Lanon Baccam is a combat veteran, public servant and son of rural Iowa.

In 1980, Lanon’s parents came to Iowa from Laos and worked at the Mackay Envelope factory. Lanon was born and raised in Mt. Pleasant, and age 17, enlisted in the Iowa National Guard to give back to the state and country that gave him so much.

In the wake of 9/11, Lanon left community college and answered the call to serve his country. As an Iowa National Guardsman Lanon was activated and deployed to Afghanistan in 2004 as a combat engineer, focusing on explosive demolitions and force protection in and around Kandahar.

Following his service in the Army, Lanon used the GI bill to go to Drake University, and later served in the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) under former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack. There he worked to support veterans, expand pathways to jobs in the agriculture industry, and promote training and entrepreneurship opportunities for veterans transitioning to careers in agriculture.