News Briefs

Sandhill plum officially named Kansas state fruit

By: - April 12, 2022 2:47 pm

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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Noah Taborda
Noah Taborda

Noah Taborda started his journalism career in public radio at KBIA in Columbia, Missouri, covering local government and producing an episode of the podcast Show Me The State while earning his bachelor’s degree in radio broadcasting at the University of Missouri School of Journalism. Noah then made a short move to Kansas City, Missouri, to work at KCUR as an intern on the talk show Central Standard and then in the newsroom, reporting on daily news and feature stories.