Timing was everything for Burt County Farm Bureau member Larry Mussack when it came to farming. Throughout high school, Larry’s dreams were to become a civil engineer, but the summer before he headed off to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, that all changed. He graduated from UNL in 1971, and after the owner of the hardware store where Larry worked couldn’t find another renter for his ground, Larry started out on 400 acres. He has farmed that same ground for more than 38 years.
Trying to make use of his college education, it was Larry who suggested to his father that he no longer needed to plow soybean stubble – that he could get by just disking it. What a radical idea in the late ’60s! But Larry has since continued to move in that direction and in the ’80s, he did a test soybean no-till plot for the County Extension Office. He knew what the talk would be about that Sunday at church!
Through the years, he’s had farrow to finish hogs, stocker cattle and row crops, and now focuses solely on corn and soybeans. His farm ground sits three miles from the Missouri River near Decatur in northeast Nebraska. He didn’t experience any direct damage from last summer’s flooding, but the indirect consequences affected drainage ditches, bridges and the time it took to travel locally.
Larry says he’s adapting to changing technology, but the distance people are removed from the farm keeps growing and farmers need to continue to find effective ways to communicate their message. He says the opportunities exist…farmers just need to take advantage of them.
Larry and his wife Kathy have two children: Erin who lives in Omaha and is a stay-at-home-mom with son Caleb; and Jeff who lives in Eldridge, Iowa, and works for John Deere. Larry and Kathy recently celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary. Kathy teaches family and consumer science in the Tekamah/Herman school district.