"From horse trainer to executive manager – neither Hollywood nor the Brothers Grimm could have imagined such an unusual story. This is the American dream and your story is one of courage, determination and passion." With these words, the German Ambassador, Dr Peter Wittig, opened the medal ceremony at a reception and dinner for 50 guests at the German Embassy in Washington.
After a thorough selection process, the Order of Merit is given to domestic and foreign citizens for political, economic-social and spiritual achievements, as well as for any outstanding service to the Federal Republic of Germany. This is the only general Order of Merit in Germany – the country’s highest honour for services for the common good.
Dr Martin Richenhagen was presented with this esteemed medal for his continuous efforts in German/US relations and his commitment to agricultural and technological progress in Africa. The German Ambassador emphasised above all that Martin Richenhagen is "a true transatlantic and passionate bridge-builder between Germany and the USA".