Our Kansas Master Farmer/Master Farm Homemaker group has made it a priority to Discover Kansas with a field trip each spring or summer. Even though many of us are lifelong Kansans, we haven't explored every nook and cranny of our home state. Discover Kansas gives us a chance to celebrate the beauty, history and industry of the Sunflower State.
Staycations" are a growing trend - a way to have a little holiday without spending a lot of time and money. After visiting Scott County with Discover Kansas, it could be one summer destination for a staycation.
As I wrote in my last blog post, Scott County residents are investing in themselves. They've found ways to survive - and even thrive - in a volatile agricultural economy by thinking outside the proverbial box. They could be among the success stories found by authors James and Deborah Fallows in their recently-released book, "Our Towns: A 100,000-Mile Journey Into the Heart of America."
Agriculture is still Scott County's "bread and butter," so to speak. It's 2nd in Kansas in total production agriculture and 32nd in the nation (2012 figures). It's a place with quality farm ground and also is a hub for animal agriculture, with 17 commercial cattle feeders, six commercial swine operations and one dairy.
But they've also found some value-added components to agriculture, including NuLife Market.
He admits that the early grain sorghum products “tasted like cardboard and the texture was like sand.” In 2007, Earl founded NuLife Market in Scott City to produce and market sorghum-based products and sell sorghum ingredients to other food companies.
NuLife uses sorghum grown in the region, providing value-added opportunities for area farmers. And now NuLife supplies sorghum and sorghum products for companies like Kashi, Bear Naked, Go Lean and Annie's Organic, just to name a few. Their sorghum products can be found in more than a thousand products, such as gluten-free baked goods, cereal bars and snacks, represented by some 80 brands. Nu Life Market is shipping its products coast to coast and beyond.
The next morning, we actually saw some of the history we first learned about at the El Quartelejo Museum when we toured Battle Canyon. It's where the last Indian battle in Kansas was fought in September 1878.