Skip to main content
Four people on stage seated in chairs, with curtain behind them
Megan Rock, CHS vice president of sustainability and innovation and chief sustainability officer, moderated a panel last month at the 2023 Field to Market Plenary. The cross-sector dialogue focused on how to incorporate producers of color in sustainable ag projects and programs (Photo courtesy of Field to Market).
Advocacy
Our people

Megan Rock moderates discussion on equity in ag

Megan Rock, CHS vice president of sustainability and innovation and chief sustainability officer, moderated a panel last month at the 2023 Field to Market Plenary.
Jul 12, 2023

Megan Rock, CHS vice president of sustainability and innovation and chief sustainability officer (CSO), moderated a panel last month at the 2023 Field to Market Plenary in St. Louis, Mo. Field to Market is a Washington D.C.-based organization that represents stakeholders from all facets of the U.S. agricultural supply chain, including agribusinesses, food and beverage companies, conservation groups, universities and public sector partners.

Titled “The Struggle is Real,” the cross-sector dialogue focused on how to successfully incorporate producers of color in sustainable ag projects and programs in the U.S. Topics included how they would like to be included in these projects, current challenges and barriers to access for both capital and markets.

“As the largest farmer-owned co-op in North America living our values of cooperative spirit and inclusion, it was important for CHS to lead this important conversation to empower agriculture for all producers,” says Rock. “To create real connection, we have to stretch ourselves and have inclusive conversations.”

Rock, a member of Field to Market’s Board of Directors, was joined on stage by panelists Loutrina Staley, equity and outreach program analyst at the National Association of Conservation Districts; Seanicaa Edwards Herron, founder and executive director of the Freedmen Heirs Foundation; and PJ Haynie III, CEO of Arkansas River Rice and a fifth-generation row crop producer in Arkansas and Virginia. Haynie was presented with a Grower Award at the event.

“The reality is that a majority of Black producers are in the southeast, outside of the traditional trade territory for CHS,” says Rock. “How do we include Black producers as well as Latino and Native producers to show them the steps needed to be a part of the cooperative system? It’s important to make those connections all the way across.”

Sam Bild, national sales director for animal nutrition at CHS, also participated at the conference on advancements in sustainable feed practices. She says the panel on equity in ag was impactful for her as an audience member.

“When you think about our industry position, CHS has to be a part of this conversation,” says Bild. “Our mission is to create connections to empower agriculture. We have a responsibility to be that bridge to create that connection to the whole workforce and not only create opportunity for BIPOC communities, but also make this industry stand the test of time for things like labor challenges. That is one of the most meaningful connections CHS could make to the industry.”


Learn more about current resources and assistance available to historically underserved farmers and ranchers.


Related news and stories
Our people 18 Jun 2024

Generations of McPherson and surrounding community locals have found prosperity and purpose within the refinery’s gates.

Our people 17 Jun 2024

The Koehns have exemplified the hardworking and humble families working every day to supply rural America with the fuel it needs to keep moving.

Advocacy 31 May 2024

Nicole Berg splits her time between her family’s Paterson, Wash., farm and advocation for agriculture throughout the U.S.