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Local wheat farmers will help with exhibit in nation’s capital PDF Print E-mail

Nebraska Wheat Board and Nebraska Wheat Growers Association in partnership with Wheat Foods Council unites industry to educate public and key influencers.


On Thursday, Sept.23 and Friday, Sept. 24 a live wheat field, approximately one-quarter of an acre in size, will sprout from the streets of Washington D.C. in an effort to promote food literacy via farm-to-fork wheat education. 

The Nebraska Wheat Board (NWB) and Nebraska Wheat Growers Association (NWGA) along with fellow members of the nation’s wheat industry will unite to deliver an authentic experience to consumers and elected representatives during the Wheat Foods Council’s second Urban Wheat Field. 

The event will take place on Maryland Avenue between 3rd and 4th streets.

Experts in the areas of wheat agriculture, milling, baking and nutrition will guide visitors through each phase of the grain’s life cycle, engaging them in hands-on activities and demonstrations along the way. 

Nebraska Wheat representatives to the Urban Wheat Field include Brent and Amy Robertson of Elsie, Shawn Sullivan of Wallace, Scott and Debbi Osler of Elsie, Royce Schaneman of Lincoln and Zoe Olson of Lincoln. 

Brent Robertson serves on the NWB and is secretary/treasurer of the Wheat Foods Council. 

Sullivan is president of NWGA and Scott Osler is past-president of NWGA. 

Schaneman is executive director of NWB and Olson is executive director of NWGA and public information officer of NWB.

NWGA with sponsorship from NWB will bring its mobile baking lab to the urban wheat field. 

Fresh-baked bread and cookies will be sampled from the lab. 

Nebraska Wheat representatives will serve as tour guides through the wheat field in addition to baking and serving samples from the lab.

“Having participated in the success and excitement of New York’s 2008 Urban Wheat Field, I enjoyed speaking with consumers and learning they have an appreciation for the efforts of America’s farmers,” said Brent Robertson. 

“Wheat Foods Council’s members and partners are going above and beyond our expectations to educate Washington D.C.’s citizens and the nation’s elected officials about where their food comes from.”

Highlights of the Urban Wheat Field exhibit include:

• Guided tours will take groups through every step of wheat growth and harvest via a live wheat field and a full-size combine. 

Visitors will see five stages on tours led by wheat farmers from throughout the country.

•  Upon exiting the field, visitors will enter the milling area, which demonstrates how the grain itself or kernels become the flour that is used to make the foods they eat. 

Visitors will see an operating mill and grind their own flour with tabletop grinders.

• Once the flour has been milled, visitors will learn how it is transformed into the everyday foods. 

Live baking demonstrations will take place throughout the day and fresh-baked bread and cookies produced in the Nebraska Wheat Mobile Baking Lab will be available for sampling.

• Registered dietitians will teach people about the way in which wheat foods fuel the body and provide essential nutrients. 

Against the backdrop of a mock grocery store aisle, nutrition experts will deliver a lesson in reading nutrition facts labels, identifying whole grain versus enriched grain foods and determining proper serving sizes.

Preceding the event, the National Association of Wheat Growers will host a reception for congressional staff members to experience the event and meet with representatives from their individual state wheat commissions. 

Cinnamon rolls baked in the Nebraska Wheat Mobile Baking Lab will be served at the reception. 

Nebraska’s representatives plan to visit their Congressional representatives to discuss issues of importance to the state’s wheat farmers.

The Urban Wheat Field is designed to help people better understand wheat’s production process and nutritional value by enabling them to experience the farm-to-fork journey. 

To learn more, visit the Wheat Foods Council’s website at or the Nebraska Wheat website at

The Nebraska Wheat Board administers the one and one-quarter cent per bushel excise tax levied on wheat marketed in Nebraska. 

The Board invests the funds in programs of international and domestic market development and improvement, policy development, research, promotion and education.

The Nebraska Wheat Growers Association is a dues-paying, voluntary membership organization that represents Nebraska’s wheat producers on state and national policy issues. 

It sets membership policy on matters vital to producers’ interests such as soil and water conservation, transportation, the environment, production, the Farm Bill and crop insurance.

The Wheat Foods Council is a nonprofit organization formed in 1972 to help increase public awareness of grains, complex carbohydrates, and fiber as essential components of a healthful diet. 

The Council is supported voluntarily by wheat producers, millers, bakers, and related industries.