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Silos & Smokestacks 2013 Grant Recipients Pioneering Agriculture for New Generations

Northeast Iowa–Silos & Smokestacks National Heritage Area (SSNHA) has awarded
$50,000 to nine Midwest sites, communities and organizations, with projects in the Heritage Area, to help them tell their own unique part of the American agricultural story. We are pleased to announce the following recipients for the 2013 General Grants:

Buchanan County Historical Society, Independence, $575
The historical society will install outdoor signage at the Wapsipinicon Mill that will be a valuable tool for travelers to get a sense of early Iowa agriculture and milling operations. It will be a self-education tool that will provide the historic and aesthetic details of the building when the site itself is not open.

The Carl & Mary Koehler History Center, Cedar Rapids, $2,500
The center will create an interactive video using the letters of farm wife and mother, Harriet Jane Kelsey, from the early years of Cedar Rapids. The touch screen program will have readings of excerpts from the letters. Topics will include how they started the farm, what crops were harvested and how much they sold for, illnesses, death, and the Civil War.

Grout Museum District, Waterloo, $8,500
Engine of the Heartland, a permanent exhibit, explores the evolution of Waterloo from a small county seat into a Midwest industrial center. The exhibit will be refurbished, adding farm equipment and images of the changing landscape, and installing a television monitor to showcase the interviews of farm families.

Jackson County Historical Society, Maquoketa, $9,900
This project will turn the Penningroth Machine Shed, an 8,000 square foot building, into a museum display and educational facility. The collection will contain early pioneer implements from the 1830s-1920s.

Kansas Public Telecommunications Service, Inc., Wichita, $7,446
A historical documentary film entitled “The Barn Builders” will tell the story of barns in Iowa and the Upper Midwest by examining the architecture of these majestic rural structures. The film will focus on the people who planned and constructed barns, from the do-it-yourself farmers to professional architects. The film will include multiple Silos & Smokestacks Partner Sites.

Living History Farms, Urbandale, $10,000
Living History Farms will introduce an Interpretive Kiosk with interactive displays at the new Ioway farm site. The kiosk will include interpretive panels and display cases to provide an overview of the site and an introduction to the Ioway Indians, the first farmers of Iowa.

Northeast Iowa Resource Conservation & Development, Postville, $4,662
The goal of this project is to provide quality, engaging Grant Wood Scenic Byway (GWSB) Guidebooks and Tear-Off Maps to spur economic development and foster tourism in the GWSB corridor. It will also increase the profile of scenic, heritage, and natural resources along the byway so that they are more likely to be protected and enhanced.

Quad Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau, Davenport, $5,000
Funding to attend the International POW WOW to recruit global motor coach business and to promote Dig In! Iowa’s Ag Innovation Tour, a collaboration of the Ames, Dubuque, Quad Cities & Waterloo Convention & Visitors Bureaus. The tour will increase awareness of Iowa’s unique agricultural landscape along with attendance at local agriculture related attractions and businesses.

Seed Savers Exchange (SSE), Decorah, $1,417
SSE will host a Community Field Day to introduce residents of Winneshiek County and surrounding areas to the mission, scope, and daily work of the organization. The event will expose an aspect of the agricultural story that most have never experienced, one in which “every seed tells a story.” Activities will include tours of the seed house and preservation lab, as well as multiple demonstrations and presentations.

“It’s important to support these projects that promote our rich agriculture heritage. The hard work of these organizations will keep our stories alive today and for many generations to come,” commented Don Short, SSNHA President.

Projects funded through SSNHA Grant Programs must provide a 1-1 non-federal match to the grant award. Since the program began in 2001, Silos & Smokestacks has funded over $1.7 million to non-profit organizations, local governments and communities with projects dedicated to preserving America’s agricultural heritage.

Silos & Smokestacks National Heritage Area is one of 49 federally designated heritage areas in the nation and is an Affiliated Area of the National Park Service. The Heritage Area covers 37 counties in the northeast quadrant of Iowa. Interstate 80 borders it on the south and Interstate 35 borders it on the west. Through a network of sites, programs and events, SSNHA interprets farm life, agribusiness and rural communities – past and present. To learn more about Silos & Smokestacks National Heritage Area, please visit www.silosandsmokestacks.org.

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