COLORADO, SPRINGS, COLORADO, US — While COVID-19 has and still does present its own set of challenges to the agriculture industry, David MacLennan, chief executive officer of Cargill, highlighted it is not the only challenge facing the industry today.

During a presentation at the National Grain and Feed Association’s 125th annual convention he spoke about the important role farmers play in sustainable agriculture in helping feed the growing world population.

“The greatest challenge we face is feeding a rapidly growing population, sustainably and responsibly — reducing our emissions, protecting our water resources, and improving the health of the soil our crops and harvests depend on,” MacLennan said. “Agriculture is part of the solution the world needs right now. Agriculture is how we’ll solve for climate change and sustainably feed a growing population.”

MacLennan noted that these changes cannot be made without effective partnerships on all levels of the agriculture industry.

 “Inaction is not an option,” MacLennan said. “Too often, our industry gets blamed for climate change. I see a different story. Farmers and ranchers are the heroes of our food system. And they play a critical role in creating a more sustainable future for our industry, and the world. The changes we make at the roots of our supply chain will deliver the greatest impact — by reducing emissions, improving water quality, sequestering carbon, and building up the resilience of our soils for the next generation. Companies can set as many climate goals as we want. But without the support and leadership of farmers, none of it will happen. They’ve got to lead the way and we’re here to partner with them on this important, ongoing effort.”

In an effort to be a part of a sustainable agriculture industry Cargill has already committed to several goals and partnerships. Some of those include:

  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions in its global supply chain by 30% per ton of product by 2030.
  • Supporting voluntary, farmer led adoption of regenerative ag across 10 million acres of North American farmland by 2030.
  • Offering training, support and removing financial barriers to farmers focused on soil health, water resource and other sustainable practices. 

“Farmers are leading the way,” MacLennan said. “They are on the front lines of climate change every day. And we need to lift up the good work they are doing already. The benefits of regenerative agriculture are clear. But so are the barriers. To see change, we have to work together. Agriculture is how we will get it done.”