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Wheat field near Goessel, KS | Goessel Museum

       Kansas Agriculture enjoyed it's finest hour in 1973.  Wheat more than any commodity was responsible for the achievement--more than one third of the state's gross agricultural income of $4 billion and more wheat than produced by any other political unit in the world.


        It started with the introduction of Turkey Hard Red Winter Wheat in 1874 by Mennonites in Butler, Harvey, Marion, McPherson and Reno Counties.  Bernhard Warkentin, more than any other, was the leading promoter, grower, and miller.


       Turkey Red dominated for nearly 70 years, and helped establish basic economic activities connected with the wheat industry:  Agricultural research and technology, transportation, marketing, milling, international trade, and consumption of wheat products.


         Terminal elevators test the quality of the wheat and state wheat quality laboratories and private grain laboratories assist in determining the quality.  By blending wheat of various protein content and gluten strength, terminal elevators produce a mill blend to meet the needs of millers.  The final test is the baked loaf of bread or a great variety of other bakery products.


        Bread had always been the best nutrutional buy on grocers' shelves.  Efficient farming methods and advancememts in milling and baking have provided an abundance of wheat . . . the STAFF of LIFE . . . bread still is economical compared with other foods, and high in value compared with the nutritional values of other foods. 


        The introduction of Turkey Red Wheat into this country 100 years ago played an important part in the United States having the best fed citizens in the world.


        Turkey Red Wheat has been the basis for higher yielding wheats, more demand in the markets, a tool for researchers, improved milling quilities, and improved bakers products.  When bread, which is almost ceratain to list Turkey Red Wheat in its ancestry, is set on the family table, it is appropriate that those partaking of its nourishment know about the value of Turkey Red. 


   (Adapted from Wheat Centennial brochure published by the KS. Wheat Cent. Co.) (1974 ?)

The Story of Turkey Hard Red Winter Wheat in KS

Country Threshing Days mural | Goessel Museum
Newton Milling & Elevator Co. Newton, KS. | Goessel Museum

Newton Milling and Elevator Co. Newton KS.

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Mennonite Heritage and

Agricultural Museum

Let's take a Look into the Past

Donated in 2016

An almost complete collection of old Agricultural Yearbooks dating back to 1877 and available for research.

To read more about Turkey Hard Red Winter Wheat go to :

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Men using scythes to cut wheat, Threshing Days
Drawing of threshing stone at work | Goessel Museum
Threshing Stone | Goessel Museum
Prairie steam tractors  Country Threshing Days
Threshing machine in Wheat Palace | Goessel Museum
 Liberty Wheat Bell | Goessel Museum

Demo of using scythes and tying bundles at an early Country Threshing Days

Threshing stone as it would have been used in So. Russia.

Liberty Wheat Bell
Made from Turkey Red Wheat  straw. 1976

Threshing machine

Prairie steam tractors at 2014 Country Threshing Days

Threshing stone

One of the several wooden trunks (at the Museum) that brought tools and Turkey Hard Red Winter Wheat seeds to Kansas.

Leave No Threshing Stone Unturned by Glen Ediger

Leave No Threshing Stone Unturned by Glen Ediger

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and Agricultural Museum

Created by Fern Bartel nee Schmidt


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