Celebrating Dairy, While Supporting Local!

This year for June Dairy Month CHS Larsen Cooperative wanted to make a local impact in supporting both dairy farmers, cheese processing plants and local food pantries to celebrate June Dairy Month.

CHS Larsen decided to pick local processing and retail dairy locations to purchase the donated goods from places where they knew customers ship their milk. They choose Weyauwega Star Dairy, Union Star Cheese Factory, Dupont Cheese Inc, and Simon’s Specialty Cheese. The different products they purchased included butter, colby cheese, and mild cheddar cheese.

Then CHS made connections with seven local food pantries in their territory, Weymont Food Pantry (Phyliss Koch), Winneconne Area Assistance Center (Mark Wesenberg), Clintonville Food Pantry (Mary Dobbe), New London Community Cupboard (Rita Thiel and Mike Campbell), Freedom Food Pantry (Patty Banks), Community 2000 -Seymour (Chantal Willman and Emily Abrahamson), and Manawa Food Pantry (Barb Baumgartner). All parties were very excited to receive these June Dairy month goodies.

In total CHS Larsen donated over 222 pounds of cheese and 75 pounds of butter, investing $1,000 in dairy products back into the communities we serve.

Happy June Dairy Month!

CHS Larsen Cooperative Awards 16 Scholarships

CHS Larsen Cooperative is proud to award $16,000 in scholarships to local high school and post-high school students. For the past 20 years, this scholarship program has helped more than 295 students. CHS Larsen Cooperative is dedicated to ensuring a strong future for agriculture and this program is a way to give back and strengthen communities in the more than 25 counties in Wisconsin where CHS Larsen Cooperative’s farmer-owners and customers live.  

CHS Larsen Cooperative offered this scholarship to the children and grandchildren of CHS Larsen Cooperatives’ owners and customers. To be eligible, students must be graduating high school and/or currently enrolled in post-high school education. The 16 students receiving 2020 scholarships in the amount of $1,000 each are:

Kaitlyn Biese from Wrightstown High School, parents Marvin and Patty Biese; Katie Beck from Weyauwega-Fremont HS, parents Scott and Nancy Bleck; Josh Brazee from Neenah HS, parent Steve Brazee; Taylor Dillenburg from Shawano Community HS, parents Steve and Lori Dillenburg; Brianna Domke from Oshkosh West HS now attending UW River Falls, parent Amy Domke; Peter Gorman from New London HS, parents Tom and Marie Gorman; Hailey Hanson from Wild Rose HS, parents Jon and Erika Hanson; Seth Keller from Clintonville HS, parent Paul Keller; Holly Lashua from Iola-Scandinavia HS, parents Dean Lashua; Lane Nett from Weyauwega-Fremont HS, parent Josh and Terri Nett; Breanna Pamer from Winneconne HS, parents Mike and Jane Pamer; Sawyer Potratz from Omro HS, parent Richard Portratz; Nicholas Sievert from Pulaski HS, parents Rodney and Ann Sievert; Mason Soerens from Weyauwega-Fremont HS, parent Marc Soerens; Ben Steinbach from New London HS, parents Karen and Curt Steinbach; Alex Wepner from Manawa Little Wolf Jr/Sr HS, parents Jeff Wepner.

“One of the cooperative principles is concern for communities and this is another way we live out this principle,” says David Neal, general manager, CHS Larsen. “CHS Larsen Cooperative is proud to support our local youth. It pays to invest in our local future industry leaders. I would like to congratulate all the scholarship recipients and wish them the best of luck as they further their education.”

The scholarship selection is based on academic achievement, leadership characteristics, community involvement, CHS customer activity and the student’s vision of the future of agriculture. As CHS plans to continue offering this scholarship into the future, find the criteria and 2021 application on CHSLarsenCooperative.com. The next deadline for the CHS Larsen Cooperative scholarship is March 15, 2021. Visit the website to apply for next year or call 1-800-924-6677.

Join CHS Larsen Cooperative to help fight hunger through CHS Harvest for Hunger

CHS Larsen Cooperative is gathering donations of money and food to help fight hunger. As part of CHS Harvest for Hunger food and fund drive, CHS Larsen Cooperative will accept contributions from March 1 through March 20 at its locations in New London, Readfield, Center Valley, Weyauwega, Larsen, and Oconto Falls; they will then deliver all collections to the local food pantries.

“Hunger is a reality for more than 40 million people in America, including 13.1 million children. Every dollar we raise through CHS Harvest for Hunger can purchase six pounds of food through our food banks,” says David Neal, general manager, CHS Larsen Cooperative. “That’s making a real difference for those in need.”

Financial donations are encouraged because they enable food banks to leverage their buying power to provide nutritious food at deeply discounted rates. In 2019, CHS Larsen Cooperative raised $4,946 and over 3000 pounds of food This all stayed in the communities in which they reside.

“Our local communities also win when CHS Country Operations makes a contribution to help friends and neighbors right here in our community. Fighting hunger in our communities’ ties directly to what farmers and ranchers do every day, raising crops and livestock to feed the world,” adds Neal.

Donations can be made at CHS Larsen Cooperative’s locations in New London, Readfield, Center Valley, Weyauwega, Larsen and Oconto Falls. If you would like to donate to this cause but are unable to drop it off at one of our locations, please contact Anne Moore at our main office 920-982-1111 and she will send someone out to pick up the donation. Or you may mail a check to CHS Larsen Cooperative Attn: Harvest for Hunger P.O. Box 308 New London WI, 54961 or call 920-982-1111 for more information on how you can help.

For more information go to our community tab.

David Neal named general manager for CHS Larsen Cooperative

New General Manager, David Neal

CHS Inc., leading US farmer-owned cooperative, has announced the appointment of David Neal as general manager for its Wisconsin-based ag retail business, CHS Larsen Cooperative. He starts his new position on Monday, November 25.

David Neal brings more than 25 years of experience in agribusiness, much of that in cooperative management positions. He was most recently with New Horizons Supply Cooperative, where he had been since 2000. As general manager there, he led the co-op to deliver solid earnings, even in agriculture’s challenging times. His background also includes work as a propane plant manager for CHS, giving him deeper insight into the cooperative system along with hands-on experience in one of CHS Larsen’s core business areas.

“As a leader, David has a history of developing teams, building strong relationships and creating those valuable connections between employees and customers that are key to what we stand for here at CHS Larsen,” said Steve Bartel, board chairman, CHS Larsen.

With a career serving Wisconsin agriculture, Neal holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Wisconsin. He and his wife are originally from the Seymour area and are looking forward to moving back.

CHS Larsen Cooperative supports Flex Farm Food Towers Initiative

Left to Right: Lisa Busse, CHS Agronomist, Steve Bartel, CHS Board Chairman, Tim Baehnman, CHS Service Technician and Weyauwega School Board Member, Drew Niehans, District Business Manager, Phillip Tubbs, District Administrator, Jodi Alix, Weyauwega-Fremont High School Principal, and Sandra Dykes, Agriscience teacher/FFA Advisor.

(September 16, 2019) – CHS Larsen Cooperative announced today a $5,000 grant to Weyauwega-Fremont High School. The funds will support the Weyauwega-Fremont Agriscience Department to purchase grow towers. The grow towers will be located in the ag department. Students from Agriscience classes will be involved in planting, monitoring and harvesting of lettuce and other vegetables. Once harvested the product will be given to the school lunch program.

“We’re proud to support this project to strengthen the community and see it thrive,” says Anne Moore, Marketing Communications Specialist, CHS Larsen Cooperative, “Projects like this are essential to enriching our rural area and the people who live here.” 

During the 2019-20 school year, the agriculture courses in the Weyauwega-Fremont School District plans to implement the use of the tower gardens to provide a minimum of 75 pounds per month of leafy vegetables to the food service program. They also plan to use these towers to make students more aware of opportunities in agriculture. Tower Garden, a vertical, aeroponic growing system, allows you to grow up to 20 vegetables, herbs, fruits and flowers in less than three square feet—indoors or out. Which makes them the perfect companion in your journey toward healthy living.

Weyauwega-Fremont wants to create a program that will allow students to not only apply all the math, science, and technology knowledge they learned in the classroom, but to also increase their love for those subjects so that they can pursue career paths in their interest areas. Agriscience classes that will have the opportunity to grow food for the school lunch program includes Horticulture, Aquaculture, Intro to Ag and all middle school ag classes. Their intent is to demonstrate to students that their learning is not compartmentalized, but rather spread across all areas of their lives. The math, science and language skills they learn will be used in all environments, whether they are simply cooking dinner or if they are out working on the job site. The other long-term impact they hope to grow is the partnership with community members and the school district. 

The school district would like to not only have this aeroponic component added, but also have plans for future expansions to this program. Their curriculum outcome and long-term impact goal is the hope that these memorable experiences will spark the interest and the drive students need to find that purpose for their learning and for our students to take ownership of their learning process and see how their knowledge will be the greatest asset they have for future success.

Funds were contributed by CHS Larsen Cooperative and were matched dollar for dollar by a CHS Seeds for Stewardship grant, which helps cooperatives grow their impact locally. Together more than $5,000 will benefit Weyauwega-Fremont School. 

“Cooperatives were founded on the principles of education, community involvement and cooperation,” says Wade Blowers, Interim General Manager, CHS Larsen Cooperative. “By combining resources, we are providing double the impact to our area and demonstrating the cooperative spirit.” 

Sandra Dykes, the Agriculture instructor at Weyauwega-Fremont says, “these towers allow our school to provide many more opportunities for our students as well as teach them how to grow their own food”.

To learn more about other ways CHS Larsen Cooperative gives back, click here.

Shop Safety Tips

The hazards associated with shop work require special safety considerations. Whether you work in a metal shop, wood shop, automotive shop, glass shop, or electrical shop, the potential hazards for personal injury are numerous. Below are key reminders to keep yourself and your coworkers safe when working in a shop or performing preventative maintenance.

  • Do not wear loose or torn clothing, neckties, or jewelry when working around machinery.
  • Wear clothes that are suitable for the work you are doing. If you wear a long sleeved shirt, be sure the sleeves are rolled down and buttoned.
  • Make certain that long hair is not loose and is pulled back away from equipment.
  • Be certain all safety guards are in place before operating any machine or equipment.
  • Turn off, de-energize/unplug, or lock out (depending on the type of equipment) all equipment before cleaning, repairing or adjusting. This includes trucks and cars when working in or under them.

Wear safety glasses with side shields when working with shop equipment. Additional protection using face shields with safety glasses or goggles are necessary for the following types of work:

  • Grinding, chipping, sandblasting
    Welding

Wear suitable gloves, preferably leather, when working with the following:

  • Scrap metal or wood
  • Sharp-edged stock
  • Unfinished lumber

CHS Larsen Cooperative Awards 18 $1,000 Scholarships

CHS Larsen Cooperative is proud to announce that they have awarded $18,000 in scholarships. This is the nineteenth year they have offered a scholarship program for their customers; already helping over 277 students. CHS Larsen Cooperative’s trade territory has expanded and they have felt the need to return support to the communities that help support their cooperative.

CHS Larsen Cooperative offered this scholarship to graduating high school seniors and currently enrolled post high school education. The 18 students that received the 2019 scholarship are as follows: Collin Baehnman of Weyauwega, parent Tim Baehnman; Tomi Bestul of Waupaca, parents are Tom and Connie Bestul; Justin Engebretsen of Gillett, parents are Jeff and Cindy Engebretsen; Leah Grundman of Winneconne, parents are Robert and Michelle Grundman; Hunter Havrilla of Omro, parent Richard Potratz; Caitlyn Henry attending Bellin College, parents are Jonathan and Cheryl Henry; Melissa Hofacker of Freedom, parents are John and Lynn Hofacker; Jacob Kafer of Omro, parents are Pat and Stacy Kafer; Garret Karweick of Seymour, parents are Jill and Vernon Karweick; Zachary Le Mahieu of Pestigo, parents are Keith and Jean Le Mahieu; Jessica Magdanz of Weyauwega/Fremont, parents are Dan and Medora Magdanz; Logan Meyer of Antigo, parents are Eric and Kristin Meyer; Sara Nehring of Weyauwega/Fremont, parents are Dan and Jennifer Nehring; Paige Proctor of Stevens Point, parents are Anne and John Proctor; Ellen Sohrweide of Oconto, parents are Brian and Tracey Sohrweide; Olivia Tews of New London, parents are Todd and Lois Tews; Ashely Van Dyck attending UW-Stout, parents Andy and Laurie Van Dyck and Markie Verhasselt of Freedom, parents are Bruce and Vicky Verhasselt.

The criteria and 2020 application are on their website CHSLarsenCooperative.com. The deadline for the CHS Larsen Cooperative scholarship is March 15, 2020. Visit their website to apply for next year or call 1-800-924-6677.

CHS Larsen Cooperative is proud to support our local youth. It pays to invest in our local future industry leaders.

CHS Larsen Co-op fights rural hunger through March campaign

Working together with CHS locations across the country, employees, community organizations and businesses, and farmers of CHS Larsen Cooperative joined the fight against rural hunger through the cooperative’s annual CHS Harvest for Hunger food, and funds drive. The annual campaign gathered more than $500,000 and 94,959 pounds of food to fight hunger in rural America. Locally, CHS Larsen Cooperative raised $4,946 and 3,000 pounds of food for local food shelves.

Since 2011, CHS Country Operations, a division of CHS, the nation’s leading farmer-owned cooperative, has organized the campaign to gather money and food for local and regional food shelves across the country. With this year’s total, the cooperative has now raised more than $6 million and 4.5 million pounds of food in the nine years since the campaign was first launched.

CHS Larsen Cooeprative participated in the 2019 Harvest for Hunger drive held March 1-20 through a variety of fundraising activities, including teaming up with four school disticts (New London, Winneconne, Freedom and Weyauwega-Fremont) to raise food and funds. CHS Larsen Cooperative wanted to make a larger impact in the communities which receive the donations. By teaming up with the schools it turned out to be very successful. All the food raised in each school district went to their local food pantry. All pantries received over 400 pounds of food each!

“Often, local food shelves and food pantries are doing invisible work. They are feeding people in our rural communities who we would never imagine are going hungry,” says Todd Reif, “That’s why it’s so important that we support these local organizations. We are in the business of feeding the world, but we may never realize who is facing hunger right in our own communities. But these organizations have the system and contacts in place to make sure everyone has food on the table every day.”

CHS Larsen Cooperative New London Office Upgrades to LED Lighting

Before and after of the front warehouse. 

CHS Larsen Cooperative recently completed an interior and exterior lighting upgrade to LED lighting at their New London main office. After learning about the Focus on Energy rebates from Jeremy Bellile, owner of BNH Lighting, LLC, they worked together to get everything in the offices, warehouse and parking lot converted over to LED technology. This will save the cooperative thousands of dollars each year on their electric bill.

CHS Larsen Cooperative received a rebate from Focus on Energy that covered half the cost of the project. After the rebate and the savings on maintenance costs, the conversion will pay for itself in approximately 1.5 years. They are proud to work with Focus on Energy, which partners with New London Utilities, to help businesses reduce energy waste.

 “Working with BNH Lighting, LLC, was great from designing the new LED solution and maximizing the Focus on Energy incentives,to the installment of the lights,” said Randy Marx, New London location manager.The install went quick working with Nass Electric, a local electrical contractor.Jeremy was thorough with the LED solution, paperwork for Focus on Energy,organizing the installation and quick to follow up with the completion. “We are excited about our new lighting and the savings to come.” 

CHS Larsen Cooperative, a full-service ag retailer, is part of CHS Inc., a leading energy, grains and foods global agribusiness owned by farmers, ranchers and cooperatives across the United States. Diversified in energy, grains and foods, CHS is committed to helping its customers,farmer-owners and other stakeholders grow their businesses through its domestic and global operations.

Before and after of the farm store. 

CHS Larsen Cooperative Supports Hometown Fire Department

Pictured: Todd Reif, CHS Larsen Co-op General Manager and Loren Steinacker, local farmer and fire fighter. 

CHS Larsen Cooperative awarded a $2,250 grant to Hortonville-Hortonia Fire District. The funds will help to keep their equipment up to date and their firefighters certified. Some of the equipment they are looking to purchase will aid in rescue situations if there were an active shooter incident. As a department they interact with several different local agencies and the school district, helping teach kids what to do if such a situation would arise.

“We’re proud to support this project as a way to strengthen the community and see it thrive,” says Todd Reif, General Manager, CHS Larsen Cooperative. “Projects like this are essential to enriching our rural area and the people who live here.”

In addition to the funds contributed by CHS Larsen Cooperative, the contribution has been matched dollar for dollar by a CHS Seeds for Stewardship grant, which helps cooperatives grow their impact locally. Together more than $4,500 will benefit Hortonville-Hortonia Fire District.

“Cooperatives were founded on the principles of education, community involvement and cooperation,” says Todd Reif. “By combining resources, we are providing double the impact to our area and demonstrating the cooperative spirit.”

To learn more about other ways CHS Larsen Cooperative gives back, visit https://www.chslarsencooperative.com/community/

EMR – Brett Springstroh, FF/EMR – Jonathan Schlafer, FF/EMR – Kyle Toman, EMR – Karl Arps

© 2020 CHS Inc.