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Corn museum will sell 150 years of history

Harvest season should be starting in the month ahead.

That is unlikely this year because the crop was planted late and set back by numerous weather events. But the desire to get ready for harvest has awakened across the state.

Photo by Anna Hastert

Several years ago, I met a man who treasures the early days of hybrid corn development and the era where open pollinated corn was planted by hand or with horses using a check row planter.

He is Steve Kenkel, from Earling.

His story is inspiring and difficult, all at the same time. He has put together all the machines and memorabilia of the early history of mechanized corn planting and hybridization, but in two weeks, he will be selling it.

Note: There is no financial relationship with Steve Kenkel in doing this story, or posting his sale bill on our website. It is human interest and likely to be the largest collection of documented and restored machines, signs, sacks and tools used to plant corn ever offered to the public.

Kenkel’s auction will be September 13 and 14 at his farm near Earling, Iowa, in the far western part of the state.