A non-profit group which aims to promote tourism while preserving agricultural heritage in northeastern Iowa has won a 322-thousand dollar grant. Peter Jorgensen is project director of “Silos and Smokestacks” which is a National Heritage Area covering 37 counties.Jorgensen says one project the group helped promote last year was the Country Heritage Maize Maze in Elgin which was named the “Best New Iowa Tourism Attraction.” He says that cornfield maze will be moved to Elkader this fall, along with several other projects.Jorgensen works out of Silos and Smokestacks’ Decorah office, though the group is based in Waterloo with another office in Postville. (As said above) The group hopes to develop tours of farms and agri-businesses for people that’ll be marketed over the world wide web to educate people about farming.The grant is from the R-J McElroy Trust in Waterloo. The 37 counties of northeast Iowa were designated a National Heritage Area by Congress in 1996. Jorgensen says much of the money will be used to focus on just four of the counties: Allamakee, Clayton, Fayette and Winneshiek.
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