The Indiana Cornhusking Association is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the education and historical preservation of early methods of corn harvest and hand corn husking. Prior to WWII, the American society was heavily agrarian and, in the Midwest, corn was the primary crop. Every year, families and neighbors would work together to harvest the corn by hand as efficiently as possible. The competitive nature of American citizens inspired competition between farmers to determine the best corn husker. These competitions grew from Local to State and quickly expanded to a National Corn Husking Competition.
People numbering in the tens of thousands gathered to witness the competitions. The contests were as popular at that time as today’s sporting events. The winners were as well known as today’s sports athletes. The national competition peaked in 1940 with an estimated 160,000 spectators that gathered to watch the best hand corn huskers in the nation. But all competitions came to an abrupt halt with the start of WWII; then it was followed by the widespread use of mechanical corn pickers.
The Indiana Cornhusking Association is dedicated to preserving and educating the public. Representatives of the Indiana Cornhusking Association speak and provide educational displays at schools, fairs, festivals, and community events throughout the year. The also encourage participation in the annual Indiana Cornhusking Contest held in a cornfield, where spectators may watch or compete for bragging rights by hand husking corn tosses into horse-drawn wagons. This is a wonderful family event where children and adults can relive the past and experience friendly competition. The event is attended by farmers who husked corn as a child and enjoy sharing their memories and stories.
The Indiana State Hand Corn Husking contest will be held at the Craig Geyer Farm in Bremen on October 2nd. The first three new registered huskers the day of the contest will husk for free. There will be a large antique tractor display and a timeline display of harvesting equipment. The day will include events for children along with food by the Pine Creek Church, homemade ice cream and Boss’s Country Kettle flavored popcorn.
For more information check out the national website at cornhusking.com or the Indiana corn husking association’s facebook page.