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Bob’s Red Mill founder encourages healthy eating, entrepreneurship

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If you believe you’re too busy to eat healthy – think again. That’s a lesson Bob Moore of Bob’s Red Mill told an audience of more than 200 students, faculty and community members Oct. 9 at the LaSells Stewart center during his speech titled “Bob Moore and the Bob’s Red Mill Story – The Importance of Whole Grains.”

“If you start your day with grains or whole grain cereal, you’re going to feel better all day and stay full,” says Bob, founding CEO of Bob’s Red Mill. “Set your alarm 10-15 minutes earlier – you just bought yourself time to be happy. It’s a wonderful way to start your day with whole grains.”

Sponsored by the College of Public Health and Human Sciences and its Moore Family Center for Whole Grain Foods, Nutrition and Preventive Health, the event was designed to inspire healthy eating by example.

Bob's-Red-Mill-SynergiesBob spoke to his passion for whole grains, calling it “life insurance you can eat” – and spent time meeting with students one-on-one to help them encourage the community to embrace whole grains.

“The nutrition students were very grateful to receive the opportunity to speak individually with Bob about their current and future work,” says Moore Family Center endowed director Emily Ho. “He also gave tips to engineering students working on building a flour–milling bike for the Moore Family Center. It was encouraging seeing him reach such a diverse crowd in the audience from OSU students, faculty, staff and the local Corvallis community.”

Bob, who founded Bob’s Red Mill more than 35 years ago, told his story of success, hardships, responsibility and compassion.

As an entrepreneur who built the business with his wife, Charlee, from scratch and turned it into a multi-million dollar company – which produces thousands of products each day that are distributed to more than 70 countries – his advice to students is to “get your education, meet the challenge, don’t be afraid to ask for what you want, and always be humble.”

And humble he is. On Bob’s 81st birthday, he surprised his employees by giving them complete ownership of Bob’s Red Mill through an Employee Share Ownership Program (ESOP). It was a move he hopes future entrepreneurs will follow.

“During the last few years of my life I have felt a strong sense of providential responsibility to my employees,” he says. “They have committed their lives and fortunes to Bob’s Red Mill, and I had to find a way to continue the business for them.”

At the end of the presentation, Bob and Lori Sobelson, instructor and director of corporate outreach for Bob’s Red Mill, provided a cooking demonstration to show that healthy eating doesn’t have to be hard – or expensive. (View recipes here)

“It was great to see Bob and Lori speak from their hearts and provide inspiring words and practical tips on how make a difference in your life with healthy foods,” Emily says.