ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA, U.S. — CHS Inc., and West Central Ag Services announced on Nov. 29 that they recently signed an operating agreement to launch a grain-handling joint venture.

The new business, operating under the name Central Plains Grain LLC out of Hannaford, North Dakota, U.S., will include a shuttle grain elevator on the BNSF rail line. The companies plan to break ground for the new shuttle facility in early 2011 and complete construction by the end of that year.

“This initiative aligns well with our core commitment to expand competitive market access for producers while building value for our member-owners,” said John McEnroe, senior vice- president, country operations division of CHS. “It is a strategic move for both companies.”

“This is an excellent opportunity to provide producers in the Hannaford area with a variety of services in grain marketing and handling, in addition to those already provided by Central Plains Agronomy, LLC,” said Jesse McCollum, general manager, West Central Ag Services. “Having a strong partner in CHS with similar goals and values makes this a solid business for the agriculture communities in central North Dakota.”