[US to Australia ’13] Megan Jones: “Connecting Iowans and Australians”
It is no secret I love my home state of Iowa.
I came to Australia naïve about the connection my home state would have with this beautiful country. But just a few days into our trip, it was clear: from producers to politics – Australia has a strong connection to Iowa.
When we met with CropLife Australia, the connection was instantly clear. CropLife Australia is the voice, advocate, and representative of the plant science industry in Australia. The organization works to ensure the appropriate level of governmental regulation in agriculture, the safety of farmers and the sustainability of Australian agriculture. Since Iowa ranks No. 1 in the US for production of corn and soybeans, CropLife Australia’s goals resonated with me since I, too, am concerned about excessive regulation negatively impacting farmers. And as a citizen of the world, land stewardship, farmer safety, and the sustainability of agriculture are of vital importance to food security.
Australia is also the 11th largest market for Iowa goods exports, worth over $200 million, and major exports include tractors, pork, agricultural machinery and drilling equipment. Iowa and Australia have a strong economic relationship – one that I would likely not have experienced or realized without ACYPL.
So while I missed the great state of Iowa, the Australians I met and the Australian Political Exchange Council went out of their way to make me feel welcome. I was so very thankful for the opportunity to explore the country, and learn not only about Australia’s place in the global economy, but Iowa’s too. Even more, I left with a greater understanding of how important Australia and Iowa’s interdependent relationship is to the world.
Megan Jones is a member of the Iowa House of Representatives