Heartland Acres Agribition Center is located in Independence, Iowa. I’ve heard about them for a couple of years, but recently I got a chance to visit them when they hosted the 2009 One-Room School Workshop sponsored by the Iowa Historical Preservation Society. I’m glad I did. They are very specific in saying they are not a museum, but an experience center. It is designed to focus on both modern and historic agriculture.
The display building has several exhibit areas. As you enter to the right are interactive displays about livestock, including a great milking machine. Then there is a section on inventions and how they effected the development of agriculture and farm life.
A temporary exhibit area had a display on farm life in different decades. A full scale “Skelly” gas station from the 1920s serves as an entrance to the Cars of Yesteryear. The car collection is great including a Delorean like the time machine in the Back to the Future movies and one of those tiny cars like Urckle drove on Family Matters, in addition to a full range of other great cars.
The second floor is entirely devoted to the Hall of Time. This agricultural timeline gives important events in agricultural history illustrated by photos, paintings, and artifacts. It’s really interesting and calling out for an in-depth read.
The outside portion includes real animals ranging from chickens and pheasants to long horn cattle. There is also a room of baby animals and a display of modern farm machinery. A 1869 schoolhouse
is also on the grounds and is the same school, which in a previous location, was featured on the cover of William L. Sherman’s Iowa’s Country Schools: Landmarks of Education.
UPDATE 2014: I have been trying to get back to the Agribition Center since I originally made this post. They had the Big Bud the World’s Largest Tractor on display and I really wanted to see it, but sadly it’s moved on. You can find an updated list of their displays on their website. And find Big Bud at Heartland Museum in Clarion. Please reach them at (515) 602-6000
Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales fighting to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation.Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. She is currently acting President of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Legacy and Research Association. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.