CHS CEO Jay Debertin
Jay D. Debertin

INVER GROVE HEIGHTS, MINNESOTA, U.S. — Following talks with the cooperative’s owners, customers and employees during town hall meetings held across the United States in recent weeks, Jay D. Debertin, new president and chief executive officer of CHS Inc., has honed in on five key areas of focus for the cooperative.

“I’m excited about my new position, our leadership team and board, and we stand ready to get after some of the top priorities ahead,” Debertin said. “These include strengthening existing relationships and building some new ones by asking for your business and providing the quality products and services you need in this challenging economic environment. As I think about how we can continue to deliver unique value, I focus on several key elements.”

Those elements include:

  • Strengthening the cooperative’s business and growing. “With an 85-year history of serving our owners, CHS remains strong and stable,” he said. “We will focus on maintaining financial flexibility and look for growth in both the areas we work best, and in the global locations that best serve the U.S. farmer.”
  • Fine-tuning existing businesses and processes. “We will learn from the one-time events that distract us from the underlying, steady performance of our core day-to-day businesses,” Debertin said. “This will allow us to increase business discipline, focus and profitability.”
  • Improve risk management. “We will always have risk in our businesses, but we need to manage it where we can by mitigating our risk exposure and increasing transparency, wherever possible,” he said.
  • Communicate candidly and listen closely. “When important decisions are made, we will share our reasoning and goals with owners and employees in a timely, forthright fashion,” he said. “We want to hear from our shareholders and maintain an open, two-way dialogue. There are numerous ways to engage, and we want your feedback.”
  • Cultivate new leaders. “Involving more young people is crucial to helping agriculture and the cooperative system thrive,” he explained. “That will include providing more training and opportunities for young farmers to explore board leadership, develop advocacy skills and learn about resources, all while voicing opinions that will help our company evolve to better serve their needs and those of their children and grandchildren.”

CHS supplies energy, crop nutrients, grain marketing services, animal fee, insurance, financial and risk management services, and food and food ingredients. The cooperative employs more than 11,000 people across North America and in 25 other countries around the world.