Kansas farmers answer student questions during National School Lunch Week

Posted October 15, 2015

Kim and Randy Fritzemeier teach elementary students about Kansas wheat.

Kim and Randy Fritzemeier teach elementary students about Kansas wheat.

What do farmers wear? How long does wheat take to grow? How does wheat become bread? Three Kansas wheat farmers answered these questions and more from Salina elementary school students on October 15 as part of a joint event with the Kansas State Department of Education celebrating National School Lunch Week (October 12 to 16) and Farm to School Month.

During Kansas Wheat Day, Randy Fritzemeier, Kansas Association of Wheat Growers board member and wheat farmer from Stafford, and his wife Kim, author of Kim’s County Line, joined Kansas Wheat staffer Julia Debes at Cottonwood Elementary School in Salina. The farmers were accompanied by representatives from the Salina USD 305 food services, Kansas State Department of Education and USDA Food and Nutrition Service.

The farmers joined the elementary students for lunch.

The farmers joined the elementary students for lunch.

Divided between three second-grade classrooms, the trio talked with students about how wheat is grown on their farms and why wheat plays an important role in a nutritious diet. In addition, the farmers read “Celebrate Wheat,” part of Kailey’s Ag Adventures, to the student. Kansas Farm Bureau donated copies of the book for each student in the three classrooms. Afterwards, the farmers joined students in eating ham sandwiches at lunch.

Kansas Wheat Day was one part of a week-long celebration of the healthy and nutritious foods grown on Kansas farms that end up as part of school lunches. In addition to Kansas Wheat, the Kansas State Department of Education partnered with the Midwest Dairy Council and Kansas Pork Association to organize other school activities.

By Julia Debes