Few words today. I'll just let you watch this amazing video produced by Brock Massin at Massin Studios here in Gothenburg. Drop a comment below and tell us what you think.
It's another big weekend here in Gothenburg as the Chamber of Commerce Ag Committee hosts the 2019 Nebraska & National Hand Cornhusking Championships at Hecox Farms. It's no small feat to organize an event of this magnitude and it doesn't just happen overnight. It takes a lot of foresight, a lot of planning, a lot of volunteer hours.
So to anyone who played a part, large or small, thank you in advance.
Whether you're a sponsor, vendor, volunteer or participant, you've contributed to one of the best attempts at keeping our ag history alive. Maybe you're on the front lines driving a team pulling a wagon. Or you might be gleaning corn behind contestants. Or you're the person picking up trash. From the most visible to the least, we need you.
The reason Gothenburg gets such positive feedback from events where we host folks from other parts of the state — or nation — is because of the people. We pull together, we work hard and we always, always, always do a great job. It's The Gothenburg Way.
I have no doubts this weekend will be more of the same.
And if you're one of the few who have not volunteered in some way to help with the Nebraska & National Hand Cornhusking Championships but you'd kind of like to see what it's all about, come on out to Hecox Farms on Saturday or Sunday (or both): one mile south of the interstate and 2.5 miles west. I think you'll be pleasantly impressed with what's going on. Don't wait too long and think you'll catch it next time, though. Next year, the state contest is in Holdrege and the national competition will be in Kansas.
Click HERE if you want to be part of history and volunteer for a couple of hours.
Click HERE to go to our Cornhusking website.
There are national recognition days every single day of the year. In October alone there is National Black Dog Day, National Taco Day, National Noodle Day, Be Bald and Be Free Day, Boss's Day, Reptile Awareness Day and National Mincemeat Day, just to name a few.
Here's a really important October day we'll be celebrating at 10th and Lake next week: Wednesday, Oct. 16, is National Support Your Local Chamber of Commerce Day.
Celebrated annually on the third Wednesday of October, Support Your Local Chamber of Commerce Day reminds us that local Chambers of Commerce create a stronger community, and the special day offers an opportunity to say thanks to an organization that strives to support local business.
Do you know who runs your Gothenburg Chamber of Commerce? Well there's me, of course, and you likely know me or you wouldn't have somehow found your way to this blog. But the Chamber is actually governed by a board of directors that represent a cross-section of the community. They are:
PRESIDENT — Dr. Kim Johnson, Gothenburg Eyecare & Optical
PAST PRESIDENT — Ty Schurr, Flatwater Bank
PRESIDENT-ELECT — Ben Kamschnieder, Frito-Lay/PepsiCo
TREASURER — Travis Anderson, 1st State Bank
Heather Combs Platter, Gothenburg Discount Pharmacy
Allison Jonas, Gothenburg Public Schools
Trenton Long, Parker Hannifin
Matt Olsen, Edward Jones Investments
Janell Rossen, Country Partners Cooperative
Lindsey Tederman, Charm Boutique
GIC REPRESENTATIVE — Helen Cool, 1st State Bank
CITY REPRESENTATIVE — Bruce Clymer, City Administrator
Another good question: Do you know what your Gothenburg Chamber of Commerce does in your community? Here's a sample:
So what can you do to show your appreciation on National Support Your Local Chamber of Commerce Day?
If you're not a member, it's a prime time to join. If you care about promoting and supporting local businesses, joining the Chamber is the best way to do that. And if you're already a member, you could volunteer on a committee, link your business website to the Chamber's site or recruit a new member. And by all means, if you have something good to say about your Chamber organization, say it! Write a letter to the editor, call the office, email your Chamber board members or share a little something on your social media.
The people in this All-America City know we're stronger when we work together. Your Chamber of Commerce aims to keep it that way.
It's no surprise to those of us who love this town that Gothenburg finds itself in the spotlight now and then. We know we're a great community and it's nice to get a little positive affirmation once in awhile.
You know it's about to happen again, right?
In just a little over two weeks, Gothenburg will host the Nebraska & National Hand Cornhusking Championships. Maybe you think that's no big deal since Gothenburg has hosted the state competition for the past three years and several times prior to that. Or maybe you're not directly involved in the agriculture industry, so you believe this event is not for you. You would be wrong on both counts.
The National Hand Cornhusking Championships have been going on for quite some time. A fun little video on the cornhusking page of this website is a news account from 1937 when the national contest was in Missouri. It was bitter cold and rainy that November day and still, thousands turned out to watch men from across the country pick, husk and toss corn against the bang board of a horse- or mule-drawn wagon. Despite the cold, a couple of guys competed without their shirts on because clothing can tend to get in the way.
This cornhusking thing has always been serious business. First, it was how corn was harvested before tractors and combines came along. It gives pickers and spectators a chance to relive the old days and see first-hand what kind of mental and physical toughness it took to get corn out of the fields. In that old video, the commentator calls the pickers "corn field gladiators" and compares the contest to football and baseball, saying it's the "agricultural World Series."
"There's no athletic contest in the world more grueling," he says. Well, there's no timeout, no calling for the water boy, no media breaks.
We wouldn't have gotten to where we are in modern agriculture had it not been for our ancestors who picked the ears by hand, cleaned the husks off and threw the corn in a wagon. The hand cornhusking contest mimics what would have been important to corn farmers back in the old days: picking corn fast and keeping it clean.
Folks from nine states conduct hand cornhusking competitions: Iowa, Indiana, Ohio, Minnesota, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, South Dakota and Nebraska. The best of the best will be in Gothenburg Oct. 19-20 to face off against each other. If you think that's not a big deal, I double-dog dare you to say so in front of one of the men competing in the old timers division (75 years or older).
There's more to the weekend than picking corn, so if corn and ag history don't interest you, don't bypass this event just yet. We will also have a solid slate of food vendors and a building full booths selling crafts and other items. Plus, there will be a kids pedal tractor pull and other fun family activities to take in at Hecox Farms.
Don't sit at home wishing there was a Husker football game to watch. (There is not). Get out to the farm where all your friends an neighbors will be. You won't regret the experience.
is the Executive Director of the Community Development Office, which encompasses the Gothenburg Chamber of Commerce and the Gothenburg Improvement Company.