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    Silos & Smokestacks Funds Projects Telling America’s Agricultural Story


    WATERLOO, Iowa – Silos & Smokestacks National Heritage Area (SSNHA) has awarded over $40,000 to eight Heritage Area sites, communities and organizations. Projects funded through the Large and Small Projects Program Awards are dedicated to telling America’s agricultural stories, both past and present. Recipients of SSNHA’s 2021 Large Project Program Awards are:

    1. Motor Mill Foundation/Clayton Co Conservation Board, Elkader, $10,000
      Clayton County will develop an interpretive master plan for the Motor Mill Historic District.
    2. Seed Savers Exchange, Decorah, $14,000
      A Working Seed Preservation Farm: Signage to Enhance the Visitor Experience. This project will develop and implement a comprehensive plan to update and create signage at our organic seed farm to attract and educate visitors.

    Recipients of SSNHA’s 2021 Small Project Program Awards are:

    1. Cinnamon Ridge Inc., Donahue, $2,500
      Website Development & Signage. Streamline the tour reservation process for visitors and for staff. Add signage for visitor ease when visiting.
    2. Friends of Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge, Prairie City, $2,999
      Prairie Overlook Trail Signage. Replace aged and nearly unreadable signage on the most highly used trail at the Neal Smith NWR.
    3. Midwest Lumber Museum, dba The Sawmill Museum, Clinton, $2,250
      Winter Speaker Series – How Clinton Built the West & Feeds the World
    4. Northeast Iowa Dairy & Agriculture Foundation, Calmar, $2,625
      Outdoor Signage. Creating new and update existing outdoor signage to better direct visitors to attractions at Iowa’s Dairy Center.
    5. State Historical Society of Iowa, Des Moines, $2,900
      Agricultural History and Farm Tool Exhibit at Montauk Historic Site. Redevelop the interpretation of agriculture at Montauk Historic Site through two outside exhibits.
    6. The Wallace Centers of Iowa (WCI), Des Moines, $2,800
      Farm to Table Hummingbirds. WCI will partner with a group of local social media influencers to promote a weekly farm to table dining experience.

    Projects funded through SSNHA Grant Programs must provide 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.

    Through a network of sites, programs and events, Silos & Smokestacks National Heritage Area tells the story of farm life and agribusiness—past and present. Visitors can learn about and experience agriculture at a variety of museums, historic sites, and farms. One of 55 federally designated heritage areas in the nation, Silos & Smokestacks is a partner of the National Park Service. The heritage area covers 37 counties in the northeast quadrant of Iowa.

    To learn more about Silos & Smokestacks National Heritage Area, visit

    Topics: General