September 26, 2023

The southwest Iowa communities of Audubon and Manning will co-host what’s billed as an agritourism event next month.

Organizer Shelly Greving says the “Evolution of the Heartland Experience” will run August 3rd and 4th. She says the event is designed to showcase America’s rural communities and innovative agricultural advancements.

“From our rural main streets to the ag businesses, and even learn about where people’s food comes from,” Greving says, “and a few quirky little things as well, such as ostriches or yak, something that you don’t expect coming from rural Iowa.” So much innovation is happening in Iowa that Greving says we’re truly competitive with the Silicon Valley.

She says the event was created to bring people back to the Midwest and to show them ag entrepreneurship in action. “There’ll be immersive tours in the morning and afternoon,” Greving says. “We’ll take a charter bus, so an air conditioned bus, you don’t have to drive yourselves, we’ll take you everywhere you need to go, and those immersive tours, we have 12 different tours.”

Tour options the first day include Mainstreet Entrepreneurs; Innovation & Technology; Niche Farming; Spirits of the Heartland — Templeton Distillery; Beef & Swine Immersion; the Manning Hausbarn Heritage park tour, and more. “If you’re not happy with where you’re at, where you work or live, we hope that they can experience, ‘Wow, people around here truly care for one another and believe in one another,’” Greving says. “If you want to start your own business, we have the resources to do that here in Iowa and I think we’re going to see the tide turn in terms of people wanting to come here.”

Participants will get a taste of rural Iowa at a farm-to-table lunch, while a community tailgate supper will feature food stations with pork, beef, and more. Participants will also be able to browse local produce and goods at the Iowa Vendor Showcase. The deadline to register for the tours is Saturday (July 15th), and you can sign up here:

(By Ric Hanson, KJAN, Atlantic)

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