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Corn, featured crop at Legacy of the Plains Museum Harvest Festival

Corn, featured crop at Legacy of the Plains Museum Harvest Festival
Rick Henderson, right, drives a team of Brabants at the Legacy of Plains Museum with volunteer John Spehar. KNEB/RRN/Guzman

The corn and potatoes are ready for picking at this year’s 24th annual Legacy of the Plains Museum Harvest Festival to be held Sept. 19-20, outside of Gering. 

The museum’s highlighted crop is corn, and the festival will feature many pieces of harvest equipment. 

Dick Kuxhausen, a co-chair for the event, said they would have everything from a John Deere corn binder to horse-drawn wagons where people can pick and shuck corn.

“We’re going to let people come in if they want to pick corn. We’ll have the bang board, gloves, and husking hooks,” said Kuxhausen. 

The corn will be stored for the longhorns on the museum grounds. They arrived earlier in the week and will be close for visitors to view. The herd includes a few calves and the Minge bull, which came in the fall. 

Along with the gas-powered harvesting equipment will also be horse-drawn harvesters, including a pair of Brabant horses from Harrison. 

“This team is Duke and Duchess. They are fairly green,” said Tayna Sue Gifford, a rancher, and owner of the horses. “The mare is fairly seasoned in picking corn. I got her from some Amish, and the stallion has just turned four, and he’s got a really good head on his shoulders for a young’ un.”

Duke and Duchess at work at the Legacy of the Plains Museum. KNEB/RRN/Guzman

Gifford’s neighbor Rick Henderson has been working with the team and will drive them this weekend. 

Of course, the LPM potatoes will also be ready for picking. 

“One of our big draws here is the potatoes, and they aren’t free, but you can’t get them any fresher,” said Kuxhausen.

New this year is a fundraiser with the potatoes. People will be able to purchase their potatoes, and donations will also be accepted for local pantries, senior centers, and other organizations. 

Inside the museum, there will be live music. Author Larry Gibbs will be signing copies of his new book, “Nebraska Sweet Beets: A History of Sugar Valley.” 

A bake sale highlighting many of the recipes in the Museum’s cookbook “Our Heritage through Food” will be available. Plus, the exhibit hall will be open and free, sponsored by Inland Truck Parts, WNCC, B&C Steel, Simmons Olson Law Firm, Bytes Computer, and Network Solutions, and Bill and Marsha Vaughan. 

The events kick off at 9 a.m. on both days. Admission is $5 per person, and children 12 and under free get in free. Food will be available, and new this year in the afternoon will be the Snowy Bus. 

The Gering Kiwanis will have pumpkins from its pumpkin patch. The Kiwanis Club is asking for $5 or more donation for the pumpkins. Proceeds go to support youth and community activities. 

WESTCO and Simplot donated fertilizer and other products for the fields, and Thompson Seed the seed potatoes and Gordon Strauch, Pioneer Seed, for the corn seed. 

For more information, visit our website at or call 308-436-19-89.

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