The Iowa Hunger Summit next month will feature a discussion among the five most recent U.S. secretaries of agriculture on food security issues.

This bipartisan conversation will be hosted by Secretary Tom Vilsack, with Secretaries Dan Glickman, Ann Veneman, Mike Johanns and Ed Schafer participating in the session.  

It will begin at 9:15 a.m. on Oct. 16 at the Downtown Des Moines Marriott as part of the day-long Hunger Summit, which is sponsored by the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation and Farm Bureau Financial Services.

“I am absolutely delighted that my colleagues, the four former secretaries of agriculture, have agreed to join me in Des Moines for what I believe will be an insightful conversation on the food insecurity issues facing our country,” said Vilsack. “Among those are: access to nutritious and safe food, the future of SNAP and the lack of full-scale grocery stores throughout our nation’s food deserts. It is not often that you have so much experience in leading American agriculture in one place and at one time.”

A bipartisan event

The event is unique in bringing together secretaries across many administrations and political parties.

“We are so very pleased to have Secretary Tom Vilsack as a new member of the World Food Prize Council of Advisors,” said Ambassador Kenneth Quinn, president of the World Food Prize. “We are most grateful for his role in that capacity in facilitating this panel of former secretaries of agriculture, which will be one of the more memorable events we have ever had at the World Food Prize.”

“I urge Iowans to register for this unique one day event,” said Crystal Harris, director of the Iowa Hunger Summit. “Space is filling up fast, and we are on pace for a record turnout.”

The Iowa Hunger Summit is a one-day, free event established in 2006 by the World Food Prize with former Iowa governors Robert Ray, Terry Branstad, Chet Culver and Tom Vilsack serving as honorary co-chairs.

This annual event is attended by 500 to 700 hunger fighters from across the state as well as leaders representing community organizations, business and industry, state and local government, religious communities, educational experts and others who lead or participate in projects that confront hunger.

To register, go to