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Dale and Betty Bumpers Distinguished Lecture Program


good evening and thank you all for coming this is a great honor for the dale bumpers college of agricultural food and life sciences and the university of arkansas as a whole last year we celebrated the 15th anniversary of the naming of bumpers college and it was a great privilege for me to meet our colleges namesake Dale bumpers senator bumpers mrs. bumpers may I ask you both to stand to be recognized it is a great privilege for me personally to serve as Dean in a college named after senator Dale bumpers thank you for returning this year with your close friend President Bill Clinton who has graciously agreed to be the inaugural speaker for the Dale and Betty bumpers distinguished lecture program the purpose of this program is to promote three things the international prominence of Arkansas food and agricultural industries the importance of environmental stewardship for the strength and vibrancy of our economy and human quality of life including child wellness human development and healthy living choices not in our wildest dreams could we have imagined a better inaugural speaker than President Bill Clinton President Clinton’s participation is a tribute to the tremendous work done by Dale and Betty bumpers over a lifetime of distinguished public service for us in the bumpers college it is also a recognition and a validation of the importance and stature with which this lecture program has been conceived in addition to President Clinton and Dale and Betty bumpers I would like to recognize some other special guests joining us today they include University of Arkansas system president Don Bobbitt and his and his and his wife Susan University of art university of arkansas trustee mark Waltrip and his wife Angela both of whom are proud graduates of the bumpers college along with their son Nathan and their daughter Katie who was currently in the bumpers college as a student also joining us tonight is dr. mark Cochran vice president for agriculture division of Agriculture Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel and the bumpers children their son Brent and their daughter brooke and her husband Gordon with their three children with their children Kailyn and Emily thank you all for joining us on this historic occasion I now invite Chancellor Dave Gearhart to say a few words about the significance of this program and to introduce our inaugural speaker David thank you very much Dean beta welcome to everyone as you noted senator bumpers was here on campus last April to help celebrate the 15th anniversary of the naming of bumpers College President Clinton also joined us the previous year for the dedication of the richard b atkinson memorial courtyard it’s an absolute honor and privilege to have President Bill Clinton and Dale and Betty bumpers back on campus as three of the finest leaders this state has ever produced indeed any state has ever produced you will always be received here at the University of Arkansas with open arms before I invite the President to begin his lecture I’d like to say a few words about Dale and Betty bumpers it’s difficult to overstate the impact they have had on the University of Arkansas the state of Arkansas and indeed our nation Dale bumpers understood the relationship between between research and scientific advancement he further understood that government had both a role and responsibility to shape and advanced scientific research as a graduate of our university he also knew what kind of impact university research could have on the state and nation he helped secure more than 80 million dollars in funds for facilities and programs that directly benefited this campus and our state they include the John W Tyson center for excellence for Polti poultry science the poultry health laboratory the research feed mill the pilot processing plant the usda-ars poultry production and product safety research unit all of which are based right here on campus additionally he secured funding for other campus you such as the food safety consortium the HR rosen center for alternative pest control the national center for resource innovation southwest the national center for agricultural law at the school of law the high-density electronic center at the university of arkansas college of engineering and the dale bumpers National Rice Research Center in Stuttgart clearly his commitment to the bumpers college of agricultural food and life sciences is unsurpassed as such we honored him by naming the college after its greatest patron he was an early advocate of environmental sustainability in the protection and conservation of natural resources he also has had a long-standing concern for child wellness nutrition and healthy lifestyles senator bumpers was not alone in this concern his wife Betty has kindred concern and she made a dramatic difference in the area of immunizations of children across the state due to her advocacy and efforts Arkansas went from having one of the lowest rates of immunization in the country to one of the highest she was instrumental in creating a cooperative model for public health there was adapted by the center for disease control and prevention programs across the country Betty bumpers was the at the center of national immunization efforts and federal initiatives that have seen immunization rates rise to ninety five percent she is also as you well known no been a longtime advocate for nuclear arms reduction founding peace links in 1984 in 2000 President Clinton himself appointed her to the board of the directors of the Institute for peace a bipartisan board established to promote international peace and conflict resolution to this day she is a passionate advocate for world peace serving on the National Peace Foundation Advisory Council her efforts are also evident at the University and the college in the form of our newly constructed gene Tyson child development study center this facility will educate university students promote childcare centered research and provide quality childcare for the university campus and the Northwest Arkansas Community Dale and Betty bumpers are a real life dynamic duo they are vast and generous Souls whose life work has been to uplift humanity they have an abiding faith in the improvement of the human condition in their mission they have been wildly and beautifully successful it is our great fortune to have them represent the state of Arkansas so Abele and it is an honor for this college to bear the dump bumpers name we are no less honored to host today’s inaugural lecturer indeed it is difficult to convey the scale of Bill Clinton’s accomplishments two-term president of the United States of America five-time governor of Arkansas Attorney General of Arkansas Dave Gearhart slaw professor sorry about that mr. president needless to say Bill Clinton is among our most beloved presidents leaving office with some of the highest approval ratings in history presiding over the longest peacetime economic expansion and ladies and gentlemen a budget surplus since he left office he continued since he left office he continues to use his power and influence working alone and with other presidents and world leaders in transformative initiatives related to aids the tsunami relief and quality of life issues for the people of haiti and across the African continent he is a dear and devoted friend of this university and of Dale and Betty bumpers President Clinton is also one of Arkansas’s favorite sons by any accounts nationally and internationally he is the most popular and most admired person in the world and ladies and gentlemen he belongs to Arkansas we are most fortunate to have President Clinton as our inaugural lecturer he has thought long and deeply about the issues this lecture program is committed to addressing and he brings a unique perspective as a world leader and native Arkansas now mr. president by the look of you I think you’re probably still working out we want you to have the latest athletic gear here so we’ve got a track suit for you and I hope the next time we see you on television you’re going to be wearing this track sailor ladies and gentlemen please welcome the 42nd president of the United States William Jefferson Clinton thank you very much thank you very much looking thank you thank you dale and betty and president Bobbitt the invader attorney general McDaniel trustee Waldrop but thank you all for being here I also want to thank my longtime friend Frank Broyles for being here and for his support of a national effort in another aspect of healthcare the fight against Alzheimer’s which my wife was involved in an ascent thank you for being here it’s almost impossible for me to begin the speech because i have so many friends in the audience everybody in this audience is either too young to remember when i was governor are old enough to have helped me when i ran for Congress 38 years ago but i think you know how much I love the University and Fayetteville I first came here 53 years ago when I was 12 years old to go to music camp four years later I got out of school with an excused absence to come here and spend two days because i wrote my junior thesis in high school on the University of Arkansas I’m sure I was sincere in my interest but I really just wanted to come back to fayetteville for a couple of days so I’m glad to be here you’re going to get an interesting talk tonight because right before I came out here my reading glasses broke and so the enterprising administration ran out and got me another pair too weak for me to see so if I hold my notes way out here you know what’s going on you notice when David Gerhardt went through all my accomplishments he saved the best to last that I was his teacher he was a very good student I saw that he had promised so I gave him an even better grade and I reckon he’s earned it I’m very proud of him and his brother van and his family for the contributions they made to our state I want to say a few personal words to before we get into the more serious part of my talk everything that we said about Betty bumpers this morning is true but one of the things that I think all of you should know is the profound influence he had over people who cared about the health and welfare of children all across America before it was the thing to do and the profound influence he had on the people who cared about the cause of world peace and what would be necessary to avoid the most calamitous consequences of war when it was actually still politically dangerous to say what was factually obvious Hilary always said that it’s a good thing families worked out the way they do because women always had the responsibility Jean and Betty bumpers has the responsibility Jean on steroids I’ll never forget the day when the secretary of health and human services when I was president Donna shillelagh came to me and said what we finally did it we have finally immunized more than ninety percent of all the children in the United States and the first thing I thought was that’s because Betty bumpers put it in our heads to do so and told us we had to do it and their general concern for child health is really important that most important thing my foundation does in America today and I’ll say a little more about it is the Alliance for a healthier generation which is designed to stem and reverse the tide of childhood obesity in America which if not done could give us the first generation of children to have shorter life spans than their parents that too is something that grew out of a sensitivity I developed in no small measure because at the beginning of my career I got to know Betty I first met Dale bumpers nearly 40 years ago and I’m going to tell you a few stories there are some I wish I could tell that I can everybody knows he was a great order everybody knows he was a progressive senator everybody knows he was a fiscal conservative and if you don’t you should when ronald reagan was elected and said that we could cut spending in some areas raising others and cut taxes across the board and balance the budget dale bumpers was allowed his voice saying but what about arithmetic and so he was one of only three senators in the entire United States Senate an either party to vote for most of the tax cuts proposed by President Reagan because he hated the fact that we had the deficit and vote against he voted for the spending cuts and voted against the tax cuts only three senators did something cuz it was obviously more fun to spend money in cut taxes it’s like eating all the candy you want and never having to go the dentist when he ran for the Senate I knew he was a great orator and I knew he’d been a great government they’ll love nothing better when I was president then introduced me to people as the second best governor Arkansas ever had but the thing that made it successful was that he’s one of the keenest judges of human nature I ever met now the first time I met him he was running for the Senate as a wildly popular governor against senator Fulbright and the truth is just about all of us new senator Fulbright could probably not win another term he’d been in the Senate 30 years but I had worked for him in college and that job enabled me to graduate from college if I hadn’t had the job I probably would have had to drop out so there and I was running for Congress so I gave a two-minute speech or something at the end it was a great night in russellville at the river valley political rally the late Senator Robert Byrd was the guest speaker and he played the fiddle and he did it pretty well so I droids over i went up to shake hands with in governor bumpers and he knew I was 28 and just starting out nervous as a cat and he knew I had work for Senator Fulbright and he shook hands with me a kid he never met before he said look I know that you may be mad at me but I believe senator Fulbright will not be reelected I respect what he’s done for Arkansas but I think I’d be the best person to replace him and sometimes politics is a tough business he said you’re younger than I am and someday you may think you should run for the Senate against me and if you think it’s the right thing to do do it and remember that I told you and I thought I’m not sure this God means it but he sure is smart that was in April this month all those long years ago in December after he had been elected to the Senate but when he was still governor I asked if I could come and see him and he agreed to see me but I for reasons I don’t remember we went to the governor’s mansion instead of the office and I said to them I didn’t vote for you but I’m glad you won be good for America but two years from now we’re going to have another presidential election and somebody just like you is going to be elected it might as well be you and if you want to run i’ll tell you right now i will not be on the ballot in 76 i won’t run for anything i will work for you and he looked at me and said I can’t do that I just got elected the Senate I gave my word I’d served my turn and I intend to keep it he loved arkansas i can tell you with all my heart I believe if he had run in 76 instead of Jimmy Carter he would have been elected president he chose to honor his commitment to you and it was so I got to where I’d call him for advice so 1976 comes along and I’m running for attorney general who is as I told the attorney general McDaniel when he got the job it’s the best job I ever had in politics because if your attorney general unlike a governor of a president you don’t have to hire a fire much you don’t appoint or disappoint and when you do something wildly unpopular you just blame it on the Constitution but 1976 marked the real rise in Arkansas of Jerry Falwell and the Moral Majority and he had all these followers who were watching it on television and they got little questionnaires and there was like 10 or 15 questions that they were supposed to ask every candidate and so one day I was in the Faulkner County Courthouse and I walked in the county clerk’s office you know where the absentee ballots were cast and this lady whipped out the questionnaire and she started asking me questions and the first question was are you a Christian the second question was are you were born again Preston Kristin but then they were like 13 questions I flunked question 6 and before I got out of the courthouse she had cost me four votes I was despondent so I call the smartest politician I know I said they’ll here’s what happened to me what should i do he said I’ll tell you what I do he said the first time they asked me am i christen the former Sunday school teacher said I say you know I hope so and I’ve always tried to be but I really think that’s a question only god can judge he said they never get to question two and I laughed and I said that’s why you’re a senator and I’m running for attorney general we’ve had a lot of laughs over the years we were laughing before we came in about one of my two seminal experiences with agriculture although his governor of Arkansas I had a lot the first is when I was seven years old and we moved from hope to hot springs and my uncle went my dad went to work to my uncle and my mother was a nurse anesthetist and we lived the first year out on the farm and I’ll tell you how I am our farm had goats and sheep as well as cattle and you had to feed them all we had a particularly mean ram a ferocious ram so I was telling my cousin was out with me and she was 9 and I was seven and I thought she was cool being older and all and she had taller than me and much faster and I said let’s go see the ranch she said you want to walk out in the middle of the field you just told me I would mean this round wasn’t seeing us again so this farm field was not picked clean to had a lot of big rocks in it and we walked to see the round and the ramp started coming at us she being older and smarter turned around and ran like crazy I was young little and fat and slow so I decided to run up to a tree and try to let the RAM chase me around the tree problem was the tree was only about that big around it’s a true story the ram caught me not me on the ground and head-butted me in the skull and the gut 23 times before my uncle got there 23 time I counted blood was gushing from my head my uncle picked up on his huge rocks hit the ramps smack in the middle of the skull he shrugged and walked off didn’t run off didn’t squeal didn’t one I was lucky not to be killed I concluded two things from that experience one is I was too hardheaded for my own good two is I didn’t think I wanted to be a farmer but when you’re a governor you got to support the farmers and one of the things you have to do is governor is every year go to Gillette in the middle of rice country to the Gillette kuhn supper now Gillette has about 800 people it’s the smallest town in Arkansas and fields of full of 11-man football team and very often they win their district because they raise enough money to support the team with this Coon supper that has 1500 people every year twice the population of the town and if you want to be elected something Arkansas you’ve got to show up so one night the weather was bad and David prior to any want to go and bail did so we got an airplane and we flew down there it was snowing and it was kind of icy snow messy you know and Gillette has a just a one lane airport so this guy comes and cleans it off there’s lights on the side and you know every airstrip has a big white paint and then the angle is written in numbers on the end so the guy to clean the strip cleaned it and stopped right at the end of the white line over the white line the pilot wanting to give us maximum amount of distance to stop the plane thinking that you know there might be some ice on the runway tried to land exactly on the white line he landed about a foot short of it hits four feet of ice the nose crashed down the runway both the propellers were mangled and we went into a spin out into a rice field and dales kind of a white-knuckle flower anyway we’re sitting there he said let’s get out get out yeah so we finally got out and I said we’ll never lose you let again and then I looked at him and I said you realize how many politicians we almost made happy about two years ago after all these long years dale bumpers found and sent to me a copy of the picture of the plane we crashed sitting out in a rice field with a nose busted and the propellers mangled it said dear bill a happy reminder of the night we almost bought the farm I thank you for your friendship and for your leadership for everything he ever did for me for Arkansas and for America when you left the Senate it was a poorer place if it hadn’t been for you and David Pryor my economic plan in 1993 which gave this country the longest economic expansion in history and four of my eight budgets running surpluses would not have passed we proved that invest and pay for it economics is better than trickle-down economics we did too good a job the country is so prosperous that they forgot how it got there and they went back to the old way with the same results I hope one day we will be on a more disciplined path to investing in our common future in paying for whatever we decide to do and cutting whatever we decide we don’t want to pay for and when it happens whether anybody knows that are not you dale bumpers will deserve a lot of the credit and i thank you for that when I was president I spent a lot of time on agriculture and I was I shouldn’t have been but I was shocked to realize how little people in Washington in both parties knew about agriculture I mean not the first thing and as a consequence at least back then most of the urban Democrats wanted to cut all the farm support programs in an indiscriminate way because they just thought it was a bunch of money and food to be there and most of the Republicans were for any kind of subsidy whether it made sense or not and so they didn’t understand how the Conservation Reserve for example might be better for America long-term than just doing things the way we’ve always done it and I never will forget in one of our budget meetings one of my more senior older season and brilliant advisors made some remark about how well this ought to be easy you know it’s just the corporate welfare and I looked at her and I said you know I come from the state that doesn’t have many corporate farms and I know people that have a hard time if they have two bad years ago and they’re good people and they love the land they’re trying to do the right thing we may have to cut this spending to get to budget in balance but I don’t want you ever to look like you enjoy it never when you’re cutting somebody that’s a good decent person should you ever look like you’re enjoying it and five years later that same person came up to me and said after you said that I spent a lot of time studying and thank you so I thought a lot about this and we did a lot of things to try to increase farm markets but a huge increase in agricultural exports to mexico we cut the tariffs on american farm products into china by more than fifty percent we did a lot of other things to try to help move food more efficiently from farm to market but also to protect the environment to promote the Conservation Reserve to let the farm support programs go to setting aside land and protecting watersheds as well as producing food to try to help farmers who grow things and aren’t subject to farm support programs but we need like local fruits and vegetables to try to address some of the injuries done to African American farmers we did a lot of those things and learned a lot and since I’ve been out of office I spend most of my time with farmers who do things those of you who are students here wouldn’t recognize in places where people often live on the dollar a day or less but here’s what i want to say if you’re interested in food production we have two big challenges first is that there are now seven billion people in the world and there’ll be 9 billion by 2050 and we got to figure out a feed them all because it is morally unacceptable to let children starve to death because of where they were born by accident the second thing we and that’s in the poor countries the second thing we have to do is figure out how in the rich countries to feed them also the way they eat doesn’t kill em ssin which is what is happening with this rising rate of diabetes too breathtaking proportions among our young people and it will require changes in how we deal with both agriculture in poor countries and agriculture in rich countries to deal with the poor countries first the problem of Agriculture is the lust of the problems I face in Haiti and Africa East Asia poorest parts of Latin America poor people are just as smart as we are and probably work harder to keep body and soul together but they do not have the systems we have and take for granted just for example think of all the systems are taken for granted today you haven’t even thought about it but he surprised that the microphone failed that the lights went out if the air conditioning didn’t work you get bored in my speech you can get out of here and go to the bathroom I spend lots of time in places where none of that can be taken for granted in a cruel metaphor during the inaugural speech of the president of haiti the microphone failed because the only one chord that was there got seven and it took us 15 minutes to re-rig everything so the guy could give a speech they don’t have systems systems make life predictable and give predictable positive consequences to Good Conduct that’s what you’re doing here you’re going to get an education you’re going to learn things you put your skills to work and you will have a rewarding life and you will at least get rewarded enough for it that you’ll be able to keep body and soul together establish a family have your own kids and keep the role of life going on that’s what systems do now I’ll tell you a story we work with farmers in Rwanda Malawi Tanzania Columbia and I find they’re incredibly smart in Colombia that people I worked with her all women they were blown out of their villages by the narco traffickers and the violence they figured out I had nothing to do with this they figured out that two Tana River in northern Colombia was maybe the best place in the world to grow organic spices and they figured out how to get enough to plant and start growing but they had no clue how to package a market to stuff so we helped them now to more than quadruple their income of organic spices selling them all over Latin America and increasingly into other markets all we did was give them a system that you could take for granted here in Rwanda in all of Africa this is amazing the average farmer farms and acre or less pays a ridiculous amount of money for seed and fertilizer and then having brought in a crop since they don’t have any cars or trucks in the roads are rough have to give up half their income half just to get the food from the farm to the market because otherwise they would have nothing so we went in and bought fertilizer and seed in bulk at much lower prices and we made them good financing arrangements they always pay back didn’t give them away and the worst any farmers have done working with us is to double their income but usually they triple it or more and to give you an idea of the practical consequences in poor countries to agriculture a couple years ago I went to South Africa to the World Cup when I was trying to help america get the world cup and soccer and after i went to see mr. Mandela i went up to malawi to check on one of our farm programs and they were growing soybeans and several other crops but I asked to meet some of the farmers we work with so they picked about a dozen and then the dozen picked one person to be the spokesperson there were 11 men and one woman they picked the woman all the guys had farms in between one and two acres the woman who was a widow with one child soul asset in life was a quarter acre of land the year before we went to work there she owned eighty dollars for a year somehow she and her child were still alive on eighty dollars for a year so he gave her the seed the fertilizer we got rid of her pests and we took her food to market for free second year she earned four hundred dollars a five-fold increase and believe it or not much higher than the per capita income of rural Malawi and she looked at me with tears in her eyes and she said this is the first year my child has ever been able to go to school because in the poorest country to the world very often they have to pay tuition because there’s no government tax base those people the system’s first time I went to Rwanda to look at the farms it had been probably five years since the genocide no 89 then and i saw the soil was red clay kind of like Georgia and I got down and started digging in a soil and this African farmer started howling laughing I said what are you laughing at he said we have all these other people come here and they promises this they promised us that he said you were the only person in the world who’s ever come here to check the soil I said it’s a bad habit and I told him what I growing up in Arkansas we talked anyway all the Rwandan farmers are doing fine so then we brought back their coffee industry then we got him a coffee roasting operation we bought back there soybean growing then we got them a processing operation and always taking the food from farm to market I read the other day they’re predicting another famine in the Horn of Africa you know that’s Eastern Ethiopia Somalia djibouti northern Kenya and here’s what I want you to know about five years ago I went to Ethiopia where I don’t do any farm work yet to visit some of the solar villages we had helped to establish and look at our efforts to build clinics in the country because Ethiopia has good health care in their cities a health minister you would be proud if he were the director of the Department of Health and Arkansas but it’s a country of 80 million people in 58 million of them live in sixty thousand villages of fewer than a thousand people and when we started there were only seven hundred clinics in the whole country for sixty thousand villages so I said well let’s come up with a plan they said we got a plan we just don’t know how to do it I said what’s the plan they said first 3,500 clinics I said how many he said oh yes but if we put them in the right place every person will be within a day’s walk of the clinic then at least no one will die alone with no one knowing whether they lived or died and then we’ll go to 16,000 and everybody will be within three hours walk of a clinic meanwhile we’re having a famine over there right every two or three years America has to pony up money or food to deal with the family I was there before the harvest and they had the darndest crops you ever saw in the southern and western part of the country the fields were thick with corn and beans and other crops and I said to the guy was what I said this is nuts you’re growing more than the people here will King consent he said yes but we have no storage facility no distribution system no way to deliver the food even to the eastern part of our country much less to Somalia or Djibouti why am I telling you this because if you go to a poor place and you care about agriculture keep in mind these people are not buying rice from Arkansas or soybeans is there not costing us anything to try to help them but it may cost us a great deal if we don’t help them and they can’t feed themselves in terms of future disruptions that the young people here will have to face and just remember this whenever you go to a poor place look first for the systems they need systems now if you’re a rising country you may have both problems for example China still has lots of for folks who can’t feed themselves because they’ve not been able to figure out how to create economic opportunity so you so everybody wish into the cities where they are now developing inordinate rates of heart attacks strokes diabetes cause they’re chunkin air healthy diet for fast food it’s heavy in calories and carbs and low in nutritional value India is worse than china in being able to aggregate capital they’re not good at that so they don’t have any kind of national infrastructure there are very good farmers but they don’t have a good infrastructure so they have the largest middle class in the world and the largest number of really poor people so even in the rural areas which are totally self-sufficient in agriculture they can’t figure out a way to get to food the market so people keep going into the city’s same thing happens in China India had arguably the healthiest diet in the world by some measurements and now they have huge amounts of heart attacks and strokes more people to have heart attacks and strokes by far none and died of aids in India and rising rates of diabetes so those places need systems and management now rich countries we have systems that’s how we all got here all right I cough a grade for gearhart before you know it he’s running the universities today made it systems right I drove all over the campus today trying to remember what it looked like when I first saw it 50 years ago it was thrilling when you name this college for Dale bumpers to me it was thrilling when I saw the Tyson building it was thrilling I raised standards on food processors to the Agriculture Department my first year as president to ensure safer food and the late Don Tyson supported me in raising the standards on food processor I will never forget it because he understood that as long as the same rules applied to him and all his competitors we’d all be better off if nobody got sick he and what they were supposed to eat system the problem with all systems is there like people they get long in the tooth and you reach a point where people running the systems become more interested in holding on to what they got and creating tomorrow more interested in present position and the purpose for which they were set up and in America and we’re not alone in this has a food distribution system that has had to deal with a phenomenal rise of both parents working or children being raised in single-parent homes where people have just enough income not to be hungry and below the poverty line but not enough to be secure where there are enough hours in the day for the parent to work and earn a living to support the children but not enough to be free to cook a nutritious meal or monitor a child’s ed where school children sometimes get forty to fifty percent of their calories from bricks in school that have too much sugar for them to safely avoid the risks of diabetes and so I think as American agriculture we’re going to have new markets there are countries all over the world the Saudis know they’re growing fast and they can’t grow food in the desert past a certain point the chinese are already so worried about water supply problems because Beijing has 27 million people for example and it’s draining their water that their southernmost River the Yellow River is dry parts of the year and the Yangtze the to being the base’s background the signees civilization they have built these two huge gravity-driven canals from the Yangtze to the yellow to fill up the yellow when it’s dry in some Chinese engineers not American environmentalist Chinese engineers believe that the result of this experiment may be to drive both rivers for significant parts of the year you should not want that to happen you should not wish them ill you should hope that we can build a common future meanwhile how we going to feed all those people in the cities there will be lots of markets for American exports if we continue to do what we know to do what we have to do is to re-examine every aspect of the food distribution system in America to try to make sure that we drastically cut the rate of childhood obesity and the likelihood of diabetes we already spend 17 and a half percent of our income on health care no other country spends more than 12 that’s 850 billion to a trillion dollars a year we’re spending not to be healthier but because of the system we have and I and 150 billion dollars of that is directly caused by the excess rates of diabetes we have not type 1 diabetes the kind you’re born with type 2 diabetes the kind you get from living how you eat or don’t how you exercise or don’t therefore when somebody tells you they want to cut agricultural research say no and say not because you’re trying to find a way or any of our great agricultural companies to make more money but because we have to find a way to feed our people and say the next generation of children and everybody ought to be a part of this I don’t believe there’s a devil in this story I don’t believe anybody set out to create this problem and when I started working on this first thing I said was we got to do something bout these drinks in schools with killing kids and I believe I can make a deal with the software companies and all the people have been laboring in these vineyards they looked at me like I was 3 brick shy of a full load they said oh that poor man he’s past his prime and he’s become demented and he doesn’t understand that the only way we can do this is the wacker 25-7 bottle tank on soft drinks which had about as much chance of passing his me developing a four foot vertical jump at 65 so I got together coke in PepsiCo and cadbury schweppes and all the big toe people and select all the big saw stirring people and I said look here’s the deal do you want these kids that are in our schools to be healthy financially successful customers of yours went in there in middle age or would you like them to become diabetics in their 30s and start going blind and losing their legs or otherwise become an enormous burden they made a deal people say oh they will never keep the deal within four years there had been an eighty eight percent reduction in the total volume of calories served or children in cafeterias and vending machines in the 90 plus percent of america’s schools that were participating because they understood that food has to be good for us it can’t be a source of our own demise and the universities are going to have to figure out how to do this where people can all win this is an exciting time to be interested in food production because of what’s going on in the poor countries what’s going on in the rising countries and what’s going on in your country and I urge you to remember that the important thing about a university is it remains vital just as exciting to me to be here today as it was 53 years ago the first time I walked on the campus because they’re always learning always looking for the truth always pushing back barriers and nobody thinks they know everything the thing that frustrates me so much about American political life today is that to express doubt is a sign of weakness to violate a predetermined ideological position is a recipe for defeat the whole essence of university life is that life is a constant process of learning and nobody’s right all the time and even a broken clock is Right twice a day and virtually a hundred percent of us are stuck somewhere in between so I ask you to think about that we have to learn how to feed the poor countries and we have to learn how to feed our country in the other wealthy countries better thank you very much thank you so much mr. president it’s a marvelous talk and we’re so grateful to have you here to honor the bumpers for the question and answer session we have two students who will present questions to President Clinton first is Cody Gallagher from foreman Arkansas Cody raise your hand there I think we probably know your Cody but just in case Cody is the lead ambassador of the bumpers college student ambassadors he is a senior double majoring in poultry science and agricultural education and communication and technology our second studi a student is Katie McGee raise your hand there Katie’s everybody see you of Fort Smith katie is chair of the bumpers college honors program and a junior she is double majoring in poultry science and environment and soil and water science I believe that Cody is going to ask the first question mr. president Cody our first question today is from Nathan Tompkins he’s a junior in horticulture landscape and turf sciences from Edmond Oklahoma President Clinton according to yahoo education our college holds four out of the five most useless majors with agriculture and horticulture ranking in the top five some of your foundations focus includes climate control climate change in regards to forestry practices and sustainable development in foreign countries what is your reaction to this claim my reaction is the same thing that I said when my aid in 1993 thought it was just the greatest thing in the world had got to agriculture funny I mean it’s nothing i’ll give you let me but let me give you a specific example there was an article in the press this week saying that mexico city long one of the most polluted city and one of the largest cities in the world now has ambient air quality no worse than Los Angeles and getting better you know what because they are basically growing vertical gardens on all their buildings they’re running binds and other vegetation up and down on all their walls and it is sucking up the carbon dioxide and the other pollutants in the atmosphere and cleaning the air and they did it on a massive scale and seems to me that falls within your jurisdiction I can also i could give you a 100 example it’s like the ones I already gave you in agriculture you just think of the problems we wouldn’t have if people everywhere had to access to the things that we take for granted in Arkansas we had a Agricultural Extension Service like the one that saved the farmers and Great Depression and a lot of these poor countries god only knows what it would do to help people so I just don’t agree and the people that are saying that are the people that never give a second thought to any plant they see or any meal they eat they think it just poof happens but I think it should instead of just being angry about it I think first you ought to respond to it in a nice way and second you ought to think of ways to educate people about what they can do to take advantage of the practical knowledge or requiring here I mean the first thing i did when i saw that mexico city article was to send it to all our folks and see how many other places we could be doing this in but i noticed that the last time i was in mexico city obviously when we’re talking anything from like simple homes to fancy restaurants with extra money to dalam up there like in contest to see who can have the most beautiful garden running down their walls and i might say also on flat rooftops a rooftop garden can cut your electric bill in america in the summertime by as much as twenty five percent but you can’t just do it you got to know you got the roof sealed you got to know that the roof will support the weight of the sod you have to put on it you got to know a lot of stuff you got another kind of things you learn here so that’s what I that’s my reaction to 11 weeks in turning on a commercial egg farm in Rwanda and every time someone found out I was an American they said they love you so much after the responsibility you took after the genocide um so my question is what was the mental and emotional process leading up to your public apology and financial commitment in Kigali in that community well first of all I’ve to say this about wanted most of the credit for what they’ve done belongs to them because they have the best organized country in Africa smallest geographically and one of the most densely populated but when I went to Rwanda the first time four years after the genocide 1998 the per capita income in Rwanda was 268 dollars a year under a dollar a day by 2010 when our programs and a lot of other things were in full gear their per capita income with eleven hundred fifty dollars today they had quadruple their income in 12 years shows you what you can do if you’re really well organized and since people who do what I did and what you were doing people who work in the non-governmental movement we always do better in countries where we can work with both the government and the private sector in other words that they have an organized and affected private economy and organized an effective government then you can go in and fill in the blanks in a much more powerful way the process I went through was simple first of all let’s let me remind you what happened that were one in genocide what happened in it happened in 94 and ten percent of the country was killed in 90 days they killed 800,000 people in 90 days most of them were killed out in the bush with machetes some were killed by necklacing having tires put around your neck and set a fire a handful were shot but most were killed in a national orgy of destruction and what I what happened in the White House was this probably twenty percent of those people were already dead before people even started talking about it for two reasons one is I was trying to get into Bosnia and it took me two years to convince the Europeans that they had to go help me in Bosnia because America couldn’t run Bosnian Bosnian was part of Europe we had to have NATO support and they had to go in second we had already been burned in Somalia and third we were just slow on the uptake and we never even had a meeting my african team who was otherwise fabulous on africa they didn’t want to talk about i think they were afraid i’m doing but here’s what you need to know if we just we just sent a few soldiers there four or five thousand and we got the British and 23 others to go with us we could have least saved all the urban lives with probably 02 minimal casualties these people were not killing people with ak-47 they were cutting them to pieces and so I concluded that it was a terrible mistake and all I could do was say I was sorry so fast forward to because I became friends with the president paul kagame that who basically put an end to the violence by coming out of the bush with his army and a reporter went with our group we were trying to see what we could do and he went and bless his heart he did what he was supposed to do he went around determined to find summer one and he would say I wish bill clinton stay the hell out of here cuz he didn’t help us and we were doing this and he couldn’t find anybody to say this and this is not about me this is about them this shows you their character and the impact the President had on them so he’s talking to this cab driver he writes the story in the cab driver said well aren’t you mad that Bill Clinton’s here doing this because America didn’t come help you stop the genocide as a practical matter I believe we to come back to save the third of the lives it happened so fast and it takes time to deploy and all that but I think we could have saved the third in the lives problem and the cab driver said no I’m not mad I’m glad he’s here we need help he said why aren’t you mad and the guy said in the first place he didn’t make us kill each other we did that and in the second place he’s the only person who ever said he was sorry he said you know the French used to be here the Belgians were around here a lot of people had a lot more experience was wanted in America did nobody ever nobody else ever said he was sorry you should remember that today when this is debated when people tell you they’re sorry you respect them it is not always a sign of weakness if a country especially a great country says I’m sorry if you make a mistake and you’re trying to do the right thing sometimes the sign of character not weakness to say you were wrong and look I love the country the first thing I did was help them finish their genocide memorial here are the kinds of things that were wanted in first of all they set aside this genocide memorial they had no was a poor country they had no embalming services so people just died out there and the genocide Memorial in Rwanda outside Kigali on a hillside is a huge crypt in three layers which you see not and in it are the bones of 300,000 people and their loved ones have come and enrolled them in a roll of honour and then you’ve seen the museum where you walk in and there is this huge almost like plexiglass cylinder filled with bones as you enter it and then it’s a standard museum says here’s how the things started here’s what happened when the presidents of Rwanda and Burundi got shot down here’s what happens we’re going all through this but I did it but the Rwandan deserve a lot of credit and I we could all learn a lot from them the president once said you know we’re a poor country and people think poor people can’t be trusted and we’re not proud and we can’t grow so he said from now on once a degree every month every adult will clean the streets and that’s what they do and if you go into Kigali tomorrow you will be shocked and how clean and upbeat the place seems when I went there the first time I could tell you if we wonder stories from tomorrow morning but i’ll just tell you this because is it very important this is about them I’ve helped him a lot but only because they could take help Hillary and I asked to meet with survivors of the genocide so they all had great stories one real handsome God had his arm cut off with a machete below his elbow claimed he was a one-armed man for peace laughing a Catholic priest who had risked his life to try to shelter people from it’s genocide and the last speaker was this beautiful woman and a bright color dress the lakeside what country in Africa who said and she had no marks on her everybody else had been to face some way except the priest and she said you you don’t see any marks on me because I was cut badly across my back with the machete and she said we were betrayed by our next door neighbor they were in the Hutu ethnic group and she said our children had played together we had eaten together on every holiday we thought we were friends but they were so frightened that when they came to our village our neighbors gave us up and they hacked me across the back and I bled profusely and they thought I was dead I awoke in a pool of my own blood to see my husband and six children lying dead around me and I screamed out to God and anger that I had been spared and then I realized that I must have been spared for a reason and it could be nothing as small as vengeance so I do what I can to help us start again you know what she did she organized the foster home and an adoption agency or children of both ethnic groups okay fast forward we finally I helped them raise to three hundred thousand dollars for this memorial and they got a little plaque up there and put a dead so they want me to take a tour so this good-looking one and guy gives me the Tory was like 25 years old in a beautiful suit he looked like he was a Hollywood actor God he was a good-looking guy and very articulate and he taking me through and we’re talking I said Jill lose anybody he said yeah my mother my father and my brother and my sister-in-law and he starts he said well he said if you stop in my uncles aunts and first cousins I lost 73 people in my family and I said is this hard for you he said no it’s therapeutic he said the president says we must face what happened so we can let it go and I said you know you remind me of a woman that I met here the first time I turn I told him the story of the woman you know he gets his incredible smile on his face he said I should she is my aunt and those six were part of my 73 there’s a woman who runs a basket weaving operation in Rwanda who lost seven of our ten children the three of us were boys who were in the military and they were away and her husband so she’s a 50 year old widow with seven dead kids and she has to start again so she goes and finds a woman from the other ethnic group who like her was good at basket weaving and they start weaving baskets pretty soon other women start showing up without regard to their ethnic group and they need help so she trains in the weave baskets pretty soon they’re not selling them on the roadside there’s telling them in stores in Kigali pretty soon they’re in Macy’s in New York City pretty soon young men come up and say teach us how to do this we need some way to make a living so about four years into this project is 26 year old guy that had been there a year came to see this woman asked her if he considered said yes he said you had been wonderful to me and I cannot live with myself any longer I’m murdered one of your children and he said I know you have older sons who are in the military and you should send for one of them to come and kill me it is just and I will work for you every day until he comes and she looked at him and said what good would that do I forgive you get up and go back to work think you could do that so yes I help for Wonder and yes I apologize they made it easy because they did the only thing you can do in the face of X lickable madness they wanted the people that ordered it tried before an international criminal tribunal everybody else and I mean everybody else goes back to their local village faces the village council and get some version of a community duty for up to three years and everybody tells the truth about what happens and then they let it go we can all learn something from them well this is going to be our last question and it’s from jan heineman she’s a biological and agricultural engineering from forsyth what are your thoughts on some ways our current government could cut back on our need for oil and increase the availability of renewable resources well first of all we are for the first time in a long time we reached a high of oil imports of sixty-two percent of our data usage in 2005 we are now down to forty seven and a half percent for essentially for three reasons one is the explosion of natural gas production because of fracking and some more oil production but mostly gas two is the greater efficiency of cars leading us to use less and three is other sources like biofuels another things these new Auto emission standards which were agreed to in the last year one of the great achievements of the last year and it to show you what solves problems as opposed to what gets votes because a lot of people don’t even know what happened since there was no fight about it they automobile companies the automobile unions the government and all the environmental groups all agreed on a schedule to dramatically increase automobile mileage standards making the higher mileage cars will create 150,000 new high-tech jobs in America and we’ll use a lot less oil so and then the recession we use less than recession I think going forward we should continue to try to minimize our need for oil for transportation we need more cars driven by natural gas and more electric cards this Chevy Volt deal is a bum rap they got a bum rap if I were buying a car tomorrow and buy it never given a second thought and I just helped Bogota Colombia sign a contract to replace all their taxicabs and all their buses and one hundred percent of the cabs and the buses will either be all electric or electric and compressed natural gas and keep in mind natural gas emits far fewer greenhouse gases also parenthetically is good for the Arkansas economy because our oil is gone we got plenty of gas but it’s a good thing we ought to the ten percent of the coal-fired power plants in America which are the oldest emit over a third of the greenhouse gases we get from coal but they don’t even produce anywhere near even ten percent of the electricity we get from coal-fired pants well I’ll get rid of them in substitute comb I mean get rid of the cold substitute gas because they’re just too inefficient they caught so much trouble but I think America really could become energy independent if you look at the now there are challenges to fracking in some places that don’t happen in from Arkansas let’s say up to North Dakota in the Northeast where we found a lot of gas you got to be careful mostly with the quality of the wells when you hit a boom you know everybody wants to get in it and everybody’s ever drilled the gas well will tell you that in knows anything about to say that the gas well is much more likely to malfunction than the actual pipes that go at angles underground but there need to be standards and you have to worry about the tailing from the waste water that comes up and the geology of these states has to be taken into account but I live in New York where we have some natural gas now in in Pennsylvania where they found a lot and it’s really interesting to me like if you come to Arkansas because we’re more comfortable with gas there’s not much difference between at least there wasn’t when I was here maybe there is now but there wasn’t much difference between what a conservative Republican and a Democrat would say about how the well ought to be drilling where it all be cited and what was yes or no cuz it was something we were comfortable with up there they want the money and they want to jobs and they’re scared of that because they’ve never done it before and so I think we’ve got to go get this gasps it’s the responsible thing to do it’s a great bridge fuel and you just have to take appropriate steps but let me give you another example in 2005 president george w bush’s energy department not mine not president obama’s the bush Energy Department released the study saying that North Dakota alone had enough wind to electrify 25% of America and that the wind that blows from North Dakota’s border with Canada to the west texas border with mexico was sufficient to electrify America many times over the problem is and this is no offshore wind mills and all the controversy days entering problem is that in America the wind blows where the people aren’t and so you go by these little towns and they don’t have sufficient transmission capacity you do it so we need a different kind of grip the same thing interestingly enough is true of solar power right now solar panels that dropped fifty percent in price this is really the cylinder deal by the way you know that controversy over cylinder and then loan they got the average solar panel used to be fifteen percent official the new panel is about eighteen percent efficient idiots they only convert eighteen percent of the sunlight that hits them into usable energy cylindrica cylinder and was supposed to oscillate a little like a fancy windmill and it was going to get efficiency up to twenty-four twenty-five percent but it was way more expensive to build and the loan was supposed to get them through the early years of losing money because all electrical products go down in price as they go up in value I mean volume your iPad your iPhone right your iPod that’s there all of a sudden and what happened was after this whole deal was done the Chinese put thirty two billion dollars more into solar subsidies collapsed the market and the cylindrica for intial was looking at a loan a loss ratio of nine years instead of four and it was not sustainable but the good news is the average price of existing photovoltaic cells has gone down fifty percent every single scientific study that’s been done ranks America first or second in the world in the capacity to produce electricity from both the Sun and the wind today most of our solar is distributed that it’s not doesn’t feed into the grid California’s got people and son Arizona and Nevada do by and large in the rest of the country most of the sun goes where the people aren’t so you can build great solar thermal plants but not unless you have a distribution system that is I don’t think it’s just a matter of foreign oil I think we can generate a whole new American economy this sector of the economy by the way grew eight percent even at during the worst of the recession the job pay more than average and we can export the technology we can make a killing exporting it to the Caribbean almost every Caribbean island our nearest neighbors could be completely energy self-sufficient and they have the highest electric rates in the world because only Trinidad has any natural gas or oil so everybody else is bringing in heavy oil or diesel and in Haiti for example the poorest country the Caribbean the electricity costs 36 cents a kilowatt hour I don’t know what you’re paying in Northwest Arkansas but I guess would be somewhere between four and a half and six cents if I were guests it that about rights or money more or less so it’s a gold mine for us in terms of exports so that’s what I would do but I’m I’m for taking the natural gas out i think a lot of the fears are overstated there are legitimate risk but they’re more in the quality of the wells when you got people who aren’t experienced billing them and in what’s done with the tailings from the waste water that comes up you have to be really careful about how you handle that especially in agricultural areas or where it’s near a water table but if you deal with that i think it will be fine meanwhile i do this other stuff too thank you Thank You mr. president for sharing your experience and for inspiring our next generation of leaders we are proud to be the bumpers college be proud to be providing our students with an education for careers that matter advancing food family and the environment and thanks to you senator bumpers and Betty bumpers for your inspiration through your careers the hallmarks of your careers are the foundations of our college and we are proud to bear your name as a token of our appreciation as and as a memento of this evenings event I would like to provide President Clinton with a gift from us and also Chancellor mrs. Gerhardt to betty and dale bumpers it is a framed invitation of the evening that we hope will remind you and we hope the tracksuit will help keep you healthy as well thanks to all of you for sharing this event with us tonight which as we have promoted will be the first and an annual series of lecture ships honoring Dale and Betty bumpers thank you all have a safe trip home and a pleasant rest of your weekend good evening

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