ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA - CHS Inc., a Fortune 100 energy, grains and foods company, and West Central Ag Services recently signed an operating agreement to launch a grain-handling joint venture. The new business, operating under the name Central Plains Grain LLC out of Hannaford, N.D., will include a shuttle grain elevator on the BNSF rail line. The companies plan to break ground for the new shuttle facility in early 2011 and complete construction by the end of that year.

"This initiative aligns well with our core commitment to expand competitive market access for producers while building value for our member-owners," said John McEnroe, senior vice president, Country Operations division of CHS. "It is a strategic move for both companies."

"This is an excellent opportunity to provide producers in the Hannaford area with a variety of services in grain marketing and handling, in addition to those already provided by Central Plains Agronomy, LLC," explained Jesse McCollum, general manager, West Central Ag Services. "Having a strong partner in CHS with similar goals and values makes this a solid business for the agriculture communities in central North Dakota."

West Central Ag Services ( ), a diversified grain and ag supply cooperative, has Minnesota locations in Ulen, Felton, Ada, Glyndon and Fertile.

CHS Inc. ( is a diversified energy, grains and foods company committed to providing the essential resources that enrich lives around the world. A Fortune 100 company, CHS is owned by farmers, ranchers and cooperatives, along with thousands of preferred stockholders across the United States. CHS supplies energy, crop nutrients, grain, livestock feed, food and food ingredients, along with business solutions including insurance, financial and risk management services. The company operates petroleum refineries/pipelines and manufactures, markets and distributes Cenex(R) brand refined fuels, lubricants, propane and renewable energy products. CHS is listed on the NASDAQ at CHSCP.