Wheat brought many immigrants to Minnesota, notably the Scandinavian and German people who grew the wheat. Their cultures have played a huge part in the character of our state: hard work, compassion, and common sense, to begin the list. Money from this wheat accounted for a huge part of our wealth as a state and to individuals, building Pillsbury, General Mills, etc., owned and run by immigrants from out east; building factories, office buildings, neighborhoods of huge mansions and modest homes; and building smaller towns and farming communities across the state. We have Pillsbury Avenue, Washburn Avenue, Washburn High School, and so on. The mills employed thousands if not millions of other immigrants from other countries and other states who came here to work, live, and build neighborhoods and communities. Minnesota is still an important player in feeding the world, which is something that can give us great pride. All of my great-grandfathers and grandfathers as well as my father grew the wheat and my great-grandmothers, grandmothers, and mother cooked the food for the crews of the threshing bees which I proudly and fondly remember as a child on my grandparents' farm in the 1950s. It was as big as Christmas--men, women, kids everywhere in a flurry of excitement. Wheat built schools, roads, mills, and mansions as well as families and communities. When I see the huge Pillsbury monument in Lakewood Cemetery in Minneapolis or the Betty Crocker logo I think of the sweat of my ancestors and the wonderful heritage I have. I would not be here without wheat.
~ Rebecca Ridgeway, Minneapolis, MN