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It’s good to be backIt’s good to be back

Nebraska Farmer editor Curt Arens invites you to celebrate ag, ‘come home’ to Husker.

Curt Arens

September 14, 2021

3 Min Read
Attendees at HHD's
KICKING THE TIRES: Visiting with equipment engineers, manufacturers and dealers is all part of the show at Husker Harvest Days. This year, producers and exhibitors alike are anxious to get back together to kick the tires and check out new technologies. Tyler Harris

There are those who say that Husker Harvest Days is like a gigantic family reunion. Farmers and ranchers who don’t see each other during other times of the year meet up annually at HHD to catch up with each other’s lives and to catch up on the latest and greatest in ag technology.

Romances have blossomed at HHD, with young couples meeting at the show and eventually marrying. Farm and ranch couples have celebrated birthdays and wedding anniversaries at the show, too. It’s more than a farm show to the folks attending; it’s something special.

COVID-19 canceled our family reunion in 2020, so we haven’t all been together at HHD for two years. That’s 24 months or 104 weeks or 730 days. It’s been a while.

That’s why this year’s Husker Harvest Days, Sept. 14-16, in Grand Island in many ways is a celebration of agriculture. We are celebrating being back together again, the resiliency of our industry and the people that make it tick.

In-person viewing

The technologies of today have kept moving forward, in spite of COVID-19. Although in-person HHD was canceled, our editors and equipment manufacturers filmed actual haying demonstrations and live cattle handling demonstrations at HHD last fall, and combined that footage with corn harvest demonstrations filmed at the Farm Progress Show site to bring the Farm Progress Virtual Experience.

This new platform caught field operations from different camera angles, with detailed insights that perhaps were not seen before. But as our national show director Matt Jungmann likes to say, “There is nothing like kicking the tires” of new equipment and visiting with engineers and manufacturers in person at the show.

In addition to the hundreds of exhibitors on the site during the show, you won’t want to miss the corn harvest demonstrations set for 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. each day. Check out the tillage demonstrations and haying demonstrations.

Look for educational exhibits and programming from our partners with the University of Nebraska, and check out “Dr. Joe” and live cattle handling and side-by-side livestock chute demonstrations in our Livestock Industries Building.

We have a full lineup of beef educational programming to go along with cattle handling, featuring speakers talking about what makes a beef business tick.

In the Hospitality Tent, don’t miss health screenings that can, literally, save your life. Check out the stage area, where our Farm Progress market experts will walk you through the outlook for the rest of the year and beyond. Nebraska Extension educator Allan Vyhnalek will discuss the process of farm transition planning on stage each day. And you never know who will stop by the stage during the Nebraska Farmer Hour scheduled for 1 p.m. daily, when our editors talk about what they are seeing at the show.

Like coming home

I first attended HHD years ago as a farmer, and over the past decade or so, I’ve been on the other side, working and covering the show that I hold in high esteem.

Husker Harvest Days is educational. It is informative. It offers the latest in technology. It is the farm show for the western Corn Belt and the Great Plains. It is the place to be for irrigation equipment and technology, as well as for the beef and livestock industry. But more than anything else, it is a homecoming and a family reunion all wrapped into one.

So, we welcome you to the show. We welcome you home. It’s good to be back.

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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