Friday, November 14, 2014

November Reminisce Society

Corn and Khrushchev

For our November program the OPL’s Reminisce Society is pleased to have Humanities Iowa speaker, Liz Garst, present the program, “Corn & Khrushchev,” on Tuesday, November 25, at 10:00 a.m. in the library’s meeting room.

The Garst Family has deep roots in the history of Iowa. Using her family experience in Coon Rapids, Liz recounts the history of agricultural development in Iowa, from early settlement through the fabulous mid-century explosion of farm productivity, based on the hybrid seeds, machinery, fertilizers and livestock technologies promoted by her grandfather. Liz tells how it came to pass that Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev and his family visited the Garst family in 1959, and recalls fun stories from her personal memories as an 8 year old participant.  Imbedded in the entertaining story are history and economics lessons and a powerful message about the ability of an individual to make a difference.

Liz Garst is the granddaughter of the famous Iowa farmers and citizen diplomats Roswell and Elizabeth Garst, and like her forefathers, she likes to tell a good story.  She manages banking and farming interests for the Garst family, and has a BA in English Literature, a MS in Agricultural Economics and a MBA.  She is a board member and volunteer for Whiterock Conservancy, a non-profit land trust near Coon Rapids, which is dedicated to finding balance between agriculture, the environment and people.  Whiterock Conservancy stewards the Roswell and Elizabeth Garst Farmstead, which is listed as nationally significant on the National Register of Historic Places. 

The Ottumwa Public Library has received funding from Humanities Iowa, a private, non-profit state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, to host this presentation. A cultural resource for Iowans since 1971, Humanities Iowa offers many cultural and historical programs and grants to Iowa’s communities.

Plan to join us on Tuesday, November 25, for a fascinating glimpse into Iowa’s culture. Reminisce Society programs are free and open to everyone. If you are a person with a disability who requires special assistance or for further information, please call the library’s director, Sonja Ferrell at 641-682-7563, extension 202.