Waving the wheat

Posted on Jul 5, 2013 in Alumni News and News

Wheat harvest with the Riffey family | www.kualumni.org

Waving the Wheat is a long-standing KU tradition.   There is great speculation on when and where the tradition originated, but as spring turns to summer, it takes only a short drive down a Kansas road to see why Jayhawks still wave the wheat proudly to represent the state’s flagship university.

Kansans are treated to the largest amount of amber waves of grain in the United States, and the 2013 wheat harvest is in full swing. Angie Riffey Storey b’04, g’07, associate development director for KU Endowment,   grew up on a wheat farm in Sawyer and enjoys returning for harvest each summer.

“When I think of waving the wheat, my mind immediately turns to growing up on the farm, helping with wheat harvest each summer.   Even after attending KU and currently working for the University, I love sharing the wheat harvest tradition with my husband and daughters by returning to my family’s farm each summer.   Whether I am on the farm in June listening to the wheat rustle in the Kansas wind, or watching the student section wave their arms after a Jayhawk touchdown, I am filled with Kansas pride every time.”

The Riffey family has been farming in south central Kansas for more than a century.   The fourth-generation farmers manage 2,000 acres each year.

U.S. farmers grow nearly 2.4 billion bushels of wheat on 63 million acres of land in 42 states.   A bushel of wheat makes about 90 one-pound loaves of whole wheat bread.

Watch the video below to see harvest in action on the Riffey farm.

Wheat harvest with the Riffey family | www.kualumni.org
Special thanks to the Riffey family for allowing us to document their wheat harvest.

–Dan Storey

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