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Blacksmithing techniques on display

Lee Samuelson of Holdrege, Neb., enjoys demonstrating the craft for Husker Harvest Days visitors.

Curt Arens, Editor, Nebraska Farmer

August 19, 2019

1 Min Read
Lee Samuelson of Holdrege, Neb., works on a blacksmithing project at Husker Harvest Days,
HOT JOB: Lee Samuelson of Holdrege, Neb., works on a blacksmithing project at Husker Harvest Days, near the antique tractor and implement displays.

Antique tractors and implements are a mainstay at Husker Harvest Days, along with everything new and shiny. Visitors to HHD can view the antique machinery along South Shuttle Road on their way to the main exhibit field, where the latest and greatest in technology is on display.

If you have visited the antique displays in recent years, you probably have met Lee Samuelson of Holdrege, Neb., who has been showing off his blacksmithing skills at HHD.

“I got started back in 2009 when my son got into it and made a little horseshoe for a 4-H project,” Samuelson says. “After that, it became a nice hobby. I make mostly horseshoes and anything else we can use around a camp.” He even makes hat racks out of the horseshoes.

Samuelson now gets plenty of practice, showing folks how metal was manufactured into useful items for the farm decades ago. He attends threshing shows and HHD every year, setting up for the shows with a hand-crank forge, hot coals, and a hammer and anvil.

If you stop by the antique tractor and implement display area at HHD, you most likely will find Samuelson working on his next project and explaining how he became skilled in the craft.

About the Author(s)

Curt Arens

Editor, Nebraska Farmer

Curt Arens began writing about Nebraska’s farm families when he was in high school. Before joining Farm Progress as a field editor in April 2010, he had worked as a freelance farm writer for 27 years, first for newspapers and then for farm magazines, including Nebraska Farmer.

His real full-time career, however, during that same period was farming his family’s fourth generation land in northeast Nebraska. He also operated his Christmas tree farm and grew black oil sunflowers for wild birdseed. Curt continues to raise corn, soybeans and alfalfa and runs a cow-calf herd.

Curt and his wife Donna have four children, Lauren, Taylor, Zachary and Benjamin. They are active in their church and St. Rose School in Crofton, where Donna teaches and their children attend classes.

Previously, the 1986 University of Nebraska animal science graduate wrote a weekly rural life column, developed a farm radio program and wrote books about farm direct marketing and farmers markets. He received media honors from the Nebraska Forest Service, Center for Rural Affairs and Northeast Nebraska Experimental Farm Association.

He wrote about the spiritual side of farming in his 2008 book, “Down to Earth: Celebrating a Blessed Life on the Land,” garnering a Catholic Press Association award.

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