Farmer Video Histories

Sharing the Farm Story

The family farm helped to build the nation into what it is today and has been at the core of Iowa history since the state was opened for settlement. During that time farming has evolved from subsistence agriculture to a highly technical, capital intensive, scientific process that provides food and fiber for the world. Iowa farmers have experienced enormous changes in mechanization, genetic and biological advances, chemical usage, changing role of government and new marketing strategies. Throughout these changes, the farm family has remained at the center of agriculture.

Sharing the Farm Story is an oral video history project brought to life as part of collaboration between Silos & Smokestacks National Heritage Area and the Grout Museum District. Utilizing video interviews, the project documents the personal memories and knowledge of farmers and others involved in Iowa’s agricultural industry. There are stories from century farms, dairy and row crop operations, large commercial farms, small vegetable tracts, elevator managers and hired men. It is a sampling of how dramatically farming has changed over the past generation. Through personal narrative recounts, these videos provide the most realistic and descriptive account of past farm life for future generations.

To learn how you can become part of our project to preserve our rural heritage and pass that legacy on to future generations, please email

Stories From the Farm

Stories From the Farm is a video series made possible through a partnership with the Grout Museum District and Silos & Smokestacks. The two organizations have documented more than 151 video interviews, , as shown above, of area business people and farmers. These first-person narratives bridge the past to the present and bring the story of American Agriculture to life.

Each month, Silos & Smokestacks will feature an except from the one of the many interviews in its eNewsletter and on the website. To view Stories From The Farm videos, click HERE.