2009 Ambassadors Tour
Senator Grassley organized the first Ambassadors Tour in 1986 to help Iowa’s struggling economy during the farm crisis. The tour is designed to provide foreign diplomats an opportunity to travel a portion of Iowa to learn more about the state’s businesses, agriculture, education and culture. The tour is three fold. One, the tour showcases Iowa’s many resources-its land, its industry, its education system and most importantly its people-to an international audience. Two, the tour helps facilitate greater economic collaboration between Iowa and countries from around the world. And, three, the tour exposes Iowa to the rich diversity of the world community.
Each country with an embassy located in Washington, D.C. receives an invitation for its ambassador and spouse to participate in the tour. If the ambassador isn’t able to be on the tour, a member of the embassy staff can be designated to attend. The first tour comprised of representatives of 30 countries. Each tour since has grown steadily in size. It’s expected that at least 60 countries will be represented on this year’s tour.
Each tour is a full week of visits to businesses, educational institutions, cultural events and a working family farm. The capstone of the tour is a visit to the historic Iowa State Fair.
One of the most enjoyable aspects of the tour is the opportunity for Iowans to host the diplomats in their homes. On three of the four nights of the tour the diplomats stay overnight in the homes of Iowans. This gives the tour participants an up-close view of Iowa’s finest asset-its people. The overnight communities for the 2009 Ambassadors Tour are Carroll, Fort Dodge and Ames. To learn about hosting a diplomat in one of these communities, please contact the local chambers of commerce.
The Ambassadors Tour is completely funded by private donations. Senator Grassley works with the Iowa Department of Economic Development to maximize the benefits of the trade tour for Iowa.
List of Participating Countries
Schedule of Events
Click on the interactive map below to track the tour