April 12, 2023
MANHATTAN, KS – At a conversation yesterday with Kansas leaders, hosted by the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC), U.S. Representative Tracey Mann (R-KS-01) spoke out on how U.S. engagement around the world matters locally to Kansas communities. Rep. Mann was joined by Vice Admiral Carol M. Pottenger, U.S. Navy (Ret.), and Hans Kabat, President, Cargill Protein North America, for a discussion on how American leadership in the world helps Kansas’s economy and families.
“International food aid programs have an especially strong return on investment because they support American agriculture producers today, while greatly reducing the need for conflict or war-related dollars spent tomorrow,” said Rep. Mann. “We know that when food rations are accessible in developing countries, conflict decreases. International food aid is a way to stop wars before they start.”
Rep. Mann continued on the importance of America’s civilian development and diplomacy tools, including global food security programs, “If you really look at the relationships that we get to foster around the world, because of our ag exports, it’s incredible. And it’s also the most fiscally conservative and the most fiscally responsible thing we can do.”
Also speaking about why U.S. leadership globally matters locally were: Mike Beam, Secretary of Agriculture, State of Kansas; Doug Keesling, Owner, Keesling Farms; and Kim Carroll, Chief Executive Officer, Heart to Heart International. The conversation, hosted by USGLC, brought together business, non-profit, veteran, faith, and community leaders from Manhattan and the wider region.
Vice Admiral Pottenger spoke to the opportunity the U.S. has as a moral leader to help countries, saying, “I am firmly convinced that most families around the globe, most parents around the globe, want to do just a few things, provide a safe home for their kids [and] clean water. Our opportunity, our obligation to help these nations deliver that ability for them to take care of themselves… We can’t just always be in the mode of giving them the aid, they have to teach them how to do it themselves.”
Speaking on the importance of American leadership and what’s it worth, Hans Kabat, President, Cargill Protein North America, said, “It’s the possibility to be an example for other places in the world… And we have a responsibility and an opportunity in what we do, and the kind of investments that we make.”
With more than $12.6 billion in global exports from Kansas in 2021, America’s investments in diplomacy and development benefit Kansas locally. Last year, nearly 365,000 jobs in Kansas were supported by international trade. Of the more than 3,302 Kansas businesses that export goods, 82 percent are small or medium-sized businesses.
“When it comes to protecting our national security and advancing our economic security interests, Kansans understand the importance U.S. development and diplomacy programs,” said Parker Novak, USGLC Deputy Government Relations Director. “Representative Mann understands that leading globally matters locally to communities across Kansas. We welcome his leadership and his continued support for global diplomacy and democracy initiatives around the world. We’re fortunate to see so many Kansas leaders dedicated to advancing U.S. leadership on the global stage.”
For the full discussion, watch the event here.
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.