• Curt Arens

    Truman Prepared for the Presidency by Working the Family Farm

    Husker Home Place

     by Curt Arens
     on February 18, 2014

    Last year about this time I wrote about President Calvin Coolidge, who, as Vice-President to Warren Harding, was working on his father’s farm in Vermont when he learned of Harding’s untimely death. He took the oath of office by lamplight in his father’s farmhouse, with his father, who was a notary public, officiating. This year during Presidents’ Day week, I recall another unlikely President, who started out life working his family’s Missouri farm. The hard work…

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  • Curt Arens

    Taking the Sleigh on the Road at Christmas

    Husker Home Place

     by Curt Arens
     on December 24, 2013

    I don’t know how many of you will be traveling over the holiday season. Our family will be home for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, but over the school Christmas break, we will be traveling at least a little to see family. This is quite an undertaking. Honestly, we don’t travel with our whole clan very often. Logistics become a problem, because our little guy still doesn’t care to sit more than about an hour in his car seat, unless he is sleeping. This has been a common…

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  • Curt Arens

    On the Farm, What's Around the Corner?

    Husker Home Place

     by Curt Arens
     on December 6, 2013

    If you average the extreme drought and heat of 2012 and the wetter, cooler summer of 2013 together, you might get a "normal" year. It isn't that unusual to have good crops following a year of extreme drought. While much of the state was still drier than normal this season, almost every farmer would agree that it certainly was cooler than a year ago, and most portions of the state received at least a few timely rains. It seems we are easily lulled into the idea that every growing…

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  • Curt Arens

    Hats Off to Pumpkin Farmers

    Husker Home Place

     by Curt Arens
     on October 29, 2013

    When I was a kid, my parents planted a quarter-acre to cow pumpkins, those gigantic orange ones that can weigh 100 lbs. or more. The field was on a sidehill where nothing else would grow. But, we raised monster pumpkins without any difficulty. Over the years since then, I have had little to no luck in planting pumpkins. No matter where I have lived, or where the pumpkins were planted on the farm, I couldn’t raise a pumpkin that would amount to anything. It is always too dry, too…

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  • Curt Arens

    4-H/FFA: Reaching Out to Our Urban and Farm Youth

    Husker Home Place

     by Curt Arens
     on September 3, 2013

    I just returned yesterday from a great day at the State Fair. As always, I enjoyed the food, agricultural displays, the food, livestock, entertainment, the food, and all of Nebraska on display. Did I mention the food? Anyway, after being involved in the writing of the 4-H articles that appear along with Don McCabe’s FFA stories as part of a youth package on pages 7 and 8 of your September issue of Nebraska Farmer, it occurs to me that these organizations probably get the best press…

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  • Curt Arens

    More Farm Reflections on Fair Time

    Husker Home Place

     by Curt Arens
     on August 13, 2013

    With county fairs, including our own, winding down in Nebraska, and the State Fair in Grand Island just ready to heat up, my penchant for observation kicks into overdrive. The journalist part of me just can’t help but see things from a wider view. The observation mode doesn’t have an “off switch,” so even when I’m doing family things or farm things away from my duties at the magazine, I’m still interested in what people are doing and saying and thinking…

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  • Curt Arens

    Top Five Things Farm Kids Learn at the Fair

    Husker Home Place

     by Curt Arens
     on August 6, 2013

    It’s county fair week around our household. That means total chaos, even more than the usual craziness and confusion. We don’t have a million 4-H projects to cart to the fair, but with three calves and numerous other projects being exhibited by three of our children, we know the week will be filled with fun, and more than a few learning opportunities. Here are a few things we’ve learned in the past from experiences at our annual county fair… 1. Calves act…

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  • Curt Arens

    A Refreshing View of Ag Appreciation

    Husker Home Place

     by Curt Arens
     on July 23, 2013

    Not long ago, I happened to meet a hard working fellow from a major urban center. During our conversation, he said something that really surprised me. It seems that farmers and farms are under attack these days everywhere we look. Major media outlets, activist groups and federal regulatory agencies all seem to be suspicious about what we do to raise food for the world and how we do it. But this guy didn’t see it that way. He told me that he appreciates everything farmers do. He…

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  • Curt Arens

    The View from the Cheap Seats

    Husker Home Place

     by Curt Arens
     on July 2, 2013

    Last night, my oldest son, Zac, played in his last baseball game of this season. His Crofton team for kids eight years old and under played host to the boys (and a few girls too) from Newcastle. No one knows who won. Each inning passes only after every player bats. No one keeps track of the outs. But all the kids have fun. His little team is one of three Crofton teams, playing in a multi-county league with teams from villages nearby like Fordyce, Bow Valley, Hartington, Wynot and…

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  • Curt Arens

    The Farm View from the Old Porch Swing

    Husker Home Place

     by Curt Arens
     on June 11, 2013

    There are places of comfort, with special significance, on everyone’s farms and ranches. We all have our favorite places. For me, the places I like most on our farm have nostalgic connections to the family history of our place and my memories growing up here. There is a vista, on a high hill north of our farmstead that rises about 100 feet above the home place that I really like. When I’m checking cows or fixing fence, I like to pause up there, and take a look at the old…

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