CHS Inc. owners elect five board members during annual meeting

Portrait of newly and re-elected CHS Board Members

CHS owners elected five board members to three-year terms during the cooperative’s 2019 Annual Meeting held Dec. 5-6 in Minneapolis. Pictured (l. to r.) are: Kevin Throener, Hal Clemesen, Mark Farrell, Alan Holm and Steve Riegel.

Officers of board also elected by board peers following Annual Meeting

CHS owners elected five board members to three-year terms during the cooperative’s 2019 Annual Meeting held Dec. 5-6 in Minneapolis. Newly elected to three-year terms are:

Hal Clemensen succeeds former director Randy Knecht, who retired from the CHS Board of Directors on Dec. 6. Clemensen represents Region 4, covering South Dakota, and has been the president of the board of directors of Agtegra Cooperative since its formation in 2018. He was president of the South Dakota Wheat Growers Association from 2005 until its merger with North Central Farmers Elevator in 2018. He is a past director and is an active member of the South Dakota Soybean Association and an active member of South Dakota Corn Growers. In 2015, the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives named him Farmer Cooperative Director of the year. He raises corn, soybeans and wheat near Conde, South Dakota. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Economic and Agricultural Business from South Dakota State University. Clemensen was appointed to the CHS Board’s Government Relations and Corporate Risk committees.

Kevin Throener succeeds former director Dennis Carlson, who retired from the board on Dec. 6, and represents Region 3, which covers North Dakota. Throener has been a director of CHS Dakota Plains Ag since 2014 and served as vice president of the Sargent County Farmers Union Board of Directors since 2007. He has also served on the Cogswell, North Dakota, Volunteer Fire Department since 1997 and was its chief from 2010 to 2018. Throener raises corn, soybeans and alfalfa and operates a feedlot and cow/calf business near Cogswell, North Dakota. Throener and his wife Ronda are first-generation farmers who built their operation from the ground up. He studied Agricultural Systems Management at North Dakota State University. He was appointed to the CHS Board’s Governance Committee and the CHS Foundation Board of Trustees.

Reelected to three-year terms are:

  • Mark Farrell, who operates a corn, soybean and wheat farm in Dane County, Wisconsin, representing Region 5.
  • Alan Holm, who operates a corn, soybean, sweet corn, peas and hay operation and has a cow-calf herd near Sleepy Eye, Minnesota, representing Region 1.
  • Steve Riegel, who raises corn, soybeans, alfalfa, dryland wheat and milo near Ford, Kansas, representing Region 8.

Following the Annual Meeting, the board held its annual re-organization meeting. Each of the following board members was elected to one-year officer terms:

  • Dan Schurr, chair
  • C.J. Blew, first vice chair
  • Jon Erickson, second vice chair
  • Russ Kehl, secretary-treasurer
  • Steve Riegel, assistant secretary-treasurer

Matt Broekemeier named as general manager

CHS has announced the appointment of Matt Broekemeier to serve as general manager for its Holdrege-based ag retail operations.

Broekemeier has been with the Holdrege operation since July 2013 when he started as sales development manager. He most recently served as agronomy division manager before stepping into the role of interim general manager this past July. Before that, he held roles with Aurora Cooperative as seed manager, assistant safety director and energy department risk management coordinator. He also worked for CHS previously as a certified energy specialist out of Elmwood, Nebraska, where he was responsible for increasing diesel volumes by more than 1 million gallons.

“Matt has a deep understanding and appreciation for the cooperative system as he has worked at several Nebraska cooperatives since 2004,” said Todd Christensen, producer board chair. “He knows this area well, and we look forward to working with him as we serve our farmer-owners through our 13 locations in south-central Nebraska and north-central Kansas.”

A native of Aurora, Nebraska, Broekemeier graduated from the University of Nebraska at Kearney with a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a management emphasis.

CHS Board announces fiscal 2019 equity management decisions

CHS will return $180 million in cash patronage and equity redemptions to its owners based on fiscal 2019 earnings.

Of that $180 million, $90 million will be distributed in cash patronage and $90 million will be distributed through equity redemptions.

  • Of the $90 million in equity redemptions, $63 million will be returned to member cooperatives and $27 million to individual members.
    • The $27 million in redemptions of individual producer member equity will be provided based on qualifying requests from individual members (estates and age 70+).
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4 essential lubricant tips for winterizing farm equipment

Farm equipment sitting in storage

By Jon Woetzel, Manager Technical Services, Energy Lubricants, CHS from the Cenexperts blog

Harvest is tough. Once you’ve made it through some of the hardest weeks of the year, both you and your equipment deserve some R&R. But before your machines take a long winter’s nap, it’s important to get them ready for sitting dormant in the cold.

Even when your equipment isn’t running, lubricants play an essential role in keeping it protected. That’s why, as part of your yearly winterizing routine, you’ll want to assess your equipment’s fluids. Use these four lubricant tasks to protect your rigs all the way to spring.

1. Get a used oil analysis

Throughout harvest, your machines work overtime to meet the grueling demands of a farm’s busiest time of year. By the end of the season, all that wear and tear can take a toll on an engine, and seemingly small issues at this point can lead to bigger problems come spring.

A used oil analysis is an easy way to catch early warning signs of major issues that could be brewing inside your engine. This is because oil is the lifeblood of your equipment, touching nearly every part inside the engine.

Used oil analysis works by detecting any trace elements present in a sample of used oil from inside your rig. Based on the elements that turn up, lab technicians can identify a number of issues that may be waiting to happen in specific areas of your engine. Fix any issues before putting your equipment away, and you’ll set yourself up for success come time for planting. To get started, you can purchase a used oil analysis kit from your local CHS energy specialist.

2. Replace the engine oil

Once you’ve performed a used oil analysis, you may also want to consider an oil change before you put your machines away for winter. This is especially true if the results of your analysis reveal any traces of wear. After you make any repairs recommended by your analysis, give your machines some fresh, clean oil so you don’t leave acids and contaminants festering inside your engine for months on end.

Even if your used oil analysis comes back clean, you may still want to consider replacing your oil before winter. Remember, the longer an oil has been used, the less effective it becomes at protecting against rust and corrosion.

If you’re getting close to your change interval, it’s best to replace oil this season instead of waiting until spring. Just be sure to run the engine for at least 10 minutes before storing your rig to allow the oil to circulate. For protection all winter long, try a high-quality engine oil from Cenex such as MAXTRON® ENVIRO-EDGE® synthetic diesel engine oil, engineered for maximum lifespan and excellent protection against corrosive wear.

3. Top off your hydraulic tank

Another lubricant tip for winterizing your equipment is to top off hydraulic tanks. To function properly, hydraulic systems need to breathe, but since they’re not airtight, they’re prone to letting in moisture as equipment sits all winter. Condensation inside a hydraulic system is bad news due to the harmful corrosion it may cause.

The best way to prevent condensation in your hydraulic system over the winter is to minimize the airspace inside. The less opportunity air has to get in, the lower the chance that moisture will collect. Check your hydraulic fluid level, and if it’s not full, go ahead and top off your tank. Be careful, though, not to overfill. To further minimize condensation, you may also want to consider switching to a hydraulic fluid designed to prolong the life of your system’s seals, like MAXTRON® THF+.

4. Grease up moving parts

Finally, once you’ve taken care of your machines’ other fluids, complete the job by greasing any moving parts. Even though they’ll be sitting still all winter, moving parts can still corrode.Not only will a fresh coat of grease keep your equipment from rusting through the winter but it will also get it moving again easier come spring. For superior protection against rust and corrosion, try a Cenex grease such as MAXTRON® FS.

When the hard work of harvest is over, it can be tempting to overlook details like winterizing your equipment. But the period right after harvest is a valuable opportunity to take care of maintenance tasks that can fall through the cracks during busier times of year. Give your machines some TLC now, and you can both kick back soon for some well-deserved hibernation.

Co-op ownership opens a world of opportunities

A farmer and CHS employee holding a tablet standing together in a wheat field discussing cooperative ownership

When you choose to do business with CHS, you are connected to a world of opportunities powered by local experts.

As the nation’s leading farmer-owned cooperative, CHS creates connections that help its owners build their operations and their communities.

In celebration of National Co-op Month, we dug deep into the cooperative model to reveal seven benefits of being an owner of CHS. Benefits that extend far past the field. Watch a video on the benefits of cooperative ownership.

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CHS opens new agronomy retail location in Kearney

To meet the expanding needs of farmers in the area, CHS has opened a new agronomy retail location in Kearney.

“With the opening of this new agronomy retail location, we will be more centrally located within our existing trade territory to meet the current, and evolving needs of our farmer-owners,” said Matt Broekemeier, interim general manager, CHS. “This will also allow us to serve our customers even better.”

The new location is now open at 3010 East 39th Street, Suite #4, Kearney. Farmers will be able to stop in to discuss their seed, crop nutrition, and crop protection needs with an agronomy team tuned into the changing needs of farmers.

CHS is also building a seed and chemical warehouse in Holdrege. This new location should be open by January 2020. Included at this location will be six bulk soybean seed tanks and bulk chemical storage.

“These changes will allow us to move forward with our strategic plans for the future, expanding services while more efficiently moving product, equipment and people across our trade territory,” Broekemeier said. “Our agronomists are ready to serve you as you head into those crucial seed decisions this fall.”

New app puts CHS activity at your fingertips

farmer loggin in to MyCHS

Time. We never seem to have enough of it.  And every new tech tool seems to just add another online destination with a singular purpose. But not for CHS patrons. With a simple single sign-on, producers can see their CHS business activity all in one place, even if they have multiple accounts. Contracts, bookings, prepays, scale tickets, payment history and more for agronomy, energy, grain and seed business can be viewed, sorted – even downloaded – from anywhere, anytime. All from one, web-based app: MyCHS.

The biggest advantage? Saving time. CHS transactions are a touch away – whether in front of a laptop in a farm office, on a tablet in the field or on a phone in the tractor cab.

“I can customize what I can see,” says Lucas Goodwin, Minnesota farmer and MyCHS user. “Filtering is easy. And navigating between all the separate components, like the contracts and the settlements, is logical and quick.”

Lucas was among a group of CHS customers picked to give app feedback in small focus groups and then as a beta user, comparing the new MyCHS with the former Customer Resources tool. Getting customer feedback early and ongoing during the development process was critical to making sure the web-based app fit the way today’s farmer wants to use technology.

“It’s a nice upgrade,” he concludes of MyCHS. He was a user of the former application. The recent upgrade provides all producers doing business with CHS with the data they need to make timely, information-rich decisions.

“Our CHS producers have continued to advance and look for ways to become the best they can be in some of the toughest markets they’ve experienced,” says Megan Schmit, director, Grain Procurement for CHS Country Operations division. “Even our producers who may not have called themselves tech savvy are using more and more tools to better their operation and MyCHS is giving them access to their total business with us, not just grain.”

Megan was part of the CHS team helping connect with farmers and finding out what would serve their information needs.

“I’m excited that we’re not stopping here,” she adds. “We’re going to continually take feedback from our producers and employees to keep improving and enhancing this tool for years to come.”

MyCHS is a free web-based app, available to any farmer or rancher doing business with CHS. It’s easy to register here and start seeing what MyCHS can do to help you.

© 2020 CHS Inc.

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