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Cargill, McDonald's, Others Launch Million Acre Grazing Initiative
USAgNet - 09/23/2020

Cross-industry collaboration is crucial to meeting the global demand for protein while also addressing the urgency of climate change and nature loss. Responding to this challenge, today the Walmart Foundation, Cargill and McDonald's are investing over $6 million in an initiative led by World Wildlife Fund that aims to make lasting improvements to the grasslands of the Northern Great Plains.

The new program, known as the Ranch Systems and Viability Planning (RSVP) network, will support ranchers across the ecoregion-focusing primarily on Montana, Nebraska and South Dakota-with technical expertise, training and tools to help advance grazing practices that improve the health of the land. By improving management of one million acres over five years and avoiding conversion, this effort will result in increased carbon storage and sequestration, improved water infiltration and better outcomes for biodiversity.

This program supports the Walmart Foundation's focus to bring more sustainable, regenerative practices to the beef industry. The Foundation aims to build connections that can accelerate systems change and form communities of practice with grantees and leaders to share learnings, advance best practices, foster collaboration and scale collective impact. Investing in conservation activities in the Northern Great Plains supports the stewards of those lands and contributes to climate resilience efforts.

This partnership also supports McDonald's ambition to use its scale and many relationships from the farm to the restaurant to help significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and evolve the food system for a resilient and sustainable future. As the first restaurant company in the world to set an approved science-based target on climate action, McDonald's is partnering across the supply chain to employ a diverse set of strategies, which scale-up action across the industry.

The project is also part of Cargill's BeefUp Sustainability initiative, which seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions throughout the company's beef supply chain by 30 percent by 2030, measured on a per pound of beef basis against a 2017 baseline. Earlier this year, Cargill launched two other programs to support this goal, including a grassland restoration effort and an initiative to implement proven soil health practices in cattle feed.


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