GROWMARK and CHS Announce Cooperative Ventures: A New Capital Fund Aimed at Ag Tech Startups

GROWMARK and CHS Announce Cooperative Ventures: A New Capital Fund Aimed at Ag Tech Startups

Fund to Drive Technology Advancements Leveraging Both Companies’ Expansive Networks

ST. PAUL, MINN. and BLOOMINGTON, ILL. (November 17, 2021) - GROWMARK and CHS today announced the formation of Cooperative Ventures, a new capital fund that will focus on creating advancements in breakthrough technologies for the agriculture industry. The fund will provide differentiated value to startups in the agricultural ecosystem by leveraging the expansive, connected networks, unparalleled access to the farmgate and proven success of the two agricultural cooperatives. Both companies will be equal partners in the $50 million fund, which will be established as its own separate legal entity.

The combined markets of the two companies cover millions of acres and thousands of farmers that will create an industry-leading test field for products and services within North America. The fund has identified three core investment areas, or “Fields of Play,” to maximize the impact of each investment:  crop production, supply chain, and sustainability.

“This is a terrific opportunity to act cooperatively by working together on a venture meaningful to agriculture and our corresponding supply chains,” said GROWMARK CEO Jim Spradlin. “Both GROWMARK and CHS have trusted relationships and expertise within our networks, which will provide tremendous value for technology startups and ultimately benefit our respective customers. This is a natural evolution of GROWMARK’s AgValidity trial and testing program.”

“This partnership will help accelerate technology solutions to existing and emerging challenges in agriculture and is yet another way CHS creates connections to empower agriculture,” said Jay Debertin, president and CEO of CHS Inc. “Our ongoing commitment to investment in growth and innovation for the benefit of CHS owners and the cooperative system further places CHS and GROWMARK at the forefront of cutting-edge technology solutions by leveraging our deep expertise and strong connections with farmer-owners.”  

GROWMARK and CHS will provide tech startups unprecedented access to robust distribution capabilities within multiple value chains, allowing for opportunities to test and refine at different scales. Having cooperative member-owners and customers within the same ecosystem will take these innovative ideas to a new level to create shareholder value and customer-focused solutions.

Special attention will be paid to the startup’s strategic fit with both GROWMARK and CHS. Other factors will be based on their drive to lead in the startup space, the ability to deliver value and quality, the experience of management, and ultimately the ability to take a product or service to market. Cooperative Ventures will be comprised of teams based out of Bloomington, Illinois, and St. Paul, Minnesota.

About GROWMARK:

GROWMARK is an agricultural cooperative serving almost 400,000 customers across North America, providing agronomy, energy, facility engineering and construction, and logistics products and services, as well as grain marketing and risk management services. Headquartered in Bloomington, Illinois, GROWMARK owns the FS trademark, which is used by its member cooperatives. GROWMARK also owns and operates SEEDWAY, the largest full-line seed company in the United States. More information is available at growmark.com.

About CHS:

CHS Inc. (www.chsinc.com) is 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.

 

Media Contacts:

GROWMARK, Inc.

Chris Grogan

Manager, Publications and Media Relations

309-557-6189

cgrogan@growmark.com

 

CHS Inc.

Tom Ryan

Global Director, Corporate Communications

(651) 355-4582

Tom.Ryan@chsinc.com


Business Contacts:

GROWMARK

Brad Drake

Innovation Lead

309-557-5102

bdrake@growmark.com

 

CHS Inc.

Ben Van Straten

Innovation Lead

651-355-6725

ben.vanstraten@chsinc.com

 

 

 

About GROWMARK, Inc.

About GROWMARK, Inc:

GROWMARK is an agricultural cooperative serving almost 400,000 customers across North America, providing agronomy, energy, facility engineering and construction, and logistics products and services, as well as grain marketing and risk management services. Headquartered in Bloomington, Illinois, GROWMARK owns the FS trademark, which is used by member cooperatives. GROWMARK also owns and operates SEEDWAY, the largest full-line seed company in the United States. More information is available at growmark.com.


GROWMARK, Inc.
1701 Towanda Ave.
Bloomington, IL 61701