June, 26, 2023, Manning, IA – The rural Western Iowa communities of Manning and Audubon are excited to partner to host a unique agritourism event called ‘Evolution of the Heartland,’ for the second year. On August 3rd and 4th, 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 especially agriculture, as well as those who have an interest in learning more about the innovative ag advancements in the state.

All are welcome to register for this unique event. Participants have the option to travel from the Des Moines and Omaha metro areas on charter buses or drive themselves to the Manning Hausbarn-Heritage Park for immersive rural Iowa tours.

Tour options for day one will feature: Main Street Entrepreneurs, Innovation & Technology, Niche Farming, Spirits of the Heartland, Templeton Distillery, Beef Immersion, Swine Immersion, Shouse Tour, Historical Church Architectural Tour, Manning Hausbarn Heritage Park tour, and an Audubon Historical Tour. Participants have the option to stay overnight for a second day of immersive tours. Day two will focus on micro farming, however it is only available to the first 50 registrants.

Participants will get a taste of rural Iowa at the Farm-to-Table lunch. This will be a family-style meal featuring local foods, accompanied by conversations with local agricultural ambassadors and area FFA students. The Community Tailgate supper will feature food stations with pork, beef, a mashed potato bar, veggies, desserts, and more. Food will be provided by Two Palms Catering (Audubon), Deb’s Corner Café (Manning), Daryl’s Place (Hamlin), and The Bakery on Broadway (Audubon).

Participants will also be able to browse local produce and goods at the Iowa Vendor Showcase during the Community Tailgate. This year, the Iowa Vendor Showcase will include an outdoor “mini farm show” featuring local agricultural businesses.

After a full day of learning and networking, participants will have the option to stay overnight for another immersive tour the following day or return home that same evening. The cost to attend the event is $150 for just the first day or $325 for an overnight stay and the day two immersive tour. Registration is currently open and closes July 15th or until all spots have been reserved. Participants can register at www.evolutionoftheheartland.com.

Join the Evolution of the Heartland tour and discover what the future holds for rural Iowa and the agricultural industry. See first-hand how agriculture has evolved from its early roots in Germany in the 1600’s to 1900’s farming, and now to advanced technology in many Iowa agricultural businesses and Main Street communities.

Following the first year event, the Iowa tourism office was impressed with the execution of the event and its ability to highlight agritourism in rural Iowa, something that has not easily been done in the past.

“The Iowa tourism office has made a financial commitment as the presenting sponsor so that Emerge Marketing Solutions can scale the event statewide over the next five years,” shared State Tourism Manager, Amy Zeigler. “This is an excellent model for how we can showcase Iowa’s rural communities, Main Streets, roadside attractions, and innovative businesses.”

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 4th District, 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 currently seeking retail and agricultural vendors for the Iowa Vendor Showcase and prospective 2024 community event hosts. For more information, please complete the online forms or contact event coordinators, Paige Hepp & Annie Greve, at info@evolutionoftheheartland.com. Follow along with event updates on Facebook and Instagram @evolutionoftheheartland to learn more.

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