Wheat People - Part 9
Business or Way of Life
"I think to stay in farming, you're gonna have to change."
--Mick Summervill, Marion, 1998
Farming isn't always profitable, and it's certainly hard work, but it offers rewards beyond economics.
Definitely a business, farming is a major player in the Kansas economy. In a depressed wheat market farmers go bankrupt, local businesses close, and the whole community suffers.
Farming also is a way of life. Steeped in tradition, it reflects values passed from generation to generation.
Technology and techniques change, but a sense of community remains.
"It just so happens that farmers compete in a world community. They don't compete in a Rice County community, or a Kansas community. That's a business aspect of it.
"On a friendship aspect of it, our family has been lucky enough to have a lot of foreign guests, and so that has extended the boundaries of our community. We spent three weeks in Tokyo--that's part of our community."
--Don Keesling, Lyons, 1998
"I told somebody awhile back, I said, 'I hope when I get to Heaven, the good Lord puts me in charge of the wheat fields.' He says, 'Well, you better get there first!'"
--Paul Conrardy, Kingman, 1998
View additional images of Kansas wheat harvest:
This concludes the Kansas Museum of History's online exhibit, Wheat People: Celebrating Kansas Harvest.
- Wheat History - Corn used to be "King" in Kansas
- Gearing Up - Getting ready for harvest
- On the Run - Everybody moves quickly
- Family - Coming together in the fields
- Fast Food - Meals are a social event
- Nature - June is a stormy month
- To Market, To Market - The local grain elevator
- The Season's End - Harvest festivals
- Business or Way of Life? - Farming is both
Contact us at KansasMuseum@kshs.org