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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Story of Wheat: As Told by a 3-year-old

Even though Kansas wheat harvest is long over and the stubble is the only remnant of this crop left scattered across fields in the U.S., the story of how wheat goes from farm to fork has never been more exciting to me!

Let me rewind. I am visiting home for a friend's wedding and it is County Fair time in my home county. My life used to revolve around the Haskell County Fair and the events leading up to, during and after. As I pulled into town, I was quickly reminded that tonight was the night my nephews were going to visit the fair and see the animals. Of course I wanted to be involved and tag a long, purely for entertainment value.

Cameron and Gavin are my bright-eyed, energetic, beautiful 3 and 2-year-old nephews. Tonight standing in the cattle barn on the fairgrounds, Cam on one hand and Gav on the other, I may have had my proudest moment ever! We were talking about the different things that cows eat to make them grow. Cam asked if they ate wheat and before I could answer he proceeded to tell me the story of wheat, and it goes a bit like this:

(his words, not mine)
  1. Wheat starts as a seed and Papa puts it in the dirt with a tractor.
  2. It grows up green first like grass and then turns yellow like Mimi's hair.
  3. When it's yellow that means it is ready to be cut by the big big combine.
  4. The combine puts the wheat in the bin thing and the auger thing comes out.
  5. Then it's all dumped into the grain cart.
  6. Then the grain cart dumps it into a semi-truck
  7. Then the semi-truck takes the wheat to the elevator.
  8. Then the elevator weighs it and puts it on the train.
  9. My daddy helps fill the trains. I like trains.
  10. Then the train takes the wheat to the trade house. (Chicago Board of Trade maybe? Oh yeah, he's 3!)
  11. The trade house sells it to the food makers.
  12. The food makers make food for us to eat!
  13. Then wheat starts as a seed again and Papa can put it in the ground.
  14. He would've continued in a round had it not been for the cow that stood up to defecate. That caused quite a bit of ruckus and a sudden fascination with fecal matter.

So that is how wheat goes from farm to fork according to my nephew. I'm sure most of that was told to him on one of his countless tours of the inside of Papa's combine this summer - especially that part about the Chicago Board of Trade! Either way, his fascination, memory and love for the process of growing food for people made me the proudest Aunt ever. No doubt about it, Cam's going to make an amazing agriculturist some day. If you want to learn more about wheat from a grown up, check out this post I wrote a few months back!

Take your kids, nephews, nieces, siblings, friends, etc. to a County Fair near you. It is an amazing opportunity to learn more about agriculture and the food industry!



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