It is well known that Husker Harvest Days is the world's largest totally irrigated working farm show, but it also has the distinction of being one of the first large farm shows to schedule live cattle-handling demonstrations.
That important Nebraska livestock tradition continues at the 2011 version of Husker Harvest Days. Side-by-side comparisons of squeeze chutes, along with demonstrations in vaccination and implanting devices will take place daily at 10 a.m. and again at 2 p.m. at the Livestock Industry Building on Lot 860 at the corner of Eighth Street and West Ave. Handling demos are sponsored by Crystalyx.
Following another tradition, Lexington veterinarian Dr. Joe Jeffrey will return this year as an entertaining and informative narrator. "Dr. Joe" is a popular veteran of the show, moderating the cattle-handling demonstrations at Husker Harvest Days for the past 23 years.
"People come to the demonstrations for two things," says Jeffrey. "They come to be informed about the chutes and equipment and we try to entertain them a little bit too." Jeffrey has been speaking and entertaining people for 50 years, so he is the perfect moderator for these demonstrations. "I really enjoy the camaraderie with the audience and the chute operators and telling people the differences between the chutes," he says. "Cows and horses never change, but the equipment is always new."
Ralph Cornelius of Alda is carrying on a family tradition by providing cattle for the exhibition. Cornelius' father, Wayne, had provided the cattle for the handling demos for nearly 20 years before passing away in the spring of 2010 at the age of 77. During last year's show, Wayne's wife, Jana, and the family were honored with a special plaque presentation in Wayne's memory.
On the west portion of the cattle-handling building, animal health companies, feed businesses and other livestock service businesses will have exhibits and booths. Nebraska Beef Council will return, distributing beef recipes and checkoff information as well as hosting drawings for show visitors.
Nearby, producers can talk with sales representatives from the manufacturers of fencing, livestock panels, buildings and facilities, livestock waterers and feeding systems and haying equipment. There are also numerous breed associations and purebred livestock exhibitors with displays and booths located on the same portion of the grounds.