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World Food Prize Honors Heads of Two Groups Based in US

This is the VOA Special English Agriculture Report, from | This year's World Food Prize will honor two leaders of hunger-fighting groups based in the United States. The winners are David Beckmann of Bread for the World and Jo Luck of Heifer International. They will share the prize of two hundred fifty thousand dollars.The World Food Prize usually goes to researchers or top policy officials. This is the first time it will recognize the work of nongovernmental groups. The winners were announced in June at the State Department in Washington. The privately supported prize will be awarded in Des Moines, Iowa, in October. Heifer International provides donated animals and training to farmers in fifty countries. Jo Luck stepped down this year after almost twenty years as chief executive officer. She remains president until next year. Under her leadership, the group's budget grew from less than ten million dollars to more than one hundred thirty million. Jo Luck says people pass on their gifts of not just animals. They pass on gifts of training and leadership. She says: "You just give them those resources and that training and opportunity, and you cannot hold them back."She told the story of a woman from a poor village in Zimbabwe. A family member helped send her to school in the United States with earnings from a donated milk goat. She received a doctoral degree.David Beckmann became president of Bread for the World in nineteen ninety-one. Before that, he worked on poverty issues at the World Bank. He is an economist and a Christian clergyman. Bread for the World organizes people from religious and non-religious groups to write, call and visit members of Congress. The purpose is to support measures to improve the lives of the poor.David Beckmann points to big increases in American development assistance. He says this would not have happened without the work of hundreds of thousands of people and churches that are part of Bread for the World and that keep the pressure on their members of Congress.The prize committee also credited his efforts with helping to increase aid to needy families in the United States.Norman Borlaug established the World Food Prize in nineteen eighty-six. His work with rice and wheat crops saved millions of people from starving in Asia and Latin America. The plant scientist and Nobel Peace Prize winner died last year at the age of ninety-five. And that's the VOA Special English Agriculture Report. (Adapted from a radio program broadcast 22Jun2010)
Length: 03:59


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