FIRST ANNIVERSARY: The Kansas Flying Farmers first anniversary fly-in drew hundreds of airplane-owning farmers and Kansas Farmer magazine took note. The plane visible in this photo was from the Bernard Scherr farm in Trego County.

Flying Farmers in Kansas celebrated first anniversary in 1947

Light airplanes easily blend into the Kansas landscape, offering both recreation and time savings to Kansas farmers.

Back in 1947, the Flying Farmers were celebrating a first birthday at Hutchinson Municipal Airport. Their second annual fly-in featured ideas on how airplanes offered ways to save time and provide recreation. That second fly-in offered a look at the farmer pilots of the day, which surprisingly were split almost 50-50 between men and women at a time when farmers were top buyers of small aircraft.

In coverage of the fly-in, Kansas Farmer noted: "Yes, airplanes have found a home. They blend into the Kansas farm scene. Airplanes are the modern birds of the prairie. Since the war, a huge crop of new flyers has been born. Many were born on the farm. As each week passes, more farmers are taking to the air."

60 years ago
Electricity in rural America was a relatively new thing back in May of 1957, and new products were being developed and marketed to help the newly "electrified" take advantage of the convenience those appliances offered. One such product, advertised in the Kansas Farmer of the day, was a "bookshelf" freezer that offered 18 cubic feet of storage and the advantage of easier access to food than the previous chest-type model. The maker was General Electric, and the price-tag was $399.95.

50 years ago
The annual per capita consumption of corn for food had increased 11 pounds since 1954. USDA said most of the increase was due to corn sugar, corn syrup, cereals and hominy grits. Cornmeal consumption was declining, however, because of less farm household use.

40 years ago
The changes in the beef marketing mechanism were being noted as niche markets, contracted marketing, Certified Angus Beef, Y-B meats, National Lean Beef, Mennonite Farms, Lean Limousin, Maverick Ranch and other brands came into existence. Needless to say, marketing programs are still a mark of contention today.

20 years ago
Leaf rust was the enemy of the day at the Kansas Wheat Field Day in 1997. Bob Bowden, Kansas State University Extension plant pathologist, said that more than 20 different wheat rust genes have been used in hard red winter wheat varieties. He said that among the various genes that have been used, most of them can be grouped into a few general types of resistance mechanism.

The wheat field day also included presentations on the varieties inducted into the Wheat Hall of Fame, which that year included Tukey, Wichita, Pawnee, Bison and Newton.

Goerzen is executive director of Old Cowtown Museum in Wichita and a lifelong history buff. She and husband, Matthew, have four children.

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