March 27, 2024

Sen. John Thune, former Governor Daugaard, and Local Business & Veteran Leaders Urge Continued American Global Leadership

The Event Marked the Launch of the US Global Leadership Coalition’s South Dakota Advisory Committee

SIOUX FALLS, SD – Today, the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC) hosted Senator John Thune (R-SD) alongside other South Dakota business and political leaders for an in depth conversation on the importance of America’s role in the world and how it benefits South Dakota. Amid rising global threats to American interests, like spreading conflict and historic humanitarian need, U.S. global engagement that creates opportunity and ensures stability is critically important to South Dakota, with over 900 South Dakota companies exporting billions of dollars’ worth of goods, and about 20% of all jobs in the state tied to trade.

In addition to Senator Thune, the conversation featured remarks from former South Dakota governor Dennis Daugaard, state Senator Liz Larson, Luke Lindberg, President & CEO of South Dakota Trade, Hon. Andrea Thompson, CEO of DSU Applied Research, and Jarrod Gillig, President of Business Operations & Supply Chain, Cargill.

The event, with support from Heartland Chair Cargill, also marks the launch of USGLC’s South Dakota Advisory Committee — a growing coalition of South Dakota’s top business, military, non-profit, faith and community leaders that have come together to underscore the necessity of America’s global leadership and why it matters to South Dakota. The members of the new South Dakota Advisory Committee – one of 34 across the country – will help the USGLC activate more leaders in the state to voice their support for American global leadership that promotes and supports prosperity and stability at home.

“This is about our grandkids and making sure they can live in a safe, prosperous, stable world. And in order for that to happen, America’s got to be in a leadership role. American retreat is not an option if we want a better future,” said Senator Thune. “The truth of the matter is that in order for the United States to succeed, and for democracy and freedom to succeed around the world, the U.S. has to step up and play an important role.”

“When we’ve deployed – when I went to Iraq a couple of times, when I went to Afghanistan – it’s because our diplomatic measures or something else had failed along the way. Our military option is never the first option so that’s why it’s important to build this presence forward,” said Hon. Andrea Thompson, CEO of DSU Applied Research. “When you go into Africa now, every stadium, every bit of poorly built infrastructure probably has Chinese money behind it. We have got to stay present. We have got to stay forward deployed economically, diplomatically, and militarily. And South Dakota is part of that solution.”

“It comes back to the farmers and ranchers here in South Dakota to help move food and think about what we can do to help make an impact and create different solutions across the world. Ultimately, food security creates more stability,” said Jarrod Gillig, President of Business Operations & Supply Chain at Cargill. “Cargill’s supply chains empower farmers and ranchers with market access that strengthens their economic resilience and fosters stability and growth in their communities. We must partner with farmers and ranchers to advance innovative solutions to increase productivity and incomes, promote sustainable agriculture, and support farmer and rancher livelihoods.”

“It’s a distinct honor to be in Sioux Falls today to launch USGLC’s South Dakota Advisory Committee, not only with dozens of leaders from across the business, agriculture, veteran, and faith communities, but with Senator John Thune, who is an impressive leader in understanding how today’s global threats impact his state’s economic and security interests,” said USGLC President and CEO Liz Schrayer. “His principled voice in the U.S. Senate on why it is in America’s interests to invest in all our tools of national security — development and diplomacy, alongside a strong defense – underscores the reality that global stability impacts American stability.”


The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition ( 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.