DES MOINES, IOWA, US —Ambassadors from and to China participated in the US-China Agricultural Dialogue in Des Moines, Iowa, US, illustrating the importance of agricultural cooperation between the two nations, organizers said.

US Ambassador to China R. Nicholas Burns, participating virtually from Beijing, joined Chinese Ambassador Qin Gang and former US Ambassador to China Terry Branstad as featured speakers at the Dialogue. The event was co-hosted by the United States Heartland China Association (USHCA) and the China Agriculture Association for International Exchanges.

Ambassador Qin Gang and Ambassador Burns offered comments on current agricultural trade and ideas on how it could be improved and expanded.

Bob Holden, former governor of Missouri and chairman of the USHCA, applauded Ambassador Kenneth Quinn, who was instrumental in bringing the ambassadors together, for his tireless effort to advance peace through diplomacy even in his retirement.

Close to 200 high level participants, including an array of governmental, educational, national and international agri-business leaders attended this dialogue. Many traveled to Iowa from across the country and overseas just to attend this unique event.

Craig Floss, chief executive officer of the Iowa Corn Growers Association, formally announced that two recent purchases of corn this month by China represented a combined value of over $700 million, “one of the largest purchases of corn ever by China or any other country.”

Other executives attending were the CEOs of Continental Grain, Syngenta, the US Grains Council, and the US Soybean Export Council, who joined with the vice president of China Agricultural University on a panel discussion about steps to increase US-China two-way trade and enhance global collaboration in feeding the 9 billion to 10 billion people who will soon be on the planet.

Other speakers during the event were a vice governor of Hebei Province, Iowa’s Sister State and representatives of the USDA Foreign Agriculture Service and the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs.

At the conclusion of the Dialogue, the USHCA and the CAAIE signed an agreement committing the two organizations to “consult and collaborate ... in support of the annual US-China Agriculture Dialogue.”

“We are really excited to see long-term commitment from both Associations to carry forward the legacy of agricultural collaboration for the benefit of both countries and our world,” said Min Fan, executive director of USHCA.