Nebraska Farmer Logo

National Guard to display its equipment

Nebraska National Guard focuses on the next generation through interactive display at HHD.

Kevin Schulz, Editor

August 20, 2021

3 Min Read
A Nebraska National Guard helicopter
REACHING NEXT GEN: The Nebraska National Guard brings out helicopters and Humvees to show Husker Harvest Days visitors. They also engage the next generation with a STEM trailer.Mindy Ward

Whether it’s providing relief to humans and their livestock during blizzards or floods, or helping during a pandemic, the Nebraska National Guard is always quick to answer the call.

When the state’s National Guard isn’t busy delivering hay and other relief supplies to those in need, it finds time to show up at Husker Harvest Days for one of the show’s most popular exhibits. Guard members and their display will be stationed near the southwest entrance.

Staff Sgts. Matthew Wonder and Schuyler Schoenhofer say the National Guard will have an impressive showing at this year’s Husker Harvest Days, as requests have been made to have a CH-47 Chinook helicopter, a Blackhawk helicopter and a UH72 Lakota helicopter at the show, Wonder says. He assures that at least one of the helicopters will be on the show grounds.

As in years past, show visitors will be able to climb aboard the helicopters and visit with a pilot.

“Everyone is allowed to walk up, look in the cockpit,” he says. “They can go into the actual loading area. They are free to roam about; they just can’t go into the cockpit.”

A request has also been made to have an 1165 up-armored Humvee, and visitors will be able to sit in the Humvee, look under the hood and see how up-armored Humvees are different.

Focus on younger generation

Another exhibit the National Guard hopes to have on display is a STEM trailer, to show attendees how the Nebraska National Guard fits into the science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines that make up STEM curricula.

“Our focus is that younger generation coming over to our booth,” Schoenhofer says, “so the STEM trailer is targeted toward them to show them how we [National Guard] fit into the STEM careers.”

Also at the show will be some virtual-reality items and a station where showgoers will be able to build and program a mini robot. Visitors will also be able to drive and control an explosive ordnance disposal robot.

The STEM trailer and the Humvee are confirmed for the show, while the helicopters’ presence depends on them not being needed for military service.

“Our biggest focus, especially this year, is just letting people get their hands on different items, or hands on the equipment that we have that we use whether here or overseas,” Schoenhofer says.

And, as usual, the Nebraska National Guard will offer items such as yardsticks, towels or hats, so visitors aren’t leaving empty-handed.

On call

Various units of the Nebraska National Guard were called to duty to help in the fight against COVID-19, as soldiers were brought in to facilitate the testing and direction of operations associated with the pandemic at Lincoln, Omaha and other areas across Nebraska.

About 300 Nebraska Guardsmen were also sent to Washington, D.C., during President Joe Biden’s inauguration, as well as providing support for local police during protests.

The Nebraska National Guard began with the official organization of the Nebraska militia by an act of the territorial legislature in 1856.

Visit the Nebraska National Guard display during Husker Harvest Days on Lot 99W in the Southwest Quadrant Sept. 14-16 in Grand Island, Neb.

About the Author(s)

Kevin Schulz

Editor, The Farmer

Kevin Schulz joined The Farmer as editor in January of 2023, after spending two years as senior staff writer for Dakota Farmer and Nebraska Farmer magazines. Prior to joining these two magazines, he spent six years in a similar capacity with National Hog Farmer. Prior to joining National Hog Farmer, Schulz spent a long career as the editor of The Land magazine, an agricultural-rural life publication based in Mankato, Minn.

During his tenure at The Land, the publication grew from covering 55 Minnesota counties to encompassing the entire state, as well as 30 counties in northern Iowa. Covering all facets of Minnesota and Iowa agriculture, Schulz was able to stay close to his roots as a southern Minnesota farm boy raised on a corn, soybean and hog finishing farm.

One particular area where he stayed close to his roots is working with the FFA organization.

Covering the FFA programs stayed near and dear to his heart, and he has been recognized for such coverage over the years. He has received the Minnesota FFA Communicator of the Year award, was honored with the Minnesota Honorary FFA Degree in 2014 and inducted into the Minnesota FFA Hall of Fame in 2018.

Schulz attended South Dakota State University, majoring in agricultural journalism. He was also a member of Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity and now belongs to its alumni organization.

His family continues to live on a southern Minnesota farm near where he grew up. He and his wife, Carol, have raised two daughters: Kristi, a 2014 University of Minnesota graduate who is married to Eric Van Otterloo and teaches at Mankato (Minn.) East High School, and Haley, a 2018 graduate of University of Wisconsin-River Falls. She is married to John Peake and teaches in Hayward, Wis. 

When not covering the agriculture industry on behalf of The Farmer's readers, Schulz enjoys spending time traveling with family, making it a quest to reach all 50 states — 47 so far — and three countries. He also enjoys reading, music, photography, playing basketball, and enjoying nature and campfires with friends and family.

[email protected]

Subscribe to receive top agriculture news
Be informed daily with these free e-newsletters

You May Also Like