Minister MacAulay’s Visit to Iowa and Minnesota Strengthens Canada-U.S. Agricultural Ties

This week, the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, visited Des Moines, Iowa, and Minneapolis-Saint Paul, Minnesota, to meet with key agri-food stakeholders and U.S. officials. The goal of the visit was to strengthen Canada’s relationships in the U.S. Midwest and advance shared priorities in agriculture and food security.

Highlights of the Visit:

World Pork Expo: Minister MacAulay attended the World Pork Expo in Des Moines, Iowa, North America’s largest pork industry trade show. He connected with U.S. pork stakeholders, producers, and Canadian national and provincial industry representatives, highlighting the importance of the highly integrated agricultural sectors between Canada and the U.S. He also visited trade show exhibitors to see firsthand how Canada’s high-quality swine, genetics, and innovative products benefit producers on both sides of the border.

Meetings with Iowa Officials: On the sidelines of the Expo, Minister MacAulay met with Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds and Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig. He emphasized the importance of the strong and secure Canada-U.S. agri-food trade relationship and Canada’s role as a reliable trading partner.

John Deere Des Moines Works and World Food Prize: The Minister toured the John Deere Des Moines Works production facility and spoke at an event hosted at the World Food Prize Hall of Laureates. Discussions with Ambassador Terry Branstad, President of the World Food Prize Foundation, and Dr. Wendy Wintersteen, President of Iowa State University, focused on addressing food security challenges globally.

Grain Millers Oat Milling Facility: Minister MacAulay toured the Grain Millers oat milling facility in St. Ansgar, Iowa, which sources 95% of its grains from Canada. Grain Millers is the world’s largest organic oat processor. The Minister highlighted Canada as a key supplier of oats and ingredients.

Minnesota Engagements: In Minnesota, Minister MacAulay met with Commissioner of Agriculture Thom Petersen to discuss shared priorities such as sustainability, innovation, and prevention of foreign animal diseases. He also toured the Indigenous Food Lab with representatives from the North American Traditional Indigenous Food Systems (NATIFS) organization, emphasizing the promotion of Indigenous food systems and cross-border connections between Indigenous communities.

Throughout his visit, Minister MacAulay underscored the unique Canada-U.S. relationship, shared commitments to food security, and the bonds of friendship that unite the two nations.


“Each and every day, farmers right across North America are working hard to feed their communities, their country, and the entire world. After spending the last few days in Iowa and Minnesota, I’ve seen just how strong our partnership with the United States really is, and it’s vitally important that we continue to work together, as nations and as dear friends, to strengthen our supply chains, address food security challenges, and put more money in the pockets of producers on both sides of the border.”

  • The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Quick Facts:

  • Canada and the U.S. share one of the largest bilateral agricultural trading relationships, creating jobs and economic opportunities in both countries.
  • The Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) came into force on July 1, 2020, reinforcing economic ties between the countries.
  • In 2023, bilateral trade in agri-food and seafood between Canada and the U.S. reached $97 billion CAD.
  • The two-way bilateral pork and pork products trade between Canada and the U.S. was $3.26 billion CAD in 2023, with highly integrated supply chains.
  • Canada is the top agriculture and agri-food export market for Minnesota and Iowa’s second-largest market. In 2023, bilateral agricultural trade between Canada and Minnesota was $3.6 billion CAD and $3 billion CAD with Iowa.

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