the Texas Hill Country to the Gulf Coast. LCRA and its employees are committed to fulfilling our mission to enhance the quality of life of the Texans we serve through water stewardship, energy and community service. LCRA was created by the Texas Legislature in 1934 and receives no state appropriations.

Contact Info

Clara Tuma, Public Information Officer
[email protected]
After hours: 512-944-6719