Gov. Laura Kelly signed Tuesday a bill designating the native Sandhill plum is the official state fruit of Kansas. (Submitted)
TOPEKA — The Sandhill plum is the official state fruit of Kansas after Gov. Laura Kelly signed a bill Tuesday.
The effort was the product of a multi-school effort to learn about the political process and pick a state fruit. More than 400 fourth- and fifth-grade students from 24 different schools participated by writing essays and sending letters to state representatives and voting on which fruit to designate.
The Sandhill plum is native to Kansas, and students described it as versatile and resilient.
“I am proud of the efforts put forth by the students from Sabetha Elementary School and beyond,” Kelly said. “Hundreds of bills are introduced each legislative session, but not all of them make it to this point. It’s a shining example of what hard work and determination can truly accomplish at any age.”
The measure passed the Senate without opposition and passed the House 108 to 5, with some representatives lightheartedly opposing the measure in favor of proposals by schools in their districts. Other fruits in contention were the red mulberry, the gooseberry and the American Persimmon.
Ten students testified virtually in March on behalf of the Sandhill plum in front of the House Federal and State Affairs Committee. The students from Sabetha Elementary School who started the process were in attendance to witness the bill become law.
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