Refine Your Results
  • Interviewee

Topic: Rural-urban population shift

Mary Fund, Kansas

Interview of Mary Fund, February 10, 2020

Interviewed by Rex Buchanan
In her 2020 oral history interview, Mary Fund talks about her involvement in water policy from the perspective of her work at the Kansas Rural Center (KRC) since the late 1970s. Fund authored Water in Kansas, A Primer, published in 1984 by the KRC. In this interview, she talks about the difficulty of making changes in farming methods that will conserve both water and soil when those changes require farmers to voluntarily alter decades of entrenched farming practice. Fund also observes that shifting the political culture is key to making voluntary changes work.

Interview of Dennis McKinney, August 23, 2019

Interviewed by Dale Goter
Dennis McKinney developed many insights in his sixteen years as a leader in the minority party into how the legislature did work, and how it should work. He recounts numerous instances when things worked well because of bipartisan cooperation and compromise. McKinney's experiences on the House Energy and Natural Resources committee working with Carl Holmes and Ken Grotewiel helped shape water policy in Kansas. His experience as a farmer and rancher in south central Kansas coupled with his focus on problem solving led to his reputation as a "middle of the road legislator" who would work Show Morewith both political sides as well as urban and rural. McKinney was committed to public education as well as conservation. The pursuit of fair and balanced tax policy shaped his actions. The interview highlights the importance of leadership from the governor's office and other legislative leaders (Mays, Shallenburger, D. Kerr, Morris). There is an interesting segment about the 2005 Special Session on school finance where McKinney talks about using the courts as leverage. The interview concludes with a brief discussion of the Greensburg tornado. Show Less

Interview of David Owen, July 22, 2022

Interviewed by David Webb
Dave Owen's name is well known to most Kansans who follow politics. This interview is replete with stories about how Republican politics in the 60's, 70's, 80's worked. Stories include his friendships with Senator Bob Dole and Governor Bob Docking. One of his lasting accomplishments as Lt. Governor was the creation of the Kansas Cavalry for promoting business development. He left elective politics in 1972 but chaired Dole's Vice-Presidential run in 1976. His interests turned to banking and he became Chairman and CEO of the Bank of Stillwell. His affiliation with Ottawa University athletics Show Moreand his love of basketball led to the creation of the Dave Owen Leadership Institute. He will be leading a delegation to Ukraine this fall, 2022 from the Lenexa Baptist Church and the Leadership Institute. Show Less

Interview of Wayne Zimmerman, April 13, 2023

Interviewed by Dave Webb
Wayne Zimmerman of Olathe returned to the Kansas Capitol many years after being elected in 1964 to the House of Representatives. Zimmerman is apparently the last surviving member of the class of 1965-66 House of Representatives that was elected prior to the historic One-Person-One-Vote decision. When he was reelected to a second term in 1966, he was elected to represent a district, not the county. Zimmerman served two terms in the Kansas House and later, after 4 years, a term in the Kansas Senate. In his interview, Zimmerman talked about farming in Johnson County, his military Show Moreservice as a pilot, and how the reapportionment court decision substantially changed the legislature. Schools remained a consistent legislative focus, even after substantial consolidation in the early 1960's. Wayne had no office, but did his legislative work at his desk on the floor in the House chambers. He had several stories to tell about how the legislature operated then. Show Less
Go to Top