WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. — Cargill and the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC) launched a partnership to increase conversations on global development and the role the U.S. ag economy can play in advancing interests around the globe.

Cargill will serve as chair of USGLC’s Heartland Tour through 2020. Featuring events across 13 Midwest states, the tour is intended to create dialogue among elected officials, community leaders, businesses, academics and nonprofits on the ways global economic engagement can lift up and inspire local communities.

“The Midwest has long been the agricultural and manufacturing heart of America,” said Devry Boughner Vorwerk, Cargill vice-president of corporate affairs. “As our Heartland states succeed, so does the U.S. and the world succeed. Cargill remains a steadfast advocate for open markets, allowing American farmers and farm communities to thrive as they feed the world’s families and boost their local economies.”

According to Cargill, 95% of the world’s consumers are outside U.S. borders and the fastest-growing markets are in developing countries. The tour will explore ways for the United States to stay competitive in the global marketplace, ensuring a level playing field for U.S. businesses.

“We are thrilled to welcome Cargill as our new Heartland Chair to bolster USGLC’s efforts to engage citizens across America’s heartland about why leading globally matters locally,” said Liz Schrayer, president and chief executive officer of the USGLC. “Cargill is an innovative company that truly understands the importance of the world to local business, community, and farm leaders throughout the Midwest. That’s why they will join us in forums with policymakers on both sides of the aisle — just like those we have held from Scranton, Pennsylvania, to Kalamazoo, Michigan, and beyond. A heartland company with deep international development roots, Cargill can both share inspiring stories and draw powerful, local connections, making the compelling case that our work overseas strengthens our economy and our national security.”

Cargill’s role as Heartland Chair kicked off at USGLC’s State Leaders Summit on June 17 in Washington, D.C., U.S. Tour events, intended to strengthen rural leadership voices and build a network of military, business, NGO, faith and community leaders as advocates for the local economic and security benefits of global engagement, will resume in August.

 “USGLC shares this passion, engaging and educating policymakers on the tie between America’s leadership and global development,” Vorwerk said.  “We are pleased to serve as their Heartland Chair through 2020, inviting a network of advocates to join us in lifting up America’s Heartland — and the men and women who rely on our rural communities and America’s global leadership for their families’ livelihoods.”

The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition is a broad-based 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 investments to elevate development and diplomacy alongside defense in order to build a better, safer world.