1987 - Volume #11, Issue #6, Page #17[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Tall corn story toppedOur story last issue about the 221/4-ft. tall "world record" Wisconsin cornstalk (Vol. 11, No. 5) resulted in several letters from readers,.all informing us about the same man,.Iowa corn grower Don Radda, who grew one giant cornstalk after another during the late 1930's, 1940's and on into the 1950's.
Radda, who farmed near Washington, Iowa, first entered his stalks in the tall corn contest at the Iowa State Fair in 1938 and quickly became the undisputed world champion for many years. His daughter, Julia Radda Zieser, still lives on the home farm with her husband Wayne and two sons.
"To set the record straight, the world record for raising tall corn remains here in Iowa with my father who's now deceased. In 1946, he produced a stalk 31 ft. tall," says Julia, who sent along a packet of news clippings, written at the time, about her father's corn growing talents. She also sent along a postcard that showsl2 pretty girls stacked up 6-high on either side of the tall stalk to emphasize its height. FARM SHOW has since learned from other readers that many Iowans still have copies of that famous postcard tucked away in closets or old family scrapbooks.
For many years Radda was a well-known celebrity in Iowa and around the country due to his corn growing talents. "Our farmhouse is full of newspaper articles, plaques, trophies, ribbons, and photos which resulted from the many different tall corn contests, including one sponsored by WHO radio in Des Moines. He even challenged and won against the states of Ohio, Indiana and Kansas, getting statewide. politicians involved. His tallest stalk was featured in Ripley's Believe It Or Not. What was remarkable was that in addition to growing tall corn, he was also Iowa's Master con grower for years. In 1948 he established record yield for Iowa corn producing 221.2: bu. per acre," Julia told FARM SHOW.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Julia Zieser, Rt. 3, Bo) 181, Washington, Iowa 52353.
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