Today corn is harvested with the aide of Global Positioning Systems and
computers. A little over fifty 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.
The Illinois State Cornhusking contest will qualify contestants for the National contest. The contest will start at 9 AM. Registration starts at 8 am with the drawing for the first lands at 8:30 AM .
Practice will start at 8:30 AM and last for 25 minutes. Each contestant will be able to husk from 1 to 2 minutes depending on the number of contestants.
For more information contact Dick Humes , Illinois State President, at 309-729-5261 after 7 PM or Frank Hennenfent at 309 426-2773.
The 2010 National Contest will be held October 16th and 17th, 2010 at Oakley, Kansas . For more information go to
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
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.
Corn related items.
Bud Thompson's Painted Ears
Western Illinois Threshers Railroad
Web links to Cornhusking Articles
Pictures of Draft Horses
If you need more information E-mail Frank at: firstname.lastname@example.org