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Wheat People - Introduction

Cutting wheat outside Beloit, 1998.Celebrating Kansas Harvest

Throughout much of the 20th century this state has produced more wheat than most other countries.

Kansas celebrates the nicknames "Wheat State" and "Breadbasket of the World." It's a matter of great pride to farmers in the state that claims to feed people around the globe.

Wheat People focuses on the folks who have built Kansas's agricultural reputation, but it also explores how harvest is at the roots of our state's identity and affects us all--farmers and city dwellers alike. We headed into the heart of the wheat belt, following harvest from the Oklahoma border to far northwestern Kansas, photographing and interviewing families from the top 20 wheat-producing counties in Kansas.

These are their stories.

This online exhibit is divided into nine sections, plus a game. Click on the first link below to embark on your tour, or visit them in any order.

  1. Wheat History - Corn used to be "King" in Kansas
  2. Gearing Up - Getting ready for harvest
  3. On the Run - Everybody moves quickly
  4. Family - Coming together in the fields
  5. Fast Food - Meals are a social event
  6. Nature - June is a stormy month
  7. To Market, To Market - The local grain elevator
  8. The Season's End - Harvest festivals
  9. Business or Way of Life? - Farming is both

Kansas Harvest Tales

Read harvest stories organized by Kansas county, or submit your own!

WheatPlay the Wheat Game

Pretend you're a farmer by playing our interactive game.


Major funding for this exhibit was provided by the Kansas Wheat Commission.