July 10, 2023, Manning, IA – Manning and Audubon are excited to partner to host a unique agritourism event called ‘Evolution of the Heartland,’ on August 3rd, 2023. This immersive experience will showcase the heart of America’s rural communities and the evolution of agriculture to those who are unfamiliar with rural Iowa and agriculture and for those who have an interest in learning more about the innovative ag advancements in the state. The cost to attend the event is $125 and registration will remain open until all spots have been reserved. All are welcome to register by visiting www.evolutionoftheheartland.com/register.

Immersive tour options include Main Street Entrepreneurs, Innovation & Technology, Niche Farming, Wine of the Heartland, Templeton Distillery, Beef Immersion, Swine Immersion, Shouse Tour, Historical Church Architectural Tour, Manning Hausbarn Heritage Park tour, an Audubon Historical Tour, and a Homegrown tour featuring local micro farms. To learn more about each tour, visit www.evolutionoftheheartland.com/immersive-tours.

Participants will get a taste of rural Iowa at the Farm-to-Table, family-style meal at the Audubon County Fairgrounds from 1-2:30pm. Lunch will feature local foods, accompanied by conversations with local agricultural ambassadors and area FFA students. The public is invited to join and purchase a plate for $15/person. Featured speakers will include Director of Iowa Economic Development Authority, Debi Durham, as well as the Handlos Family, sharing the evolution of their operations from farming to Waspy’s Travel Center and beyond.

The event will conclude with a Community Tailgate from 6-9pm at the Manning Hausbarn Heritage Park featuring a supper, Iowa Vendor Showcase, and live music. Supper will include prime rib, brat bites, pork loin, a charcuterie display, and local desserts. The public is invited to join and purchase a plate for $15/person. Food will be provided by Two Palms Catering (Audubon), Deb’s Corner Café (Manning), Daryl’s Place (Hamlin), and The Bakery on Broadway (Audubon). The Iowa Vendor Showcase will feature goods and produce from local retailers and an outdoor “mini farm show” featuring local agricultural businesses. Attendees can also enjoy live music from local musician, Scott Kirkhart until 10pm.

“This is an excellent model for how we can showcase Iowa’s rural communities, Main Streets, roadside attractions, and innovative businesses,” shared State Tourism Manager, Amy Zeigler.

This year’s event is made possible by the following sponsors, Travel Iowa, Iowa Food & Family Project, Audubon County Farm Bureau, Community Foundations of Southwest Iowa, Manning Hausbarn Heritage Park, Emerge Marketing Solutions, Iowa Corn 4thDistrict, Iowa Pork Producers Association, City of Manning, Audubon County Economic Development, and Farm Credit Services of America, and many more.

Evolution of the Heartland is seeking retail and agricultural vendors for the Iowa Vendor Showcase. For more information, please complete the online forms or contact event coordinators, Paige Hepp or Annie Greve, at info@evolutionoftheheartland.com. Follow along with event updates on Facebook and Instagram @evolutionoftheheartland to learn more.