For audio version, visit kansaswheat.org
By Jordan Hildebrand
The smell of animal barns and the quiet sizzle of frying foods fill the air. The Ferris wheel towers over the midway. The hard work of 4-Hers, FFA students and open class participants line the walls of buildings. The subtle roar of carnival barkers and the muffled screams from Ye Old Mill welcome you back to the dusty, Kansas themed streets at the Kansas State Fair.
Kansas Wheat will once again host a special tribute to the wheat industry in the Pride of Kansas Building during the entirety of the Kansas State Fair. This year we will be celebrating 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 will celebrate the success of the June 2019 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 that showcases Kansas wheat and the farmers that produce it.
“The National Festival of Breads builds upon a rich tradition of grassroots support and is the nation’s only amateur yeast bread baking competition,” says Cindy Falk, NFOB co-chairperson and nutrition educator for Kansas Wheat. “This contest is a way for bakers to be recognized for their baking skills and creativity while connecting them to the farmers that grow the wheat for the high quality flour that they love to use.”
The 2019 Kansas Wheat Recipe Book is hot off the presses, making its debut at the State Fair booth. The annual recipe book, a staple in kitchens statewide, features finalist recipes developed by bakers from across the country. The recipes have been thoroughly tested and perfected and include the 2019 National Festival of Breads champions, Merry Graham’s Blackberry Ginger Speculaas Danish Wreath and Rachelle Hubsmith’s Chai Ube Rosette Rolls.
Kristin Hoffman (known by her blogger pseudonym Baker Bettie) was an NFOB finalist and is a native to Hutchinson. She will be on hand to talk about all things bread at the Kansas Wheat booth on Saturday, September 6, from 1-4 p.m. Hoffman is a professional chef who operates BakerBettie.com, a food blog, cooking and baking resource and online baking school.
Other exhibits around the fair include the market wheat show, 4-H Wheat Variety Plot Display Awards, Kansas wheat photography contest and Kansas Wheat Bread Sculpture Contest.
Kansas Wheat representatives will man the Agriland exhibit on Saturday, September 14. Fairgoers will have the chance to ride in a virtual combine, sift grain between their fingers, milk Blossom – the mechanical dairy cow, learn about livestock feed rations and walk through the soil tunnel trailer for an under-the-scenes look at Kansas soils.
To learn more about the Kansas State Fair, which runs September 6-15, 2019, head to kansasstatefair.com.