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Time to Prioritize Diversity

Creating an inclusive environment helps retain top talent

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I’ve worked for Cargill for over 30 years and, during that time, the agriculture industry has become a very different place. When we talk about changes in agriculture, we need to look at the evolution of the global workforce.

As we experience tighter labor markets and a dynamic, multi-generational workforce, it’s important that we create an environment where people from all backgrounds and experiences feel at home.

Today, employees are looking for opportunities where they can be authentic, achieve their career aspirations, and are engaged and motivated to do their best work. We believe creating an inclusive environment is critical to attract and retain top talent.

In Cargill’s agricultural businesses, we are focusing our recruitment strategy and partnering with organizations who can help bridge the gap to become more inclusive and diverse. One such partnership is with Global Resource Systems, which includes students with a diverse background who are interested in working for global companies solving issues we face in agriculture. When we recruit from universities, we engage with student organizations such as Minorities in Ag, Natural Resources & Related Sciences (MANRRS), as well as Women in Engineering, National Society of Black Engineers, and National Association of Black Accountants to ensure we reach a diverse student base.

We believe that what determines success isn’t gender or ethnicity, but rather a person’s ability to relate to other people. At its core, being successful in agriculture comes down to building relationships. We’re looking to hire people who can do that and have a passion for success.

Creating an inclusive environment also means creating an environment where everyone feels valued. We currently have nine business resource groups and provide learning and development opportunities, sponsorship, mentoring, talent development and career planning.

We will continue to gauge our long-term success by measuring the diversity of our entire workforce and leaders.

Having a team that can bring fresh ideas, perspective, optimism and differentiated relationships to our companies and customers will be key to success in the future. â– 

Dave Baudler is president for Cargill North America grain, based in Wayzata, MN, and is responsible for Cargill’s domestic and export grain across the United States, Canada and Mexico. Baudler received his undergraduate degree in agricultural business from Iowa State University. He joined Cargill in 1986 and is also the first vice chairman for National Grain and Feed Association. Dave can be reached at [email protected].

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