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The Profit of the EarthThe Global Seeds of American Agriculture$
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Courtney Fullilove

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780226454863

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226455051.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 26 July 2021

For Amber Waves of Grain

For Amber Waves of Grain

(p.99) 4: For Amber Waves of Grain
The Profit of the Earth

Courtney Fullilove

University of Chicago Press

This chapter traces the history of "Turkey Red Wheat," a variety alleged to have been brought by German Mennonite immigrants from Southern Russia to the American Midwest in the late 19th century. This chapter reconsiders this story of origins, arguing that immigrant heritage stories warrant as much scrutiny as the celebratory histories of mid-twentieth century plant breeding that succeeded them. It follows the transit of wheat backward from USDA agronomist Mark Carleton and Kansas Mennonite miller Bernard Warkentin to the Black Sea ports of Russian lands formerly governed by the Crimean Khanate, concluding that Mennonite seed stocks derived from millennia of agricultural practice, and that success in cultivation owed as much to commercial imperatives as to varietals themselves.

Keywords:   wheat, turkey wheat, turkey red wheat, Mennonite, Mark Alfred Carleton, Bernard Warkentin, Kansas, Crimea, agriculture

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