DU Chapter Doubly Blessed by Cargill Match

(From left) Riley Smith, Brian Ross, Brad Dowling, Jason Christiansen, Brad Carson, James Rogge, Justin Grabbe and Wyatt Sumey

(From left) Riley Smith, Brian Ross, Brad Dowling, Jason Christiansen, Brad Carson, James Rogge, Justin Grabbe and Wyatt Sumey

Employees at the Cargill Blair plant in Nebraska are doubling down on their Ducks Unlimited contributions. Cargill provides its staff a 50 percent match for charitable donations, up to $1,000 per year. Many Blair plant staff are using it to increase their gifts to Ducks Unlimited, including eight who have become major sponsors, a contribution over $10,000.

"Ducks Unlimited’s work is a good fit for Cargill’s goals to be green," said Jason Christiansen, Cargill feed segment supply and demand operations manager. "What DU is doing to purify and protect ground water, is one of the things Cargill focuses on."

Cargill recently donated $120,000 to Ducks Unlimited’s Nebraska work to improve wetland habitat for the spring and fall migrations.

"Cargill’s direct support of DU’s conservation programs, coupled with the company matching employees’ personal gifts and volunteer time, makes a huge impact on DU’s ability to deliver conservation programs," said Terry Kostinec, DU director of development for Nebraska and South Dakota. "Our organization has matched the gifts from Cargill and their employees many times over with state and federal funding."

Christiansen says many staff members have a personal connection to Ducks Unlimited, with currently 15 of them serving on the local DU committee, Burt/Washington County.

"They understand why DU is important for outdoors people," he said. "Cargill’s Starches and Sweeteners business unit, which the Blair plant supports, pays an organization of the employee’s choice up to $300 if the employee volunteers up to 20 hours a year."

The match has had an influence on the Blair chapter's national ranking, Christiansen said. With 95 Bronze Sponsors, and Cargill’s support, the chapter will soon celebrate its third year on the Ducks Unlimited President’s Elite list of chapters raising more than $100,000 a year.

"That’s remarkable for a town of about 8,000 people," he said.