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    Partnerships Bring Silos & Smokestacks Worldwide Recognition

    Northeast Iowa— Silos & Smokestacks National Heritage Area (SSNHA) hopes to soon be
    welcoming an ever increasing number of foreign visitors, thanks to its recent membership in
    Agricultural Tour Operators International (ATOI), the premier trade organization of worldwide group
    tour operators specializing in agricultural tours.

    Working with Northwest Iowa Transportation (NWIT), a Fort Dodge based tour operator, the
    Heritage Area’s LIFE Tours and NWIT developed the Heart of America Tours. With NWIT as a
    partner, Silos & Smokestacks was able to apply to ATOI, who only accepts tour operators as

    Through a sponsorship from ATOI Executive Director, Jorge Cazenave, the joint
    partnership of SSNHA/NWIT presented the Heart of America Tours to ATOI’s General Assembly in
    Paris recently. The SSNHA/NWIT partnership was unanimously accepted by the organization that
    currently represents 59 tour operators in 33 counties.

    Don Short, SSNHA President, commented, “We are delighted to partner with an Iowa based
    tour operator to bring the Heritage Area to the world.”

    ATOI Membership will allow LIFE Tours to broaden its marketing to potential visitors in
    countries within North America, South America, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Asia, Australia,
    New Zealand and India. Seven companies connected with ATOI have already confirmed intentions
    to market tours to the Heritage Area in 2008.

    Silos & Smokestacks National Heritage Area is one of 37 federally designated heritage
    areas in the nation and is an Affiliated Area of the National Park Service. Through the development
    of a network of sites, programs, and events, Silos & Smokestacks National Heritage Area’s mission
    is to interpret farm life, agribusiness, and rural communities – past and present. To learn more
    about Silos & Smokestacks National Heritage Area, please visit

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