While global challenges are addressed by national governments, increasingly subnational actors such as states, communities, and cities have needed to step up to take action when traditional nation-states have been unable to make progress due to political polarization and partisan gridlocks. This trend has also characterized transatlantic relations and the German-American partnership. The German-American State Legislator Dialogue draws on this notion, focusing on the role of state representatives from the United States and Germany in addressing common transatlantic challenges.
Agriculture is of crucial importance for the economy, society, the environment, and the future of the planet. An environmentally, economically, and socially sustainable agriculture can contribute to protecting natural resources, preserving biodiversity, mitigating climate change, and ensuring global food security. It also plays a significant role in promoting the future prosperity of rural areas and strengthening social cohesion. At the same time, the sector faces significant challenges due to rising population growth, declining biodiversity, new training demands, and the need to adapt to the impacts of climate change. Russia’s war against Ukraine and the COVID-19 pandemic have added stress to supply chains and led to rising investment costs, price volatility, and global trade conflicts. How can U.S. states and German Länder address these issues and shape the framework for a more sustainable agricultural future?
To discuss these issues, the American Council on Germany and the Aspen Institute Germany invite you to the next discussion in our virtual event series State-to-State: German-American State Legislator Dialogue with German and American state legislators including Representative Sydney Carlin (D), Kansas House of Representatives, Senator Russ Goodman (R), Georgia State Senate, and Elrid Pasbrig MdL (SPD), State Parliament of Saxony-Anhalt.
Sydney Carlin has been a member of the Kansas House of Representatives, representing the 66th district, since 2003. She is the Ranking Minority Member of both the Kansas House Committee on Agriculture and the House Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources Budget. Ms. Carlin is a member of a number of community organizations, including the American Cancer Society, American Legion, Fraternal Order of Police, Habitat for Humanity, the American Heart Association, and the Manhattan Arts Center. Prior to being elected to the Kansas House, she served on the Manhattan City Commission from 1993–97 and as mayor of Manhattan from 1996-97.
Russ Goodman has been a member of the Georgia State Senate since 2021, representing the 8th district. He serves as the Secretary for the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Consumer Affairs. Mr. Goodman is a seventh-generation South Georgia farmer and entrepreneur with a passion for agriculture and rural Georgia. He is the co-owner of multiple businesses, including the Great American Cobbler Company, his family-operated fruit cobbler company, and Cogdell Berry Farm, his family’s farm where he is involved in every facet of the operation. He is also co-owner of EnviroSpec, a pressure washer supply store, and manager at Timberline Reforestation which does tree planting throughout the Southeast.
Elrid Pasbrig has been a member of the State Parliament of Saxony-Anhalt since 2021. She is Deputy Chairwoman of the Committee for Agriculture, Food, and Forestry and spokesperson for agriculture, animal welfare, and petitions for the SPD parliamentary group. Born in 1974 in the Former German Democratic Republic in Zerbst/Anhalt, Elrid Pasbrig was raised on a farm in a rural area. This upbringing shaped her interest in agriculture at a very young age. Ms. Pasbrig got her Master’s Degree in politics, sociology, and English and American Studies after studying in Germany, Great Britain, and Norway. She is member of the Social Democrats since 2000 and held different offices from community to state levels since then. Before the election, she worked at the Magdeburg-Stendal University of Applied Sciences and at the Ministry of Economy and Science in Saxony-Anhalt.