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CHS purchases canola crushing plant in Hallock

CHS Inc., North America’s leading farmer-owned cooperative and a global energy, grains, and foods company, is looking to further increase their powerhouse portfolio for its farmer/owners after a record breaking 2014 fiscal return.

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Posted on 8/15/15

By Melissa Anderson

True to its mission statement of growing company profitability and stakeholder value, CHS recently acquired Northstar Agri Industries canola processing and refining plant near Hallock, Minnesota.

“Acquisition of Northstar Agri Industries adds value to CHS owners across the enterprise from inputs to value-added processing ingredients to the marketplace,” Tom Malecha, CHS vice president of Processing and Food Ingredients, said.

“Specifically, the acquisition expands our oil seed processing platform to include canola in addition to soybeans, adds to CHS presence in Canada, expands CHS oil product offerings to global food companies, and links growers purchasing canola seed from CHS-owned retail outlets to an integrated supply chain,” Malecha continued.

The Hallock canola plant has the ability to process more than 400,000 tons of canola seed annually into canola oil and canola meal. Under the stewardship of CHS, the plant will be fully utilized to its potential of almost 450,000 tons of canola processing annually.

“We purchased the plant to add and create additional value for our farmer/owners.

The Hallock facility will be rebranded as CHS and the 57 employees at the Hallock plant have become CHS employees. While there are no plans at this time to expand the facility, CHS has every intention of continuing to invest in the facility  as necessary to allow it to reach its full capacity.

“I certainly think there is opportunity for the facility to grow,” Malecha stated.

Those in the area will see an increase in truck traffic as Malecha predicts that with the increase in demand, the need to transport canola seed by truck will also rise especially with the inbound transport. Locals will also most likely see an increase in outbound transport of processed canola by truck as well.

“A lot of the outbound product has been going by rail, but we intend to maximize efficiencies by utilizing the best transportation mode that is available. I believe some of that will be the truck market,” Malecha said.

CHS Inc. is a leading global agribusiness owned by farmers, ranchers and cooperatives across the United States. Diversified in energy, grains and foods, CHS is committed to helping its customers, farmer-owners and other stakeholders grow their businesses through its domestic and global operations.

“As a company, our vision and mission is to help our owners grow and as we look at the producer wanting to be in control or owning different parts of the supply chain, owning processing plants is a way in which the producer can capture more value from the seed that they grow,” Malecha said.

CHS has a long-standing history of helping farmer-owners have more control   and impact on the commodities they grow. From a soybean crushing plant  in Mankato, Minnesota to food ingredient plants located in the U.S., Israel, and China to the two ethanol plants CHS owns in Illinois, the company has strived to meet the needs and improve the return on investment for its farmer-owners.

“We continue to invest in the further processing of ag commodities and this is another step in that direction. This will enable producers to own, through the co-op, a part of the processing segment of the industry,” Malecha said.

CHS is a Fortune 100 company that 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.

As a whole, CHS is committed to the area of Cavalier County not only with the recently purchased canola crushing plant but with other assets and co-op affiliated assets in the region.

“I see this as an opportunity to help our farmer-owners capture greater value and grow their business,” Malecha stated.

With this recent business acquisition, CHS looks to continue to help not only their farmer-owners thrive but the rural farming industry and the communities that depend on it to survive.