Before the exhibits go up at the Kansas State Fair, countless hours of work go into preparing the entries that wind up competing for ribbons in everything from plates of vegetables to vases of flowers to photography, painting and woodworking.
Kansas Wheat sponsors several contests at the fair, including wheat photography in the Oz Gallery, bread sculpting in Domestic Arts and the 4-H Wheat Variety Plot Display Award in the Education Building.
The 2019 Kansas 4-H wheat plot variety display winners were announced in the Showcase Building during the Kansas State Fair in Hutchinson. Participants plant and raise five varieties of wheat, and then create an educational display to showcase their wheat production and accomplishments.
This year's winner was Jacob Bell of Hugoton, with Maddy Nichepor of Ness City, Ryan Meyers of Minneapolis, and Truman Hooker of Goodland rounding out second, third and fourth places, respectively.
Participants' keen eyes for beauty were put on full display in the Wheat Photography Contest. From the tiny miracles of newly emerged wheat to picturesque views of local elevators, these contestants documented the full reality of the wheat's life cycle and made it into art. This year's top winner was Scott Wiemeyer of Cheney.
In the Bread Sculpture contest, Wilma Olds of Wilson took home the championship prize. Her creation featured a carousel crafted entirely out of bread and icing that also turned.
Tribute to industry
Kansas Wheat hosted a special tribute to the wheat industry in the Pride of Kansas Building during the entirety of the Kansas State Fair. This year's booth celebrated the National Festival of Breads, which is sponsored biennially by the Kansas Wheat Commission, King Arthur Flour and Red Star Yeast.
The Kansas Wheat booth showcased the success of the June event, which included a Kansas farm tour for the eight contest finalists from all around the nation, baking workshops and demonstrations, bread sculpture displays, and much more. More than 3,500 people from at least 29 states and five countries attended the event.
The Kansas Wheat booth, located in the Pride of Kansas building, would not have been possible without the hard work of the Speak for Wheat spokespeople and Kansas Wheat commissioners. They worked both at the Kansas Wheat booth, as well as Agriland, the educational area sponsored in part by Kansas Wheat.
Those who volunteered for the events included Kathy and Bob Walsten, Janice Gates, Deb Kruse, Kristin Hoffman, Kyler Millershaski, David Radenberg, Scott Van Allen, Ann Kuhlman, Derek Sawyer, Jay Warner, Ron and Shirley Suppes, Taylor Flowers, Cricket Turley, Jean Ann Troutt, Steve and Linda Korthanke, Ann Domsch, Carol Ann Flock, Kris Wallace and Jessica Blake.
The Wamego FCCLA chapter volunteered at the Agriland exhibit and helped to share the story of food with the thousands of families that came through the experience.