During his time as both a State Representative and Senator in Des Moines, Senator Mark Lofgren of Muscatine has been heavily involved with the World Food Prize Foundation (WFPF), an organization that works to end world hunger through providing nutritious and sustainable food to all people. Recently, the WFPF elected a new president, Barbara Stinson. When Lofgren learned she would attend the retirement party in Des Moines for Ambassador Kenneth M. Quinn, her predecessor, he decided to invite her and others from the WFPF to visit Muscatine. He envisioned a time where WFPF leaders could learn about agriculture in Muscatine County and get to meet community leaders working to end hunger locally. On Wednesday, December 4th, Lofgren brought this idea to life by touring members of the WFPF around Muscatine and hosting a lunch for them and community leaders at Port City Underground.
The day of the tour, three WFPF officials, Stinson; Mashal Husain, WFPF Vice President; and Madeline Goebel, Director of the Iowa Hunger Summit and Community Outreach, came to Muscatine. They visited both Kent Corporation and the Muscatine Agricultural Learning Center to get a taste for some of the agriculture related projects going on in Muscatine. Stinson found the visit informative. “It was very interesting to meet with Kent Corporation and talk with them. . . It’s great to get grounded in that and learn how companies and the economy are functioning here.”
In between their stops, the WFPF members and Lofgren lunched with several community leaders, who included Scott Dahlke, Director of Muscatine Center for Social Action; Sam Paul, agriculture teacher at Muscatine High School, Cheryl Plank, CEO of Muscatine Vision 2020, Charla Shafer, Executive Director of the Community Foundation of Greater Muscatine, and Shawn Schrader, Plant Manager of Bayer.
During the lunch, Stinson, Husain, and Goebel used the time to share information about the WFPF’s work. This work includes awarding the international World Food Prize (the equivalent of the Nobel Prize in Agriculture), hosting the Norman E. Borlaug International Symposium (which brings experts together to work towards ending world hunger), and holding the Iowa Hunger Summit. It also extends to putting on the Youth Institute at Iowa State University, which Muscatine High School students regularly participate in. In turn, members of each organization had time to speak with the representatives of WFPF, allowing them to find commonalities and support each other’s work.