ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA, U.S. — CHS Inc. owners in all 50 states will share in an estimated $231 million disbursement during 2011 as a result of the leading energy and grain-based foods company's strong fiscal 2010 earnings, the company said on Feb. 14. The distribution maintains a period of five consecutive years of significant cash returns to owners.

Since its creation in 1998, CHS has returned more than $2 billion in cash to its agricultural producer and member cooperative owners.

The $141 million distribution being made to member-owners this month consisted of cash patronage paid on fiscal 2010 business and retirement of previously earned CHS equity. Additional retirements of equity and dividends paid on preferred stock made throughout the year are expected to bring the fiscal 2011 cash return total to about $231 million.

"In making this distribution, 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 and a Browns Valley, Minnesota, U.S., farmer. "Strong financial performance also allows CHS to meet our member-owners' needs on a daily basis and to fulfill a long-term strategic direction as a successful energy and grain-based foods company."

CHS net income for its fiscal year ending Aug. 31, 2010, was $502.2 million.

During 2011, distributions are being made to nearly 1,100 member companies and more than 45,000 individuals and other businesses. Patronage is based on business done with CHS by member cooperatives and individual farmers and ranchers during fiscal 2010, while equity redemptions and preferred stock distributions represent retirement of ownership in CHS earned in past years.