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The Week in Social 10/4 - 10/8

The Week in Social rounds up the best of Iowa’s uplifting stories, exciting initiatives and fun events from all 99 counties discovered through social media. In a time where every bit of good news is cherished, this series is devoted to being a fun, lighthearted way to stay informed about Iowa’s good news.

Living History Farms Receives $193k Federal Grant

At the Living History Farms Museum, you can explore over 300 years of Iowa history. From learning how the early settlers produced a three-month harvest to stepping into a historic schoolhouse, the museum has become a beloved destination.

The museum recently received a $193,402 federal grant which will be used to expand the interactive museum’s exploration of Ioway tribe culture, the immigrant experience in Iowa and African-American history in Iowa. The grant will also increase the museum staff size and allow the museum to hire a program registrar and a curator of collections and archives to participate in a community-wide Juneteenth celebration in 2022.

“A primary objective in all of Living History Farms’ offerings is to build creativity, curiosity and empathy. We can fulfill both goals by telling more inclusive stories of Iowa’s rural history, including early Ioway farmers, immigrants who owned and worked at the Flynn Farm, and African Americans who owned or worked on Iowa farms,” said Ruth Haus, president of Living History Farms.

Field of Dreams Becoming More Than a Field

The Field of Dreams movie site welcomed around 20,000 visitors to town during the MLB Field of Dreams Game. As more people come to Dyersville to experience the iconic field, the town feels ready to make the fan experience even better by using a $1.5 million U.S. Economic Development Authority grant to support water and wastewater infrastructure to connect city services to the Field of Dreams site.

“It allows for development opportunities like a hotel and permanent MLB stadium, along with a future convention center and other opportunities to service the needs at that site,” said Mick Michel, Dyersville city administrator. “I think this has been the catalyst to starting other great projects in our No. 1 tourism site in Dyersville but also in the state of Iowa.”

Best Pumpkin Patches and Apple Orchards in Greater Des Moines

With hayrides, corn mazes and cider donuts, Iowans know how to enjoy the fall season. Our friends at Catch Des Moines shared their favorite pumpkin patches and apple orchards ranked by locals that create the perfect fall adventure.

The highest ranked included the Center Grove Orchard with its spacious pumpkin patch, apple orchard and sunflower meadow. Plus, there’s never a dull moment with 25 different attractions including corn mazes, bottle feeding baby goats and bounce castles. At Geisler Farms, you can ride pedal karts and trikes, race rubber ducks, play corn hole and so much more. If you are looking for more of an adrenaline rush, The Pumpkin Ranch features a corn maze over 10 acres with a fun design, farm ninja obstacle courses and a zipline. If you want an unconventional pumpkin experience, try Howell’s Pumpkin Patch to see pumpkins fly out of a pumpkin cannon.

If you aren’t able to make it to the Des Moines area, check out our list of pumpkin patches and apple orchards to find one closer to you. And for even more farm fun across the state, download the Iowa Farm & Fun Passport.

Iowa Celebrates Manufacturing Month

Manufacturing is Iowa’s No. 1 business sector. To celebrate the success of Iowa's 4,100 manufacturers, Business Record and Iowa Association of Business and Industry are highlighting products that are made in Iowa. Curious what is being manufactured close to you? Check out the interactive product map that shows all the manufacturing companies in Iowa.

Published October 12, 2021

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