The Joy of Family Farm Day Trips

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Harvest is a farmer’s Super Bowl. It’s the culmination of a year of work and his way of measuring success.

After the last load of wheat heads into town, there is a final buzz of activity. The equipment is cleaned and put away, the papers sorted and the other things neglected during the harvest are checked.

The stress of constant activity, anticipation and worry, lessens and there is room to breathe; a moment of grace and rest.

This brief rest is a special time for a farming family. Although a farmer’s work is never done, a new sense of accomplishment reminds a farmer that even God has rested from time to time. Harvest victory gives farm families a small window for a vacation.

Marc and I both enjoy planning trips and traveling to fun destinations, but he often struggles to commit far enough in advance to book tickets or make firm commitments with friends. It cannot predict the weather, whether irrigators will break down, when crops will be ready to harvest, whether livestock fences will need unexpected repairs, a storm causing damage, or any other unforeseen but regular tasks that occupy farmers 365 days a year. .

But when the stars align, a brief vacation is in order. We like to grab a road map and some snacks and hop in the car for a day of exploring the hidden gems of our neighboring Kansas towns.

Some people may read this and think I mean Wichita, Kansas City, or one of our larger cities. While these towns have wonderful attractions, they are rarely the focus of our Kansas adventures.

A little over ten years ago, when I first moved here, the Kansas Sampler Foundation had just completed its “8 Wonders of Kansas” publications. This list has joined personal recommendations from friends and our paper atlas to create ready inspiration for one of the dozens of day trips we have ready for those times when the opportunity arises for us to travel the this beautiful and unique state.

If you’ve never seen the “8 Wonders of Kansas” or taken a day trip to small towns that have gathered resources to create museums, preserve history, share local art or support customs and unique companies, you are missing something.

Another joy of these day trips is that very little planning allows us to be flexible and see where the road takes us. This year, our post-harvest adventure began with my dad’s (a farmer who considers helping out during the wheat harvest his annual vacation) interest in the Kansas Motorcycle Museum in Marquette.

Lunch at the Ranch House, an extensive collection of well-maintained motorcycles, and a very hip and cool Smoky Hill Distillery awaited us on Main Street in Marquette. Then we decided to drive to the nearby town of Lindsborg to take in the views from Coronado Heights, the Old Mill Museum and the Dala Horse Artists in Hemslojd. We strolled through Lyon for a delicious dinner at the county seat. Our day in towns under 4,000 included rare artifacts, interesting culture and history, great food and drink, and wonderful family memories.

The small Kansas town might not be at the top of your vacation list, but it’s full of interesting people who freely share their passion with people who come into their town every day. That’s what makes the trip through our state so amazing.

Next time you have a moment to pause for an adventure, I hope you get out there and see what the small towns around our state have to offer. Maybe I’ll see you there.

“Insight” is a weekly column published by the Kansas Farm Bureau, the state’s largest agricultural organization whose mission is to strengthen agriculture and the lives of Kansans through outreach, education and development. service. Jackie Mundt is a farmer and rancher from Pratt County.

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