Tractor ride at Heartland Acres!

The 2019 Heartland Acres John Cannon Memorial Tractor Ride is set for Saturday, June 8.  The route this year will take us from Heartland Acres to Quasqueton then east to the Buffalo and back towards Winthrop and return to Heartland Acres. Seen in the picture is the brother of Lowell Walter, the original owner of Cedar Rock located near Quasqueton on the Wapsipinicon River.       

Heartland Acres Agribition Center in Independence, Iowa is planning the Annual John Cannon Memorial Tractor Ride for Saturday, June 8, 2019.

The ride will start at 8:30 a.m. from the Heartland Acres parking lot at 2600 Swan Lake Blvd., in Independence, Iowa.  Entry forms for preregistration are available at Heartland Acres admission office or by visiting our website at    

The ride this year includes a stop at Cedar Rock which will include a tour and a lunch break.  The story of Cedar Rock is significant to Buchanan County and Iowa.

Together Lowell and Agnes Walter created the Walters Farm Management Company.  At one time their office was located at 609 Waterloo Building, Waterloo, Iowa.  The business started with one family farm but grew to 5,000 acres of farmland.  Lowell employed his uncle then nephew to manage his rental farms.

In the January 1945 letter Lowell wrote to Frank Lloyd Wright to commission him to design Cedar Rock Lowell owned both the Iowa Road Building Company and 3,500 acres of farmland. Ultimately purchasing more than 5,000 acres. The Walters rented land and farmhouses to local farmers on a 50/50 profit split.

In a letter in the early 1970s Lowell Walter wrote that he has 4,930 acres of high-grade Iowa farmland in eastern Buchanan County.  An excerpt reads…” Every farm raises hogs, some marketing 700-800 hogs per year, with probably an average of 300-400.  Some farms feed around 50 head of cattle with a couple farms around 100 head; some farms do quite a little grade B dairying, milking 25-30 cows, and a few raise 200-400 laying hens.  The diversified farming depends on the tenants as well as the farms and improvements, as many tenants do not desire to milk or raise chickens, while younger tenants starting out, desire steady income.”

In 1973, Mr. and Mrs. Walter sold all the farmland in one transaction to the Arnold Farm Corporation from Chicago for $3.5 million.  This included more than 5,000 acres and 18 farms.  This single land transaction between Lowell and Agnes Walter and the Arnold Farm Corp. remains one of the largest land transactions in Buchanan County history.  Arnold Farm Corp. chose to divest of the holdings in several smaller transactions.