It wasn’t too long ago that people turned their attention to Iowa in the dead of winter roughly once every four years. But today, each and every January, you’ll see pundits, presidential hopefuls, economists, entrepreneurs and reality TV stars in downtown Des Moines, and it’s all because of the Land Investment Expo, which has been presented annually by Peoples Company since 2008.
Celebrating its 13th installment on January 13 and 14, this agricultural summit has welcomed entrepreneurs such as Martha Stewart, Kevin O’Leary, and Boone Pickens as well as political commentators such as Mary Matalin and James Carville. Policy makers such as Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, Senate Finance chairman Chuck Grassley, Senator Joni Ernst, and Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds have all participated in previous Expos.
The 2020 Expo will feature a double witching moment when its keynote speakers — presidential historian Jon Meacham and former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci — take center stage at the Iowa Events Center the same day as the Democratic presidential debate at Drake University hosted by the Des Moines Register and CNN. The last time the Land Investment Expo and Iowa politics collided like was in 2015 when Donald Trump gave the keynote address during the earliest days of his presidential campaign.