June 29, 2023

Over 500 Farmers and Agricultural Leaders Urge Congress to Strengthen America’s Diplomacy, Development and Global Food Security Toolkit

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, over 500 farmers and agricultural leaders from across America’s Heartland—including former U.S. Secretaries of Agriculture Mike Johanns, Dan Glickman, and Ed Schafer; former Under Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development and Congresswoman Jill Long Thompson; former United States Ambassador to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture Kip Tom; and former U.S. Agency for International Development Deputy Administrator Bonnie Glick—sent a letter urging Congress to “strengthen our nation’s leadership around the world to fight global hunger, enable our nation’s farmers to compete, and to build new stable markets for our agricultural exports.” Citing their own agriculture experience, the signers emphasized the importance of America’s diplomacy, global development and global food security toolkit, to saving lives and fighting hunger.

The letter is available online here and is included below:


The Honorable Kevin McCarthy
Speaker of the House
U.S. House of Representatives

The Honorable Chuck Schumer
Majority Leader
U.S. Senate


The Honorable Hakeem Jeffries
Minority Leader
U.S. House of Representatives

The Honorable Mitch McConnell
Minority Leader
U.S. Senate

Dear Speaker McCarthy, Minority Leader Jeffries, Majority Leader Schumer, and Minority Leader McConnell:

As farmers and agricultural leaders from across America’s Heartland, we write to thank you for your bipartisan leadership in the U.S. Congress to strengthen America’s commitment to global food security, particularly as lawmakers consider important legislation like the Farm Bill and appropriations for the U.S. International Affairs Budget.

Today, the impact of rising conflict, climate threats, and poverty has left more than 258 million people in 58 countries facing acute hunger at crisis levels. We believe that with today’s escalating global crises and competition, America must strengthen our nation’s leadership around the world to fight global hunger, enable our nation’s farmers to compete, and to build new stable markets for our agricultural exports.

With global competition on the rise from China and other players, it is even more important that America steps up to engage and build access to these new markets – especially when more than 60% of America’s agricultural exports now go to the developing world. We know that doing so takes critical investments in diplomacy and development to promote trade and exports and expand U.S. engagement in new and emerging markets. In fact, 11 of America’s top 15 trading partners were once recipients of U.S. foreign assistance.

As American agricultural leaders, we believe we have an important role to play in helping to feed not just our own citizens, but to help feed the world. It’s why we believe U.S. investments around the world, including those authorized by the Farm Bill – like Food for Peace and the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition programs – are critical to help save lives and fight hunger as part of America’s diplomacy, global development, and global food security toolkit.

Promoting international development and global food security has long been a bipartisan priority supported by Republican and Democratic administrations and Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle. As you and your colleagues continue your legislative work this year, we urge you to support critical programs and resources that advance U.S. leadership in global food security through the International Affairs Budget.

Farmers across America and around the world are counting on you. Thank you for your continued leadership at this critical moment.






The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (www.usglc.org) is a broad-based influential network of 500 businesses and NGOs; national security and foreign policy experts; and business, faith-based, academic, military, and community leaders in all 50 states who support strategic investments to elevate development and diplomacy alongside defense in order to build a better, safer world.