Cargill spent $1.4M last year on lobbying in DC. Here’s where the money is going.

A Cargill meat processing plant in Springdale Arkansas. The privately-owned company has 160,000 employees in 70 countries. (Photo by Spencer Tirey/Getty Images)

Editors note: This story is the first in an occasional series looking at Minnesota companies’ lobbying presence in Washington.

WASHINGTON — The Minneapolis-based agriculture behemoth Cargill ranked as the largest private company in the United States for the 12th straight year in 2019, Forbes reported.

It also beefed up its lobbying spending in Washington. The company spent $1.4 million on lobbying in 2019 — the most it has reported spending since 2013, according to disclosure data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics.

Chart by the Center for Responsive Politics. 

Lobbyists from Cargill and from outside firms hired by the company attempted to sway members of Congress and the executive branch on everything from agriculture and trade policy to immigration and the environment, records show.

Ashley McKeon, Cargill’s director of federal government relations, told the Minnesota Reformer that the company’s top priorities in 2019 included trade agreements, implementation of tax reform legislation, sustainability and immigration reform. She noted that the company is also a member of major trade associations that also advocate for policies in Washington, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers.

MacLennan

Here’s a look at Cargill and its lobbying activity in 2019: 

Annual revenue: $113.5 billion

Chairman and CEO: David W. MacLennan

Number of employees: 160,000

2019 lobbying spending: $1.4 million

Lobbyists

Here are the people who lobbied the federal government for Cargill in 2019, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics and lobbying disclosure forms:

Money to Congress 

Here are the top 15 federal recipients of campaign cash from Cargill’s political action committee or company employees giving $200 or more, according to the Center for Responsive Politics: 

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn) $31,529

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) $7,434

Sen. Tina Smith (D-Minn.) $6,648

Rep. Dean Phillips (D-Minn.) $6,435

Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) $6,000

Rep. Tom Emmer (R-Minn.) $5,600

Rep. Ron Kind (D-Wis.) $5,000

Rep. Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) $5,000

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) $4,825

Former presidential candidate Andrew Yang (D) $3,017

Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) $3,000

Former presidential candidate Steve Bullock (D) $2,995

Former presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg (D) $2,917

Minnesota congressional candidate Antone Melton-Meaux (D) $2,800

Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) $2,500

Party breakdown

Here’s the party split of federal recipients of campaign cash from Cargill’s political action committee or company employees giving $200 or more, according to the Center for Responsive Politics: 

Chart by the Center for Responsive Politics.