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What are Cenex Harvest States cooperatives?

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Quick Answer

Cenex Harvest States, or CHS, is a global cooperative agribusiness that produces food and ingredients, crop nutrients, grain marketing services, energy and animal feed, as of 2015. The company also offers insurance and financial services to its 625,000 owner-producers, who are primarily farmers and ranchers. The company's retail service centers serve around 77,000 farmer-operators and other customers with 400 locations. The company also has an active leadership role in the development of its members.

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Full Answer

CHS provides a suite of services to its members that go beyond farming, including educational opportunities, leadership development, community investment, consulting, and assistance with transportation and logistics. Most of these services are available at the company's 60 locally owned service centers located in rural communities across the globe.

Ventura Foods, a CHS affiliate, uses soy oil produced at CHS facilities to create a number of healthy food items. Affiliated brands include Dean's Dips, Marie's salad dressings and dips, and LouAna peanut oil. The company's energy products include Cenex-branded gas stations in 19 different states, propane distribution and a line of Cenex lubricants.

The majority of CHS owners are on one of the 1,100 cooperative farms owned by the company. In 2014, CHS grossed $42.7 billion in revenues and recorded a profit of $1.1 billion. The company shares this wealth with its cooperative owners, having returned nearly $2 billion in cash to the farmers responsible for the company's success. The company raises additional capital by selling five types of preferred stock on the Nasdaq stock exchange. This stock pays out dividends quarterly, but does not entitle the holder to participate in the management of the cooperative.

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