Last Minute Thanksgiving Tips

Thanksgiving is almost here and it seems as if the to-do list just keeps getting longer. The turkey is brining and decorations have been bought but there seems to be more and more to do. Great Plains Communications understands the stress that can come with preparing a Thanksgiving meal, and wants to help get you out of the kitchen and in spending time with family and friends. We have teamed up with our cable channel, Food Network to bring you three last minute recipes and tips to make sure everything gets checked off your list.

Rachael Ray’s Thanksgiving Squash Soup

This recipe is not only delicious as it brings fall flavors like squash and carrot to your Thanksgiving meal, but it is also healthy. By keeping appetizers on the lighter side, guests can enjoy a heavier and richer entrée.


Tyler’s Ultimate Turkey Gravy

A good gravy can find its place all over a Thanksgiving plate, from the mashed potatoes to the turkey and maybe even a splash on the green bean casserole. This recipe develops deep savory flavor that will be just what your meal needs.


How to Chill Wine Fast

Many Thanksgiving gatherings include some celebratory beverages, if it’s wine, beer or sparkling cider. Here is a quick trick to make sure all the drinks of choice are cold and ready for your guests.


No matter how you celebrate Thanksgiving, if it is with turkey or ham, watching football or taking a nap, Great Plains Communications wants to wish everyone a wonderful holiday weekend.

If you have a family member spending Thanksgiving serving our country this season and you would like to send them something special on us, check out information on our Support our Troops program here.

Welcome our New Technicians

Great Plains Communications is a fourth generation family owned business that has been around for over 105 years, but that is not all we are defined by. We look to families across Nebraska, to our technicians in the communities we service. They are the ones you see in the grocery store or at the junior high basketball game. They are the true face of Great Plains Communications. It’s their trucks around town or the call they make to install services. We understand and appreciate the importance they hold in the company and your communities. With that, we would like to introduce four new technicians that you may notice around town.

Steve Miller

Steven Miller

Steven is originally from Emerson, NE and has relocated to St. Edward as a broadband technician. He has been with Great Plains Communications since the end of August. Since joining the St. Edward community, Steven enjoys watching the local high school sporting events with his wife, Angie. They have four children and one grandson. In his free time, he enjoys hunting, fishing, working in his garden and cooking in his smoker, all of course with his family.

Jaryd Montgomery

Jaryd Montgomery

Jaryd started with Great Plains Communications at the end of October, locating in Neligh, NE. Originally from Creighton, NE, he isn’t too far from his home town but is appreciating all the Neligh community has to offer. Since moving, he says he has noticed how supportive the people of Neligh are and all the stuff that is put together to continue the community support. When he isn’t working as a broadband technician for Great Plains Communications, you can find him out hunting and fishing.

Gil Henning

Gil Henning

Gil is a Midwest man who found his way to California and back, joining Great Plains Communications just earlier this month. He is originally from Smith Center, KS but is now located in Red Cloud, NE as our new CO technician. Though he hasn’t lived there long, he has already grown an appreciation for the wide open spaces and is enjoying the friendly atmosphere of the Red Cloud community. With hobbies like snow skiing and white water rafting, Gil hopes to make it out to Colorado for some vacation time during the cool season.

Perrin Schmidt

Perrin Schmidt

Perrin is originally from Gordon, NE and has relocated to Blair, NE as a CO Technician for Great Plains Communications starting just a few days ago. His love for the small town atmosphere and people is what keeps him in the Midwest. As a private pilot, he is able to fly and see family and friends across Nebraska.

We are excited to welcome these men to the Great Plains Communications team. If you see them at a local event, maybe give them a smile or even a friendly handshake and welcome them to the community.

How to Host Thanksgiving

Hosting Thanksgiving dinner can be overwhelming. Menu planning, food preparation, dining table arrangements, and that’s all before anybody even arrives. With the big day approaching quickly, Great Plains Communications has created a Thanksgiving countdown – mapping out when to do what in the next week to ensure your Thanksgiving is spent with family and not a to-do-list.

1 Week Out

  • Plan the menu: Though most people know it is safest to thaw your turkey in the fridge, they don’t know that according to, defrosting time to pound ratio is 24 hrs. for every 4-5 lbs. That means if you have a 15 lb. turkey, you should take it out of the freezer on Sunday. Also, don’t forget to make sure your roasting pan is big enough for the turkey. Small details like these will make the big day run much smoother.
  • Think about oven space: With many side dishes planned and your turkey needing hours to cook, consider swapping in side dishes that can be served cold or at room temperature. There is always the option of using a cooler to keep food warm, just make sure to place a towel between each warm dish and don’t open the lid until you are ready to serve. You can also opt to use a separate roaster and/or crockpot to ensure your side dishes stay warm and your turkey has time to cook to perfection.
  • Make your shopping list: You can either split your shopping list into two lists, one with items that will save for a week, and the other with last minute items or plan to make one big trip once Thanksgiving gets closer. Either way, make the list now so that if you remember things throughout the week you will have time to write them down.
  • Clean out your fridge: You are going to need a lot of space to hold dips, appetizers and the abundance of leftovers, so make sure to eat up as much as you can. This is also the time you can start looking for things on your list in your fridge and pantry. Make sure you have the essentials like – salt, pepper, and flour.

The Weekend Before

  • Start your make-ahead recipes: Many parts of Thanksgiving dinner can be made ahead, from stocks to pies. Check out these make-ahead recipes from our cable channel, Food Network.

Monday and Tuesday before Thanksgiving

  • Shop: Now is the time to make sure you have everything you need for the big day. Ensure all the herbs are accounted for, beverages have been purchased and side dishes are ready for assembly.
  • Turkey Prep: If you plan on brining your turkey, do it now. It will cook more evenly if you leave it to air dry in the fridge for at least 12 hours before roasting it.
  • Keep cooking: There are multiple dishes you can continue to cook throughout the week – cranberry sauce, pie crusts, compound butters. You can also peel potatoes now and soak them in cold water in the fridge.

The Day Before

  • Make Desserts: Your oven won’t have room for pies and other sweet treats on the day of Thanksgiving, so make sure you get all dessert baking done the day before.
  • Clean and Chop: Another thing there won’t be room for on the big day is vegetable preparation. Trim the green beans, wash the lettuce, and get through as much vegetable prep as possible.

The Night before Thanksgiving

  • Set the table: If you have a lot of people coming over and different place settings, get it done the night before. Here are some fun table setting ideas from our cable channel HGTV.

The Big Day – It’s Show Time

  • Assemble your dishes and plan cooking times: You have planned for this, keep cool and start the assembly of your side dishes.
  • 4 hours before dinner: Get your turkey in the oven. This will vary depending on the size of your turkey. Remember that you can rest it before carving.
  • 2 hours before dinner: Make sure you are cooking your side dishes according to schedule and start reheating any premade dishes. This is when you also want to plate up appetizers if your guests aren’t already munching on them.

Right before Thanksgiving Dinner

  • Carve and plate: Your turkey should be done and ready to be carved. You can always carve a little ahead of time and then cover with foil to keep warm.
  • Finishing Touches: All the cooking is done and people are starting to find their places around the dinner table. Make sure glasses are filled and all dishes are plated. Lastly, don’t forget to enjoy the holiday with your family and friends.


Business Appreciation – Paulman Farms

Great Plains Communications is proud to highlight another one of our business customers, Paulman Farms out of Sutherland, NE.

Paulman Farms is located in Sutherland in southwestern Nebraska, where Roric Paulman, his wife Deb and their son Zachary, farm nearly 5,000 acres. About 85 percent of the land is irrigated, and the annual cropping rotations include corn, popcorn, dry edible beans, soybeans, winter wheat and sugar beets. In its 40-year history, this family farm has weathered its share of storms, yet an innovative spirit keeps everything growing.

Farm Crisis and Family Crisis

Clearly the most difficult period for Paulman Farms occurred in the 1980s during the farm crisis, when thousands of families lost their farms because of low prices and overwhelming debt. Roric Paulman’s father had encouraged him to get career experience off the farm before joining the operation, which is why Roric and Deb Paulman were working in Omaha in 1985 when Roric’s father called and asked him to come back. Six months later, his father died. The 27-year-old and his wife faced a daunting list of challenges, including bankruptcy, at Paulman Farms that year. But they didn’t do it alone. They took a collaborative approach, assembling a team of advisors including an attorney, accountant and bankers, as well as meeting with the farm’s original landowners for support. While equipment had to be sold and land turned over to Farm Credit, Paulman Farms managed to begin a new chapter in what would ultimately become a tremendous success story. Today, the family owns all of the land it lost in the 1980s, and Paulman Farms has grown to become a $10 million business named as a 2015 finalist for Top Producer of the Year.

Doing More With Technology

In addition to collaboration, the use of technology has enabled Paulman Farms to meet and overcome challenges. This currently includes irrigation water and soil monitoring tools, precision farming equipment and new seed technologies. Roric Paulman notes, “Paulman Farms is a large farming operation, spread over a radius of approximately 26 miles. The low unemployment rate in Nebraska makes it difficult to find enough qualified people to work for us. So part of the answer is to use larger equipment and more technology to increase how much can be done with fewer people. We take advantage of technology such as cloud-based services and remote monitoring that sends alerts when something needs attention. We’re currently working on a system for real-time harvest, which instantly knows the inventory, yields and moisture content. Before using this system, data like this would only be available to us later. It’s a huge deal.”

Fiber Speeds Up Internet Connection

To take advantage of technology for improved cost-effectiveness and productivity, Paulman Farms needs substantial Internet service, which it gets from Great Plains Communications along with phone lines. “We recently upgraded to fiber for our Internet connection at Paulman Farms. We contracted with Great Plains Communications to put fiber in our area; they did the trenching and installation. This work was completed in 2015, and now with fiber, we get 20 Mbps/20 Mbps Internet speeds. Before fiber was installed, we were only able to get 8.5 Mbps/.6 Mbps. Besides being much faster, the fiber-based Internet from Great Plains Communications is also more reliable,” says Paulman. He adds, “We are generating tons of site-specific data in our farming operation, and the data piece is key to making better decisions. The other thing that’s important is maintaining efficient communication with our employees, agronomists, seed corn people and others. Our phone and Internet services from Great Plains Communications help make it all possible.” What does Paulman Farms appreciate most about Great Plains Communications? Paulman replies, “Great Plains Communications still has a live body in our community, which is not true of other communications providers. As a result, the customer service we receive is better; it’s top notch. What’s more, Great Plains Communications has the pulse of this community, and they contribute to making it better.

I appreciate the fact that Great Plains Communications helps businesses in rural areas get the technology they need not just to survive, but to thrive and grow.” It’s a philosophy that’s echoed in words Roric Paulman lives by: “If you want your community and your state to be a better place, you have to give your time to make it happen.”

Thank you, Veterans – From Great Plains Communications

Tomorrow is the day we honor the men and women who work a cubicle over from us, who check us out at the grocery store and those who continue to put on the uniform. Veterans Day is about looking to those who have served and are currently serving our country, recognizing and honoring everything they have put on the line for the freedom we stand upon each day. Great Plains Communications would like to say thank you to all the service men and women in our communities and our company.

To show our appreciation, we continue the tradition of our Support Our Troops Program and Veterans Day programming on GPC-TV. Throughout the day, we will be sharing stories, pictures and service dates of current and retired military members on GPC-TV, channel 2 (click here to see if GPC-TV is available in your viewing area), and on the Great Plains Communications Facebook page.

If you have served or have a loved one serving, please let us know in the comments on Facebook. Share a picture, a story or even just simply a name and service dates. Great Plains Communications is an avid supporter of the military and would love to show our appreciation for your service by including you in our Veterans Day tribute.

How is Cable Programming Determined?

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The logic behind cable programming is confusing to most. It is more than just what show gets the most views or playing reruns of our favorite programs. Great Plains Communications would like to share answers to three of our frequently asked programming questions.

Question 1: Who chooses what local channels I have in my area?

A: Our country is broken up into designated market areas (DMAs). Cable networks
assign local stations to these DMAs and grant or deny cable operators use of their
station in addition to exclusivity in these markets.

Question 2: Why does my favorite show suddenly go off air?

A: We have all had a beloved show that doesn’t get picked up for a second season or
even ends after a few episodes. Ultimately it is up to the network, as they evaluate
which shows have the largest viewing audience. An example of this was SPEED,
which aired racing programming 24/7. Unfortunately for fans, the ratings for the
whole channel were very low and it was replaced.

Question 3: How does Great Plains Communications determine what
channels to air?

A: As a whole, we try to evaluate what channels are most popular, and from there we
examine the Network Bundles. Many people don’t realize that ESPN is actually
owned by Disney. Therefore, for a cable operator to offer ESPN, they must also
offer:  ABC Family, Disney, Disney Jr, Disney XD, ESPN 2, ESPN Classic, ESPN
News, ESPN U, SEC and Fusion. Below we have listed other networking bundles.

Comcast NBCU

  • USA
  • Syfy
  • Bravo
  • CNBC
  • Oxygen
  • Cloo
  • Chiller
  • Universal HD
  • The Golf Channel
  • E!
  • NBC Sports
  • G 4
  • Esquire

Fox Group

  • FX
  • FXX
  • Fox Movie
  • National Geographic SD
  • National Geographic Wild
  • Fox Sports Mid
  • Fox Sports One
  • Fox Sports Two
  • BTN

If you have any additional questions regarding your Great Plains Communications cable service, please call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483 and a representative will be happy to assist you.

The Support Our Troops Program is Back!

The holiday season is quickly approaching and Great Plains Communications understands the importance of community during this time. No matter if you find it within relatives or close friends, spending time together and showing love and appreciation for one another is what makes the holiday season truly beautiful. We also understand that not everyone gets this opportunity, because a child or brother, best friend or spouse are giving the ultimate sacrifice for our country as a member of the Armed Forces.

To thank our troops and their families for the sacrifices they make, we have brought back our Support Our Troops Program! From November 1 through December 31, 2015, Great Plains Communications is offering free shipping to customers with loved ones in the Armed Forces. In doing so, we hope to help our customers send a little piece of home to their soldier serving overseas or stateside this holiday season.

We understand this is a stressful time and we want to help. Below are the simple instructions to getting the goodie box to your loved one, on us.

  1. Pick up a 12 x 12 x 6 box from your local post office.
  2. Fill it with approved items and complete the registration, including your Great Plains Communications account number.
  3. Great Plains Communications will send you a pre-paid postage stamp for the standard rate (see #1 for box specifications).
  4. Attach the stamp and your Customs Declaration and Dispatch Note to the outside of the box and take to your local post office.

The Support Our Troops Program has officially started, so let us help you build that sense of community this holiday season, on us. For more information on the program, visit our website at



2015 Halloween Safety Tips

Carved pumpkins wait patiently to greet your little Darth Vaders, Supergirls and pirates alike, lighting the way through the festive night. The doorbell rings and the candy fills up, all part of the fun Halloween brings each year. We are only a couple days away, and there is more to plan than what shoes will look best and if there are enough treats to go around. Great Plains Communications wants to make sure everyone has a safe Halloween with some safety tips from Safe Kids Worldwide.

  • Have a Safe Walking Plan: Children’s excitement level is often escalated on Halloween as they see the sweet potential in each house, no matter if it is across the street or down the block. Help them to remember to look left, right, and left once more before holding the hand of an adult and crossing the street. Also, don’t forget to put down any electronic devices as you cross, and choose spots further away from the street to stop and take pictures.
  • Find Creative Ways to Add Safety Precautions to Costumes: Have your kids use fun metallic stickers or reflective tape on their candy bags, it could be a fun way to personalize their goodies and help them be seen by passing drivers. Glow sticks could be another fun way to brighten up the nighttime walk!
  • Be a Cautious Driver: Just because you are not in costume, does not mean you are not a large factor in Halloween safety. As a driver, make sure to eliminate any distractions inside the car and be especially alert in residential areas. Allow extra time to look for kids between parked cars and at intersections. Typical trick-or-treating hours are between 5:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., so buckle up and stay alert for all the little witches and zombies walking the streets.

For more tips, check out the Safe Kids Worldwide website and remember that Great Plains Communications hopes you have a fun and safe Halloween! Let us know what creative safety tricks your family uses each year, in the comments section on our Facebook page.

Tonight, Game 1 of the 2015 World Series

– Courtesy of CNN


The World Series is here once again, and the Kansas City Royals are back. Where are people showing their support? The Internet; and fans are hurrying to name their team. The phrase ‘Take the Crown’ has flooded Facebook with a trending profile picture frame that fans can temporarily post. According to the Kansas City Star, celebrities such as Kansas native, Eric Stonestreet, and Mets fan Jimmy Kimmel are even speaking up about their predictions of the 2015 World Series winner with a friendly bet. Find the full article here on their website.

It all starts tonight, as the first game airs on FOX at 7:00 p.m. CT. It is the 111th championship series of Major League Baseball, with a best-of-seven playoff between the New York Mets and Kansas City Royals. So pick a team, grab some friends and get ready for an exciting start to the 2015 World Series.

If you have any questions over your Great Plains Communications cable service, please call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483 and a representative would be happy to assist you.

Halloween Fun With Food Network and HGTV

With Halloween on a Saturday this year, there will be plenty of time for festive parties to be had. No matter if you are planning something spooky or family-friendly, food and games are always good additions to any party. Great Plains Communications has teamed up with a couple of our cable channels, Food Network and HGTV, to provide some tips this Halloween season.

Halloween Party Games – HGTV


DIY Halloween Party Favors – HGTV


Halloween Candy Bark – Food Network Kitchen


If you have any questions about your Great Plains Communications services, or are interested in finding out what services we provide in your area, call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483 and a representative would be happy to assist you.