"An energizing experience"

By Matt Russell

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Participating in the ONE delegation to the G8 Summit was an energizing experience for me.

I came to the delegation committed to fighting poverty wherever it exists. I also came as an Iowa farmer wanting to build solidarity among all farmers.

In Edinburgh, I experienced a global community serious about ending the kind of poverty that kills 30,000 children a day. At the concert in Edinburgh, 40,000 people, enjoying a free concert, stood on their feet and cheered as Bono told the crowd that he'd asked the most powerful world leaders to "spend your money" to end poverty. This powerful connection between democracy and government action reinvigorated my passion to make sure that Americans become part of this historic movement.

The experience of the ONE delegation provided me an opportunity to see the world with more optimistic eyes. Also, sharing this experience with some of the most impassioned and successful activists from across the United States refueled my own activist energy. Home in my office and on my farm, I've already done interviews and continue to share my experiences with family, friends, and colleagues. I will continue to advocate and fight for US agriculture policy that is fairer for farmers in both the developing world and in the rural communities of my own country.

We are living in a historic time. I want every American to understand that the citizens of Earth have the power to end life threatening poverty. I want my fellow Americans to be a part of that historic victory and not spectators. Our democracy and our great wealth give us the power to lead the fight, and I will do all I can to help Americans see the choice each ONE of us is making: to lead or to stand back and watch.

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