Cargill is once again the largest private company in the United States.
The annual ranking by Forbes has Minnetonka-based Cargill Inc. back atop the list after slipping to number two last year. It's a familiar spot for the food and agribusiness giant, which has now led the list all but three times since Forbes started compiling it in 1985.
Cargill reported that its revenue grew by 17% through May to $134.4 billion. Kansas-based energy conglomerate Koch Industries, which displaced Cargill last year, fell back to second with estimated revenue of $115 million.
Cargill fell from the top spot last year after a series of challenges that included the U.S.-China trade war, African swine fever and the onset of the pandemic, though the company still posted a small profit. Higher prices for agricultural products this year helped drive the company's latest profit spike.
The company, with 155,000 employees worldwide, is one of four companies that together control about 85% of beef processing worldwide. In August, Cargill, already a leading turkey processor, moved to increase its share of poultry processing with a joint venture to acquire the country's third-largest chicken producer.
Cargill did not respond to a request for comment.
Food companies in general did well on this year's Forbes list, thanks in large part to last year's spike in consumer demand as the early months of the pandemic pushed Americans back into their kitchens.
The Florida-based supermarket chain Publix leapt to third on the list this year, with an 18%jump in revenue. Of the remaining seven in the top 10, five are in the food industry: Virginia-based Mars, Texas-based H-E-B, Reyes Holdings in Illinois, Tennessee's Pilot Company and New Hampshire-based C&S Wholesale Grocers.