Some things never change. Take Husker Harvest Days for instance. I've been to every one of the 36 shows so far at the permanent site west of Grand Island and this year's event was one of the best.
It's always a great venue for me to interact with Nebraska Farmer readers and to learn about new technologies and farm tools. And it's a great way to catch up on what the state's farm organizations are up to.
And the weather at HHD consistently throws a surprise or two, although we should be used to that by now. Matt Jungmann, Farm Progress events manager, said Mother Nature dished out a variety of Great Plains weather options this year. On Tuesday, it was quite hot in the afternoon, it rained on Wednesday and Thursday dawned to a very pleasant day.
It's gratifying to see the many young farm families at the show. They're hearty folks who never seem to be deterred by HHD's weather changes.
The popular field demos, of course, along with horse gentling and the cattle handling events and the more than 600 exhibitors along the streets, are the most visible activities. But a lot more goes on at the show than you think.
Here are a few examples.
- In the Nebraska Farmer Hospitality Tent, more than 30 healthcare organizations volunteer to make farm and ranch families aware of services available statewide. I had the privilege of escorting Gov. Dave Heineman through the tent and, afterward, he said he was impressed by this service offered for show visitors.
- Nebraska State Treasurer Don Stenberg, in a presentation in the Hospitality Tent, announced the six young students who won a big contribution to their college savings plan. It was the third annual "NEST of the Farm" presentation.
- FFA members are a common sight at the show, taking advantage of the valuable educational lessons the show provides. This year for the first time, a farm tire auction was held on Wednesday at the Titan/Goodyear Farm Tires and Graham Tire exhibit lot. Titan Tire donated the tires to the Nebraska FFA Foundation which in turn sold $39,000 in tires at the auction. That money will benefit the Nebraska FFA Foundation.
- Nebraska's 23 natural resources districts used the occasion to announce the three inductees into its new Natural Resources Districts Hall of Fame.
- This was the 25th anniversary of the cattle handling demonstrations at HHD. And Dr. Joe Jeffrey has been the popular narrator and entertainer at the demonstrations since the beginning.
- The first Husker Harvest Days was held in 1978 and the following summer, prior to the second show, a slide presentation featuring the Eugene Glock family of Rising was developed, in part, as a way to promote the show in its early years. The slide show, in addition to being shown during the months leading up to the show, was also shown during the 1979 show in the Nebraska Farmer tent. Eugene has been a regular visitor, missing only one or two shows since then, he told me. At this year's HHD, I took a photo of Eugene, his son, Ted, and grandson, Marshall, outside our tent. The three have come together since 2000. Ted said he was only 15 when the photographs for the slide show were taken.
Find out more about these happenings in the November Nebraska Farmer.