I’m very excited to announce that I received the Andrew Weegar Memorial Award from the Institute for Journalism and Natural Resources for my project, “When the Wheaties Come to Town: A Journey into a Vanishing American Present.”
Andrew Weegar was an extraordinary and unique environmental journalist who was taken from the world too soon. A true renaissance man, he was an accomplished naturalist, fisherman, hunter, farmer, furniture-builder, and a dedicated newspaper reporter. He also pursued a robust career in journalism covering agriculture, fisheries, and forestry issues for the Maine Times.
The award typically goes to projects that resonate with one or more of Andrew’s passions: conservation, traditional agriculture, forestry and fisheries.
For my project, I will be headed to the Great Plains to learn more about the annual wheat harvest and the custom cutters/harvesters or “wheaties” as they are often known who travel from north Texas to Montana and North Dakota from spring into fall harvesting wheat as they go. Since the 1930s, these families have been integral to the American wheat industry helping to put bread, cereal and other staples on American dinner tables.
Their annual migration also represents a manifestation of America’s itinerant spirit that has found a new outlet in long trails like the Appalachian, Pacific Crest and Continental Divide Trails.
I could not be more excited to join the Wheat Trail. Thank you IJNR!