Four central Nebraska businesses part of ‘Coolest Thing’ contest

Local4 News at 5
Published: Aug. 29, 2023 at 3:55 PM CDT
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HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - What do you think is the coolest thing made in Nebraska?

A contest hosted by the NE Manufacturing Alliance and powered by the NE Chamber and Nebraska Public Power District is looking to find out.

This marks the second year for the ‘Coolest Thing Made in Nebraska’ competition. Out of the 16 finalists from the competition, four of the businesses are from central Nebraska.

The four contenders are Royal Engineered Composites in Minden; Pacha Soap Co. in Hastings; Ag Dryer Services in Elm Creek; and Collins Aerospace in York.

Royal Engineered Composites entered its Carbon Fiber Ducting for CH-53k King Stallion Helicopter.

Pacha Soap is known for being a Hastings company but also for its handcrafted bath products.

Ag Dryer Services in Elm Creek created the Pond-Tini, pontoon boats.

Collins Aerospace in York, is bringing to the competition its Ram Air Turbine (RAT) Hub. According to its website, they are the heart of an aircraft emergency power system.

“It’s all about highlighting the cool things made right here in our own backyards and the proud, skilled, innovative, and hardworking Nebraskans – our neighbors – who make them,” said Mike Johnson, NE Chamber Chief Operating Officer and Vice President of Manufacturing.

Other contestants in the tournament include:

  • Chocolate Meltaways, Bakers Candies, Greenwood
  • Costco Rotisserie Chicken, Lincoln Premium Poultry, Fremont
  • Endicott Invisi-Lug Clay Paver, Endicott Clay Products Company, Endicott
  • Fire Truck, Danko Emergency Equipment, Snyder
  • Flyover Whiskey, Flyover Whiskey, West Point
  • Geothermal Greenhouse, Greenhouse in the Snow-Antioch Machine Shop, Alliance
  • Ignis, Drone Amplified, Lincoln
  • M Grills Big M Smoker, Kinney Manufacturing LLC, Beatrice
  • Rocket Mobility All-Terrain Tracked Wheelchair, Rocket Mobility, Columbus
  • Solution Plastics Lumber, Firstar Fiber, Inc., Omaha
  • Steel Joists, Nucor Vulcraft Nebraska, Norfolk
  • T-Rex Portable Basketball Systems, Bison Inc., Lincoln

“It’s great seeing industries from all over the state represented in this year’s contest, along with a diverse mix of products that many people may not know are made right in their community,” says NPPD Economic Development Manager Nicole Sedlacek.

The public can start voting for the top 16 products now through 11:59 p.m. September 4, Sunday.


Here is the bracket for the top 16 finalists for the Coolest Thing Made in Nebraska contest.
Here is the bracket for the top 16 finalists for the Coolest Thing Made in Nebraska contest.(NE Manufacturing Alliance)

The winner will be declared on October 10 during the NE Chamber’s Manufacturing Summit in La Vista.