Increase Your Ag IQ with the Heartland Acres Agribition Center

Reader Contribution by Press Release
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Heartland Acres Agribiton Center launches – Increase Your Ag IQ. Craig Johnson, Executive Director along with interns from the University of Northern Iowa will be working over the next few months to help increase awareness of our agricultural heritage. As part of their assignment at Heartland Acres, the interns are tasked with finding relevant and interesting stories about our agricultural history.

We begin with our first story about the plow. It was an integral and highly valuable tool for farms. The following story about the plow is the work of Jason Butz – UNI intern.

In 1797, Charles Newbold patented the first cast iron plow. However, the farmers of the time did not really trust the new invention, they felt the iron plow would damage the soil and promote the growth of weeds. It was not until 1814 when Jethro Wood patented the first cast iron plow with three interchangeable parts. Interchangeable parts gave it a huge advantage over Newbold’s one-piece plow.

John Deere would change the face of farming with the invention of the world’s first self polishing, cast, steel plow in 1837. It was named the “Grasshopper” and was ideally suited to cut through the fertile prairie ground of the Midwest.

Evolution of plow continued as farmers moved away from using draft animals to using the new and more powerful mechanized tractors. Farming operations became more productive and efficient in order to manage the ever increasing size of farms.

In the mid 20th century agriculture again evolved towards minimum tillage practices to reduce land erosion and cut down on operational costs. The plow began to disappear from use. Today you will find many of the plows from years ago sitting in fields, unused, or in a museum.

This story of the plow was brought to you by Heartland Acres Agribition and Event Center. Please, feel free to come and visit us to learn more about the plow and many other farm implements we have on display.

For more information about Heartland Acres please visit us at or call (319) 332.0123.

Heartland Acres Agribiton Center is a 501 (c) (3) non profit organization with an all volunteer Board of Directors. Heartland Acres operates on admissions, donations, grants, rental fees and gift shop sales to sustain ongoing operations. Heartland Acres preserves, protects, educates and entertains visitors with displays and activities which continue telling the story of our agricultural and automotive heritage. Heartland Acres is located at 2600 Swan Lake Blvd., Independence, IA 50644.

Farm Collector Magazine
Farm Collector Magazine
Dedicated to the Preservation of Vintage Farm Equipment