The World Food Prize is pleased to announce that Ambassador Kenneth M. Quinn was presented the Peace Prize From Slovakia on behalf of the Foundation and his work over the past 20 years. The ceremony was held today, December 12, 2019, at the Palffy Palace in Bratislava.
In a secret ballot, the Slovakian International Peace Committee decided to award the Prize to the World Food Prize Foundation and its president Amb. Kenneth M. Quinn, “for developing the vision of its founder Dr. Norman E. Borlaug with exceptional incentives to improve the quality, quantity and availability of food worldwide.” In making this announcement, Dr. Peter Kasalovsky, the Founder and Chairman of the Committee, noted that Amb. Quinn and the World Food Prize Foundation received all but two votes, which were cast for Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“Of course, it is a tremendous honor to be a recipient of an award that was first bestowed upon His Holiness Pope Francis and also given in memory of President John F. Kennedy, the leader who inspired me to a career in the American foreign service,” said Amb. Quinn. “I am so very proud to accept this award here in Bratislava, Slovakia, which for many, many years was on the front lines of the Cold War division between the West and the Soviet Union, but now as a free democratic country is on the frontlines of the struggle for peace.“
The Prize was presented to Amb. Quinn by distinguished members of the International Peace Committee of Slovakia, including: Major General Svetozar Nadovic, previous Peace Prize Laureate Monika Babcanova, and Professor Jozef Masarik.
In his acceptance remarks entitled Peace Through Agriculture, Amb. Quinn pointed out the significant connection between Iowa and Slovakia during his remarks. He noted that the connection centered in the National Czech and Slovak Museum and Library being located in Cedar Rapids, as well as the significant settlement of Czech and Slovak people near Spillville, not far from Norman Borlaug’s boyhood home.