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Weavers Friend loom is on display at Heartland Acres Agribition Center

Ray Zummak of Jesup, IA recently donated a “Weaver Friend” loom, manufactured by Reed Loom Co. of Springfield, OH

Heartland Acres has many new exhibits on display for the coming summer season.  The museum is noted for collecting and displaying many items dating back to the 1800’s.  The Weavers Friend loom will join several other items associated with weaving, cloths making and rug hooking.  The loom is currently undergoing a good cleaning and will be assembled for display.

The Weavers Friend Loom was manufactured by the Reed Loom Company which was started in the late 1800′s in Springfield, Ohio, by F. C. Reed. Its masterpiece was The Weaver’s Friend, a 45″ wide, two-shaft loom with an automatic shaft changer. This model was also available in 9, 10, or 12 foot sizes. For those wanting a less expensive loom, the company offered the Ideal, weaving up to 36″ wide without the automatic change device, or the Little Dandy, weaving up to 30″ wide. Both were two shaft looms. Another model was the Cambridge loom with four shafts and six treadles. It wove up to 45″ wide and was recommended for teaching weaving in schools and colleges. After Reed’s death, Paul Linker continued to build the looms until his death in the 1970s. The looms are no longer being manufactured. Learn more at

This particular display was donated by Ray Zummak of Jesup, IA and has some historical significance in his extended family.  The loom belonged to his step children’s great grandma, Anna Neith Rice. The loom was stored for many years in Ray’s house and after discussion with family members it was decided it was time for the loom to be shared with the public.  You’ll be able to see the Weavers Friend loom once again at Heartland Acres Agribition Center in Independence, IA.

Heartland Acres Upcoming Television Exposure

Heartland Acres Agribition Center will receive exposure to several key markets in the state of Iowa through our relationships with Iowa Public TV and Agribusiness Association of Iowa.

The Iowa Public TV segment will run during the annual Festival program which is a fundraising event for IPTV.  We will be featured on Kids Clubhouse with Dan Wardell on Tuesday, March 11th between 3:30PM and 5:30PM in three separate segments.

Our other exposure will come through the support of Agribusiness Association of Iowa.  Starting on Wednesday March 12th we will have a TV commercial running on Cedar Rapids KCRG Channel 9 at approximately 11:15AM and on Des Moines WHO-TV Channel 13 at approximately 12:50PM.  This ad will run each business day during the midday Agribusiness Report  3/12 – 3/18.

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Heartland Acres Museum is tentatively set to begin summer hours of operation starting Saturday, April 5.  In addition to weekdays we will begin weekend museum operations.  Due to recent weather conditions, the possibility of a delayed weekend opening may be expected. Visit or call (319) 332-0123 for more details on museum hours of operation and upcoming events and exhibits.

Swan Lake Ice Fishing Derby and Chili Cook-off RECAP

Swan Lake Ice Fishing Derby and Chili Cook-off RECAP

(Sunday, February 9, 2014)

Heartland Acres Ice Fishing Derby and Chili Cook off fund raisers bring fun, food and funds together to support local causes.

Ice fishing teams from around the area participated in the Heartland Acres Ice Fishing Derby on Swan Lake.  The Lake is a popular attraction for the annual derby held the second weekend in February.  Normally, Swan Lake remains closed to the public but on occasion is opened for special events in order to help promote fishing and help maintain the health and wellbeing of Swan Lake.

Thirteen ice fishing teams drilled through over 20” of solid ice. Over the three hour period the derby contest ran, a total of 12 pounds of crappie were harvested along with several largemouth bass and a channel cat.  For this contest only crappie and bluegill we included in the final weigh in.

The final outcome of the Ice Fishing Derby:

- First Place went to Independence Ice Holes with a total weight of 7 pounds 7 ounces.

- Second Place went to Cy & Charley’s with a total weight of 2 pounds.

- Third Place went to ECIREC with a total weight of 2 pounds.

The tie was given to Cy & Charley’s for second place as their catch also included a Largemouth Bass.  Both teams ewer fin with the ruling.

The Grand Prize Raffle winner was Paul Kurt.  Paul’s ticket purchases won him a fish finder valued at $400.00.  A total of eight raffle prizes were award totaling a retail value of over $600.00.  Prizes included discount offers as well as related ice fishing equipment from area suppliers.

Ice hole drilling completion was also brought back this year.  In the Manual Ice Auger hole drilling competition, teams were represented by Team Get ‘em up and Cy and Charley’s.  Team Get ‘em up took first place honors with Cy & Charley’s coming in a close second.   In the Power Ice Auger hole drilling competition, teams from Spahn & Rose, Dunlap Motors, and Cy & Charley’s.  The Power completion was won by Cy & Charley’s.  The winning team from each completion took home $40.00.

Congratulations to all the anglers for participating in the 2014 Heartland Acres Ice Fishing Derby. The 2015 Ice Fishing Derby is tentatively set for the second Sunday, February 8, 2015.  Watch for further updates and more fishing events on Swan Lake.

In the Chili Cookoff completion, there were three teams competing. Teams supporting projects with Buchanan County Historical Society, Kidsville Early Learning Center and Heartland 4H Kids Club rang up tips and donations totaling over $535. The projects being supported by these are all beneficial to the community.

- First Place went to Buchanan County Historical Society.  Chef Joel Olsen has long track record of wins in the cookoff.

- Second Place went to Heartland 4H Kids Club.  Chef Amber VanRee is also the club leader and along with 4H  kids did an excellent job of making chili for their first time out.

-Third Place went to Rex Goodrich.  Rex did a fantastic job raising funds for Kidsville Early Learning Center with his chili that incorporated an amazing blend of many spices.

All events were well supported and many thanks go to the participants, sponsors and guests who turned out to support these activities at Heartland Acres.

Find Heartland Acres on Facebook, visit or call 319.332.0123 or better yet stop out and see us at 2600 Swan Lake Blvd, Independence, IA 50644.

Seed Savers Exchange

Heartland Acres Agribition Center Presents: Seed Savers Exchange; Buy your heritage seeds locally

For the sixth year, Heartland Acres Agribition Center is an outlet for “Seed Savers” of Decorah, Iowa.

Agriculture and seeds provide the basis upon which our lives depend.  For the benefit of all farmers, gardeners and consumers, heirloom seeds can now be purchased in the Gift Shoppe at Heartland Acres Agribition Center.

Seed Savers Exchange was founded in 1975 and has helped preserve our heritage.  Seed Savers Exchange saves and shares the heirloom seeds of our garden heritage. Saving seeds is part of ancient traditions and as stewards of our resources is one way of nurturing our diverse gardening heritage.

Gardeners from every corner of the world have brought seeds with them when their families immigrated to America.  Throughout the colonial period, traditional seeds brought by European settlers enriched the legacy of food crops grown by Native Americans.

You can find Seed Savers in the Gift Shoppe at Heartland Acres Agribition Center. For more information visit or call  319 332-0123.

Heartland Acres attends Travel Federation of Iowa Legislative Showcase

Heartland Acres attends Travel Federation of Iowa Legislative Showcase and meets Iowa Legislators

Craig Johnson – Heartland Acres, Don Short, Whitney Johnson and Aaron Steinman with Silos and Smokestacks at the Learning Center located on the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, Iowa on January 28, 2014

The Travel Federation of Iowa recently hosted their annual “Legislative Showcase” in the Learning Center at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines.  The event is held every January and is an opportunity for the many tourism sites and destinations throughout Iowa to show our State Legislators.

This year, over 80 Iowa legislators attended the event and were able to visit with the many destinations around the state of Iowa to learn what our great state has to offer our visitors.  Heartland Acres, along with Silos and Smokestacks, presented a vision to the legislators identifying our agricultural heritage sites.

The Travel Federation of Iowa website indicates 64,400 jobs in Iowa were supported by domestic travel in Iowa during 2012.  These jobs generated a $1.17 Billion payroll.  Visitors spent nearly $8 Billion on travel related goods and services which generated $841.3 Million in tax revenues.  Tourism in Iowa is a significant business and generates many opportunities for residents and our visitors.

Heartland Acres is excited to be part of the many great destinations located throughout Iowa and is a partner site of Silos and Smokestacks National Heritage Area.