McDonald’s, Cargill and Walmart team up for $6 million grazing initiative


The Walmart Foundation alongside Cargill and McDonald’s are teaming up on a cross-industry collaboration to fight climate change.

The three corporations announced Wednesday they were investing $6 million into a grazing initiative lead by the World Wildlife Fund. The program aims to make long-lasting improvements to the Northern Great Plains, focusing primarily on Montana, Nebraska and South Dakota.

The Northern Great Plains ecoregion makes up about 25 percent of the total area of the Great Plains of North America. Despite its harsh climate, the NGP supports 1,595 species of plants, which provide habitat for 300 species of birds, 95 species of mammals and 28 species of reptiles, according to a Cargill release.

The program is known as the Ranch Systems and Viability Planning network and will give ranchers training and tools to help advance grazing practices that improve the health of the land.

As the RSVP network progresses, the WWF will begin offering one-on-one and group teaching to ranchers in the area. The WWF plans to offer ongoing education and cost sharing on designing, documenting and implementing ranch plans.

“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,” a Cargill release said.

The program supports the Walmart Foundation’s goal of using more sustainable beef practices, McDonald’s ambition of using its farm-to-restaurant relationships to evolve the food system and Cargill’s BeefUp Sustainability initiative which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the company’s beef supply chain.