Silos and Smokestacks Honors Best in Agricultural Heritage Preservation

Northeast Iowa - Silos & Smokestacks National Heritage Area (SSNHA) honored the best in heritage development during their annual Golden Silo Awards Luncheon, Wednesday, April 4, 2012. Regional partners gathered at the Waterloo Center for the Arts in Waterloo, IA to honor this year's award recipients. 

Golden Silo Awards are presented to individuals and organizations whose contributions demonstrate excellence in preserving and telling the America's agricultural story.  The following individuals and organizations were recognized for their contributions:

Hero in American Agriculture - Keith Elwick, Vinton, IA - New this Year, the award honors an individual, organization, business, agency or local government who has been a catalyst in revolutionizing the industry of agriculture.  By doing just what they did, they changed the way we feed the world. 

Outstanding Interpretation - Carl & Mary Koehler History Center,  Cedar Rapids, IA - New this year, the award honors a Partner Site who has shown excellence in interpreting the story of American agriculture.

Alan Hutching Outstanding Visionary - Dan McFarland, Hawkeye Buffalo Ranch, Fredericksburg, IA - Honors an individual, organization, business, agency or local government who has shown sustained support for the Heritage Area for more than five years, created a legacy in heritage development and provided leadership in the heritage development movement. 

Outstanding Preservation in Agriculture - Ice House Museum, Cedar Falls, IA - Honors an individual, organization, project business, agency or local government who has made an extraordinary effort in preserving the icons to the story of American agriculture. 

Outstanding Partner - Hartman Reserve Nature Center, Cedar Falls, IA - Honors an organization, institution or individual who has shown support and partnered with SSNHA on numerous occasions to create awareness for the Heritage Area.

Outstanding Volunteer(s) - Geof Grimes, SSNHA Board of Trustees, Waterloo, IA and Amanda Schwartz, National Farm Toy Museum, Dyersville, IA - Honors an individual or organization who has given tirelessly to SSNHA. 

People's Choice "Site of the Year" - Jenison Meacham Memorial Art Farm & Museum, Belmond, IA - Honors a SSNHA Partner Site who has been voted for by the public to be their favorite "Site of the Year."  Finalists included Amana Heritage Society Museums, Amana Colonies, and University of Iowa Museum of Natural History, Iowa City.

Also featured at this year's event was a special presentation by the Grout Museum District, Waterloo, IA from its farm story video history project.  Iowa farmer Keith Elwick, who was also recognized during the ceremony as a "Hero in American Agriculture," shared his inspiring story as an inventor on his farm near Vinton, IA.  His 'revolutionary' Hawk Bilt manure spreader helped transform agriculture worldwide and made him the first American to receive two British implement prizes from the Queen of England. Thanks to the Iowa Farm Bureau for sponsoring this year's event.

"Every year we look forward to honoring these deserving individuals and organizations, and each year I am more impressed with their accomplishments and dedication to the Heritage Area," commented Don Short, SSNHA President.

SSNHA is one of 49 federally designated heritage areas in the nation and is an Affiliated Area of the National Park Service.  The Heritage Area covers 37 counties in the northeast quadrant of Iowa.  Interstate 80 borders it on the south and Interstate 35 borders it on the west.  Through a network of sites, programs and events, SSHNA interprets farm life, agribusiness and rural communities- past and present.  To learn more about Silos & Smokestacks National Heritage Area, please visit





National Farm Toy Museum | 1110 16th Avenue Ct. SE | Dyersville, IA 52040 | 563-875-2727

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