Governors Midwest Initiatives Events

Inititiatives - Chair's Agenda


Chair's Agenda
America's Smartland Discussion Series


Economic Development


Renewing the Midwestern Brand




2016 - Kansas Governor

Sam Brownback's Agenda

2015 - Kansas Governor

Sam Brownback's Agenda

2014 - Wisconsin Governor

Scott Walker's Agenda

2013 - Minnesota Governor

Mark Dayton's Agenda

2012 - Iowa Governor

Terry Branstad's Agenda


All MGA Past Chairs


2012 - Iowa Governor Terry E. Branstad's Agenda

Iowa Governor Terry Branstad was the 2012 Chair of the MGA. He set his agenda to develop and actively promote a positive Midwestern narrative. The agenda aimed to renew the Midwestern brand, drive innovation, and improve the region’s entrepreneurial network; and supporting efforts to increase domestic/Midwestern energy production across all types of energy and seek ways to maintain or achieve low energy costs.

The first part of the agenda actively promoted the reasons why the Midwest is a great place to call home and is at the heart of our nation’s economic recovery. The chair’s agenda highlighted what makes the Midwest an ideal place to live, get an education, start a family, work and grow a business. In addition, this portion of the agenda will strive to improve the entrepreneurial connectivity among our region’s job creators and foster the innovation and relationship-building that helps drive economic growth.

The second part of the Chair’s agenda built on the energy production strengths of our individual states. The Midwest offers a diverse portfolio of energy across its many states, including: coal, oil and natural gas reserves, a burgeoning biofuels industry and some of the best wind resources in the nation. These resources can help increase domestic energy production and increase the exportation of domestic low cost energy to other states and regions. Governors seek to leverage the energy assets of the Midwest to lower energy costs to help drive economic development within the region and beyond, to help ensure competitiveness in a global economy.

To help advance his agenda, Governor Branstad hosted the MGA’s 50th anniversary meeting and spoke with a panel of other Midwestern governors, including Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton and Kansas Governor Sam Brownback. Joining the current governors were former Illinois Governor James Thompson and former Missouri Governor Bob Holden. The governors discussed the progress of the Midwest as well as steps the region can take to highlight its entrepreneurial opportunities. The meeting, America’s Smartland – Deploying the Midwest’s Entrepreneurial Spirit, celebrated the collective strengths of the region and addressed how the Midwest can better showcase itself to other regions and countries.

As part of its 50th anniversary celebration, the MGA also sponsored a video contest - America’s Smartland: Let the Midwest Surprise You! - to promote a positive Midwestern narrative and help the world learn about the strengths of the region. The video contest featured submissions by Midwesterners that tell the Midwest’s unique story. The goal of the video contest was to draw attention to all the Midwest has to offer – a strong work ethic and climate for business and job growth; high-quality schools and colleges; a stand-out standard of living, including vibrant cities and towns, affordable housing, cultural, recreational and sporting activities; four distinct seasons and breathtaking natural wonders. Four video finalists were announced in January, with the winner announced February 2013.

The MGA hosted their second transmission meeting, which addressed the economic and transmission benefits of a low cost and reliable electricity grid. This meeting provided a forum for cross-state discussions with governors' staff members, utility commissioners and transmission advocates. This meeting built upon the 2011 meeting held in Des Moines highlighting recent regional accomplishments, benefits of regional collaborative efforts, upcoming transmission challenges and how to fully leverage Midwestern energy opportunities and assets.

To further underscore the strengths and success of the region this year, the MGA:

  • Released a series of brochures highlighting the strengths of the region in advanced manufacturing, the bioeconomy, low cost energy and transportation; and
  • Initiated a working group of industry and state leaders to work on strategies states could consider to increase Midwestern energy production and achieve low cost energy for families and businesses. This work continued throughout 2013. More information on the working group and options for achieving low cost energy solutions is available by clicking here.