The U.S. mid-western state of Iowa is marking the 50th anniversary of a landmark visit by former Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev.

A Russian delegation of some 40 lawmakers and businessmen are in Iowa's capital Des Moines to participate in the events marking the historic 1959 visit.  The late leader's son, Sergey Khrushchev, who now lives in the United States, is also attending.   He accompanied his father on his first-ever trip to the United States.  

Khrushchev told reporters Friday the Cold War-era trip was a tremendous experience.  He said he remembers people everywhere smiling and welcoming the Soviet delegation.  

Khrushchev said his father was very interested in agriculture because the Soviet Union suffered chronic food shortages.

Iowa's prosperity is based on its farm-related industries that began developing during the 19th century.