Bielenberg was selected during the 17-member board's yearly reorganization meeting which followed the company's 2012 annual meeting on Dec. 6. He succeeds Jerry Hasnedl, a St. Hilaire, Minnesota, U.S., farmer who held the post during the past 12 months.
"This company has achieved unprecedented success in delivering value for its owners in recent years," Bielenberg said. "In the year ahead, the CHS board of directors will focus on continuing to deliver that for the producers and cooperatives that own CHS. This will include maximizing the value of CHS ownership for producers and cooperatives through a continued focus on our equity management program.
"In addition, we'll continue building on the company's success by driving our strategic momentum, growing enterprise value, maintaining an aggressive risk management approach and developing our skills as leaders."
Bielenberg has served a total of seven years on the CHS board, with terms from 2002-06 and from 2009 to the present. During 2012, he was the board's assistant secretary-treasurer, chaired its audit committee and served on its government relations and board executive committees. He operates a diverse agricultural operation near Silverton, Oregon, U.S., which includes seed crops, vegetables, soft white wheat, greenhouse production and timberland.
He has held numerous cooperative and agricultural leadership roles including service as board member and president of Wilco Farmers Cooperative, Mt. Angel, Oregon, U.S., and the East Valley Water District. Bielenberg has a bachelor's of science degree in agricultural engineering from Oregon State University and is a graduate of the Texas A & M University executive program for agricultural producers. He completed the National Association of Corporate Directors comprehensive Director Professionalism course and received its Certificate of Director Education.
Also elected to one-year leadership terms were:
• Dennis Carlson, Bismarck, North Dakota, U.S.., as first vice-chairman; elected to the board in 2001 and previously was second vice-chairman.
• Dan Schurr, LeClaire, Iowa, U.S., as secretary-treasurer; elected to the board in 2006 and previously was first vice-chairman.
• Steve Fritel, Rugby, North Dakota, U.S., as second vice-chairman; elected to the board in 2003 and previously was secretary-treasurer.
• Curt Eischens, Minneota, Minnesota, U.S., as assistant secretary-treasurer; elected to the board in 1990 and previously served as second vice-chairman.
During the annual meeting, delegates elected David Johnsrud of Starbuck, Minnesota, U.S., to a three-year term on the CHS board. He succeeds Michael Mulcahy of Waseca, Minnesota, U.S., who served nine years.
Johnsrud farms in partnership with his brother and nephew. He has been a member of the board of directors of AgCountry Farm Credit Services since 2001, and currently serves as chairman. He also serves on the Minnesota Farm Credit Legislative Committee, with three years as chairman; was chairman of the Minnesota Farm Credit nominating committee for the AgriBank election in 2012, served on the Farmers Union Oil and Prairie Lake Co-op boards of directors from 1987 through 2007, with 15 years as board secretary; and was on the Mid-Minnesota Association Board, with terms as secretary and chairman, as well as on the State Directors' Association, with terms as treasurer. In 2010 he completed the Farm Credit Services Premier Governance Series and became a Certified Director and is a 2010 graduate of Minnesota Agricultural Rural Leadership Class V.
Members also re-elected Bielenberg, Fritel, David Kayser of Alexandria, South Dakota, U.S., and Don Anthony of Lexington, Nebraska, U.S., to three-year terms on the CHS board.