Iowa entrepreneur and philanthropist Bruce Rastetter announced the first-ever Iowa Agriculture Summit, providing a unique forum for potential and likely presidential candidates from both major parties to discuss issues of vital importance to the Iowa and national economies
The forum will be held Saturday, March 7, at the Elwell Family Food Center on the Iowa State Fairgrounds, Des Moines.
"Every four years, Iowa becomes an epicenter of American politics, often shaping and almost always reflecting national policy movements. Unfortunately, until now, there has not been a forum solely dedicated to matters that directly affect Iowa farmers who feed and fuel not just the country, but the world," said Rastetter, who said the forum will also feature other elected officials and public policy leaders.
"The 2015 Iowa Ag Summit will highlight and promote agriculture. Most importantly, the bipartisan event will allow elected officials and public policy leaders to have a public discussion on issues that are vital to the Iowa and American economy."
Invited speakers include
- Vice President Joe Biden
- former Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida
- Dr. Ben Carson
- Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey
- former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
- U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas
- Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York
- former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina
- U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina
- former Gov. Mike Huckabee of Arkansas
- Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana
- Gov. John Kasich of Ohio
- Gov. Martin O'Malley of Maryland
- former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin
- U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky
- former Gov. Rick Perry of Texas
- 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney
- U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida
- former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania
- New York businessman Donald Trump
- U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack
- Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin
- U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts
- U.S. Sen. Jim Webb of Virginia.
Rastetter said Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds, both who have been "very supportive of the ag summit," are also in the line-up of speakers.
Each speaker will appear alone with Rastetter on stage for 20 minutes to discuss a range of issues that includes modern agriculture, renewable fuels, biosciences, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), grain and livestock markets, land conservation and federal subsidies.
"This format will create an environment for a serious discussion of the issues that matter most to Iowans and Americans: how do we feed the world and ensure that we have the strongest economy in an ever-more competitive global marketplace," Rastetter said.