Scott Van Allen hosts US Air Force Families at his Wheat Harvest

(Marsha Boswell) Hi, I’m Marsha Boswell with Kansas Wheat out of Manhattan, Kansas. Our office is located at the Kansas Wheat Innovation Center on Kimball across from the stadium. We are funded by the Check Off in the state of Kansas. When a farmer sells his wheat, two pennies per bushel comes to the Kansas Wheat office and we use that for a number of things including international market development, domestic market development and research and education. So today we’re here in Sumner County, Kansas, on the farm of Scott Van Allen. Sumner County is the largest wheat-producing county in the state of Kansas, and we are here with some members of the U.S. Air Force and this is a new thing we haven’t done before, but we would like to continue doing in the future; just a great opportunity for young military families to learn about wheat harvest. One of the guys that are here with us today actually grew up on a wheat farm a little bit west of here, and so it was his idea to introduce other members of the Air Force Base to wheat farming in Kansas. (Mark Wagner) My name’s Mark Wagner, I’m out from Wichita, Kansas down the road. Came out today, years ago my grandpa was part of the Kansas Wheat Commission, and I recently moved back to the area and thought it would be real cool to come out and show the kids what Kansas is all about and harvesting wheat, and help them tell the story of the state. We got the kids up in the combine and on the observer seat and they were watching, and at first they were a little curious about what was happening, but as we got started things started to come together. They got real excited and thought that was really cool, they like watching the wheat fill up in the back and like watching it get scooped up into the center, they’ve never seen anything quite like that before. They thought that was just awesome. One of the things we really enjoyed coming out here today was getting in the combine and seeing everything come together, and seeing that orchestration, the teamwork from the farm crew out here working together to get it done. (Scott Van Allen) I accepted the invitation or the proposal to have the group here today because too many people are removed from agriculture. They don’t have any idea where their food comes from, how it’s produced, what it takes to put food on their tables or in the grocery stores. I think it’s very important that we as farmers do the best we can to show people that we’re producing a healthy, wholesome crop and it’s a face behind that food they’re eating. It’s not some large corporation that people have grown to hate, for one reason or another. These are American farmers, and we’re producing the goods for you. I thought it was a great idea to have the military come out, the group from McConnell. McConnell’s been in the Wichita area for years and years and years, and I’ve known several people that have been in the Air Force or worked in the Air Guard, that type of thing. But it’s great to have active duty personnel here. They’re guarding our freedom. They’re the ones that allow us to do our jobs here in the states that keep the country fed. (Marsha Boswell) So if you’re interested in following along, be sure to visit our Facebook page at Facebook.com/kansaswheat. Visit us on Twitter at twitter.com/kswheat and Instagram. You can also visit our website at kswheat.com.

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