MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA, US — MBOLD, a coalition of chief executive officers and other senior leaders from major Minnesota-based food and agriculture companies, research institutions and non-profit organizations working together to accelerate solutions to the most pressing challenges facing the food and agriculture sectors, has named Sonya McCullum Roberts as co-chair. Roberts, president and group leader of Cargill Salt, joins Jeffrey Harmening, chairman and CEO of General Mills, Inc., who is the coalition’s other co-chair.
“MBOLD is driving transformative, industry-leading solutions in food and agriculture,” Roberts said. “I’m excited to take on this new role as our coalition of Minnesota-based global leaders tackles some of the biggest challenges facing our industries — from water quality to soil health, climate change, innovation, and more.”
Roberts has been with Cargill for more than 13 years, most recently as president and group leader of Cargill Salt since 2019. Earlier, she established and led growth ventures for Cargill’s North America protein business, where she developed and implemented business strategies, entered emerging businesses such as alternative proteins, evaluated multiple mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures and implemented strategic pricing. Prior to Cargill, she spent 19 years with ConocoPhillips in a variety of management roles.
“Sonya brings a rare combination of global vision and on-the-ground commitment to driving innovation, building our entrepreneurial sector, and cultivating the next generation of diverse leadership in food and ag,” Harmening said. “I’m excited to work closely with Sonya to lead MBOLD into its next phase of growth and impact on climate change and the growing demand for food.”
Roberts also recently served as the CEO Champion for Bold Open, MBOLD’s program to drive innovation in Minnesota’s food and agriculture sectors. In this role, Roberts collaborated with the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute (AURI) to address key industry challenges.
In addition to Cargill and General Mills, other MBOLD members include Target, Schwan’s Co., Compeer Financial, Land O’Lakes, Inc., Ecolab and the University of Minnesota. The coalition was formed last fall.