March 24, 2021

Virtual Roundtable Recap: Global Partnerships, Local Impact in Nebraska City, NE

On Wednesday, 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 Nebraska City. At a virtual roundtable hosted by the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC) and Cargill, Dan Glickman, former Secretary of Agriculture and senior advisor to USGLC led a discussion with over a dozen participants from the Nebraska City area on 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 Nebraska and around the world.

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

  • Secretary Bob Evnen, Nebraska’s Secretary of State: “When it comes to agriculture and feeding the world, there are no better farmers and ranchers than here in Nebraska. America has played a great leadership role around the world—and continues to do so—especially when it comes to agriculture and food assistance. Here in Nebraska, we’re helping to share the plentitude of our farmers to help the world’s hungry and those in need in ways that are beneficial to everyone.”
  • Kathryn Unger, Vice President, North America Government Relations, Cargill: “I am delighted to be a part of conversations like this one—in Nebraska and across America’s heartland—because our agriculture exports support American jobs, while feeding people around the world. Cargill’s partnerships with the U.S. government and major non-profits help American farmers gain access to global markets and provide nourishing food to the communities that need it the most, particularly in times of crisis.”

Statewide Network Supporting Global Leadership

Nebraska has an active State Advisory Committee of more than 140 business, faith, military, government, and community leaders committed to strong investments in U.S. global engagement to help keep America safe and strengthen Nebraska’s economy. They include:

  • Ben Nelson – U.S. Senate (2001-2013), Governor (1991-1999)
  • Douglas Bereuter – U.S. House of Representatives (1979-2004)
  • Beth Ostdiek Smith – Founder and President, Saving Grace Food Rescue
  • Ian Vickers – CEO, Global Partners in Hope

You can find a full list of Nebraska’s State Advisory Committee members here:

Global Engagement Supports Nebraska Impact

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

  • Nebraska exported more than $7.5 billion worth of goods in 2019, with international trade supporting more than 270,700 jobs in the state
  • The U.S. Trade and Development Agency has helped facilitate $50 million in exports from Nebraska companies since 1992
  • 5,628international students were enrolled in Nebraska colleges and universities and contributed $178 million to the Nebraska economy in 2019

Building the Future

Three Nebraska 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:

  • Graham Pansing Brooks  Co-Founder and CEO, SEAchange LTD; Lincoln, NE
  • Alicia Dallman Shoemaker – President, Malaika Foundation; Educator, Nebraska Wesleyan University/Elhorn Public Schools; Omaha, NE
  • Brianne Wolf – Global Programs & Outreach Manager, Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Lincoln, NE

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 ( 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.