CHS Seeds for Stewardship funds support Dale & Clayton Fire & Rescue

Chris Tews, Dale Fire; Matt McHugh, CHS Safety Leader and Robert Wilkins, Deputy Assistant Chief, Dale Fire Department

CHS Seeds for Stewardship funds are going back into the communities where CHS does business to protect local fire fighters and community members, build stronger rural communities and support ag education.

Through CHS Country Operations Seeds for Stewardship, Dale Fire & Rescue is receiving $2,800 and Clayton Fire Rescue is receiving $2,176 from CHS Larsen Cooperative. Dale Fire & Rescue will be using these funds to purchase a grain bin rescue system and Clayton Fire Rescue will be purchasing rescue saws.   

“CHS Larsen Cooperative has a close working relationship with both of these fire departments. From time to time we have the departments come to our locations to practice rescues and doing walk throughs with our staff; so, they have a better understanding of our business,” says David Neal, General Manager, CHS Larsen Cooperative. “Having this equipment will definitely help these departments provide an increased level of service to our communities and facilities in the area.”

Making the purchase of a grain bin rescue system will provide a centrally located resource that can be quickly deployed to help save lives in the community. There are several large farming operations that grow, harvest, transport, and store crops on site in Readfield. These bulk materials present unique challenges to emergency services and this equipment can help them do their job safely and more efficient than they can today. Dale Fire & Rescue also borders other farming communities who would benefit having a portable coffer dam and grain evacuation system readily available.

“Dale Fire & Rescue is looking forward to purchasing their coffer dam which is designed to keep grain from flowing against the entrapped victim and to create a space around the victim from which grain can be removed. We will be buying a kit that contains the coffer dam, the grain ejector, grates, and case.  This is portable system and we can quickly transport it to the surrounding departments if needed,” says Robert Wilkins, Deputy Assistant Chief, Dale Fire Department.  

Clayton Fire Rescue’s purchase of a rescue saw that cuts steel and a rescue saw that cuts wood will provide a quicker and safer response to many rescue situations. Both saws would be utilized for rescue and fire situations including but not limited to; grain bin rescue, person(s) entrapped in farm machinery, vehicle accidents, accessing fires in machine sheds and barns, removal of brush during wildland fires, and removal of trees and limbs from a natural disaster. The added equipment would provide needed lifesaving equipment to Clayton Fire Rescue and surrounding stations.

“Thank you to the CHS Seeds of Stewardship program for the generous donation of two rescue saws,” says Scott Rieckmann, Director of Public Safety. “The saws will greatly enhance our response to many types of emergency calls in our response area and neighboring communities.”

The CHS Country Operations Seeds for Stewardship matching grant program supports our commitment to create connections that empower agriculture and our rural communities. Through this program, local CHS ag retail business units are identifying organizations in the communities where we live and work who need support for safety, ag leadership, farmer health and well-being, and community engagement.  

Since 2017, CHS has donated more than $1.8 million in funds through CHS Seeds for Stewardship.

Scott Rieckmann, Director of Public Safety; Ryan Jones, CHS YieldPoint Coordinator and Tony Seelow, CHS YieldPoint Equipment Specialist & Fire Dept Member

The CHS Larsen Cooperative- ag retail business delivers agronomy, energy, grain and feed products and services to Wisconsin ag producers and other customers from eight locations in 22 counties. It is part of CHS Inc., ( a leading global agribusiness owned by farmers, ranchers and cooperatives across the United States. Diversified in energy, agronomy, grains and foods, CHS is committed to creating connections to empower agriculture, helping its farmer-owners, customers and other stakeholders grow their businesses through its domestic and global operations. CHS supplies energy, crop nutrients, seed, crop protection products, grain marketing services, production and agricultural services, animal nutrition products, foods and food ingredients, and risk management services. The company operates petroleum refineries and pipelines and manufactures, markets and distributes Cenex® brand refined fuels, lubricants, propane and renewable energy products.

CHS Harvest for Hunger campaign raises $2,275 locally for food shelves

Over the past year, it has become even more clear that local food shelves and pantries play an important role in communities. The CHS Harvest for Hunger campaign has supported those local organizations in their fight against hunger since 2011. This year, local efforts helped raise more than $2,375 and 3,992 pounds of food to distribute to local food shelves and pantries.

“We have seen increased demand for our local food shelves and food pantries over the past year due to the pandemic,” says David Neal, general manager, CHS Larsen Cooperative. “Our employees, farmers, and communities put cooperative spirit into action to help support these essential organizations in their efforts to feed those in need in our communities through our CHS Harvest for Hunger campaign.”

CHS Harvest for Hunger is organized by CHS Country Operations, the ag retail division of CHS. During March, CHS employees from locations across the United States worked with farmers, ranchers, community organizations and schools to raise $509,184 and 114,746 pounds of food to be distributed to food shelves, pantries and community organizations.

Locally, funds were distributed to:

Freedom Food Pantry, $1,370

New London Community Cupboard, $1,370

Fundraising efforts included the sale of Little Caesars take-home pizza kits and food donations.

With this year’s total, CHS has now raised more than $6.8 million and nearly 3.9 million pounds of food since the campaign was first launched in 2011.

Celebrating Co-op Month

During October, CHS is joining cooperatives across the U.S. to celebrate Co-op Month. As part of the cooperative system, CHS is committed to supporting and strengthening owners and communities with diverse ideas, equity and inclusion.

The value of cooperatives comes through in the relationships we form with our owners. At CHS, we put that cooperative spirit into action as our team works with farmers and ranchers to help them grow their businesses and succeed.

This fall, you’ve seen our operations team working long hours to make sure crops are stored safely and quickly in our grain facilities. In the winter our energy specialists make sure your homes and businesses are warm. In the spring, our crop nutrient applicators, agronomists and energy specialists work with growers to plant the new crop with care and precision. And behind the scenes, employees make sure business is done smoothly and efficiently.

We are dedicated to developing a deep understanding of our growers’ operations and goals. We live and work alongside them, creating connections that empower agriculture.

Just as our cooperative works to ensure our owners have what they need, when they need it, that same commitment extends to our rural communities. We are focused on supporting ag leadership and safety initiatives in those communities. We support local food shelves and we fund scholarships for those pursuing careers in agriculture.

We bring the benefits of connection to a global supply chain to our owners’ farms and ranches. And we do it all with a smile and warm welcome. That’s true cooperative spirit.

We are proud to be part of the cooperative system, supporting our owners and their families through the generations. We hope you’ll join us in celebrating Co-op Month.

David Neal

General Manager

CHS Larsen Cooperative

CHS supports Little Suamico Fire Dept through $2,610 grant

Left-Right: Chris Glinski, Second Assistant Chief; Kris Wirts, Second Captain; Todd Zuge, Little Suamico Fire Department Chief; Jeremy Hunt, CHS Larsen Cooperative Agronomy Sales Manager; and Mike Sievert, Sievert Dairy Farms.

Keeping our communities, customers and employees safe is a core value at CHS. Through the CHS Country Operations Seeds for Stewardship grant program, CHS is proud to support local organizations that focus on safety, agriculture industry leadership and supporting rural communities.

The Little Suamico Fire Department (LSFD) received a $2,610 grant from CHS Larsen Cooperative to purchase grain entrapment rescue equipment through the CHS Country Operations Seeds for Stewardship grant program.

“Rural communities work hard to keep people safe while building and developing tomorrow’s leaders,” says David Neal, general manager, CHS Larsen Cooperative, “We are thankful for those who are dedicated to making sure our communities continue to be strong, safe places for our customers and employees to live and work together. Their great work helps build connections that empower agriculture and our communities.”

Sievert Dairy Farms, a customer of CHS Larsen Cooperative, recently invited Little Suamico Fire Department to their grain facility for grain information and rescue training. During the training they simulated an entrapment scenario. While participating in the simulated grain rescue, one of the fire fighters got stuck in corn, thigh deep, for over an hour. After training, the group reflected on the scenario which highlighted the strong need for proper grain rescue tools to truly provide both farmer/ employee and fire fighter safety. LSFD response area, including neighboring communities, has over 30 large grain storage sites and numerous other small storage units.

After extensive research LSFD determined a grain bin rescue tube, grain auger, and cordless drill would best support their rescue efforts.  LSFD operates on a fixed budget every year and largely relies on grants and donations to purchase new equipment. Sievert Dairy offered to donate $500 towards the project and this grant will cover the remaining expense.

Mike Sievert has been instrumental in organizing grain rescue training with LSFD, supplying the knowledge and practical experience to make firefighters/ first responders aware of the dangers associated with the storage units.

“We really appreciate working with Mike to allow us to do training at his grain facility and his continued support of the fire department,” says Todd Zuge, Little Suamico Fire Department Chief.

Since 2019, CHS ag retail locations across the U.S. have awarded more than $340,000 to local organizations through the Seeds for Stewardship program. The funds provided in 2020 are being used to help protect firefighters, engage students in ag leadership and education projects, sustain local 4-H and FFA groups, and build gathering places where 4-Hers and community members can meet.

CHS Larsen Cooperative delivers agronomy, energy, grain and feed products and services to Wisconsin ag producers and other customers in 25 counties in Wisconsin and three in Upper Michigan. It is part of CHS Inc., ( a leading global agribusiness owned by farmers, ranchers and cooperatives across the United States. Diversified in energy, agronomy, grains and foods, CHS is committed to creating connections to empower agriculture, helping its farmer-owners, customers and other stakeholders grow their businesses through its domestic and global operations. CHS supplies energy, crop nutrients, seed, crop protection products, grain marketing services, production and agricultural services, animal nutrition products, foods and food ingredients, and risk management services. The company operates petroleum refineries and pipelines and manufactures, markets and distributes Cenex® brand refined fuels, lubricants, propane and renewable energy products.

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 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

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

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

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