CHS Inc., North America's leading farmer-owned cooperative and a global energy, grains and foods company, announced today it has acquired Northstar Agri Industries canola processing and refining plant near Hallock, Minn., from PICO Northstar Hallock LLC, a majority-owned subsidiary of PICO Holdings, Inc.

The Hallock canola plant processes more than 400,000 tons of canola seed annually into canola oil and canola meal.

"Acquisition of Northstar Agri Industries adds value to CHS owners across the enterprise from inputs to value-added processing ingredients to the marketplace," said Tom Malecha, CHS vice president, Processing and Food Ingredients. "Specifically, the acquisition expands our oilseed processing platform to include canola in addition to soybeans, adds to CHS presence in Canada, expands CHS oil product offerings to global food companies, and links growers purchasing canola seed from CHS-owned retail outlets to an integrated supply chain."

Neil Juhnke, president, Northstar Agri Industries, said CHS was a good fit because it is a financially strong, farmer-owned cooperative with Minnesota roots that is committed to growth and profitability. "The new ownership structure adds security and many value-added opportunities for canola growers in our region," said Juhnke.

The Hallock facility will be rebranded as CHS and the 57 employees at the Hallock plant will become CHS employees.