MINNEAPOLIS — Two local, young producers learned how they can play a crucial role in helping agriculture and the cooperative system thrive during the CHS New Leaders Forum, hosted by CHS Inc., the nation's leading cooperative and a global energy, grains and foods company.
Ben Rother of Welch and Karl Sorg of Hastings were among more than 100 men and women from across the United States and Canada nominated to participate in the program, which was held Nov. 29-Dec. 2 in conjunction with the CHS annual meeting. The participants represented River Country Cooperative, Inver Grove Heights.
During the event, attendees explored more about the cooperative system, cooperative board leadership and succession planning. They also developed advocacy skills by participating in discussions on the issues and challenges facing cooperatives, agriculture and rural America.
Participants heard from CHS leaders including Carl Casale, CHS president and CEO; Jay Debertin, executive vice president and chief operating officer, Energy and Foods; Gary Halverson, vice president, Farm Supply, CHS Country Operations; and John Engelen, vice president, Government Affairs. David Horsager, CEO, Horsager Leadership, also presented a workshop on the importance of building trust relationships and how it plays a vital role in local cooperatives and farming operations, while Steve Hamilton of The Land as Your Legacy program illustrated the value of early succession planning.
The New Leaders Forum featured networking events with the CHS Board of Directors, management and employees which encouraged participants to voice their opinions on how CHS should evolve to best serve farmers in the future. Following the program, attendees joined more than 2,000 CHS owners for the 2016 CHS annual meeting, which included agricultural-related educational sessions about the essential insights necessary to move forward in agriculture, the annual meeting business session, and a keynote address by geopolitical strategist Peter Zeihan.
CHS Inc. is a leading global agribusiness owned by farmers, ranchers and cooperatives across the United States. CHS, a Fortune 100 company, supplies energy, crop nutrients, grain marketing services, animal feed, food and food ingredients, along with business solutions including insurance, financial and risk management services. The company operates petroleum refineries/pipelines and manufactures, markets and distributes Cenex brand refined fuels, lubricants, propane and renewable energy products.