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 A scene from the 2018 Nebraska State Hand Cornhusking Competition near Gothenburg. Gothenburg Chamber of Commerce
HAND HUSKING: A scene from the 2018 Nebraska State Hand Cornhusking Competition. This year, the event will be paired with the National Cornhusking Contest.

National Cornhusking Contest returns to Nebraska

The event will be paired with the Nebraska State Hand Cornhusking Competition from Oct. 19-20.

The modern-day combine changed the way corn is harvested. Most say it improved economics and the scale of farms, reduced labor needs and likely improved the quality of life for those laborers. But with that advancement, a piece of American history was almost lost.

Today, the National Cornhusking Contest keeps the tradition alive.

This year's contest will piggyback on the 2019 Nebraska State Hand Cornhusking Competition. The pair of events are slated for Oct. 19-20 near Gothenburg, Neb.

Hand cornhuskers will travel from nine different states to vie for top honors in age brackets ranging from youth to "golden agers."

"There are only a few still competing that actually picked corn by hand growing up, but it is so fun to watch those guys come back. Then they've passed on their enthusiasm," says Helen Cool, National Cornhusking Association president. "Many have just fallen in love with the sport because it's a chance to imagine the stamina it took be involved in agriculture before modern machinery."

Competitors pick for a set amount of time, then their harvest is weighed, and deductions are taken for debris.

"The contest mimics the things that would have been important back in previous decades — picking corn fast, picking corn clean," Cool says.

There is a novice division, and newcomers can try the sport for free.

In addition to watching horse-drawn wagons and cornhusking competitors in action, there will be food and craft vendors and family activities at the event. Antique farm equipment will be on display with demonstrations such as corn shelling, threshing and stationary baling.

Opening ceremonies start at 9 a.m. both days, with the competition beginning shortly after.

"If you've never tried it, there's no better time to learn how," Cool says. "Or just come to spend the day watching the action."

If interested in sponsoring the event, volunteering, vending or competing, there's something for everyone, she says.

"This sport is a piece of national history and our agriculture legacy," Cool says. "It's exciting to be part of it."

Details at a glance

Nebraska State Hand Cornhusking Competition — Saturday, Oct. 19:

  • Registration is from 7 to 9 a.m., with opening ceremonies at 9 a.m.
  • Lions Club pancake breakfast starts at 7 a.m.
  • The National Cornhusking Competition banquet is at 5:30 p.m.
  • Food vendors and kids activities all day, including an afternoon pedal pull.

National Hand Cornhusking Contest — Sunday, Oct. 20:

  • Lions Club pancake breakfast starts at 7 a.m.
  • Community Church is at 8 a.m.
  • Registration from 7 to 9 a.m., with opening ceremonies at 9 a.m.

For information, call the Gothenburg Chamber of Commerce office at 308-537-3505 or visit its website at

Source: Gothenburg Chamber of Commerce Ag Committee, which is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.
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