Wednesday, December 14, 2011

MKC Sends Representatives to CHS New Leader Institute

Kent Nichols, Amber Brown, Aaron Vogts,
Katie and Derek Sawyer, Jon Brown, Doug Graber, Austin Greve
In their continuing effort to provide area producers with leadership development opportunities and a greater understanding of the relationship between CHS and the local coop, MKC recently sponsored another group of young leaders to attend the CHS New Leader Institute.  The Institute, hosted annually, was held in conjunction with the CHS annual meeting in Minneapolis, MN. 

Building leaders, advancing agriculture and strengthening rural America is the Institute’s mission. With this mission in mind, MKC continues to be one of the strongest supporters of the program sponsoring 58 local producers and young employees since 2004. This year’s attendees included Jon and Amber Brown, Doug Graber, Austin Greve, Kent Nichols, Derek and Katie Sawyer and Aaron Vogts.

Dave Christiansen, MKC President and CEO, noted how attendees experience first-hand the synergy between their local cooperative and CHS.

“It’s very important for the people we sponsor to experience this synergy,” stated Christiansen.  “We believe attendees leave with a much better understanding of how the local and regional coops can best utilize their skills to achieve the objective of serving the producers in the best possible manner."

Sessions about risk management and the obstacles producers may encounter in the future along with how the local cooperative supports him were just some of the meeting highlights for Moundridge, Kansas producer and attendee, Aaron Vogts. 
"Cooperatives provide advantages that others cannot,” stated Vogts. “It’s more than just the patronage checks that we receive.  I believe they are better at fulfilling my needs as a customer, are better stewards of the community and provide better service and product choice than that of other non-coop companies.”
Kent Nichols, Seed Trait Specialist for MKC who also attended the event, noted the loyalty of the cooperative system by attendees.  
“The networking that took place between producers and ag leaders from across the country was a great experience,” stated Nichols.
MKC recognizes CHS as a valued business partner.  “We purchase in excess of $50 million in inputs from them annually,” stated Christiansen.  “As with many of our business partners, we will have a variety of relationships from time to time – from partner to vendor to competitor.  That is the nature of business today."

The fact remains that CHS and MKC remain partners in their combined efforts to provide producers the opportunities to strengthen their place in the market.

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