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Cooperative value

Discover the benefits of owning and working with a cooperative

Aerial of a farm and fields
What is a cooperative?
Cooperatives are built on principles rooted in collaboration, democracy, economic participation and social responsibility. They are owned and governed by members who use their products, supplies or services, and they exist to provide value for their members. In a cooperative system, people come together to advocate for owners’ needs, increase buying power, access goods and services, and create economic opportunity.

Benefits of cooperative ownership

Gain global market access


Raise your voice
Leverage local expertise
Earn patronage and equity
Help communities thrive
Tap into a global supply chain
Benefit from long-term thinking

Gain global market access

Through CHS, cooperative owners can take advantage of grain markets in 65 countries around the world to get the most value for their crops. A system that tracks grain and byproducts from the farm to the customer benefits everyone.
Aerial of the TEMCO terminal in Houston
TEMCO growth offers greater access to global grain markets
By investing in the growing TEMCO export joint venture, CHS is giving farmers more opportunities to move their grains and oilseeds to customers around the world.
Soybeans being poured onto a scale
Meeting the growing demand for soy oil
As global demand for lower-carbon fuels like renewable diesel grows, cooperative owners will benefit from opportunities made possible by increased CHS soy crush and refining capacity and expanded CHS export capabilities.
Producer holding harvested grain granules
Industry collaboration opens doors to new markets
Ardent Mills, a joint venture between CHS, Cargill and Conagra Brands helps farmers find new grain market opportunities.

Raise your voice

Being part of the cooperative system means your voice is heard within the cooperative as decisions are made and it’s amplified in Washington, D.C., and at the state and local level so the needs of farmers, ranchers and rural communities are understood.
Woman standing in tall grass
As part of a cooperative board, you know the decisions you are making are going to happen. When you have the fiduciary duty to pay attention to members’ money, you feel very strongly about how you are representing that and what you’re doing to make a good return on an investment.
Mary Kraft, co-owner of Quail Ridge Dairy, Fort Morgan, Colo.

Leverage local expertise

No one knows the challenges you face better than your local cooperative team. With a deep understanding of the factors affecting your business and your goals, your cooperative team can suggest the right products and practices for optimal results.
Man standing in a wheat field
Using insecticide in our winter wheat seed treatment has provided important early protection for wheat seedings in the fall. Five years ago, we started using STI Customized blended seed treatments through CHS Big Sky. The flexibility has been valuable, especially when grasshopper populations exploded.
Brandon Udelhoven, grower and cooperative member, Winifred, Mont.

Earn patronage and equity

Patronage and member equity are fundamental benefits of cooperative ownership.
  • Determined by the cooperative
    Each cooperative creates its own patronage system, set by its board of directors and carried out by management. Regular review of patronage policies ensures they add value for owners and support the cooperative’s business strategies.
  • Recognizes business performance

    Patronage is based on three things:

    • Adjusted earnings before taxes
    • Owner business volume
    • Cooperative patronage and equity policies
  • Fuels growth for farmer-owners and co-ops

    Cooperative decisions about patronage and equity deliver value for owners and fuel long-term cooperative growth. When a cooperative board calculates patronage, it also determines what portion will be retained as member equity in the organization. That equity is a key source of capital for cooperative maintenance and growth.

  • Provides for cash patronage and/or equity

    Cooperatives determine how to distribute patronage and/or equity to owners after the close of each fiscal year. More than $3.2 billion has been returned to owners by CHS via patronage and equity over the past 10 years.

Help communities thrive

Cooperatives bring strength to rural communities by providing jobs, building economic stability and supporting local services. Through the CHS Foundation and community giving programs, CHS is committed to developing the next generation of ag leaders and elevating the CHS values of safety and cooperative spirit. CHS also provides learning and development opportunities for cooperative employees and helps member cooperatives connect with candidates looking for leadership roles in the cooperative system.

See how we strengthen hometown communities

High school students standing in front of a semi cab
Supporting students while filling an employment gap
A commercial driver’s license preparatory class at a Washington high school is giving students new employment possibilities and helping fill a need for drivers. This program and others like it are made possible in part by a CHS Seeds for Stewardship grant.
A teacher standing at the front of a classroom with a whiteboard behind her
Educating students on ag biotech
To celebrate its 75th anniversary, the CHS Foundation awarded $75,000 in grants to teachers to bolster ag education programs at their respective schools. Learn more about how these teachers are helping to develop the next generation of ag and community leaders.
Man standing and pointing at graph on a TV screen while seated man and woman look to where he's pointing
Advancing precision ag education
The CHS Foundation has committed more than $2.3 million since 2018 to support new and expanding precision agriculture programs at U.S. colleges and universities.
Farm and field under a blue sky with white clouds
Increasing mental health awareness
CHS support helps cooperatives to offer training and resources that raise awareness about mental health in agriculture.

Tap into a global supply chain

As a cooperative owner, you are part of an extensive grain origination network that links your farming operation to world markets. And you benefit from a broad-based input system that harnesses the power of cooperative-owned refineries and growing agronomy resources to deliver inputs when and where you need them.
Fertilizer being loaded onto a freight boat
Strengthening the fertilizer supply chain
Improved infrastructure, from ports to terminals, is strengthening the fertilizer supply chain to give farmers a more reliable crop input supply.

Benefit from long-term thinking

Looking for the next right answer is central to the cooperative model. That balance drives cooperatives to look for more efficient ways to do business with an eye to long-term success and value. Cooperative ownership lets you lean on a global network of experts and advocates, so you can focus on your business.
Sprayer equipment beside a field
Advances in agronomy technology
CHS is optimizing its agronomy fleet to better serve cooperative customers by investing in digital connections to reduce downtime and improve efficiency.
Construction equipment in a gravel pit
Transforming the trucking industry
CHS helps producers and fleet operators understand the rapidly changing energy industry as the push to reduce emissions continues.
Tractor planting a field
Cooperative Ventures announces first investment in ag startup
Cooperative Ventures, a $50 million venture capital fund started by CHS and Growmark, has invested in a company developing autonomous tractor technology for row-crop farmers.
Gas pump
Powering vehicles with propane autogas
As stricter EPA emissions standards focus on carbon cutting, propane engine technology provides a solution for fleet operators. Learn how a local co-op is helping fleet operators convert to cleaner fuel.
Claim the benefits of co-op ownership; connect with your local cooperative