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Grow richer, more nourishing pastureland for grazing
In North America, prairie ecosystems covered hundreds of millions of acres, serving as grazing land for the vast herds of bison that roamed the continent just a few hundred years ago.
Today, just a fraction of it remains, but it sits at a critical intersection of agribusiness and the environment — cattle can graze it much like the bison did, keeping the grassland healthy, which in turn pulls carbon from the atmosphere. Prairies evolved to be grazed and well-managed grazing can protect and enhance these critical ecosystems — and help producers make an income. In fact, grazing is often the most productive use of the land.
Nurturing those grasslands, and helping ranchers preserve them, is one of the most potent steps we can take to fight climate change and support producer livelihoods. The sheer scale of the opportunity is staggering. About 40 percent of all land in the U.S. is used for grazing — that’s three-quarters of a billion acres.
“Prairies and grazing lands have incredible potential, this is one of our biggest opportunities to make a difference.”
Cargill Senior Sustainability Manager
Healthy, well-managed grasslands pull more carbon down every year. We still have a lot to learn, but research suggests that an acre of grassland in a rotational or adaptive multi-paddock system can absorb more carbon than grasslands that are not managed in this way.
Through Cargill’s BeefUp Sustainability initiative, Cargill is working alongside farmers, ranchers, conservation organizations, retailers and foodservice providers to support the adoption and implementation of these regenerative agriculture practices. Our programs provide ranchers with technical expertise, resources and tools to make the implementation process easier.