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Wheat People - Part 9

Conrardy farm, Kingman, 1998.Celebrating Kansas Harvest

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.


Don Keesling, Lyons, 1998.

"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

Paul Conrardy, Kingman, 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.

  1. Wheat History - Corn used to be "King" in Kansas
  2. Gearing Up - Getting ready for harvest
  3. On the Run - Everybody moves quickly
  4. Family - Coming together in the fields
  5. Fast Food - Meals are a social event
  6. Nature - June is a stormy month
  7. To Market, To Market - The local grain elevator
  8. The Season's End - Harvest festivals
  9. Business or Way of Life? - Farming is both

Contact us at kshs.kansasmuseum@ks.gov