February 18, 2021

Virtual Roundtable Recap: Global Partnerships, Local Impact in Jefferson City, MO

Today, a 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 Jefferson City. At a virtual roundtable hosted by the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC) and Cargill, over a dozen participants from the Jefferson City 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 Missouri and around the world.

Here’s what some of these leaders had to say:

  • Former Missouri Governor Bob Holden: “As we’re seeing now with COVID-19, Missouri is greatly affected by what happens outside state lines, from our economy and livelihoods to our health and security. Stronger American leadership around the world—not to mention greater international cooperation—can help address global crises like the ongoing pandemic and ease the effects we are feeling at home.”
  • Katie Smith, Director, State Government Affairs, Cargill: “At Cargill, we are committed to combatting food insecurity and investing in global development. That’s why we partner with the U.S. government and major non-profits on international programs—to help American farmers gain access to global markets and ensure food gets to where it’s needed most. These agricultural exports are vital for supporting Missouri’s economy and jobs, while also feeding people around the world. America’s leadership abroad directly ties into that, strengthening America’s agricultural economy and national security.”

The conversation was led by Dan Glickman, former Secretary of Agriculture and senior advisor to USGLC, who said, “Missouri has a rich agricultural tradition, growing everything from corn to cotton to cattle and leading research to solve global food needs at institutions like Lincoln University, University of Missouri, and Danforth Center in St Louis. These contributions are even more important during a global pandemic when millions of people near and far are at risk of hunger and starvation. Which is why strengthening America’s development and diplomacy programs are vitally important for Missouri. These programs not only help support thousands of jobs and sustain the economy at home, but contribute to greater food security and nutrition quality across the state and around the world.”

Statewide Network Supporting Global Leadership

Missouri has an active State Advisory Committee of more than 60 business, faith, military, government, and community leaders committed to strong investments in U.S. global engagement to help keep America safe and strengthen Missouri’s economy. They include:

  • Travis Fitzwater – Missouri House of Representatives
  • Gary Wheeler – Executive Director, Missouri Soybean Association
  • Ron Fitzwater – CEO, Missouri Pharmacy Association
  • Nanette Ward – Chair of the Board and Founding Member, Stop Human Trafficking Coalition of Central Missouri

You can find a full list of Missouri’s State Advisory Committee members here: https://www.usglc.org/downloads/advisory-committees/MO-Advisory-Committee.pdf

Global Engagement Supports Missouri Impact

The numbers speak for themselves. The strength of America’s global connections directly impact the Missouri economy and local jobs:

  • Missouri exported more than $13.4 billion worth of goods in 2019, with international trade supporting more than 767,000 jobs in the state
  • The U.S. Trade and Development Agency has helped facilitate $221 million in exports from Missouri companies since 1992
  • 22,428 international students were enrolled in Missouri colleges and universities and contributed $638 million to the Missouri economy in 2019

Building the Future

Two Missouri professionals were recently selected to join nearly 100 other young leaders from 33 states as part in the USGLC’s inaugural Next Gen Leaders Network. Through this year-long program, participants will receive leadership and advocacy training, interact with policymakers and opinion leaders, and draw connections between U.S. global engagement and their own communities:

  • Courtney Brooks; Executive Director, Global Ties KC; Kansas City, MO
  • McKinzey Manes; Customer Service Representative, PCs for People; Kansas City, MO

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.