Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey presented Silos & Smokestacks National Heritage Area with an Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Leader Award in recognition of their leadership in agritourism and sustainable heritage development. Northey recognized the efforts by Silos & Smokestacks to highlight the land, people, and communities in northeast Iowa that tell the story of agriculture in Iowa.

Northey presented the award Aug. 2 at Silos & Smokestacks partner site Heartland Acres Agribition Center in Independence.

The Silos & Smokestacks National Heritage Area in Northeast Iowa is a 37-county, 20,000-square mile area featuring 117 sites and attractions, including dairy farms, museums, historic sites, scenic routes, tractor assembly tours and much more.

Story City Museums are among the sites included in the heritage area. The four museum sites in Story City share the unique and rich heritage of an agrarian community settled largely by Scandinavian immigrants. Visitors can experience the past by visiting a pioneer school house used as a polling location for the Lincoln presidential election of 1860, exploring a restored Victorian home and touring exhibits that tell the story of historic rural life.

Also on the list in Story County are: Reiman Gardens the Special Collections Department at Iowa State University.

“Silos & Smokestacks does a tremendous job of sharing the story of Iowa agriculture. The sites within the heritage area showcase the important role agriculture has played in our state’s history as well as highlighting the impact of our state’s agriculture industry around the world,” Northey said. “It is my honor to recognize Silos & Smokestacks and highlight the great work they do preserving and promoting our state’s agriculture industry.”

Northey created the Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Leader Award to recognize, honor and promote Iowa citizens, companies and organizations who have made significant contributions to Iowa’s agriculture industry.

“We are very honored to be recognized as a leader in agriculture,” said Silos & Smokestacks President Cara Miller. This award not only honors the heritage area as a whole but all of our tremendous sites that together tell and preserve the story of American agriculture.”

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. Through the development of a network of sites, programs and events, Silos & Smokestack’s mission is to interpret farm life, agribusiness and rural communities-past and present. Silos & Smokestacks National Heritage Area preserves and tells the story of American agriculture and its global significance through partnerships and activities that celebrate the land, people, and communities of the area.

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