Latest News

Heartland Acres Schoolmarm Gets New Dress

Denny Vance, from Independence, stands by our schoolmarm in her new dress in front of the one room school house at Heartland Acres

Denny Vance recently stopped by Heartland Acres and noticed our schoolmarm was in need of fresh coat of stain.  He approached us and offered to do the work.  The wood sculpture is special to Denny as he created her almost seven years ago.

When Heartland Acres first opened in 2007, Denny was identified as someone who could bring some character to our campus.  Denny is skilled at caving wood and he didn’t let us down with his creation.   The schoolmarm is made of white oak which stands up well in the elements, is structurally stable and offers a beautiful grain. The wood does require periodic care.

Instead of sealing the sculpture with a transparent sealer as we have done over the past few years, Denny used his eye for color and simple sophistication to update our schoolmarm.  She will greet visitors at the front of the one room school house in her new colors.   It is support from Denny and many others that help sustain us and add to the ongoing story of our agricultural heritage found at Heartland Acres.

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

Omega Institute Visits Heartland Acres

Heartland Acres Executive Director, Craig Johnson with Ken Kehrli, and representatives from Omega Institute in San Antonio TX; Vivian Lee, Rafael Nieto and, Jaryon Zhang

Ken Kehrli with Kerhli Farms in Winthrop, brought guests to Heartland Acres representing Omega Institute. Omega focusses on developing educational opportunities, trade relations and business development with partners across American and China.

The visitors where excited to see the agricultural education opportunities at Heartland Acres.  Vivian is originally from Hong Kong and is excited to work with educational facilities in developing learning and cross cultural interaction.

Heartland Acres 1929 Packard Wins People’s Choice Award

Bill Dikis with the Des Moines Concours d’elegance and Craig Johnson, Executive Director of Heartland Acres Agribition Center in Independence, Iowa. The 1929 Packard behind them won “People’s Choice” award at the contest held in downtown Des Moines, IA on Sunday, September 7 2014.

Downtown Des Moines recently featured the first concours d’elegance which by definition means; “an exhibition or contest of vintage or classic motor vehicles in which prizes are awarded for those in the best original condition.”   Over 130 vintage automobiles from around the country were on exhibit with an estimated five thousand people in attendance.  Automobiles competed in 12 separate classes with judging by auto enthusiast from around the area.

For the last three years, Heartland Acres has participated in the contest with House and Gardens was with the assistance of event organizers.  This year a vintage 1929 Packard 645 Dual Cowl Phaeton, on loan to Heartland Acres as part of their car museum exhibits, was on display at the concours d’elegance.  Cars of varying degrees of restoration and authenticity were in attendance.  The 1929 Packard represented a museum quality restoration from over 40 years ago.  Design high lights found on the car include Trippe safety headlights, mechanical breaks on all four wheels, a covered passenger compartment and an in-dash temperature gauge.

Craig Johnson, Executive Director of Heartland Acres said, “The 1929 Packard receives the most comments from museum guests and the People’s Choice award is very fitting for this car.”  Heartland Acres is primarily focused on exhibiting items pertaining agricultural innovation however there are also over 20 vintage cars and trucks featured in the car museum showing the progression of automobile design from the horseless carriage to modern day.

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

Family Fishing Day – September 14th

Family Fishing Day will be Sunday, September 14 at Heartland Acres Agribition Center in Independence, Iowa.  The campus will allow fishing on Swan Lake to guests as part of their regular paid museum admission.  Annual or lifetime members of Heartland Acres will be allowed to fish at no extra charge.

Fishing will run from noon to 4:00PM.  This is the last family fishing day scheduled for 2014.  Wristbands to fish Swan Lake will be available at the admission desk in the museum.  Swan Lake is approximately four acres and holds a variety of fish including Catfish, Crappie, Bluegill and Bass.  For these events, anglers will be allowed to “catch and keep” all Crappie, Large Mouth Bass, and Bluegill.  All other fish are to be catch and release.

Fishing will be allowed from the shore only.  Anglers are to bring their own gear. Simple gear including: poles, 1/8 oz jigs, twister tails, hooks and sinkers will work fine. Worms make the best bait and will be supplied lakeside at no charge, courtesy of Ben and Jill Bigler from The Bait Shoppe.  Anglers are to follow all Iowa fishing laws and regulations and are required to have a valid Iowa Fishing License and be good sportsmen.

For more information about Heartland Acres please  call (319) 332.0123 or find us on Facebook.  Heartland Acres is a 501 c (3) non-profit organization.

Annual Heartland Acres Agribition Center Golf Outing RECAP Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Teams from East Central Iowa – REC and Edward Jones Investments pose before teeing off at River Ridge Golf Course in Independence. From Left to Right: Steve Rau, Fred Meihe, Steve Marlow, Gary Marlow, Al Albers, Tim Manatt, Rod Conrad, and Mark McGarvey at the 6th Annual Heartland Acres Golf Outing held Wednesday, September 3, 2014.

Teams once again participated in the annual Heartland Acres Golf Outing held September 3 at River Ridge Golf Club in Independence, Iowa.  Winners for longest drive, longest putt and closest in 2, challenged participants along with several Hole- in-One opportunities.  The major Hole-in-one prize of a 2014 Chevy Cruze went unclaimed.

Two overall team winners emerged at the end of the day.  Edward Jones’ Team finished with a 58 in the all men competition.  Team members included Mark McGarvey, Tim Mannatt, Fred Meihe and Rod Conrad.  Ridihalgh Fueling Snitker & Weber took home prizes in the mixed competition with a score of 66.  Team members included Bob Hanna, Cheryl Hanna, Vicki McClintock and Nancy Paisley.  Each of the team winners took home took home beef bundles.

The annual golf outing continues to help raise funds for the museum.  “Every bit counts as we keep working to build awareness and help make Heartland Acres Agribition Center a place we can all be proud of,” commented Craig Johnson, Executive Director.

Event organizers are planning the 2015 golf outing which is set for Wednesday, September 9, 2015.

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