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Governor Branstad visits Heartland Acres Agribition Center in Independence

Heartland Acres welcomed Governor Branstad while he was in the area on business.  The governor made time in his schedule to see what all was new at Heartland Acres for the coming tourist season.

On this visit to Heartland Acres the Governor viewed a recently loaned 1954 Corvette Convertible in the Car Museum, a 1963 Farmall 806 Diesel which won Grand Champion – Year One award at the 2014 Iowa State Fair, and also had an opportunity to see the hands on activities.  The tour was accompanied by city and county representatives as well as Heartland Acres board members and volunteers.

Tourism in Iowa generates more than $7.75 billion in expenditures, employs 65,400 people statewide and generates $353.9 million in state taxes as identified on the Travel Iowa website.

For more information about Heartland Acres please visit us at or call (319) 332.0123 or find us on Facebook.

Pictured L to R: Don Brown- Independence City Council member, Ralph Kremer –Heartland Acres volunteer, Al Roder - City Manager for Independence, Eric Smith - Heartland Acres Board Member, Leanne Harrison – President, Buchanan County Historical Society, Craig Johnson – Heartland Acres Executive Director, Governor Branstad, and Bonita Davis- Mayor of Independence.

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Heartland Acres Ice Fishing Derby and Chili Challenge set for Sunday, February 8 on Swan Lake

Pictured Left to Right: Jeff Hayward, Mike and Maddox Loveless Recently checked the ice thickness on Swan Lake at Heartland Acres and found the ice to be 8” thick and getting thicker each day for the Ice Fishing Derby set for Sunday, February 8, 2015.

Sunday, February 8, 2015 is the date for the Heartland Acres Ice Fishing Derby and Chili Challenge at Heartland Acres in Independence, IA.

“These events are an active way to get out and enjoy our Iowa winter and maybe catch a fish or two while you’re at it and sample some excellent chili made by area cooks,” commented Brian Bell, Event Manager for the campus.  The events start with the Chili Cook off going from 11AM – 2PM.  The Fishing derby begins at 1PM and ends at 4PM.

Chili cooks will be serving their favorite chili and the public will determine the winner by the number of votes (measured in tip dollars) the cooks receive.  Chili cooks are encouraged to use this opportunity to raise money for their favorite charity.

The ice fishing event will include the harvest of several species including largemouth bass, bluegill and crappie.

The public is invited to come out and watch the ice fishing derby and stop in the Event Center for lunch at the Chili Cook-off.

Find entry forms for:

Fishing Derby:

Chili Challenge:

You may also stop out to Heartland Acres and pick one.  Entries due by January 31, 2015.  See our website for event details or call us at 319.332.0123.

Heartland Acres is not-for-profit, charitable organization dedicated to educating and entertaining visitors on our agricultural heritage and the issues and topics of agriculture today.  Check us out at or find Heartland Acres on Facebook or call 319.332.0123.

Heartland Acres Membership Drive

Pictured are second graders on the Heartland Acres campus with instructors and student volunteers during Safety Day 2014. Heartland Acres works in cooperation with FFA, 4-H, Buchanan County Extension and many other organizations on educational events which benefit our community and state.

Become a Lifetime member at Heartland Acres and help support our agricultural heritage.  If you haven’t joined yet please consider purchasing a lifetime membership with Heartland Acres today.  Heartland Acres is a not-for- profit, charitable organization with a core mission to educate, entertain and enhance visitors lives with knowledge of our agricultural heritage and innovations.  Being a lifetime member of Heartland Acres helps in displaying our agricultural heritage and the innovations associated with our agricultural history.

The goal is simple for 2015; gain 60 new lifetimes members.  New members add not only financial support through their membership but also become great ambassadors to the Heartland Acres campus as a referral for others to join.  Heartland Acres and our mission are important for our community, our state and agricultural heritage.

By joining Heartland Acres in 2015, each new lifetime membership of $1,000 or more will receive:

1) Life time membership to the museum

2) 10% discount on Gift Store purchases

3) 10% discount on room rental at Heartland Acres Event Center.

Additionally, you will receive Name Recognition in the Barn and the peace of mind knowing you have played your part in the education of generations to come on the importance of Iowa Agriculture including the issues, opportunities, and history that surround it!  Other ways to contribute include:

$100,000 +                                           Platinum Sponsor

$ 50,000 – $99,999                             Gold Sponsor

$ 25,000 – $49,999                             Silver Sponsor

$ 10,000 – $24,999                             Bronze Sponsor

$   1,000 – $10,000                             Pioneer Lifetime Membership
Contact Craig Johnson, Executive Director at 319.327.4713 or for more information on how financial support for Heartland Acres is important.

Heartland Acres is a not-for- profit, charitable organization organized under 501 (c ) 3 tax laws which mean contributions can be tax deductible.

For more information about Heartland Acres please call (319) 332.0123 or find us on Facebook.

Heartland Acres Barn Quilt Arrival

Mark Scheckel with Span & Rose in Independence and Craig Johnson, Executive Director with Heartland Acres are seen offloading the newest 8 foot by 8 foot (shown in two halves) barn quilt for Buchanan County Extension & Outreach

A total of four barn quilts are now in the works at Heartland Acres. Under the leadership of Buchanan County Extension & Outreach, the barn quilt program has seen several new orders since being revived last year. Two barn quilts were ordered by local residents in 2014 with the final one being completed in December.  There are four barn quilts now on order with Buchanan County Extension & Outreach for 2015.

Craig Johnson, Executive Director at Heartland Acres noted, “The barn quilt program adds a living and working exhibit to the center court area of the museum and offers visitors the experience of seeing a project take shape”. The barn quilt program in Buchanan County is active and as seen through recent orders to be growing.

The colorful works of art are seen throughout Iowa on the sides of many barns. Barn quilts are a great gift idea too. To find out more about ordering a barn quilt, contact the Buchanan County Extension at (319) 334.7161.

For more information about Heartland Acres please call (319) 332.0123 or find us on Facebook.