Grand Island has been the host community to Husker Harvest Days since the show's inception back in 1978. In some ways, as the show has grown into the world's largest totally irrigated farm show, the support and hospitality from the community have grown as well.
"Grand Island has responded by rolling out the red carpet to welcome these guests from across the country and the world," says Cindy Johnson, president of the Grand Island Chamber of Commerce. "We have seen a substantial number of new hotels, restaurants and retail stores. With our community's growth, the array of retail and hospitality options for visitors has expanded."
This level of commitment from the community's hospitality, retail, agriculture and business sectors has benefited Grand Island in serving not only as the host to Husker Harvest Days, but also to the Nebraska State Fair, state 4-H shooting sports competitions and state 4-H horse shows, among other major rural-oriented events.
Johnson says that the Grand Island Chamber of Commerce Agricultural Institute of Nebraska serves as a resource to Husker Harvest Days. The group coordinates volunteers, assists with field demonstrations and handles logistics on a local level.
In the past, it has been estimated that the economic impact of Husker Harvest Days on the Grand Island area is more than $5 million. "Grand Island is proud to be the host city of Husker Harvest Days," Johnson says. "The show is one of this community's hallmark events, attracting more than 100,000 people annually. It is exciting to meet and greet the thousands of visitors from across the country and beyond. We appreciate the opportunity to showcase our community's exceptional quality of life, diverse economy and strong agricultural roots."
Johnson believes that Grand Island and Husker Harvest Days go together. "We have a rich heritage that is grounded in agriculture. It is the foundation of not only our economy, but our culture. It is a way of life," she says. "There is not a better way to showcase agriculture than to be in a place that has been on the leading edge of agricultural advancement for generations, combining traditional values with openness to new ideas and innovation."
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