Millionaires in the Cornfields a must read

Hoard's Dairyman: 

Millionaires in the Cornfields a must read

Date: 
Mon, 02/14/2011

Before World Dairy Expo, there was Waterloo . . . as in the National Dairy Cattle Congress in Waterloo, Iowa, which opened in 1910. Simply said, the book, Millionaires in the Cornfields is a must read for those who follow genetics, show cattle, dairy industry personalities, and those who are simply history buffs. Written by Norman Nabholz of West Union, Iowa, the 262-page book is an easy read, and it is well illustrated with pictures on all but two facing pages.

As Nabholz points out, the great Waterloo shows took place at a time when millionaires owned many of the big-time show herds. The unique list of characters included:

• Edwin Gamble, an owner of Proctor and Gamble, and his Happy Valley herd
• J.M. McDonald, childhood friend of J.C. Penney and a V.P. at that company, and his McDonald Farm herd
• Frank Griswald, the inventor of the flashing railroad crossing sign and owner of Franlo Farms
• The Dayton Family, owner of Dayton Department stores and their Boulder Bridge herd
• Steven Roman, owner of Denison Mines which was a giant uranium producer, and his Romandale herd
• F.L. and E.H. Maytag, makers of Maytag washers, and their Maytag Dairy
• And, of course, the famed Curtiss Candy Company owned by Mr. and Mrs. Schnering.

Those are just some of the big-time players who would compete with breeder-owner herds like Hetts, Oak Ridge Ayrshires, Lyons, Langs, and many others. Throw in a heavy dose of stories about a multitude of Klussendorf winners who cared for the great cattle and there is plenty of good reading for young and old alike. Bottom line, Nabholz, an Iowa native, captured just about every facet of the great Waterloo shows.

The book ends with a cautionary tale in . . . The managers of Waterloo predicted the days of large cattle shows were coming to an end in 1965, and there would not be a place for them in Waterloo in the future. Little did they know that that Waterloo’s decline would give rise to World Dairy Expo. And the rest they say is history.

If you are interested in purchasing a copy of Millionaires in the Cornfields, contact Nabholz Farms, 24807 Neon Road, West Union, Iowa 52175; e-mail nabholz@hawkeyetel.com; or call (563) 422-3692. Each book sells for $37.50.