Hey there, from Kansas: Grinter Farms featured nationally on ABC's 'Good Morning America'

Ted Grinter stands with Becky Worley during an interview Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021, in one of the sunflower fields at Grinter Farms 4 miles south of Tonganoxie. Worley featured Grinter Farms during a Rise and Shine segment profiling Kansas on "Good Morning America." ABC's national morning show is highlighting all 50 states. Kansas marked state No. 30 in the series. Enlarge photo

September 9, 2021

Ted Grinter has done his share of interviews this time of year, but Thursday morning’s session provided a new first at Grinter Farms.

“Good Morning America” crews were on hand around 7 a.m. to film a segment for the ABC morning show.

Correspondent Becky Worley stood in the sunflower fields just west of Sunflower General as a camera rolled. A drone zoomed overhead to get additional shots.

Worley featured Kansas as part of the ABC show’s Rise and Shine tour of all 50 states. No. 30 so far in the ongoing segment, Worley spoke of Kansas kindness through vignette of Kansas stories. Atop that list were the local sunflower fields that draw visitors from near and far. Cameras rolled as Kris Grinter, also known as The Farmer’s Wife on the Grinter Farms Facebook page, looked on with a few family and friends.

Worley interviewed Ted for about 40 seconds about the fields. Ted spoke about the sunflowers and their picturesque draw, also noting that the family farm soon will be celebrating 75 years.

Ted said he “felt pretty good” about his first brush with a national audience Thursday morning.

“It was quick,” Ted said with a laugh.

The Kansas feature spanned about 10 minutes overall and highlighted a couple of Teds.

Jason Sudeikis, who stars in the critically acclaimed “Ted Lasso” Apple TV series that he created and co-wrote, went to Shawnee Mission West High School years ago. Worley interviewed Donnie Campbell, the upbeat inspiration for Sudeikis’ character who leaves his highly successful stint coaching American football at Wichita State to lead a professional soccer team in England. Campbell now coaches at Lee's Summit North High School (Mo.).

The morning show also featured recorded segments with Sudeikis’ parents at Children’s Mercy Park, home of the real-life Sporting Kansas City of Major League Soccer down the road in Kansas City, Kan., Kansas City Joe’s barbecue and interviews with Kansas basketball coach Bill Self in Allen Fieldhouse and staff at the Eldridge Hotel in downtown Lawrence.

It’s not a Kansas feature without Dorothy, of course. The Sunflower State segment opened with a stop at the Oz Museum in Wamego. The segment concluded with GMA crew, the Grinters and a few other locals waving to the drone camera.

“Good Morning America” producer Adam Daniels said the 50-state tour is highlighting the resilience of people in each state as businesses and attractions have slowly reopened during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Daniels first reached out to Ted and Kris Grinter just more than two weeks ago about doing a segment in the sunflower fields.

The 40 acres of sunflowers are about 4 miles south of Tonganoxie on Stillwell Road.

Grinter Farms sunflowers span roughly 40 acres in fields not far from U.S. Highway 24-40.

Sunflower General, 14755 243rd Street, provides a bevy of items, from local honey, sugar scrubs and soaps to commemorative T-shirts, wine glasses, paintings and photos. They also offer coffee and some sweet goodness, including cinnamon rolls.

Kris said the seasonal shop opened the last weekend in August. Business really picked up Labor Day Weekend, even with rains moving into the area that weekend.

“It really has been another amazing year,” Kris said.

Anyone still wanting to get out to Grinter Farms to snap photos in the fields of gold still have a little time left. The sunflowers should still be photogenic through the weekend, with some starting expected to start losing their posture next week.

To view the “Good Morning America” segment about the Oz Museum, Kansas basketball, clips from Grinter Farms and more, click here. To watch the segment about the real-life Ted Lasso and the interview with Ted Grinter, click here.

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