While CHS Inc. is a relatively new name in our region, it is widely known as is the largest farmer-owned cooperative in the United States. Diversified in energy, grains and foods, CHS (www.chsinc.com) is owned by 75,000 producers, about 1,100 member-owned cooperatives and 20,000 preferred stock holders.
Simply put, CHS sells cooperatives and farmers everything they need to grow healthy, profitable crops," says Chris Oehler, CHS plant manager, South Sioux City, Neb. "Products like fertilizer, seed, crop protection products, agronomic expertise, financing, fuel, lubricants for their machinery, and propane to dry their crops after harvest and warm their homes. Then, we buy our customers' grain and sell it, either as a commodity or as a value-added ingredient, to food and feed companies all over the world."
At the South Sioux City plant, CHS annually manufactures about 9,000 tons of isolated soy protein, which is an ingredient used to increase the nutritional components of snack bars, cereals, energy drinks, and processed meats, such as pizza toppings and meat in frozen entrees.
Oehler says the process starts with soy flour white flakes, shipped to the plant from the CHS soybean processing plant at Creston, Iowa, or Mankato, Minn. "We use fairly complicated, proprietary processes to extract the protein from the white flake. I would describe that process as combining science, chemistry, physics and mechanical methods," he says.
On-site chemistry and microbiology labs monitor the production process to ensure high quality products that meet customer specifications. All product leaving the South Sioux City plant is non-GMO, and kosher and Halal certified.
"Every day, our teams are focused on helping our owners grow by providing global food and feed companies with safe, high quality soy protein isolates," says Oehler.
"The South Sioux City facility adds value for owners by extending the use of their commodity into new, rapidly-growing consumer markets."
CHS is also a responsible steward in the communities where it does business. Last year, the CHS Foundation invested $15.5 million to develop the next generation of agricultural leaders, improve agricultural safety and enhance rural vitality. Closer to home, Oehler says the South Sioux City plant stewardship committee has invested $20,000 within the last 12 months, supporting a number of local organizations that alleviate hunger, build strong rural communities, develop future ag leaders, and improve agricultural and rural safety.
CHS has 75 full-time employees at the South Sioux City plant, working 24/7 in a variety of production, engineering, maintenance, food safety, and operations positions.
Currently, CHS has openings and is taking applications for internships.
"We are in expansion mode," Oehler said, adding that the company is looking for both supervisors and operators. The plant is located at 395 164th St., South Sioux City (Roth Industrial Park). To apply, or learn more, go to http://www.chsinc.com.
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