"Well, I was an early supporter of the Food for Peace Program which started in 1954, I believe. Actually, [it was] thought up by another Quaker, Raymond Wilson. And he convinced Senator Humphrey to introduce it. And I tie it to what was happening here in central Nebraska in the same period. It was during the 1950s that we began to accumulate surpluses of grain. And we probably wouldn't have had a Food for Peace Program except that we had grain on the ground we didn't know what to do with…
     "And there was a growing awareness of hungry people around the world. I mean, the first impulse is to get those things together, pronto. For the shipping costs practically! The government already owned the grain. If people are hungry you ought to feed them. It's come directly out of the Biblical injunction, but it also has a humanitarian aspect to it. It wasn't too long before we realized that that was a temporary measure. So the attention turned after a period of time more in the development of direction – excuse me, of development. To enable people to either grow their own food or to earn enough money that they can purchase it in the marketplace. But it had its beginning in an awareness of hunger and probably wouldn't have happened except that we had surplus grain…
     "The Food for Peace Program had a strong marketing aspect in it from the beginning. 'Get these people used to eating wheat or whatever [and they may become purchasers. Even in the 1950s, you could begin to see signs of that in Japan, a little later in Taiwan and Korea, Hong Kong. So over a period of 20 or 30 years these markets did, in fact, develop. It takes time for these things, but we had surplus grain from early to mid-50s until – we never emptied the bins from that era until 1974."

Don Reeves – Food for Peace


Other Excerpts from Don Reeves’ Interview:

Conscientious Objection
Off Farm Income
Raising Kids for Export
Overusing Fertilizer
Green Rev. Legacy
Organic Farming
Silent Spring
Farming for the Gov't
Lobbying for Farmers