A Baker's View of the Future of Wheat Foods, will be presented by Mark Dirkes, Sr. Vice President, Interstate Brands Companies at the Kansas Wheat Commission and Kansas Association of Wheat Growers Annual Banquet scheduled for Dec. 3, 200,1 at Dighton High School, Dighton, KS.

Interstate Brands Companies (IBC), headquartered in Kansas City, MO, is the largest wholesale baker and distributor of bread and snack cakes in the United States with net sales in fiscal year 2001 nearly $3.5 billion. Two of their 62 bakeries are located in Kansas: Dolly Madison Cake Bakery in Emporia and Wonder Bread in Lenexa. The company delivers baked goods to more than 200,000 food outlets on approximately 10,000 delivery routes. In addition, it operates 1,400 bakery thrift stores. Interstate Brands Corp. has 34,000 employees.

"We are the biggest user of flour in the United States. The majority of wheat we buy is grown in Kansas. On any given year, Interstate Brands will purchase 5-15% of all the wheat grown in Kansas, depending on the crop year," commented Rob Kissick, Manager of Flour Procurement. Kansas mills are the major suppliers to Interstate Brands. For example, flour milled in a Kansas mill will go on rail cars as far away as New York and Florida.

Its national and regional bread brands include Wonder, Beefsteak, Butternut, Bread du Jour, Roman Meal and Home Pride to name a few. Its snack cake, doughnut and sweet-good brands include Hostess, Dolly Madison and Drake's.

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