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Meet Tasha Hermes

R&D Manager

Leaving a well-established career in animal protein, Tasha joined Cargill in 2016 to work on product and process development with plant proteins. With such a big shift in her work, she spent the early months in her new role reflecting on the elements of her job that she enjoyed and wanted to focus her energy on. That self-reflection paid off. About a year into her role, organizational changes enabled her to take on new challenges, pivoting from ingredient science to innovating for finished food products and understanding the wants and needs of the end consumer.

Fast forward three years, and when the opportunity to move into a role focused on alternative protein innovation presented itself, she felt excited about the possibilities. After only six months in this new role, Cargill decided to invest in that space. Tasha was a natural fit to lead that part of the R&D group – following another of her passions, bringing the right people together to solve tough problems.

In three years with Cargill, Tasha went from reflecting on her future to leading her own team. And since then, her career has continued to grow – sharing her experiences along the way to help scientists feel at home and put them on the path to success.

What made you choose Cargill?

I had recently relocated to Minnesota for my husband’s job and continued to work for my previous employer. But I feel R&D happens best with in-person collaboration and Cargill had an intriguing open position within their ingredient category. I’m a food scientist by training, but before Cargill, I had always done animal meat product development. I wanted to grow my knowledge in other areas within the food industry. This role at Cargill provided the opportunity to learn the complexities of ingredient development.

What is the best part of working at Cargill?

The people, hands down. Networking and connections matter, but everyone here is so friendly, and you get to know them and build relationships. There are endless possibilities for what can come from the connections and knowledge sharing that occur across the globe. Everyone is genuinely invested in each other. 

Why should someone want to work in Cargill R&D?

The support and opportunities are endless. In my area of alternative protein and in many other areas within Cargill, we work on hard problems focused on positively impacting our world. Many challenges and hurdles come with having such an ambitious goal, but having global support within a company like Cargill is game-changing. That support can take many forms, including investment of time, money or resources, not only for the projects we work on but for the personal development of our teams. 

What resources have had the most impact on you professionally at Cargill?

Mentorships. There is so much to learn from the experiences of others and gaining their perspective on what they see in you and your potential. I have been fortunate to have great mentors who have challenged me and pushed me to think differently. I’ve also been on the other side of that dynamic as a mentor – both experiences leaving a lasting, positive impact on me.

Sr.scientist Product and process development to Principal scientist Adjacent and Transformational innovation to global alternative protein R&D Lead to R&D Manager alternative protein

At the end of the day, our careers are not defined by the success of our projects in particular, but how we're driving what's possible. Tasha Hermes, R&D Manager

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