On Monday, Governor Pete Ricketts was joined by Nebraska Corn Board Executive Director Kelly Brunkhorst and detasselers from throughout the state to proclaim June 3, 2019, as Detasselers’ Recognition Day in Nebraska.
“For generations, thousands of Nebraskans have found summer work as detasselers,” said Governor Ricketts. “These jobs help young Nebraskans save for college and teach them the value and reward of hard work. That’s why seed corn detasseling contractors in Nebraska have waiting lists of hundreds of Nebraskans willing to work the fields. I’d like to thank detasselers for working hard to help grow Nebraska agriculture. I’d also like to thank seed corn companies, like Corteva and Syngenta, that have committed to hire Nebraskans to fill the detasseling jobs here in our state.”
“Seed corn companies that hire Nebraskans to detassel their fields provide tremendous financial and learning opportunities to our state,” said Julie Bohlen, co-founder of S&J Detasseling. “Summer jobs in detasseling are an important source of income for high school students who are saving for college and for college students with tuition bills to pay. These jobs are also a terrific way for young Nebraskans to develop character traits like cooperation and fortitude.”
Each summer, more than 7,000 Nebraskans work as detasselers, performing indispensable seasonal labor for seed companies. They rise early to work in the cornfields and spend long hours in the summer heat to ensure that the cross-pollinating process yields a pure seed. For students and schoolteachers, detasseling is a welcome source of summer employment and a great way to earn income. For many Nebraskans, detasseling is their first job and serves as a formative, character-building experience. Detasselers learn the value of hard work, the importance of teamwork, and skills in leadership. Detasseling also connects the residents of small towns and cities with Nebraska’s farmers, helping more Nebraskans build ties to the state’s #1 economic industry—agriculture.
Detasselers are typically busiest during July, though crews are already out roguing fields in some locations.