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Minister MacAulay’s visit to Iowa and Minnesota advances shared priorities and strengthens ties with key trade partner

Press Release

From: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Canada shares a strong agricultural partnership with the United States – our most valuable trading partner for Canadian agricultural and agri-food products.

This week, the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, travelled to Des Moines, Iowa, and Minneapolis-Saint Paul, Minnesota, to meet with key agri-food stakeholders and U.S. officials, with the goal of strengthening Canada’s relationships in the U.S. Midwest and advancing shared priorities.

While in Iowa, Minister MacAulay attended the World Pork Expo, North America’s largest pork industry trade show. The Minister connected with key U.S. pork stakeholders and producers, along with Canadian national and provincial industry representatives to highlight the importance of our highly integrated agricultural sectors. He also visited several trade show exhibitors to see firsthand how Canada’s high-quality swine, genetics, and innovative products add value to producers on both sides of the border.

On the margins of the Expo, Minister MacAulay met with Iowa Governor, Kim Reynolds, and Iowa Secretary of Agriculture, Mike Naig, where he highlighted the importance of the strong and secure Canada-U.S. agri-food trade relationship and reinforced Canada’s role as a reliable and indispensable trading partner.

As part of his visit to Iowa, the Minister toured the John Deere Des Moines Works production facility, and spoke at a gathering of key U.S. agribusinesses and stakeholders hosted at the World Food Prize Hall of Laureates. Minister MacAulay met with Ambassador Terry Branstad, President of the World Food Prize Foundation, and Dr. Wendy Wintersteen, a member of the Council of Advisors and President of Iowa State University, where they discussed the importance of Canada and the U.S. helping to address the challenge of food security, both at home and around the world.

The Minister also toured the St. Ansgar, Iowa, Grain Millers oat milling facility, which sources 95% of their grains from Canada. Grain Millers is the world’s largest organic oat processor and produces nearly a quarter of all oats in North America, with facilities across the U.S. and Canada. During his visit, the Minister spoke with company representatives to highlight Canada as a key supplier of oats and ingredients.

In Minnesota, Minister MacAulay met with Minnesota Commissioner of Agriculture, Thom Petersen, where they discussed shared priorities, such as sustainability, innovation and prevention of foreign animal diseases.

Minister MacAulay also toured the Indigenous Food Lab with representatives of the North American Traditional Indigenous Food Systems (NATIFS) organization. The tour highlighted the importance of promoting Indigenous food systems and strengthening connections between Indigenous communities across borders.

Throughout his visit to the U.S. Upper Midwest, Minister MacAulay emphasised the unique Canada-U.S. relationship, shared commitments to continental and global food security, and the bonds of friendship that tie both countries together.


“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. enjoy one of the largest bilateral agricultural trading relationships in the world, creating jobs and economic opportunities in both countries.
  • On July 1, 2020, the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) entered into force, reinforcing Canada’s strong economic ties with the United States and Mexico.
  • Canada and the United States are important trade partners for agri-food and seafood, with bilateral trade in these areas reaching $97 billion (CAD) in 2023.
  • In 2023, Canada’s two-way bilateral pork and pork products trade with the U.S. was $3.26 billion (CAD). Our pork sectors and supply chains are highly integrated.
  • Canada is the top agriculture and agri-food export market for Minnesota, and Iowa’s second biggest market. In 2023, bilateral agricultural trade between Canada and the two U.S. states were $3.6 billion (CAD) and $3 billion (CAD), respectively.

Associated links


For Media:

Francis Chechile
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Media Relations
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Ottawa, Ontario



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