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WASHINGTON, Aug. 28, 2009 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Foreign Agricultural Service Administrator Michael Michener will attend events in Des Moines, Iowa, today, Aug. 28, to commemorate Soviet Premier Sergei Khrushchev’s 1959 visit to the United States. Khrushchev’s 1959 trip included stops at Iowa State University in Ames and Roswell Garst’s farm in Coon Rapids, Iowa.

At an evening banquet at the Hotel Fort Des Moines, Vilsack will speak about the United States’ efforts since Khrushchev’s visit to strengthen international agricultural development and global food security. Earlier today, Administrator Michener will speak about how Khrushchev’s visit came at a time when U.S. agricultural exports began to surge and the United States was establishing important international exchange programs in agricultural education.

Vilsack was elected as Iowa’s 40th Governor in 1998 and re-elected to a second four-year term in 2002. He also served in the Iowa State Senate and as mayor of the town of Mount Pleasant. Michener was born and raised in New London, Iowa, and named FAS Administrator in March 2009.

WHO: Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and Foreign Agricultural Service Administrator Michael Michener

WHAT: Friday Evening Public Banquet: "Lessons of Khrushchev in Iowa for the Modern World"; and Khrushchev in Iowa Conference, "Feeding the Hungry World: Agricultural Progress, Productivity and Sustainability"

WHEN: Aug. 28, 2009

3:30 p.m. – Michener at the "Feeding the Hungry World" conference

6:30 p.m. – Vilsack at the "Friday Evening Public Banquet"


WHERE: The Hotel Fort Des Moines

1000 Walnut St.

Des Moines, Iowa 50309

MEDIA: Credentialed members of the news media should register for both events at or by calling (712) 999-7031. Press passes will be available for pick-up at the Hotel Fort Des Moines.

More information about USDA’s efforts in trade and international agricultural development:


Contact: USDA Office of Communications (202) 720-4623

USDA Release No. 0411.09

FAS PR 0202-09

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