American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall commented on the passing of Senator Bob Dole as he lies in state at the U.S. Capitol Rotunda in honor of his service.

“I first met Senator Dole 35 years ago when I visited Washington, D.C., as committee chair for Young Farmers & Ranchers. Although he wasn’t originally scheduled to meet with us, when presented with the opportunity he was gracious enough to visit with our committee for three hours in the Capitol.

“As a young man that experience had a profound impact on me. One of the most powerful men in Kansas and in Washington made a farmer from Georgia the most important person in the room. That’s who Bob Dole was. Through his many years in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate, his focus was always on the people he represented, yet he had outsized influence as an incredible advocate for agriculture.

“For more than three decades, he worked to ensure vibrant rural economies, including through effective farm bills. He is credited with lifting millions of people out of poverty through his work on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and creation of the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program.

“There is a good lesson for today in how Sen. Dole went about his work. Despite strong political convictions, he was a master at building bipartisan support and working across the aisle to get things done. America’s farmers and ranchers will forever be grateful for his tireless work on their behalf and on behalf of this great nation. Bob Dole embodied servant leadership.”