Cargill Global Scholars represent the future of food and ag
November 27, 2018
A nervous but excited energy filled the room where 57 college students prepared to present case studies on sustainability. They had traveled a collective 400,000 miles from six countries to spend the week at Cargill’s headquarters in Minneapolis.
The presentations marked the culmination of a two-year program called Cargill Global Scholars. Every year, students from Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Russia and the United States apply to participate in the program. Of the applicants, 10 promising students from each country are selected to receive a scholarship toward their education and the opportunity to work with Cargill mentors.
The curriculum is designed to help prepare the future leaders of the food and agriculture industry. For example, for the sustainability case studies, the scholars were asked to team up with others in their country to research how local agricultural could reduce its impact on the environment. From the cocoa fields of Brazil to the growing business of aquaculture in India, the teams offered ideas that may prove beneficial to Cargill’s commitment to protect the planet.
As each country’s group presented their ideas in Minneapolis, many scholars noted that the exercise revealed the power of global diversity.
“We are people from many different countries, but we are equal because we all live in the same world,” said Francielly Steigenberger, a production engineering student at the Federal University of Paraná in Brazil. “And with different backgrounds and different points of view, I think we all can change the world together.”
Cargill Executive Vice President Joe Stone, who serves as sponsor for the Cargill Global Scholars program, hopes that the scholars' desire to change the world will lead them back to Cargill as they enter the workforce.
“Cargill benefits greatly from the Global Scholars program because we have a huge talent pool of scholars that are motivated to work for the company,” says Stone. “And not only do they want to make Cargill better, they want to make the world a better place. I think with the Cargill Global Scholars Program, we are in good hands.”