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2017 CHS Annual Meeting kicks off with pledge to strengthen and grow

“Strengthen and Grow: These words represent so much more than an annual meeting theme. This is a priority that we have. It captures how we will operate our company moving forward,” said CHS Board Chairman Dan Schurr, an Iowa farmer, during the Dec. 7 General Session of the 2017 CHS Annual Meeting at the Minneapolis Convention Center. 

“Thank you for taking time from your busy schedule (to be here) and for your commitment to the cooperative system,” Schurr told more than 2,100 member cooperative-owners and producer-owners in attendance.

Jay Debertin, CHS president and chief executive officer, joined Schurr in welcoming attendees to the 2017 CHS Annual Meeting. 
“Strengthen and Grow” has been the focus of CHS for 85 years and will continue to be the focus of CHS “for a long, long time” to come – just as it always been the driving force behind local cooperatives, said Debertin.

Fred and Jacey Granger, producers who attended the CHS Annual Meeting as part of the 2017 CHS New Leaders Forum, also shared some opening remarks. They said they rely on their co-op in Lewistown, Mont., to help them “take possibilities to ideas, and ideas to realities” so their farm can succeed long-term. Participating in the CHS New Leaders Forum exceeded their expectations by giving them an opportunity to learn about new possibilities, meet other farmers and ranchers with similar challenges, focus on the future and broaden their view, they said. 

The General Session featured a keynote address about teamwork and perseverance by Doug Flutie, sports analyst and former NFL quarterback. “There are tough times for every industry,” according to Flutie, who believes overcoming challenges requires teamwork, leadership, creativity, a willingness to change, and daily motivation. “When the collective success of the group becomes more important than success as individuals, good things happen,” he says.

The first day of the annual meeting also included interactive exhibits, breakout sessions, and opportunities for farmers and cooperative leaders to visit one-on-one with CHS leadership and board members throughout the day and evening. 

Friday’s meeting will feature regional caucuses; board, financial and management reports; and company governance with a question-and-answer session. Live, online coverage will begin at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 8. Follow this link to view the live webcast of the 2017 CHS Annual Meeting.