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K-State Today

February 5, 2013



Special flour sack donated to department of grain science and industry

By Lisa Moser

Flour Sack and Donor

From a small self-sustaining farm in Rozel to an international businessman, Richard Latas appreciates history and Kansas State University. While rummaging through family belongings, Latas and his wife came across an old flour sack that said, “Kansas State Agricultural College, Milling Industry Department.”  

After the discovery, Latas started researching his family history. He knew his grandfather, Leo J. Unruh, did attend Kansas State at one point because he talked about playing football and he was always listening to the K-State Sports Network, Latas says.

“We all have very vivid memories of Grandpa sitting there in the kitchen listening to K-State on the radio,” Latas says. “He remained not only loyal, but devoted to K-State even though he never actually graduated from the university.”

Along with his grandfather, Latas had a great uncle who had also attended K-State in the early 1900s. Latas is unsure who would have saved the flour sack, but he is excited to contribute to K-State’s history. He trusts K-State and knows it will be appreciated by the department of grain science and industry.

“I wanted to contribute to K-State and give the artifact into the hands of somebody who would value it,” Latas says.

Growing up on a small farm, wearing T-shirts his mother made from flour sacks, Latas understands the necessity for agriculture and the value of education. After high school he began his college career at Kansas State University. He says his Grandpa Unruh’s passion for K-State played a role in his decision.

Latas graduated from K-State in 1969 with a degree in math, and to this day always enjoys returning to campus.

“I think it’s the personality of Kansas, I haven’t found anywhere else in life where I feel as at home as right here on campus,” Latas says.

The flour sack will be framed and put on display at the International Grains Program Conference Center where other flour and feed artifacts are housed.

Latas says he was thrilled that the department of grain science was interested in accepting the flour sack and he knows K-State will value it as a piece of history from the Kansas State Agricultural College and from the Unruh family.