On a windy, cold, and damp third of November 1938, the eyes and ears of the nation focused on Dell Rapids, to host the greatest annual competition of American Agriculture. They came to watch 21 contestants, including two huskers from South Dakota, pick corn by hand during timed competition. The NBC Radio Network carried a live bang by bang description of the contest. An estimated125,000 people from all over the nation came to the farm of Jim and Nellie Jensen, An 80-acre site know as the Tent City contain an Indian Village, 48 concession stands, farm machinery, a replica of Mount Rushmore, corps of physicians, hundreds of police officers, and parking acres for 35,000 cars. This was said to be the largest gathering in South Dakota at the time. The contest open with a 2-mile parade complete with seven bands, contest queen Venita Apply, a band of Oglaga Sioux Indians and a great array of up to the minute farm machinery. The contest started at 11:45Am with ears flying and when the bangs stopped the champion Ted Balko of Redwood Falls, MN, the 1934 champion, won hiss second national contest husking a net of 22.64 bushels of corn.
Unfavorable weather conditions again held sway ( as in the past 2 Nationals ) to keep down the NBP loads. Wind and rain didn’t stop the 130,00 fans from gathering on the J.N. Jensen farm near Dell Rapids, South Dakota, in the Minnehaha County to see the finest huskers from 11 states compete. The eleven states were all together now; Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota and Wisconsin. It stayed that way through 1941.
One of the contest greatest competitors, calmly but, swiftly “tended to business” in
getting the job done of wining National 38. Ted Balko, the Mister Cool of contests, won
his second Big Daddy by taking the least deductions. The Redwood County Minnesota
shucker picked clean and didn’t leave many ears behind.