ShapeShapeauthorShapechevroncrossShapeShapeShapeGrouphamburgerhomeGroupmagnifyShapeShapeShaperssShape

Farmers find a friend in Fortune 500 firm

by 5m Editor
1 March 2005, at 12:00am

US - A Fortune 500 company that's almost invisible may be a key to boosting Illinois farm exports, and cushioning the effect of weakened grain prices. The company, with a Fortune rank of 211, is CHS Inc. Based at the equally invisible Inver Grove Heights, Minn., it's the world's largest cooperative enterprise of any kind. What it has done is band together 360,000 farmer-owners, operating 1,100 ag cooperatives, into a mammoth collective force with net income of $221 million on volume of $11.2 billion in the fiscal year ended last August. "Japan currently imports about 500,000 bushels of food-grade soybeans per year, primarily for tofu production," he says. "And the very best soybeans suitable for tofu are the clear white variety grown mainly in Illinois. The demand is clearly there." Johnson sees another market expansion opportunity for the 49 CHS co-op organizations throughout Illinois by speeding shipments of feedgrain to Southeastern poultry producers who are facing a new demand from Pacific Rim nations. Chicago Sun Times

5m Editor