Husker Harvest Days creates economic ripple effect in rural community

Husker Harvest Days creates economic ripple effect in rural community
Published: Jun. 7, 2023 at 6:35 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 7, 2023 at 7:43 PM CDT
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HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - Husker Harvest Days brings nearly $9 million in total economic impact to rural Nebraska.

“Agriculture is Grand Island’s business,” Cindy Johnson, president of the Grand Island Chamber of Commerce, said. “Our companies, our livelihoods depend on a strong AG market. When agriculture struggles, so does our community. For decades, we’ve seen the value Husker Harvest Days injects into our community.”

The three-day event is the world’s largest totally irrigated working farm show, featuring the latest equipment, supplies and technologies available to today’s farmers and ranchers. Johnson says visitors to her city stay a while, with many spending the week.

“They are filling our hotels, eating in our restaurants, visiting our downtown businesses,” she said. “Husker Harvest Days impact is felt all across our community.”

Here’s how:

  • 500 exhibitors
  • 100,000 attendees
  • >$100 average hotel night spend
  • >$60 daily spend on food and transportation

Matt Jungmann, the national events director at Farm Progress is also a farmer in York, Ill., population 276. “I see firsthand the struggle to keep rural communities alive and thriving,” Jungmann said. “I’m so proud that Husker Harvest Days can add to the economy of the Grand Island region.”

In 2018, Farm Progress, the city of Grand Island, Hall County and Chief Industries showed their commitment to this rural area nearly two hours west of Lincoln by investing $7.5 million to upgrade the site. Improvements included concrete, electrical and lighting--Husker Harvest Days was here to stay.

Chief Industries is also a stalwart of Grand Island. Here they manufacture grain bins, metal buildings and even residential dwellings. Beth Frerichs, Chief Industries director of marketing and communications, says her employees live and raise families in this community and reap the economic benefits from the show.

“Husker Harvest Days really has a positive impact on our school systems,” Frerichs said. “Students and volunteers operate the food stands at the show. Those profits are invested right back into their own educational or extracurricular programs. It is a great economic boost for these rural schools, one they count on annually.”

Jungmann realized the importance of the show both now and in the future. “Husker Harvest Days is here for the long-haul, providing the latest technology and information to keep farm families thriving from one generation to the next,” Jungmann adds. “But we are equally committed to investing in rural communities to make them resilient for years to come.”

The 2023 Husker Harvest Days will be held in Grand Island, Neb., Sept. 12-14. For more information, check out