Remembering the world’s largest hamburger

By Darlene Thomason, NDFB Member Services/Office Coordinator

For NDFB Week, county Farm Bureaus received a trivia sheet to use while holding events in their communities. As I was reading the questions there was one that popped out at me. Question #5: What town was the largest hamburger eaten in? 

I was so excited because I knew the answer to this one! Believe me, my trivia skills are not good. Ask my husband and son. On second thought don’t ask them, they might include the word “Awful!” We do play a lot of trivia, but I won’t quit my day job to become a pro trivia player, if there is such a thing. 

Anyway, back to question #5. The town where the largest hamburger was eaten in is Rutland, N.D. And for the bonus point: What year was the largest hamburger eaten in? Pick me, I know! 1982!  Why do I know that? Because I was there!

I was trying to remember things about the event – 40 years is a long time – so I asked my then “boyfriend,” who happens to be my husband now, to help me out. He wasn’t much help at first, but after some reminiscing, we pretty much remembered the same things. 

When he asked if I would attend the Rutland hamburger event with him, I said “no.” I was leaving for Seattle, Washington that Friday. Needless to say, the darn love bug won and I ended up changing my flight plans and leaving the Monday after the weekend. I am glad I changed my plans and went to the big Rutland celebration.

The hamburger was much bigger than we thought it would be. Flipping the burger was a slow process but interesting and at times intense. You just don’t flip a 3,500+ pound hamburger like a 3-pound hamburger.  We both remember debating on whether to stand in line for a piece of that tasty burger or not. We decided not to as the line was longer than the town! Oh yeah, and the amount of heat coming from the grill was unbelievable! We felt bad for the folks who were cooking and working by the grill, but it didn’t seem to bother them. They were enjoying answering questions, mostly about the preparation leading to the cooking of the huge hamburger. In fact, my “boyfriend” asked a few questions himself as I was backing away from the heat. We may only remember bits-and-pieces of this event but it’s enough to remind us how lucky we were to have had the chance to experience a well-attended, once-in-a-lifetime celebration that made it in the Guinness Book of World Records. 

By Salix thuja – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Make lasting memories whenever the opportunity arises, you never know if you have tomorrow.

God Bless our farmers and ranchers and God Bless America!

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