About the Land and Sky Scenic Byway
Travelers along the Land and Sky Scenic Byway have the opportunity to experience the Wallace Branch of the Great Western Cattle Trail, explore the deep canyons and rugged landscapes of the Arikaree Breaks, stand by a replica of the Van Gogh sunflower painting on an 80 ft. easel, and scale the highest point in Kansas at Mount Sunflower while watching the seasons of agriculture under the biggest skies you’ve ever seen.
The Land and Sky Scenic Byway is the only one in Kansas that focuses on agriculture and features thousands of acres of rotating crops, livestock, and wildlife along the route. Kiosks and Interpretative Signage tell the story of agriculture and show the life cycle of crops including wheat, corn, sorghum/milo, pinto beans, soybeans, and sunflowers.
One of the Kiosks along the Byway
Opportunities for those liking to hunt and fish are available in Wildlife and Walk-In Hunting Areas. Several small lakes in the area are stocked with fish during the year.
St. Francis Wildlife Area
Wild Turkey are commonly seen along the Byway
Keller Pond Area offers fishing, picnic areas, and walking trails.
Ginther Farms Buffalo Herd in the Arikaree Breaks features several white buffalo.
The Tri-State Antique Engine and Thresher Show is held annually in Bird City at the Show Grounds. Working equipment used in days gone by is on display with daily demonstrations.
High Tunnels are often used for year-round growing of crops such as fresh vegetables and fruits. Items grown in this manner are often sold at Farmer’s Markets in the area.
Farming along the Land and Sky Scenic Byway is often a family business. Farmers and Hired Employees usually take care of the day-to-day work on the farm such as planting the crops, fertilizing, irrigating, and harvesting. Equipment must be kept in good working order at all times. Wives and other women cook, deliver meals, go for parts and sometimes run the tractors and combines. Children are brought along while chores are done. All work endless hours to feed America.
Following planting season, crops are often kept weed-free with Arial Spraying.
Irrigation is often used to water crops when Dryland Farming practices are not used.
Combine cutting wheat
Grain Cart loading Semi Truck
Elevator and Grain Bins for storing crops
Round Bales of hay, corn stalks, and cane are made for feeding animals
Trucks transport bales feeding
Combine harvesting Sunflowers
Sorghum (Milo) in the field
Sorghum (Milo) at storage areas.
Sunflowers in the field Sky Scenic Byway
The Byway is home to a variety of animals raised for food and breeding including Beef Cattle, Dairy Cows, Poultry, Sheep, Goats, and Pigs.
Cattle resting in field by tree
On Fridays, cattle are sold at the Sale Barn in St. Francis
In 2022 the Kansas Department of Agriculture reported that the counties of Cheyenne, Sherman, and Wallace (included in the Land and Sky Scenic Byway) had 1,051 Farms with a total of 1,593,563 acres of land.
Youth participate in 4-H Projects at the county fair
Often people purchase items on a grocery list without thinking about how food gets to the store.
Agricultural products are transported from farms and ranches to restaurants, grocery stores, and other markets and cities worldwide, by using semi-trucks, trains, and boats, using highways, railroads, and waterways.
The majority of agricultural goods are consumable products that are perishable, which makes transportation quality as crucial as transportation availability.
Farmers and Ranchers along The Land and Sky Scenic Byway are very proud of what they do. They see the beauty of this land and hope you will enjoy it as must as they do.