MANHATTAN, Kan. — Kansas wheat farmers shared their story with consumers this June when nine food bloggers came to Kansas during wheat harvest.
Food bloggers from all over the United States toured a wheat farm during harvest, a flour mill and the Kansas Wheat Innovation Center as part of the #Wheat2Bread tour, hosted by Kansas Wheat and Red Star Yeast.
On June 12, the bloggers traveled to south central Kansas where they met Kansas Wheat Commissioner Scott Van Allen in his wheat field. For many of them, they had never been to Kansas or a farm before, and each had the opportunity to harvest wheat with Scott in his combine.
The bloggers asked questions about growing wheat, how farmers choose what to plant and what farmers want their readers to know. They posted on their social media channels an invitation for readers to ask questions of wheat farmers. Central Kansas wheat farmer Jenny Goering traveled with the group.
The group got to see harvest at Jenny’s farm in McPherson County on their way to New Cambria, Kansas, where they toured the Farmer Direct Foods flour mill.
On June 13, the bloggers toured the Kansas Wheat Innovation Center, where they learned about the research that goes into developing new wheat varieties. They were especially interested in the gene bank and the ability researchers have to breed genetics from ancient wheat relatives into modern bread wheats. Kansas State University’s Wheat Genetics Resource Center is housed in the Kansas Wheat Innovation Center.
A highlight of the trip for the bloggers was a baking experience with cookbook author and fellow blogger Zoë François, from ZoeBakes and Breadin5. She is the coauthor of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. François and Kansas Wheat’s Julene DeRouchey demonstrated two methods of creating bread dough, and the bloggers spent the day in Kansas Wheat’s Speak for Wheat Test Kitchen perfecting their bread baking skills. They were excited to return home and put their new skills to work developing wheat bread recipes for their readers.
Another goal of bringing the bloggers to Kansas during wheat harvest was to share with them and their readers about the National Festival of Breads baking contest that will be held next June 8, 2019. Contest organizers have added a food blogger division in addition to the home baker division. There was much interest in the contest, and many of the bloggers said they would love to come back next year, whether they qualify for the contest or not.
The bloggers included Stefani from Cupcakeproject.com in St. Louis, Missouri; Lori from Thekitchenwhisperer.net in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania; Kristin from BakerBettie.com in Chicago, Illinois; Abby from HeartofaBaker.com in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Annalise from Completelydelicious.com in Salt Lake City, Utah; Sally from SallysBakingAddiction.com in Baltimore, Maryland; Adriana from adrianasbestrecipes.com in Orlando, Florida; Jamie from LoveBakesGoodCakes.com in Phoenix, Arizona; and Jessica from A-Kitchen-Addiction.com in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Kansas Wheat’s Marsha Boswell and Jordan Hildebrand, Red Star Yeast’s Kelly Olson and Linda Nelsen, and Registered Dietitian Jill Ladd also traveled with the group.
They will be sharing their stories of their time in Kansas during wheat harvest with their readers over the next several weeks. With a combined readership of more than 5.4 million followers, these bloggers are helping Kansas wheat farmers share their story with millions of consumers throughout the U.S. Follow Kansas Wheat on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to read their stories over the next few weeks.