Illinois Corn Husking

Today corn is harvested with the aide of Global Positioning Systems and computers. Seventy years ago it was still being done with horses pulling the wagons. While a lone figure wearing a corn husking hook would pick two to three rows at a time. With a musical like rhythm each ear was hooked, cleaned of husks and flipped into the wagon. From sun-up till sundown it was the time of the corn husker.

1992 Illinois State Results for Men's 75 and up class

The 2000 Illinois State President, Dick Humes, timing for Hank Endres. Hank was one of the four people to pick 50 bushels in an 80 minute contest during the 1940's.

2017 Nomination Form

Corn Husking 2016

The 36th Annual Illinois State Cornhusking contest will be held Sunday, October 2, 2016 south of Roseville Illinois on the Harlan and Barb Jacobson farm.

The Illinois State Cornhusking contest will qualify contestants for the National Contest. The contest will start at 9 AM. Sign in starts at 8 AM.

For more information contact Dick Humes , Illinois State President, at 309-729-5261 or Frank Hennenfent at

2016 National Contest

2016 National Cornhusking Contest will be held in Minnesota October 15th and 16.
More information at

How to Pick Corn

There is an art to picking corn by hand. Bill Gillen and Bob St.George have taught several people how to pick by hand. The links below give a short description about some of their techniques. There are many factors that determine how fast a person can pick. It is easier to go to a contest and watch a husker throw 40 to 50 ears a minute than to describe each move that makes them fast.

How to pick ears of corn that are upright on the stalk
How to pick ears of corn that are hanging down on the stalk
Where to buy hooks and pegs

The organized corn husking contest was originated by Henry A. Wallace ( later Secretary of Agriculture ) in 1922 as a way to demonstrate who was the best corn husker. When farmers gathered in the 1920ís, tales were often told of a friend or neighbor who was an outstanding picker. Often, it was the last person to tell their story who actually could pick the biggest load. Picking over 100 bushels a day, scooping it off, was considered normal for the good huskers.

Books about the cornhusking contests.

THE NATIONAL by Mitchel Burns is about the modern cornhusking contests.
Leonard J. Jacobs has written two books and several articles on the corn husking contest that took place from 1924 - 1941.The contest were 80 minutes in length during those years and crowds of 100,000 people or more would attend the National Contest. His two books are Battle Of The Bangboards, published in 1975 and Huskers Digest, published in 1998. For more information contact Frank at 309 -426-2773

2005 Ten ears of corn for Ethanol

Illinois Results

2000 Illinois State Contest Results
2001 Illinois State Contest Results
2002 Illinois State Contest Results
2003 Illinois State Contest Results
2004 Illinois State Contest Results
2005 Illinois State Contest Results
2006 Illinois State Contest Results
2007 Illinois State Contest Results
2008 Illinois State Contest Results
2009 Illinois State Contest Results
2010 Illinois State Contest Results
2011 Illinois State Contest Results
2012 Illinois State Contest Results
2013 Illinois State Contest Results
2014 Illinois State Contest Results
2015 Illinois State Contest Results
2016 Illinois State Contest Results

National Championship
National Contest Rules
Illinois Wins 2001 National Title
Results from 2000 National Corn Husking Contest Kimballton, Iowa
2001 National Cornhusking Contest Results Gilfillan, Minnesota
2002 National Cornhusking Results Hunington, Indiana
2004 National Cornhusking Contest Results Oakley Kansas

Cornhusking in the past
Bob St. George Memorial Award
Leota Kovachevich Memorial Award
Pee Wee Contest
National Corn Husking Museum
The 1939 State and National Contest

Corn related items.
Corn Items Collectors Association, Inc
Bud Thompson's Painted Ears
Western Illinois Threshers Railroad
Web links to Cornhusking Articles
Winter pictures of Draft Horses

If you need more information E-mail Frank at: