CHS distributes $20.7 million to SD owners

During a banguet meeting at the Philip American Legion Hall on Monday, February 16, board members of Central Harvest States Midwest Cooperative announced that South Dakota cooperative members are sharing in a $20.7 million disbursement.

This is a result of the energy and grain-based foods company's record fiscal 2008 earnings. This marks a fifth consecutive record return to owners by CHS and is the largest ever made by a United States cooperative.

The annual meeting in Philip had over 120 attendees. Entertainment was provided by the fifth and sixth grade band under the direction of Barb Bowen.

Jay Baxter, Midwest Co-op location manager in Philip, said, "The 2008 total net income of the Philip and Kadoka locations is approximately $1.2 million." General Manager Milton Handcock complemented the area employees, "These guys are just doing an outstanding job in serving our customers." Randy Knecht, CHS director, added, "If we can't make money, we can't return it to you, the customer/owner. Concerning the financial standings in the county now, we are in pretty good shape."

The distribution was made to 6,257 member cooperatives and individuals in South Dakota. Total South Dakota patronage for fiscal year 2008 was $8,506,390, with Midwest Cooperatives having seven locations in this area. The distribution underway is part of a total $231 million now being distributed in 48 states. This includes cash patronage, equity redemption and CHS preferred stock issued as equity redemption.  In total, CHS expects to return an estimated $343 million to its owners in fiscal 2009.

"CHS has demonstrated one of the most important ways we can deliver on our mission of adding value for all of our stakeholders," said Michael Toelle, CHS board chairman. "The strong performance the company achieved during fiscal 2008 has enabled CHS to continue to grow, to be financially sound and to provide a return on our owners' investment in businesses ranging from energy to grain marketing to food processing."

CHS net income for its fiscal year ending August 31, 2008, was $803 million. During 2009, distributions are being made to 1,200 member companies and 35,000 individuals nationwide. Patronage is based on business done with CHS during fiscal 2008, while equity redemptions and preferred stock distributions represent retirement of ownership in CHS earned in past years.

CHS supplies energy, crop nutrients, grain, livestock feed, food and food ingredients, along with business solutions including insurance, financial and risk management services. The company operates petroleum refineries and pipelines. It manufactures, markets and distributes Cenex® brand refined fuels, lubricants, propane and renewable energy products.