Latest News

Heartland Acres annual Ice Fishing Derby and Chili Challenge, Feb. 8

Heartland Acres annual Ice Fishing Derby and Chili Challenge is set for Sunday, February 8, 2015

This will be our fifth consecutive year for the Ice Fishing Derby and Chili Challenge events.

The events start with the Chili Challenge from 11 am – 2 pm.  The Fishing derby begins at 1 pm and ends at 4 pm.

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 Challenge which is  “FREE WILL” donation and will be shared with the chili cooks for their favorite charities.

Print off the entry forms and send them back to or visit Heartland Acres and pick up an entry form during regular business hours.  Entries due by January 31, 2015.

2015 Chili Challenge Entry Form

2015 Fish Derby Entry Form

Heartland Acres Attends Tourism Meeting

Representatives from Iowa Tourism Association, Community Economic Development, The Daily Freeman- Journal, Community Visitors Bureau and Heartland Acres attended a recent tourism meeting held in Webster City.

Tourism, advertising and economic development representatives recently met in Webster City to discuss plans for building awareness to Iowa’s highway 20.  The meeting included representatives from Western, Central and Eastern Iowa Tourism Associations, Convention and Visitors Bureau, Economic Development and Heartland Acres.  The meeting was hosted by The Daily Freeman-Journal at the Fuller Hall Recreation Center Meeting Room in Webster City.

The group is working on advertising strategies which will best serve visitors to our state and specifically those traveling along Highway 20.  Many attractions and events are occurring in the communities along Highway 20 and getting the word out is key.

Tourism in Iowa annually generates over $7 billion dollars in traveler spending which provides over $320 million annually in tax revenue for the state of Iowa.  Tourist attractions throughout Iowa see several hundred thousand visitors annually.  Tourism also supports over 62,000 travel related jobs in the state with a payroll of over $1 Billion annually.

For more information about Heartland Acres please call us at (319) 332-0123 or find us on Facebook.

Heartland Acres Observes Veterans Day

1926 Singer sewing machine used during World War ll to sew canvas for tents, hammocks and other related items. This machine was used by ladies in Independence to help in the war effort. This is a recent addition to “Ag in the Military Display”.

Tuesday, November 11 is Veterans Day. To honor and say thank you to all retired and current US Military members, Heartland Acres is offering half price admission to the museum for the month of November.  Military ID required.

According to the U.S Department of Veterans Affairs website the origin of Veterans Day began in 1921.  An unknown World War I American soldier was buried in Arlington National Cemetery and similar ceremonies occurred in England and France.  These memorials took place on November 11, giving universal recognition to the end of World War I.  Fighting ended at 11 a.m., November 11, 1918 (the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month). The day was known as “Armistice Day” and is now called Veterans Day.

Members of our armed forces throughout time and all over the globe work to insure our freedoms and our safety. Heartland Acres wishes to honor all who have served or are currently serving in our military by offering half price admission to the museum throughout the month of November. “This is a small token of our appreciation for the commitments and sacrifices made by members of our military to help keep us safe.” commented Brian Bell, Event Manager at Heartland Acres.

“Ag in the Military Display” remains on exhibit due to its popularity and is a cornerstone exhibit for Heartland Acres.

For hours of operation and more information about Heartland Acres check us out at or call 319.332.0123.

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

Bloom Elevator Receives New Life at Heartland Acres

Jerry Shaffer is seen in the middle of his care and restoration project on a recently donated Bloom Manufacturing elevator. Jerry has been with Heartland Acres for 7 years. At 80 years young, Jerry knows this type of equipment and in some cases used it back in the day.

Bloom Manufacturing, located west of Independence has evolved over the years and has manufactured items for the needs of a changing economy and customer base.  The origins of the company date back to the early 1900’s.

Early days of the company were focused on design and manufacture of grain elevators, corn cutters, and grain augers.  The items were well known throughout the area for being reliable, efficient and affordable.  Some of the equipment is still seen today in farming operations in Amish communities.

Heartland Acres received a donation of a Bloom Manufacturing elevator from Mike Sindt in Charles City.  The elevator sat outside for many years and was deteriorating.  Mike thought of Heartland Acres as great place to display the item for others to see.  The elevator is being cleaned up, sealed with some linseed oil and having minor repairs so the gears will turn again and will then be displayed.  The elevator may end up with a small gas or electrical motor mounted to it which would have been the preferred method of powering the elevator back in the day.

This and many other items are on display at Heartland Acres to tell the story of our local manufacturing and agricultural economy.

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

Working exhibits at Heartland Acres – Barn Quilt program continues

Members of the J. Wayne Crawford family inspect the progress of their barn quilt in honor of their parents. Left to Right: John Crawford, Rose Grover, Larry Crawford, and Roxanne Fuller – Executive Director - Buchanan County Extension and outreach

To honor their parents, the children of the J. Wayne Crawford family recently purchased a barn quilt from Buchanan County Extension and Outreach.  The barn quilt is 8’x8’ with a color scheme representative of their fathers’ favorite tractor, a 1937 Oliver, Row Crop 70 currently on exhibit at Heartland Acres.

The Crawford family barn quilt is unique as it will include a hand painted Oliver – Row Crop 70 tractor in the middle of the colorful shapes traditionally represented on barn quilts.  Buchanan County Extension and Outreach has taken the lead on the Buchanan County Barn Quilt revitalization program and is actively involved in the build, preparation and painting of the barn quilts purchased.  Roxanne Fuller has worked on the quilt for the last month and stated, “Each barn quilt represents the design wishes of the purchaser and involves several steps in making the barn quilt attractive and of a quality capable of standing up to the elements.”

For more information about the barn quilt program please stop out to Heartland Acres and visit the Buchanan County Extension and Outreach office or give Extension a call at 319.334.7161.  Heartland Acres is excited to be part of the barn quilt revitalization program and have it as part of our ongoing working exhibits located in center court of the museum.

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