Corn in a field. (Unsplash)

HOMEGROWN: A look at Kent’s corn

Agassiz may be known as the Corn Capital of the World, but did you know why?

There’s a reason Agassiz calls itself the “Corn Capital of the World,” and it lies in the seeds that farmers have planted in the fertile soil year after year. But it wasn’t always that way.

In the early years of European settlement in the Agassiz-Harrison Valley, hops were actually the dominant crop. It wasn’t until the 1948 flood that farmers began to focus on dairy farming, and growing fields of corn to feed their hungry cows.

RELATED: 114th year of the Agassiz Fall Fair

Since then, local farmers have traditionally grown one of two types of corn: sweet corn for eating, freezing and canning; or forage corn for biofuels, pharmaceuticals, syrup and livestock.

(Forage corn is one of the main crops fed to local dairy cows, with the whole plant being stored in airtight bales.)

Agassiz has a long history of celebrating its corn producers. In 1949, the town held the first Corn Festival and since then has annually crowned a local farmer as the Corn King or Queen for their corn’s uniformity and maturity, as well as their field cleanliness and nitrogen use.

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grace.kennedy@ahobserver.com

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