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Farmer From Kansas Who Sent N95 Mask to Gov. Cuomo Was Granted A Degree In Agriculture For His Selfless Act



  • Dennis Ruhnke was only two credits away to graduate with a degree in agriculture but had to stop when his father died.
  • In late March, he sent a letter to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo along with one N95 mask he intended to donate to a healthcare worker.
  • This selfless act earned praise and he was conferred with a degree in Agriculture by the Kansas State University President Richard Myers and Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly.

A retired farmer from Troy, Kansas, has earned a lot of praise across the country after he sent one of his few remaining N95 masks to Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York. The mask was intended for a nurse or doctor battling the coronavirus.

Dennis Ruhnke almost got a degree in agriculture in 1971 with two credits left. But his father died and he had to take over the farm and take care of his mother.

“Dennis’ kindness and lifelong career in agriculture make him more than qualified to receive a degree,” Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly shared on Facebook.

Kansas State University President Richard Myers joined Gov. Kelly to confer Dennis with a bachelor’s degree on Tuesday.

Gov. Cuomo, on the other hand, describes Dennis’ act as “humanity at its best.”

The state of New York was one with the most coronavirus outbreaks  with over 320,000 confirmed cases and at least 25,000 deaths as of last week.

Photo Credit: Governor Laura Kelly

“I’m a retired farmer hunkered down in N.E. [northeast] Kansas with my wife, who has but one lung,” Dennis said in the letter he sent to Cuomo in late March. “We are in our 70s, and frankly, I’m afraid for her.” 

“Enclosed find a solitary N95 mask leftover from my farming days,” he continued. “It has never been used. If you could, would you please give this mask to a nurse or doctor in your city.”

Photo Credit: Governor Laura Kelly

Cuomo mentioned the letter and thanked Dennis for his selfless act during a press conference in April. 

“You have five masks, what do you do?” Cuomo said at the time. “Do you keep all five? Do you hide the five masks and keep them for yourselves and others? No, you send one mask to New York to help a nurse or doctor… How selfless is that?”

Source: Fox News