May 19, 2021
Today, a Zoom room full of elected officials, community leaders, and business and non-profit executives agreed—America’s agriculture and international affairs programs play a critical role for communities like Cedar Rapids, as well as neighboring cities and towns like Ames and Des Moines.
At a virtual roundtable hosted by the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC) and Cargill, over a dozen participants from the Cedar Rapids area discussed the local impact of these global programs, including how they strengthen American global leadership and help to create jobs, feed the hungry, and reduce poverty across Iowa and around the world. They also touched on strong bipartisan support in Washington for America’s farming and agriculture industries, the importance of U.S. agriculture in gaining global influence and helping vulnerable populations, as well as the U.S.-China relationship – one of America’s largest competitors that also presents a huge opportunity for Iowa’s farmers, especially when it comes to agricultural exports.
Here’s what some of these leaders had to say:
The conversation was led by Dan Glickman, former Secretary of Agriculture and senior advisor to USGLC, who said, “Food is a great unifier — it’s one of the few things everybody in the world shares. A strong world is a more stable world. Rarely will you find wars existing where people are well fed or have adequate access to nutritious foods and water supplies. The United States is one of the world’s largest donors of humanitarian assistance, but we also have an obligation to help countries gain self-sufficiency in places like sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, and Southeast Asia. As one of the country’s largest agricultural exports, Iowa exports everything from soybeans to corn, which is a vital revenue source for the state’s farmers and businesses, but also critical to helping feed people around the world, particularly those in fragile and conflict-ridden areas.”
Iowa has an active State Advisory Committee of more than 100 business, faith, military, government, and community leaders committed to strong investments in U.S. global engagement to help keep America safe and strengthen Iowa’s economy. They include:
You can find a full list of Iowa’s State Advisory Committee members here: https://www.usglc.org/downloads/advisory-committees/IA-Advisory-Committee.pdf
The numbers speak for themselves. The strength of America’s global connections directly impact the Iowa economy and local jobs:
Cumming-based professional Wendy Batchelder was recently selected to join nearly 100 other young leaders from 33 states as part in the USGLC’s inaugural Next Gen Leaders Network. Ms. Batchelder, a Chief Data Officer at VMware, will participate in this year-long program, where she will receive leadership and advocacy training, interact with policymakers and opinion leaders, and draw connections between U.S. global engagement and their own communities.
Liz Schrayer, USGLC President and CEO: “[T]his next generation is truly our future. Instead of seeing borders, they see solutions by working with partners around the world on issues like climate, hunger, global health and so many others that matter to American kitchen table issues. By investing in them, we are building a new cadre of advocates ready to educate policymakers about why leading globally matters locally.”
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.