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Nada Betcher and Party Ludeman, long time members and founders of the Waterville Wheat Wives. 

Close your eyes and imagine the scents of yeast, cinnamon and sugar….If you’ve ever attended the NCW District Fair, perhaps you’ve experienced the “real thing” by partaking of a “Wheat Wives” cinnamon roll. Wheat Wives began back in the late 1970’s, no one really remembers exactly, but there are still two ladies that were instrumental in the forming and continuation of this group. Patsy Ludeman and Nadra Betcher (Many lady citizens have participated over the years helping prepare, serve and sell in the booth – too numerous to mention). At the onset,(as they were forming) ladies would prepare and bake cinnamon rolls (utilizing their favorite recipe) carry to the fairgrounds and they would be sold out of a “little red barn”. As consistency and size were not in place, the ladies went back to the “drawing board” and formulated a recipe initiated by the late Ethel Badten, devising a recipe, that was then tweaked by the other “wives”, and the result has continued to bring smiles and happy memories to fair goers from that point on. These luscious treats bring many repeat customers year after year. Some folks even purchase and mail to family and friends in faraway places – as they only appear once per year.

As the group “stormed” they brought their home “Cuisinarts” to the “barn”, prepared the dough/rolls and walked across the way to the 4-H building where they were baked. They were then walked back across to the “barn” and sold to eager customers. The location has been moved several times and now the Wheat Wives have their forever home on the midway, where they happily prepare, bake and provide a valuable addition to the fair going scene. They’ve added a commercial mixer that allows them to prepare massive rolls for the general public.



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