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Silos & Smokestacks Funds Projects Telling America’s Agricultural Story


WATERLOO, Iowa –Silos & Smokestacks National Heritage Area (SSNHA) has awarded $50,000 to 10 Heritage Area sites, communities and organizations. Projects funded through the General Grant Program are dedicated to telling America’s agricultural stories, both past and present. Recipients of SSNHA’s 2018 General Grants include:

  1. Amana Heritage Society, Amana, $1,405.93
    Amana Woolen Mill Hotel Panels
    Eight interpretive wall panels about the history and production process of the historic Woolen Mill that is being rehabilitated into a hotel.
  2. Floyd County Conservation, Rockford, $4,000
    Trail Interpretive Signs
    Replace existing and create additional interpretive signs along the trails at the Fossil & Prairie Park Preserve.
  3. Friends of Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge, Prairie City, $4,000
    Renewed Prairie Entry Signage
    Update and renew the entry signage on kiosk at the Prairie City park leading to the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge entry road.
  4. Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation, West Des Moines, $9,421.57
    Teacher Professional Development Connecting Agriculture and Social Studies

    Educating Iowans regarding the breadth and global significance of agriculture by providing professional development for educators and hands-on learning for students.
  5. Iowa State University Library Special Collections & University Archives, Ames, $6,286
    History at Home: Community Archival Film Screenings
    Screen archival agricultural films from ISU Library Special Collections at selected SSNHA Partner Sites.
  6. Jackson County Conservation, Maquoketa, $571.50
    Hurstville Lime Kilns Interpretive Signs
    Implement new interpretive signs and replace the aging existing signs at the Hurstville Lime Kilns.
  7. Johnson County, Iowa City, $8,000
    Johnson County Historic Poor Farm Interpretive Signage
    Hire professional services to produce captivating content and designs for interpretive signage at the Johnson County Historic Poor Farm.
  8. Living History Farms, Urbandale, $5,454
    Safe Home Signage
    Create outdoor interpretive signage that tells the story of how a small home-grown Iowa company (Sukup Manufacturing) became a global manufacturer —and adapted one of its products to provide humanitarian housing on the other side of the world.
  9. Northeast Iowa Community College, Calmar, $3,100
    Conservation Interpretive Signs
    Enhance the educational benefits of the NICC Calmar Campus sustainable landscape features by installing interpretive signage.
  10. Seed Savers Exchange, Decorah, $7,761
    It Starts with a Seed: In Situ and Ex Situ Preservation of Heirloom and Open-Pollinated Crop Varieties
    An interpretive photo exhibit chronicling the importance of heirloom and open-pollinated crops and Seed Savers Exchange’s two-pronged approach to steward these varieties for generations to come.

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 $1.9 million to non-profit organizations, local governments and communities with projects dedicated to preserving America’s agricultural heritage.

Cara Miller, Executive Director for Silos & Smokestacks shares “Every year we are able to help partners in the heritage area strengthen their agricultural stories through our grant program. By doing so we ensure that the story of American agriculture can continue to be shared with all people both now and for years to come.”
Silos & Smokestacks National Heritage Area is one of 49 federally designated heritage areas in the nation with 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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