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International Visitors Center hosts Exporter Education hour for farmers and exhibitors.

Curt Arens, Editor, Nebraska Farmer

August 17, 2021

2 Min Read
The International Visitors Center
AROUND THE WORLD: The International Visitors Center on the Husker Harvest Days showgrounds host growers and exhibitors from around the world interested in Nebraska agriculture and regional agriculture industries.Mindy Ward

Husker Harvest Days is a premiere show for many reasons — one of them is its location in Nebraska, the nation’s top irrigation state, with an array of irrigation manufacturers.

Irrigation technology and the hundreds of exhibitors touting new products and systems are also reasons that Husker Harvest Days has become a destination for visitors from not only across the country, but also around the world.

Before COVID-19 canceled the 2020 show, Farm Progress in 2019 partnered with the Nebraska Department of Agriculture and the Department of Economic Development, along with Valmont Industries, to unveil a new International Visitors Center on the show site.

Networking opportunities

Located at the northeast corner of Central Avenue and Main Street on Lot 34 — just north of the Hospitality Tent — the visitors center offers hospitality, networking  and opportunities to connect U.S. and international agricultural business interests.

Matt Jungmann, Farm Progress national events director, says Nebraska is a hub for irrigation companies and irrigation equipment like center pivots. The products are being shipped not only to farmers within a three-hour drive of Husker Harvest Days, but also to farmers all over the globe.

“It’s fair to say HHD is one of the best exhibits they [companies] put up to display their new technology and tools, and it’s one of the best places for folks to come and learn about it. It would be great if we can attract growers all over the world to HHD,” Jungmann says

The last time an in-person Husker Harvest Days show was held, Nebraska companies used the International Visitors Center to give presentations in a kind of matchmaking platform. If visitors were interested in learning more about the company, they could watch the presentation and make a point to visit its exhibit at Husker Harvest Days.

At that time, the U.S. Commercial Service, the Nebraska Department of Agriculture, the Nebraska Department of Economic Development and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln also made presentations at the International Visitors Center.

With his support and promotion of Nebraska products and companies to a strong list of specific countries, Gov. Pete Ricketts firmly supports and promotes the International Visitors Center at HHD.

Getting back to normal

While things have opened considerably in Nebraska over the past few months, COVID-19 restrictions are still in place in many countries around the world. This challenges the continuing efforts of international travelers to make connections with international growers at the show.

However, the International Visitors Center, with Chief Agri joining Valley Irrigation as a sponsor, will be open for business. The format for 2021 will be similar to 2019, providing networking and connections for Nebraska businesses with an international interest and scope, and offering a place for presentations to international business interests and growers.

In fact, the International Visitors Center at Husker Harvest Days will feature an Exporter Education hour from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Sept. 15 to help growers and exhibitors understand the state and federal resources available to assist in the exporting process.

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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