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Second installment of Urban Wheat Field addresses food literacy with improved farm-to-fork exhibit in nation's capital

by California Wheat Commission and California Association of Wheat Growers

Posted on 9/14/2010

On Thursday, September 23rd and Friday, September 24th a live wheat field, approximately one quarter of an acre in size, will sprout from the streets of the nation's capital in an effort to promote food literacy via farm-to-fork wheat education. The California Wheat Commission (CWC) & California Association of Wheat Growers (CAWG), along with fellow members of the nation's wheat industry, will unite to deliver an authentic experience to city dwellers and key policy makers during the Wheat Foods Council's second Urban Wheat Field.  The event will take place on the National Mall, close to the U.S. Capitol.

Experts in the areas of wheat growing, milling, baking and nutrition will guide visitors through each phase of the grain's life cycle, engaging them in hands-on activities and demonstrations along the way.  Representatives from both CWC and CAWG will travel to Washington, DC to volunteer at the exhibit.

"We see this event as a unique opportunity to interact with our large, mostly urban Congressional delegation and discuss issues of interest to California wheat growers," said CAWG President James Parsons (wheat producer from Ducor). Mike Bouris, a longtime member of the California Wheat Commission and a wheat producer in Riverside County, said "Wheat is an important part of California's diversified farming sector and we are the largest flour milling state. Being part of the Urban Wheat Field gives us a chance to tell our story."

Highlights of the Urban Wheat Field exhibit include:
A guided tour will take groups through every step of wheat growth and harvest via a live wheat field and a full-size combine.  People will see five stages of wheat and tour guides, in the form of wheat farmers from throughout the country, will lead the way.

Upon exiting the field, visitors will enter the milling area, which demonstrates how the grain itself or kernels become the flour that is used to make the foods they eat.  Visitors will see an operating mill and grind their own flour with tabletop grinders.

Once the flour has been milled, visitors will learn how it is transformed into the everyday foods.  Live baking demonstrations will take place throughout the day and a baking station will churn out fresh bread for sampling.

Registered dietitians will teach people about the way in which wheat foods fuel the body and provide essential nutrients.  Against the backdrop of a mock grocery store aisle, nutrition experts will deliver a lesson in reading nutrition facts labels, identifying whole grain versus enriched grain foods and determining proper serving sizes.

Preceding the event, the National Association of Wheat Growers will host a reception for congressional staff members to experience the event and meet with representatives from their individual state wheat commissions.  CAWG is also taking this opportunity to meet with Congress to address the issues affecting California wheat growers in the production and marketing of wheat.

The Urban Wheat Field is designed to foster a better understanding of a food's nutrition and lineage by enabling people to experience the process by which a kernel of wheat becomes a wheat food.  To learn more, visit the Wheat Foods Council's website at or the California Wheat Commission's website at

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About California Wheat Commission

Wheat growers voted to establish the California Wheat Commission in 1983, expressly to develop and maintain domestic and international markets for California wheat and support research that improves California wheat quality and marketability.  The Commission, operating under the California Food and Agriculture Code, is funded by wheat growers and is guided by a board of thirteen wheat farmers, two handlers, two at-large members, and one public member.  The Commission is a member of the Wheat Foods Council.

About California Association of Wheat Growers

CAWG is a membership organization of wheat producers and support businesses selling goods and services to the wheat industry.  CAWG tracks developments at the federal, state and local level that affect California producers' ability to grow and market their products at an effective price, and we speak for the California wheat farmer in seeking to ensure that policies are developed that reflect their best interests.

About the Wheat Foods Council

The Wheat Foods Council is a nonprofit organization formed in 1972 to help increase public awareness of grains, complex carbohydrates, and fiber as essential components of a healthful diet. The Council is supported voluntarily by wheat producers, millers, bakers, and related industries.