Since its inception and the first show in the fall of 1978, Husker Harvest Days — the largest totally irrigated working farm show in the world — has been a premiere farm event, not only in Nebraska, but also for the western Corn Belt and Great Plains.
Located west of Grand Island, Neb., the focus on irrigation technology; livestock; forages; soil health; conservation; and corn, soybean, wheat, alfalfa and grain sorghum production makes the show a must-see for producers all across the country.
Nebraska Farmer magazine has been along for the ride since the beginning, but the roots of Husker Harvest Days came much earlier — in the corn shows of the early 1900s, and the hand cornhusking events hosted in the state that drew tens of thousands of farmers each year. That is the legacy of HHD.
One of the aspects of HHD that sticks out with many first-time showgoers is the family atmosphere and the loyalty of those attending. There are many producers who have attended every single show since 1978.
There are producers today who grew up going to HHD with their parents or grandparents. Marriage proposals and wedding anniversaries have been celebrated at HHD. The show itself has become part of the fabric of rural life, and that is one of the endearing qualities of HHD.
Producers attend HHD to visit with actual engineers and manufacturers of their favorite farm brands, as well as to see, experience, learn, network and share fellowship, and to be entertained. Over the years, HHD has not let them down.
I’ve heard from readers who viewed a new design of combine in the field for the first time at HHD, for instance. They remember when a new piece of machinery never seen before was unveiled, like a few years ago when Vermeer ceremoniously unveiled its new self-propelled ZR5 baler, and then demonstrated it in the field during the forage harvesting demos. Those moments are history in the making, and they stick with you.
We’d love to hear about your “Husker Harvest Days story.” Did you see a new machine for the first time? Was there something at HHD that stuck with you over the years or influenced your future farm purchases in an impactful way? Did you talk with an exhibitor who really made a difference in your operation?
Did you meet your future spouse at HHD? Did you celebrate one of your children’s birthdays, or a wedding anniversary? Do you attend each year with multiple generations from your farming family? What do you love about the show?
These are the kinds of things that we’d like to hear about. I can share my HHD story to get things started. My parents attended the second HHD in 1979, and they attended with several neighbors and friends on and off over the years.
I attended for the first time during my college years and was a regular attendee after I returned to the family farm. In fact, my wife and I were attending as farmers in 2007 when then-Nebraska Farmer editor Don McCabe approached me in the Hospitality Tent and asked if I might be interested in doing a little freelance writing for the magazine.
That brief visit at HHD changed my life, as I can attest as editor of the magazine today, working as a freelancer until 2010 when I was hired as a full-time field editor for Nebraska Farmer.
Share your story
We know that you have your own stories to tell, so if you wouldn’t mind sharing your memories, celebrations and moments with us about HHD, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or give me a call at 605-660-3522.
In the meantime, make plans now to attend HHD from Sept. 13-15, to make more moments, more memories and more experiences, so you’ll have new stories to tell. We’ll see you there!