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CHS elects directors at 2017 CHS Annual Meeting

CHS owners elected three new board members and re-elected five others to the CHS Board at the 2017 CHS Annual Meeting Dec. 7-8. The three new board members were (l. to r.): front – Scott Cordes, Wanamingo, Minn., Tracy Jones, Kirkland, Ill., and Russ Kehl, Quincy, Wash.; back – Perry Meyer, New Ulm, Minn., Edward Malesich, Dillon, Mont., Jon Erickson, Minot, N.D., Dan Schurr, LeClaire, Iowa, and C.J. Blew, Castleton, Kan.

With a pledge and priority to strengthen relationships in 2018, CHS kicked off its annual cooperative meeting in Minneapolis, Minn., on Dec. 7. The two-day annual meeting was filled with networking, educational sessions, board and management reports, and director elections.

“Strengthen and grow: These words represent so much more than an annual meeting theme. This is a priority that we have. It captures how we will operate our company moving forward,” said CHS Board Chairman Dan Schurr, an Iowa farmer, during the general session.

With approximately 2,200 owners in attendance, Jay Debertin, CHS president and CEO, promised that strengthen and grow, which has been a focus of CHS for 85 years, will continue to be the cooperative’s focus for a long time to come – just as it has been the driving force behind local cooperatives.

The business meeting featured regional caucuses; board, financial and management reports; and company governance with an open question-and-answer session.

In conjunction with the 2017 CHS Annual Meeting, 110 young producers, nominated by cooperative partners in 11 states, attended the CHS New Leaders Forum. Both crop and livestock operations were represented with nearly half (44 percent) managing more than 2,000 acres. Two participants already serve on local cooperative boards and 85 percent of the others expressed interest in serving on a local board in the future.

CHS New Leader Forum participants had the opportunity to network with other future ag leaders, learn about and practice strategies for effective leadership and communication, and learn more about CHS and related businesses.

Find pictures from the 2017 CHS Annual Meeting on the CHS Flickr page, watch video featuring local cooperatives, and read the 2017 CHS Annual Report.

2017 officer slate elected

CHS owners elected farmers from Illinois, Minnesota and Washington, and re-elected five other farmers to serve terms as directors of the CHS Board. CHS directors must be full-time farmers or ranchers to be eligible for election to the 17-member board.

Newly elected Director Scott Cordes of Wanamingo, Minn., succeeds Curt Eischens of Minneota, Minn., who had served on the board since 1990. With his brother and nephew, Cordes operates a 1,000-acre corn and soybean farm. He received his bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics from the University of Minnesota and previously served as the president of CHS Hedging.

Newly elected Director Tracy Jones of Kirkland, Ill., succeeds Greg Kruger of Eleva, Wis., who had served on the board since 2008. Jones, who operates a corn, soybean and wheat farm, and also finishes 1,400 head of feedlot cattle annually, has been chairman of the CHS Elburn Producer Board since 2011.

Newly elected Director Russ Kehl of Quincy, Wash., fills the final year of a three-year term previously held by David Bielenberg, who resigned in June 2017. Kehl raises potatoes, dry beans and other crops on a 12,000-acre farm. A director for CHS Connell Grain (now CHS SunBasin Growers) since 2004, Kehl also operates a dry bean processing facility and cow-calf operation.

Re-elected were C.J. Blew, Castleton, Kan.; Jon Erickson, Minot, N.D.; Edward Malesich, Dillon, Mont.; Perry Meyer, New Ulm, Minn., and Dan Schurr, LeClaire, Iowa.

Following the annual meeting, the CHS Board re-elected Schurr to a one-year term as chairman. Other directors selected as officers for 2018 were:

  • J. Blew, first vice chairman
  • David Johnsrud, Starbuck, Minn., secretary-treasurer
  • Jon Erickson, second vice chairman
  • Steve Riegel, Ford, Kan., assistant secretary-treasurer

CHS reports fiscal year-end results, announces FY 2018 priorities

CHS Inc., the nation’s leading farmer-owned cooperative and a global energy, grains and foods company, today reported net income of $127.9 million for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2017, compared to net income of $424.2 million for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2016. Consolidated revenues totaled $31.9 billion for fiscal 2017, approximately a five percent increase over consolidated revenues of $30.3 billion for fiscal 2016. (more…)

The Fall Versus Spring Nitrogen Debate

nitrogen management

 
Nitrogen management is critical for growing healthy corn and farmers are sensitive to their role in helping build a more sustainable world. They are faced with the often-daunting question of whether fertilizer applications can be both profitable and sustainable. Often, the delicate balancing act begins with the decision of whether to apply N in fall or hold off until spring.

BMPs and the 4Rs

Corn producers understand there is no blanket practice. There is, however, a disciplined application approach that has long proven effective.

“When we talk about sustainability in agriculture, specifically as it relates to nutrient management, it really goes back to a foundation of best management practices (BMPs) in conjunction with the Fertilizer Institute’s 4R Program,” says Eric Scherder, field scientist, Ph.D., Dow AgroSciences, from Huxley, Iowa. “We can address some of the challenges we’re facing with nitrogen leaching and surface application runoff more effectively using this approach.”

As most growers are aware, the 4R program is a concept to help them select the right fertilizer source at the right rate, at the right time, with the right placement. While source, rate and placement are important, often the most scrutinized decision — both from an economic and sustainability standpoint — is timing. (more…)

Support the industry on Global Fertilizer Day

October 13 is Global Fertilizer Day

Friday, October 13, is Global Fertilizer Day, established by the fertilizer industry as a way to help highlight the essential role fertilizers play in global food production. “About half of the world’s food production is attributable to the use of fertilizer, yet our industry commonly faces incorrect public perceptions about its importance,” says Michael Johnson, CHS Agronomy director of marketing.

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October Is Co-op Month

October is National Cooperative MonthCHS is proud to announce that October is National Cooperative Month. After all, what better time could there be than during harvest to reflect on everything cooperatives do for the farmers and ranchers who own them? As you’re busy bringing in your harvest, consider how rural co-ops, empowered by the combined strength of its owners, ensure the steady supply of affordable inputs that make your crop possible.

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CHS announces equity management decisions


At its September meeting, the CHS Board of Directors made a number of decisions regarding equity management. The following letter from CHS Board Chairman Dan Schurr outlines these decisions:

Dear Cooperative Owner,

CHS was built on the shared values of managing our business with the highest integrity, building lasting and mutually rewarding relationships, and partnering for our collective success.

These values guide every decision your CHS Board of Directors makes on your behalf. Thanks to the dedication and hard work of those owners and employees that came before us, CHS is a cooperative that’s been built for the long haul. Your Board of Directors will ensure that tradition continues. It’s with this spirit that we share recent Board decisions around equity management.

Despite solid performance in our core businesses, a few large events have resulted in substantial fiscal 2017 financial losses in certain patronage-based businesses. These events included a loss attributed to a large producer loan and business unit asset impairments in the United States.

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Phosphate industry expects minor impact from Irma


There was a small uptick in phosphate sales ahead of Hurricane Irma’s arrival in Florida, where the bulk of North American phosphate production is located. Phosphate facilities there shut down as part of their hurricane preparedness plans.

Early reports from manufacturers are that damage at the facilities appears to be limited, but full assessment will take time. Some finished product has sustained water damage but no exact estimates have been released yet.

A major manufacturer expects to be able to resume production fairly soon, but says its third quarter production volumes could be impacted by the storm disruptions. It had stopped making price offers to either domestic or international customers until late Thursday, Sept. 14. The market has reacted and prices moved up significantly late last week.

Several import vessels of phosphates are arriving in the Gulf this month, including one vessel with CHS cargo, which arrived and was unloaded in between hurricanes. Most of that product is now making its way up the river system.

Staff at CHS terminals are busy filling orders and working with accounts to get product in position before the busy harvest season gets underway across the Cornbelt. CHS is working hard to make sure producers are being kept informed of any supply changes or concerns that might arise from the recent storm damage to production facilities or transportation infrastructure.

Enrollment open for CHS Pro Advantage contracts

 

CHS has announced open enrollment for corn and soybean marketing contracts through CHS Pro Advantage now through December 13, 2017. New this year, contracts for spring wheat are also included in this enrollment period.

CHS Pro Advantage gives growers access to industry experts at Russell Consulting Group, a wholly-owned subsidiary of CHS, to price and sell their grain. This helps to manage risk while delivering superior profits even during a tough market.

“With wheat futures falling from three-year highs seen just a few months ago and volatility following USDA’s August report, now is the time to commit bushels for professional management and marketing by our hedging experts,” says Kent Beadle, director, Russell Consulting Group.

Growers can enroll 2018 and 2019 bushels. Bushels in the one-year program will be priced between December 18, 2017, and August 24, 2018.  Bushels in the two-year program will be priced between December 18, 2017, and August 23, 2019.

If you’re interested in knowing more, contact Steve or Brandon for more information or visit the CHS Pro Advantage website.

CHS Prairie Lakes employee joins Minnesota delegation to Cuba

Cuban corn

Typical corn in Cuba is only used for local, domestic consumption.

CHS Prairie Lakes Sales Manager Erica Boyum recently joined a diverse delegation of state agricultural leaders on a trade mission to Cuba. The trip was led by Minnesota Lt. Gov. Tina Smith and included State Sen. Julie Rosen and Agricultural Commissioner Dave Frederickson.

The delegation visited Cuba at an interesting time, as President Trump revealed the administration’s new policies concerning Cuba days before they left. The group met with a variety of organizations during their time in Cuba including the Institute of Animal Sciences, the Ministry of Agriculture, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. U.S. policies towards the island, particularly those related to agriculture, were top of mind with Cuban leaders and organizations.

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© 2017 CHS Inc.