A unique, hands-on experience will greet visitors to the Kansas Wheat display at the Kansas State Fair this year. Inspired by the Wheat Foods Council "Urban Wheat Field Experience" outdoor exhibit in New York City last fall, the Kansas Wheat Commission and the Kansas Association of Wheat Growers will unveil a new exhibit at the 2009 Kansas State Fair in Hutchinson.
The exhibit, "Wheat: From Farm to Fork," brings the farm-to-table journey of America's most-consumed grain to life with a miniature wheat field, functioning mill, moving displays, nutrition information. The display will showcase Kansas' many contributions to the wheat industry.
Kansas Wheat staff and volunteers will share educational information in the areas of wheat agriculture, milling, baking and nutrition, guiding visitors through each phase of the grain's life cycle engaging them in hands-on activities and demonstrations along the way.
This is the 46th year the Kansas Wheat Commission has had an educational booth at the Kansas State Fair, according to Cindy Falk, nutrition educator for Kansas Wheat. "This year we have enlarged our exhibit in hopes that we can share with others the strong tradition Kansas holds in being the number one wheat and milling state," she says.
The first component of the interactive Kansas Wheat exhibit features a wheat field highlighting the different growth states of wheat, with information about how, where and when wheat is grown. Fairgoers can hand-grind their own small sample of wheat into flour.
A nutrition display will showcase the nutritional proprieties of wheat foods and feature the 2009 Kansas Wheat Commission recipe books, which have become a tradition at the exhibit. This year the free, full-color, 20-page recipe book will contain the recipes from the eight finalists at the 2009 National Festival of Breads.
The Kansas Wheat Exhibit also features winning photos from the 2009 Wheat Photography Contest, free educational materials and a wheat trivia game. Additional time can be spent viewing the 2009 Kansas Wheat Variety display boards and the Market Wheat Show.
"The state fair is a grand event where Kansas Wheat can reach consumers, educators, producers and other professionals all in one venue," Falk said. "Our goal is to help educate our consumers of all ages about all aspects of wheat - how it is grown, harvested, milled and its nutritional benefits."
The Kansas Wheat exhibit will be located in the Pride of Kansas building between the Wheatland Café and the butter sculpture.
The 2009 Kansas State Fair begins Friday and runs through Sunday, September 20. More information on the state fair is available at www.kansasstatefair.com.