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    Grants for Ag History Projects Awarded to 11 Organizations

    Northeast Iowa–Silos & Smokestacks National Heritage Area (SSNHA) has awarded $45,141 to 11 Northeast Iowa sites, communities and organizations to help them tell their own unique part of the American agricultural story. We are pleased to announce the following recipients for the 2011 General & Interpretive Planning Grants:

    Amana Heritage Society, Amana, $6,500
    To research and develop an environmental history driving tour and school curriculum guide that will provide the interpretive framework for a future permanent museum exhibit.

    Brucemore, Cedar Rapids, $10,000
    For design and installation of 11 seasonally rotating signs that will interpret the site’s landscape and agricultural history.

    Eagle Point Nature Society, Clinton, $2,479
    To construct four outdoor interpretive and way-finding signs to help visitors learn about the history behind the barn, prairie, one-room schoolhouse and park.

    Fort Des Moines Museum, Des Moines, $2,700
    For creation of a permanent outdoor exhibit, The Victory Garden at Fort Des Moines, that will serve to enhance knowledge of agriculture through a living garden.

    Friends of the Mines of Spain, Dubuque, $2,500
    To develop a multi-media interpretive exhibit documenting the agricultural history of the 14 historic farms in the Mines of Spain, in partnership with the Preston Heritage Museum.

    Franklin County Historical Society, Hampton, $1,362
    To develop and install way-finding and interpretive signage on the grounds of the Harriman-Nielsen Historic Farm.

    Norman Borlaug Heritage Foundation, Cresco, $9,000
    To develop interpretive signage that tell the early-life story of Borlaug and farming on his farm sites from the 1910s to 1930s.

    Seed Savers Exchange, Decorah, $5,000
    For creation of audio tours to share the history of heirloom seeds along with the importance of preserving genetic diversity and the cultural history of the garden.

    Vinton Unlimited, Vinton, $600
    To construct outdoor signage to convey the importance of the Vinton Railroad Depot and a past agricultural machinery business based in Vinton.

    National 19th Amendment Society, Charles City, $2,500
    To develop digital programs for existing multi-touch table exhibit at the Carrie Lane Chapman Catt Girlhood Home and Interpretive Center.

    Reiman Gardens-Iowa State University, Ames, $2,500
    To identify how to better interpret the agricultural theme of the Children’s Garden through signage, programming, tours, website and other interpretive material.

    “We were extremely pleased with the diversity of this year’s applications and each of these organizations’ dedication to preserving the region’s agricultural story,” 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 $1.5 million to non-profit organizations, local governments and communities in Northeast Iowa to preserve 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

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