Thank you so much to Kansas Corn for sponsoring my trip to the Kansas Corn Tour and this blog post, as always all opinions are my own!
A couple weeks ago, I was invited to Wichita, Kansas on the inaugural Kansas Corn Tour with a small group of other local Kansas/Kansas City bloggers. It was basically a two-day immersion course in educating us on how corn plays such a monumental part in our everyday lives, and not just from consumption of sweet corn in our diets, as I so ignorantly assumed when my invitation first arrived.
On the contrary, I learned the majority of corn, a whopping 99%, produced in the United States isn’t even meant for human consumption, instead, it’s used as feed for livestock or converted into ethanol for fuel, which was news to me – as I’m sure it is to some of you.
Here’s a little look into our trip, as well as some fun facts on Kansas Corn.
So day one started with us all checking into Ambassador Hotel in downtown Wichita, where we relaxed for a bit, then headed off to dinner at a local distillery. Here, we dove right in to Kansas corn, by getting a little introduction into how corn is used to produce ethanol –a cleaner, renewable and safer alternative to gasoline. Basically ethanol is a renewable fuel, as opposed to gasoline, and reduces gas emissions by almost 60%.
(And of course, there was delicious food, like this charcuterie board. See above!)
The next day we got up bright and early and headed to a local ethanol plant, where we saw the process of corn being turned into ethonoal for fuel and feed for animals. We learned that corn is 70% starch, which is converted into ethanol, and the other 30% is made up of fat and protein which is later converted into feed for animals. Literally nothing goes to waste, which is so important in our world today.
Next up on our list, a visit to Splitter Farm where toured a few cornfields, chatted with Matt and Jana Splitter about their day-to-day business operations, a little bit about their family life, and had an authentic lunch of….Mexican street tacos. Ha! Seriously though, these tacos were DELICIOUS and as authentic as anything you’d find in Mexico, who knew?!
We wrapped up our day at a local grain elevator, which is a basically a holding container where all of the corn is stored before being exported out of the country or sent domestically to other destinations. I think the thing I was most surprised by, was how much technology plays a role in all of these businesses. These operations are not your old-school farming practices.
After a brief break, we had dinner with a handful of local farmers at Public, a phenomenal farm-to-table restaurant in downtown Wichita. It was the perfect end to a great day.
The next day we wrapped things up an informative breakfast and cooking demo, then hopped back on the road to head home. Overall, it was a wonderful trip full of lots of great information, good people and great food.
For more information on Kansas Corn, check out this great website. Also, look for a corn recipe to come in the next couple of weeks!