The World Food Prize Foundation

Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to be Honored for Public Service at Hoover-Wallace Dinner


The two leaders will be honored for their public service in building economic and agricultural ties with China, and for promoting youth education programs; funds raised at the event will go toward international internships for Iowa students

Des Moines, Iowa (Aug. 16, 2012) – Iowa Governor Terry Branstad and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack will be honored at the World Food Prize Hoover-Wallace Dinner on Monday, Aug. 20, at 6:30 p.m. at the World Food Prize Hall of Laureates. A press availability will be offered before the event, starting at 5:45 p.m.

The Hoover-Wallace Dinner provides a unique opportunity to bring together Iowans on a bipartisan basis to acknowledge our state’s rich agricultural and humanitarian heritage. This year, the event will recognize the historic achievements of Governor Branstad and Secretary Vilsack in bringing Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping and the U.S.-China Agricultural Symposium to Iowa, and for their exceptional roles in promoting agriculture and agribusiness. These two leaders are also being honored for their dedication to youth education programs, including the World Food Prize Global Youth Institute.

All of the proceeds from the Hoover-Wallace Dinner go to support the Borlaug-Ruan International Internship program, which plays a critical role in inspiring the next generation of young Iowans to pursue education and careers in agriculture and food science. Each year, this World Food Prize internship program sends over 20 high school students on all-expenses-paid, eight-week international internships at research centers in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East where they gain firsthand experience in the field and lab, become familiar with other cultures and learn from renowned experts and mentors. Since 1998, over 140 Iowa high school students have participated.

“We are honored to recognize these two public figures, both of whom have served our state proudly and offered their exceptional leadership to enhance our communities,” said Amb. Kenneth M. Quinn, president of the World Food Prize Foundation. “By promoting agribusiness and ties with China, they help make our state stronger and put Iowa on the map as a breadbasket of the world.”

The dinner is being held in conjunction with the Greater Des Moines Partnership.


5:45 p.m. - The evening will begin with a press availability in the Iowa Gallery on the Mezzanine Level of the World Food Prize Hall of Laureates, 100 Locust Street, Des Moines, Iowa.

6:30 p.m. - The formal program will begin at 6:30 p.m., and will include remarks by Amb. Quinn as well as from Governor Branstad and Secretary Vilsack, and the Chinese Consul General, Yang Guoqiang.

7:30 p.m. –  A dinner will follow, which will include a brief program about the Borlaug-Ruan Internship Program and a performance of the Iowa Corn Song by renowned Iowa opera singer Simon Estes.


The Hoover-Wallace Dinner was established by the World Food Prize Foundation in 2004. It was created to be an occasion each year for Republicans and Democrats to come together above partisan division to recognize Iowa’s humanitarian heritage and to support unique educational opportunities for Iowa high school students.

The dinner recalls the great humanitarian achievements of Republican Herbert Hoover, who while working for Democratic President Woodrow Wilson during World War I, shipped food to Europe that fed and saved close to one billion people, and the agricultural innovations of Democrat Henry A. Wallace, whose leadership in spreading American agricultural technology to less fortunate countries helped to feed hundreds of millions.

The dinner seeks to bring attention to the achievements of other Iowa heroes such as Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and Cresco native Dr. Norman Borlaug, George Washington Carver and 4-H founder Jessie Field Shambaugh.

The First Hoover-Wallace Dinner was held in Cedar Rapids in April 2004. The theme for that evening was celebrating Dr. Borlaug’s 90th birthday.  The 2005 dinner in Des Moines recognized former Vice President Walter Mondale and former Iowa Governor Robert Ray for their role in saving hundreds of thousands of refugees from Southeast Asia. The 2006 dinner, held in Cedar Falls, honored the role of John Deere, both the man and the company, in feeding the world.  The legendary career of George Washington Carver, who found acceptance and the opportunity to flourish in Iowa, was the focus of the 2007 dinner in West Des Moines, and in 2008, three true champions of humanitarian and public service - former Senator John Culver, former Congressman Jim Leach and Iowa City physician Dr. Ignacio Ponseti - were feted in Coralville. In 2009, Senators Chuck Grassley and Tom Harkin were honored for their service to Iowa, the United States, and the world and for their bipartisan work on various projects.

ABOUT THE WORLD FOOD PRIZE:  The World Food Prize was founded in 1986 by Dr. Norman E. Borlaug, recipient of the 1970 Nobel Peace Prize. Since then, The World Food Prize has honored outstanding individuals who have made vital contributions to improving the quality, quantity or availability of food throughout the world. Laureates have been recognized from Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Denmark, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Mexico, Sierra Leone, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the United Nations and the United States. The Prize also hosts the annual Borlaug Dialogue international symposium on global food issues and a variety of youth programs that aim to inspire the next generation to work in the fields surrounding global agriculture.

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Press Contact: Megan Forgrave, Director of Communications, 515.245.3794 (direct), 515.229.1705 (cell)

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