Kansas -- The Wheat State
For centuries Kansas was the home of Native Americans who benefited from
the richness of the region: vast herds of buffalo on the plains, deer
and other game in the forested river valleys. Native Americans were the
first to farm this area, growing corn, beans, squash, and sunflowers in
the fertile valley soils.
Today Kansas continues to be a source of agricultural richness, particularly wheat. Kansas produces nearly a fifth of the nation's wheat crop, storing it in huge grain elevators referred to as "prairie cathedrals." Travelers can find beauty in the vast stretches of wheat land, brown when the soil is being prepared for planting in late summer and fall, light green in late fall and winter, lush green in early spring, and golden in June and early July when the crop is ripe and ready for harvest. Travelers during harvest time will see combines cutting wide swaths through the fields of waving grain, soon to become food for millions all over the world.
Salina, an important wheat storage and milling center, lies a few miles to the west. During World War II, Salina's Smoky Hill Army Air Field achieved fame as the location of an important B-29 training base.
Historical marker - I-70 westbound roadside rest area