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“No one can tell the great Midwestern story better than its people,” said Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, Chair of the MGA. “This video contest is a creative way to engage Midwesterners to tell our unique story, share our strengths and promote the region, from the quality of our workforce to our quality of life.”

Jesse Heier, executive director of the MGA, said, “This contest will help tell the region's positive story. Through this effort, we aim to bring renewed attention to the region's past successes and future opportunities.”


Photo Credit: Explore Minnesota Tourism



CLICK HERE to vote on submissions. Public voting underway and ends december 3rd.






For those of us who call America's Midwest home, we know the Midwest is a great place to live, raise a family, get an education, work and start a business. We rather like this "best-kept secret", but we're ready to share! For

For too long, the Midwest has allowed others to define what our region is, who we are and what we are capable of doing. Too often, our region lacks the recognition that makes it a great place- its four distinct season, quality education systems, vibrant cities, hard working and dedicated individuals, cultural and sporting activities, inviting people, and relaxing countrysides.

Thats why the Midwestern Governors Association (MGA) launched the "America's Smartland: Let the Midwest Surprise You!" video contest. This effort will help the world to learn about the tremendous strengths of our region.



  • Winning entrant will be awarded a $2,500 cash prize.
  • Up to nine “People’s Choice” winners will be selected through an online, public voting process. Winning entrants will receive a $1,000 cash prize.



  • Submission period closed October 15, 2012
  • Voting period to determine people’s choice winners via Facebook: October 17 – December 3, 2012
  • Winners announced February 2013






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