Press Release: U.S. – China Diplomacy Takes Center Stage at USHCA Agricultural Dialogue in Des Moines 

Contact: Min Fan, USHCA Executive Director



U.S. – China Diplomacy Takes Center Stage at USHCA Agricultural Dialogue in Des Moines


U.S. Ambassador to China R. Nicholas Burns, participating virtually from Beijing, joined Chinese Ambassador Qin Gang and former U.S. Ambassador to China Terry Branstad as featured speakers at U.S. – China High Level Agricultural Dialogue.

“One of the largest purchases of American corn ever made by China or any country” announced 

Des Moines, Iowa (April 25, 2022) 

“With the unprecedented participation of three Ambassadors from and to China, the U.S. – China High Level Agricultural Dialogue in Des Moines showed that agriculture provides an opportunity for positive developments during an otherwise difficult and contentious bilateral relationship,” stated Ambassador Kenneth Quinn, Strategic Advisor to the United States Heartland China Association (USHCA) who moderated the Dialogue that took place at the Dr. Norman E. Borlaug Hall of Laureates in Des Moines. 

In his remarks, former Ambassador Branstad, recalled his personal role as Governor of Iowa in meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping during his two historic visits to Iowa. Speaking next, Ambassador Qin Gang and Ambassador Burns offered comments on current agricultural trade and ideas on how it could be improved and expanded.

The USHCA, a bipartisan American non-profit organization, co-hosted the April 21 (April 22 in China) event in conjunction with the China Agricultural Association for International Exchange (CAAIE). The Hon. Bob Holden, former Governor of Missouri and Chairman of the USHCA who gave opening remarks at the event, said that “having all three ambassadors appear live on the program today illustrates the importance of agricultural collaboration in US-China relations.” He also 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.

One of those participants, Craig Floss, the CEO 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.”

Included among other executives attending were the CEOs of Continental Grain, Syngenta, the U.S. Grains Council, and the U.S. Soybean Export Council, who joined with the Vice President of China Agricultural University on a panel discussion about steps to increase both U.S. – China two-way trade and enhance global collaboration in feeding the 9 to 10 billion people who will soon be on our 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 a Memorandum of Understanding committing the two organizations to “consult and collaborate … in support of the annual U.S. – 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.” commented Min Fan, Executive Director of USHCA.

The USHCA also wishes to thank the following sponsors who made this High Level Dialogue possible: Iowa Corn Growers Association, US Soybean Export Council, U.S. Grains Council, China Certification & Inspection Group (North America), and Tyson Foods.

The US Heartland China Association is a 501(C)3 bipartisan organization that is dedicated to building healthy ties between the heartland region of the United States and the People’s Republic of China. USHCA builds those ties through promoting exchanges in culture, education and business. More information is available at

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