The World Food Prize Foundation

Press Registration Now Open for the Celebration of the launching of the Memoir: “Old Friends”: The Xi Jinping-Iowa Story


The press registration for book launch of the Memoir “Old Friends”: The Xi Jinping-Iowa Story is now open. Organized by the Sarah D. Lande US-China Friendship Education Co. and hosted in conjunction with the World Food Prize Foundation at the Norman E. Borlaug Hall of Laureates, this prestigious event will welcome international guests and Iowans to commemorate the special relationship between China and Iowa.  

“The World Food Prize Foundation, having hosted then Vice President Xi Jinping to speak in the Hall of Laureates in February of 2012, is a perfect place to have the launch of this important volume that captures the true spirit of friendship generated by the unique relationship of President Xi Jinping to the state of Iowa and my home community of Muscatine,” said Sarah Lande, the author of the book.


May 3, 2018
3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

World Food Prize Hall of Laureates
100 Locust Street
Des Moines, IA 50266


All press must register by Thursday, May 3 at 10:00 a.m. in order to attend the event that afternoon. Verified media will be required to produce a proof of employment by the media outlet in order to collect their credentials for access this even and a photo ID. If you do not have a valid press pass onsite at the event you will not be permitted entry.

For event security purposes, event organizers cannot guarantee entry to media that have not registered ahead of time; they may be required to wait for credentials to be issued and may not be able to be accommodated.



Special guests will give speeches during a program, followed by the unveiling of the book.

  • Ambassador Kenneth Quinn
  • Ambassador Terry E. Branstad has written a letter to be read at the event
  • Sarah D. Lande, Old Friend of President Xi Jinping
  • Luca Berrone, Old Friend of Xi Jinping

Special Chinese guests:

  • Ambassador Cui Tiamkai, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to the United States
  • Consul General Hong Lei from Chicago
  • Mr. Xie Yuan, Vice President of the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries
  • Mr. Bai Runzhang and Mr. Xia Wenyi who traveled to Iowa with Xi Jinping in 1985.


The intent of this memoir is to capture the power and impact of friendship between the peoples of China and Iowa by illustrating personal journeys between 1979 and 2015. This Memoir was compiled to inspire U.S.-China relations and inspire citizen ambassadors of any age, long into the future.

It is a special story of five young Chinese men who traveled to Iowa in 1985 as an agricultural delegation. This trip forged bonds of friendship that brought one of them back to Iowa in 2012. This visitor was then the vice president of the People's Republic of China, Xi Jinping.

For 27 years Xi Jinping held fond memories from this 1985 visit close in his heart. While visiting Beijing in 2011, Iowa Governor Terry Branstad learned Xi Jinping wished to visit his "Old Friends" in Muscatine, Iowa.

"Old Friends": The Xi Jinping Iowa Story illustrates the personal journeys of Iowans and Chinese as they first traveled to each other's countries in 1979 through 2015. 

Sarah Lande has been a catalyst in building people to people relationships between these two countries.  Because of her involvement in both visits she was asked by the 1985 visitors to tell this story.


Press Contact:
Nicole Barreca, Director of Communications and Events
515.245.3735 (direct), 563.271.2995 (cell), or

ABOUT THE WORLD FOOD PRIZE:  The World Food Prize is the foremost international award recognizing the achievements of individuals who have advanced human development by improving the quality, quantity or availability of food in the world. The 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 46 outstanding individuals who have made vital contributions throughout the world. The World Food Prize annually hosts the Borlaug Dialogue international symposium and a variety of youth education programs to help further the discussion on cutting-edge global food security issues and inspire the next generation to end hunger.


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