In conducting research for the book, I found that TIME Magazine, in a 1992 special edition, declared that hybridization of corn was one of mankind’s greatest achievements in the last 1,000 years. They ranked it right behind the invention of electricity and the airplane, saying it revolutionized American agriculture. That realization astounded me.
As a fifth-generation Iowa farmer in Shelby County, I am both proud and amazed to know that 18 Shelby County hybrid corn growers were actively involved in that revolution, developing some early corn hybrids in the 1920s through the 1960s. Their untiring dedication to advancing corn yields and helping Iowa’s farmers make the most of their resources is certainly commendable and deserves to be acknowledged by today’s agricultural industry.
What led to development of this book-length work is my own personal passion for collecting seed corn sacks. In the early 1990s, on a quest for some Shelby County seed corn sacks, I discovered the untold story of these early corn pioneers. The more I learned about their hard work and determination to develop the best possible corn plants, the more I wanted to know about them and their companies. As I began uncovering their stories, I couldn't help but start recording the information in book form. The first edition of the book was published in 2004. This second edition, with expanded information about the implements of their time, was just recently completed.
In addition to digging deeply into this fascinating history, my large seed corn sack collection has evolved into a nearly 4,000 square-foot museum, Hybrid Corn Pioneers Museum, housing vintage corn-related agricultural equipment dating back to the 1840s. Recently I added a 1,000 square-foot loft to accommodate this growing display. Among the items in the museum and implements featured in this book are George Brown wooden corn planters, the first commercial planters made available to America’s farmers.
It’s my hope that you’ll find this read both entertaining and informative. To order please use the "Buy Now" link below.