Grain News

Former KS Senator Bob Dole Visits Kansas Wheat Innovation Center

Date Posted: May 12, 2014

Manhattan, KS—Former U.S. Senator Bob Dole spoke to a crowd of 150 at the Kansas Wheat Innovation Center on May 13, to share his appreciation for the people of Kansas.

This stop was part of his return to Kansas for a gratitude tour with the intention of visiting all 105 counties to thank people who have supported him along his career.

"I appreciate what they (the people of Kansas) did for me so I could do something for Kansas," Dole said.

Dole shared with the group some of the things he accomplished in office and his opinion of current events but he truly stressed how thankful he is for the Kansans he was able to serve.

Many dignitaries were in attendance at the event.

Secretary of Agriculture, Jackie McClaskey and K-State President Kirk Schultz came out to meet Dole.

After the program Dole took questions from the crowd, sharing the highlights of his time in office and campaigning.

"I think a highlight generally, has been meeting good people all across the country," said Dole.

Many stayed to share stories with Dole and get pictures before he left to continue on his tour.

Senator Dole is recognized on the Kansas Wheat Innovation Center Founders' Wall for his contribution to the Kansas Wheat Research Foundation.

"We are grateful for Senator Bob Dole's long-time support of farm legislation and export promotion programs," said Kansas Wheat CEO Justin Gilpin.

"Being from the heartland, he has always known the importance of agricultural production and its value to the U.S. economy."

Dole, 90, has been an advocate for universal childhood education and nutrition. He and Former U.S. Senator George McGovern dedicated themselves to the elimination of hunger at home and abroad.

In the 1970s, as leaders of opposing parties, they worked together to reform the Food Stamp Program (now known as SNAP), expand the domestic school lunch program, and establish the Special Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).

By the late 1990s, they began working toward reviving and strengthening global school-nutrition and education programs.

They were committed to creating a program that would provide poor children with meals at school in countries throughout Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Eastern Europe.

With the strong support and urging of Senator McGovern and Senator Dole, Congress passed legislation establishing a permanent international school feeding program.

In May of 2002, the George McGovern-Robert Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program (known as the McGovern-Dole Program) was signed into law.

This hallmark effort has fed children in schools across the globe every year since then.

Feeding the world is a driving motivation for many agricultural producers.

The U.S. wheat industry is a champion of food aid programs that allow our high-quality wheat to reach those who otherwise would likely go without.

By using American-grown food in food aid, American hands and infrastructure are involved throughout the entire operation, ensuring the quality of the food that is delivered.

The United States donates more food aid than the rest of the world combined.

In 2011, 46 percent of all U.S. food-aid donations were wheat, and 40 percent of all food-aid donations worldwide were wheat.

Dole's four-day tour included stops in Seneca, Marysville, Washington, Clay Center, Westmoreland, Manhattan, Junction City, Abilene, Salina, McPherson, Newton, Wichita, El Dorado, Emporia, Topeka, and Wyandotte County.

"I'm looking forward to returning to Kansas for the second time this spring," Senator Dole said.

"I hope to see friends and former supporters of mine, and I am looking forward to enjoying more cookies along the way -- preferably oatmeal raisin and chocolate."

There was no shortage of cookies at his stop at the Kansas Wheat Innovation Center.

Attendees had the opportunity to taste Designer Oatmeal Cookies by Sharon Davis of the Home Baking Association; Whole Wheat Sugar Cookies by Cindy Falk, nutrition educator, Kansas Wheat Test Kitchen; Oatmeal Raisin Cookies by Betty Kandt, spokesperson; Patriotic Cookies by Julene DeRouchey, spokesperson; and Go-Further Wheat Brownies by Cindy Falk.

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