Scrambled States: Kansas and Kentucky – 5/6

Today we look at Horses from Kentucky and Sorghum from Kansas!


Thoroughbreds are a type of horse. Horses are bred to be used for specific reasons. Thoroughbreds were bred to run! Today, they are mainly used for racing. Kentucky is home to some of the best racing horses in the world. The most famous horse race of all time is the Kentucky Derby, which is usually at the beginning of May each year. Let’s learn more about horses with this read aloud:

Next, check out these fun facts about horses.

Now let’s look more closely at thoroughbred racing horses. Learn more about thoroughbreds with this short encyclopedia article for kids.

You can even make your very own paper bag horse!

Visit the Kentucky Horse Park to learn more about Kentucky’s horses!

Learn more about Kentucky agriculture here.

Check out the Illinois Horse Ag Mag at


Have you ever heard of sorghum grain? Sorghum is used for livestock feed, ethanol production, and is quickly becoming a popular grain for human consumption, especially for people with gluten allergies who cannot eat flour-based breads and other foods. Kansas produced over half of the sorghum grown in the U.S. each year. In 2019, Kansas farmers grew 204 million bushels of sorghum! Sorghum grown in Kansas and other states in the U.S. is used around the world. Sorghum is used to make breads and beverages. It can be steamed, popped, and is even eaten fresh in some parts of the world. Sorghum is also used for building material, fencing, floral arrangements, pet food, and brooms. And it does all this while needing considerable less water than other grain crops. Sorghum truly is an amazing plant!

Watch this short video to learn more about how sorghum is grown in Kansas:

Not all crops can be grown effectively in all parts of the country. As weather patterns have changed, Kansas has experienced many drought years in a row, which has led some farmers to find ways to still grow profitable crops with less water. Sorghum is naturally drought tolerant, which makes it an excellent crop for farmers in Kansas. Learn more about why sorghum is different than other grain crops and why Kansas farmers are growing more and more sorghum in their fields:

Never had sorghum before? Here is one way you can try to add sorghum to your diet!

Learn more about Kansas agriculture here.


Complete this activity to make your own paper horse that WALKS!

Assessment and Extended Response:


  1. How do horses sleep?
  2. About how fast can horses run?
  3. What do horses eat?

*Imagine you had a horse. What would you need to do every day to take care of your animal?


  1. What are three things that sorghum grain can be used for?
  2. Why is sorghum an ideal crop to grow in Kansas?
  3. Sorghum is grown for its grain, but what are some of the benefits of the “stubble” that is left behind after harvest?

*Based on what you learned in these videos, what are some things farmers need to consider when choosing what crops to grow and how to grow them?

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