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More than a face in the front office

Suzy Allan Kleeb retires from the Husker Harvest Days show.

Mindy Ward, Editor, Missouri Ruralist

August 25, 2023

1 Min Read
woman in helicopter looking out window
FLYING HIGH: Suzy Allan Kleeb says one of her most memorable moments as a member of the Husker Harvest Days show staff was in 2018. She took a ride in a Nebraska Army National Guard CH-47 Chinook helicopter. Photo by Suzy Allan Kleeb

Husker Harvest Days show No. 3. That was the first time Suzy Allan Kleeb greeted those who walked into the show office in Grand Island, Neb. It’s a tradition she’s continued for more than 43 years.

Kleeb admits that the early years as HHD office manager were a little tricky. “My kids would be next to my desk in the pack-and-play,” she recalls.

Visitors and staff didn’t mind but rather enjoyed watching her children grow up at HHD. It likely created the family atmosphere many find in today’s show.

“Suzy makes Husker Harvest Days feel like a family reunion for everyone who walks in the door,” says Matt Jungmann, Farm Progress national events director. “That’s what makes her so special.”

Humble start

Kleeb, a Nebraska native, was involved in the farm show when it started. She along where her late husband, Joe Allan, supplied the cattle for the first cattle handling demonstrations at Husker Harvest Days.

“She’d get up early on show mornings, help load cattle and then head to the office,” Jungmann recalls. “Suzy simply works hard and enjoys serving the people of this show.”

When her husband Joe Allan was killed in 1991, Kleeb continued their work to help the show succeed, Jungmann says.

But after four decades, Kleeb is retiring. “Suzy has been through an unimaginable number of owners, structures, bosses and thousands of exhibitor contacts,” he says. “She has been a rock and reliable through the evolution of Husker Harvest Days, always being the local contact that knew everyone and had a friendly smile for everyone.”

Husker Harvest Days staff and exhibitors wish Suzy, her husband Kelvin Kleeb and their family the best for their future endeavors.

About the Author(s)

Mindy Ward

Editor, Missouri Ruralist

Mindy resides on a small farm just outside of Holstein, Mo, about 80 miles southwest of St. Louis.

After graduating from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural journalism, she worked briefly at a public relations firm in Kansas City. Her husband’s career led the couple north to Minnesota.

There, she reported on large-scale production of corn, soybeans, sugar beets, and dairy, as well as, biofuels for The Land. After 10 years, the couple returned to Missouri and she began covering agriculture in the Show-Me State.

“In all my 15 years of writing about agriculture, I have found some of the most progressive thinkers are farmers,” she says. “They are constantly searching for ways to do more with less, improve their land and leave their legacy to the next generation.”

Mindy and her husband, Stacy, together with their daughters, Elisa and Cassidy, operate Showtime Farms in southern Warren County. The family spends a great deal of time caring for and showing Dorset, Oxford and crossbred sheep.

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