KU News Release


May 11, 2011
Contact: Mike Krings, University Relations, 785-864-8860

Rural health care, natural history focus of day three of Wheat State Whirlwind Tour

More Information

LAWRENCE — More than 40 University of Kansas faculty and staff members will learn about rural health care, roam with the buffalo, visit a restored opera house and see the state’s history and nature up close Wednesday, May 25, the third day of the 2011 Wheat State Whirlwind Tour.

The 13th iteration of the tour is taking KU faculty and staff, many new to the state, on a five-day tour of Kansas to learn more about its history, culture, economy and landscape.

Day three will begin with a visit to the Gove County Medical Center in Quinter. Dr. Shelly Gruenbacher will talk with the group about challenges facing rural health care providers such as the Gove County Medical Center. Both KU and KU Medical Center work closely with health care professionals throughout the state and educate doctors, nurses and pharmacists who practice throughout Kansas.

From Quinter, the tour bus will travel on, taking in the Bronze Buffalo sculpture near Oakley and Monument Rocks in Gove County. The next buffalo the group sees will be the real thing, at one of the tour’s most popular annual stops, a “buffalo roam” at the ranch of Richard Duff in Logan County.

Duff, the owner of Beef Belt Feeders of Scott City, and his staff will take the tourgoers on a ride on flat bed trucks to get an up close at some of their roughly 200 head of buffalo. The visitors will also have the opportunity to visit the nearby Keystone Gallery. The gallery showcases some of the fossils and other natural relics found in the area, a hotbed of Kansas discovery.

After the ride with the buffalo, the tour bus will travel to Scott City, where the group will have lunch at the Majestic. The former theater has a long history in the community. Originally showing silent films and hosting traveling performances, the Majestic has since been restored and now serves as a restaurant and occasionally hosts live performances.

Following lunch, the bus will travel to the Fort Larned National Historic Site in Pawnee County. The fort was established as an Army outpost intended to keep peace between white travelers on the Santa Fe Trail and native populations. The tour will then travel to the Quivera National Wildlife Refuge visitors’ center to learn more about migrating birds in wetlands habitats.

Later in the evening, tourgoers will travel to the Kansas Sampler Center in Inman, where Director Marci Penner will speak to the group about her work to preserve and promote all things unique about Kansas. Penner, a former KU basketball player, has made a career of promoting Kansas culture, history and people and encouraging travel throughout the state. The tour will stay in Hutchinson for the evening.

Tour participants will share their insights on the trip on Twitter. Visit twitter.com/kuwheatstate May 23-27 for daily updates, impressions from participants and more. To view daily itineraries, maps of this year’s route and photos of previous tours, visit www.wheatstate.ku.edu.

Itinerary for Wednesday, May 25

7 a.m. – Load bus
7:45 a.m. – Breakfast at Gove County Medical Center
9 a.m. – Depart Quinter
10:15 a.m. – Bronze Buffalo or Monument Rocks
10:30 a.m. – Arrive at Duff’s Buffalo Ranch and visit Keystone Gallery
11:45 a.m. – Depart Duff Ranch for Scott City
12:15 p.m. – Lunch at the Majestic, Scott City
1 p.m. – Depart Scott City
2:45 p.m. – Arrive at Fort Larned National Historic Site
3:30 p.m. – Depart Fort Larned
4:30 p.m. – Quivera National Wildlife Refuge
5:15 p.m. – Arrive in Hutchinson
5:45 p.m. – Depart for Kansas Sampler Center
6:15 p.m. – Arrive at Kansas Sampler Center
8:30 p.m. – Depart for hotel


The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus.

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