INVER GROVE HEIGHTS, MINN. — CHS, Inc. on Dec. 1 said it has closed three U.S. facilities as part of its effort to restore financial flexibility. The closings include soy processing plants in Hutchinson, Kas., and Creston, Iowa, as well as an Innovation and Technology Center in Eagan, Minn.
“CHS will continue to focus on operations which are more closely aligned with other CHS commodity-based core businesses,” the company said. “CHS remains committed to helping its owners strengthen and grow their operations.”
CHS’s statement echoes comments made in July by chief executive officer Jay Debertin, who outlined five key areas of focus for the cooperative. One of the areas of focus is to fine-tune existing businesses and processes.
|Jay Debertin, c.e.o. of CHS|
“We will learn from the one-time events that distract us from the underlying, steady performance of our core day-to-day businesses,” Mr. Debertin said. “This will allow us to increase business discipline, focus and profitability.”
CHS acquired the Hutchinson facility in April 2008 from Legacy Foods. The plant employed 77 and made Ultra-Soy brand textured soy proteins, an ingredient used by food service and food manufacturers as a nutritional supplement in processed foods containing meat and in snacks and health foods. Ultra-Soy helped food manufacturers extend meat, which reduced meat and seafood costs while adding protein to enhance the nutritional profile.
The Creston facility was acquired by CHS from Creston Bean Processing in 2011. Creston’s operations included soybean crushing and manufacturing soybean meal and soy flour used by consumer and pet food manufacturers. CHS employed 53 at the Creston plant.
CHS opened the Innovation and Technology Center in Eagan in 2013. The facility, which employed 4, provided product application research and development for the cooperative’s customers and marketing and sales staff.
CHS is a leading global agribusiness owned by farmers, ranchers and cooperatives across the United States. Diversified in energy, grains and foods, the cooperative posted net income of $127.9 million in the year ended Aug. 31, which compared with $424.2 million in fiscal 2016.