Special to the Leader-News
The Prairy Foundation has awarded two inaugural grants in support of the Tallgrass Prairie and its historic communities. Kauffman Museum at Bethel College in North Newton and the Drinkwater & Schriver Mill in Cedar Point are the first recipients.
The mission of Prairy is rooted in the Gaeddert family’s love of the Flint Hills located in the heart of the United States.
“As our family became more involved in building the Prairy brand, we knew we wanted any potential impact to contribute to the conservation of this incredible remnant of native prairie and to the communities that share in its history,” said CEO Aaron Gaeddert. “Hence, the creation of the Prairy Foundation and the commitment of one percent of brand sales to its cause.”
The first gift is intended to support the Kauffman Museum’s field trip program, which includes curriculum and transportation for students from Newton and surrounding communities to visit the wonderful stand of Tallgrass Prairie on the Museum’s grounds and to participate in their accompanying learning activities.
“We at Kauffman Museum are so honored to receive an inaugural gift from the Prairy Foundation as it establishes itself as a core supporter of healthy communities and the Tallgrass Prairie,” said Andi Schmidt Andres, director of Kauffman Museum. “As field trips to the museum pick up again after the first 18 months of the pandemic, we will use the grant provided by the Prairy Foundation to bolster our current educational offerings and provide reimbursement to schools for travel expenses. These funds will allow us to expand learning experiences for elementary students about the prairie ecosystem, Native Peoples, and pioneers in central Kansas.”
“With a focus on children, we are focusing on our future…and hopefully the future stewards of the Tallgrass Prairie and its communities,” Terri Gaeddert said. “At Prairy, we also consider this first gift a tribute to our longest tenured employee, Carol Sue Stayrook Hobbs, whose passion for local education is ever-present — from years of service on the Newton School Board to numerous ongoing acts of school support and volunteer dedication!”
The second gift is to support the Drinkwater & Schriver Mill, also known as the Cedar Point Mill, located in a historic community with deep ties to the Tallgrass Prairie. It is also connected with a recent Prairy employee, Cassie Roberts.
Roberts has worked in the Prairy Production and Deli kitchens and is the great-great granddaughter of O.H. Drinkwater, a founder of the Cedar Point Mill and the town of Cedar Point itself. The mutual attraction to Cedar Point was a fun discovery for the Gaeddert family and for Roberts during a casual conversation one afternoon at Prairy.
The mill is owned by Drinkwater & Schriver Mill Inc., a Kansas non-profit corporation dedicated to saving the mill and maintaining it as an historic site, celebrating this exceptional grist mill.
“We at the Drinkwater & Schriver (Cedar Point) Mill are thrilled to receive this gift,” said Dan Clothier, founder of the organization. “The commitment to historical preservation and generational ties is strong. I especially appreciate the connection to Prairy and the use of Kansas Turkey Red Wheat flour. I look forward to the continued restoration of the mill and celebrate the support from the Prairy Foundation.”
The Prairy Foundation extends appreciation for all who share a strong passion for a deeply-rooted, widely-shared mission, focused on healthy food, people and communities committed to the Tallgrass Prairie.
One percent of Prairy brand proceeds is dedicated to the foundation. The foundation invites you to give to the Prairy Foundation at www.PrairyFound.org or call us at 1-833-4-PRAIRY.
The Prairy Foundation is a component fund of the Central Kansas Community Foundation.