Organizers say Grand Island seems like the perfect place for the U.S. Custom Harvesters Annual Convention, but the group almost didn't return for a second year at the Heartland Event Center.
The convention, running March 1-3, draws more than 800 people to Grand Island.
U.S. Custom Harvesters Operating Manager Pam Shmidl says it's a central location for many of the groups' members.
"It's in the Midwest, it's in the wheat belt and the corn belt," Shmidl says.
She says members attend from all across the country.
"The facilities are great, they're large enough to accommodate the meeting spaces we need as well as the trade show area," Shmidl says.
The convention is back at the Heartland Event Center even after permit issues in 2011 that prohibited some manufacturers from participating.
"The laws haven't been changed, but we were more aware of them this year," Shmidl says. "Hopefully we've overcome that and we've let everybody know we are a private show, we're not here selling anything, we're not here to take business away from the local dealers."
Their goal is to share the latest in harvesting equipment, policies and technology.
"All the combines are getting bigger, they'll handle more grain, you just learn a lot about the combine capacities and the changes that are in them," convention attendee Shorty Kulhanek says.
They're changes manufacturers say will bring higher efficiency levels.
"These people out here bring home the crops that feed the world," Gleaner Combines Brand Marketing Manager Kevin Bien says. "They want capacity, but they want grain quality, they want low loss levels, they also want fuel efficiency."
Bien says having the latest equipment is essential.
"For the custom harvesters, they're running a business, and their whole objective in life is to harvest more acres in a day for their customers," Bien says.
"You have to stay up to date with your equipment, if you get behind it's harder to trade it," Kulhanek says.
Which he says makes it harder to stay relevant in one of the country's most important industries.