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National Farm Toy Museum

farmtoy 060Retrace agricultural history and discover present day practices at the National Farm Toy Museum (NFTM). Founded in 1986, the museum is hidden amongst patchwork fields of green and gold in the small Iowa community of Dyersville. Famously known as the “Farm Toy Capital of the World,” Dyersville is the home to five farm toy stores, three farm toy companies and two national farm toy shows. Designated as a SSNHA Partner Site in 2002, the museum connects both young and old with the story of American agriculture through its exhibits featuring thousands of miniature farm machinery replicas.

As part of the museum’s dedication to highlighting the manufacturers whose implements inspire the toys, the museum features a continually changing Manufacturer’s Showcase. In August 2011, the NFTM opened its most recent showcase, AGCO: The Evolution of a Company, which was funded in part by SSNHA. This exhibition features the AGCO Corporation, and shares the story of how the company’s innovations have contributed to farming over the years. Past showcases have also featured companies who have been instrumental in changing the face of agriculture, including Decades of Deere and Farmall: First in the Field.

In addition to the showcase, there are a number of permanent exhibits portraying America’s agricultural story in miniature. A life size John Deere tractor illustrates the scale of the toys to visitors, while dozens of dioramas display historic farm scenes. Visitors can also learn about the local toy making process through exhibits like the original Ertl Company assembly line display. Other treasures visitors can discover include the National Farm Toy Hall of Fame Exhibit, Lil’ Farmer Children’s Play Area and many others.

The NFTM also hosts a number of annual events to bring together farm toy enthusiasts from across the country, including the Summer Farm Toy Show in June and the Toy Farmer’s National Farm Toy Show in November. For more information on the National Farm Toy Museum, call 563-875-2727 or visit www.nationalfarmtoymuseum.com.

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