Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has issued a Stay-at-Home Order related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The order will be in effect from 11:59 p.m., Friday, March 27, through Friday, April 10, 2020. Consistent with guidance from the United States Department of Homeland Security, the order exempts certain essential infrastructure and services, including agriculture and food.
After a full review of the order, CHS has determined that its operations fit within this exemption and we will continue to operate to provide essential products and services so cooperatives, retailers and farmers can plant and grow crops, raise livestock and bring the food they produce to market.
Below is a note from CHS to our customers in Minnesota.
As you are aware, the impact of the global pandemic caused by COVID-19 continues to rapidly evolve. Safety is a core value for CHS Northland Grain and includes a focus on the health and wellbeing of our employees, families, customers and owners, and the communities in which we live and work.
We understand that spring is here, and I want to emphasize; we’re still operating to serve our growers and customers. We are simply adjusting some protocols. CHS Northland Grain has implemented the following changes effective Monday, March 23, until further notice:
We are limiting access at all locations. We respectfully ask you to contact us through phone or email whenever possible. Some of our locations have enacted split shift schedules; staff that can work remotely have been asked to do so and will be available via phone or e-mail.
If you need a grain check, please contact us and we will mail it promptly or set up a pickup location outside of the office.
All visitors to our office will be required to complete a questionnaire before entering our facilities. We are also asking all staff and visitors to adhere to the 6-foot distance recommended by the CDC to reduce virus spread.
We have restricted face-to-face meetings. Our sales staff will conduct business via phone, text or email. As a company that prides itself on the relationships we have built, this will be a difficult change. However, face-to-face meetings pose a greater risk for everyone involved. If you need to conduct critical business that requires an in-person meeting, please call for an appointment to confirm access to the facility and availability of staff.
We ask you to call ahead for product pickup whenever possible, our team will ensure that everything is ready to load upon your arrival.
For those customers or vendors delivering grain or picking up products, we ask that you limit your time in the office to essential business. At some locations, we are asking drivers to remain in their cab. Please check our location policies or watch for information and direction upon arrival.
We will adjust our practices as necessary in the coming days, weeks or months. Rest assured, it is our commitment that we will continue to provide excellent service and support throughout this unprecedented time, even if we must do it differently. We value your business, your trust in CHS Northland Grain and appreciate your understanding during this time. We look forward to resuming normal interactions as soon as it is deemed safe to do so.
With the impact of the global pandemic caused by COVID-19 evolving rapidly, we want to reassure you that CHS is taking steps to protect the health and safety of our employees, our owners and customers, and the communities we serve.
We are developing plans with the goal of continuing to provide the highest possible level of service to our customers and owners. Specific measures include:
Close coordination and collaboration to ensure safety and wellbeing of employees, customers and communities
Cancelation of annual meetings and other meetings of large groups and limiting visits to CHS facilities
Additional use of voice, video and other technology to serve you, our customers and coordinate farm visits
Activating plans to flex employees between locations or business units to better serve you
New process and rigor for interactions with vendors, suppliers, contractors or other third parties to promote health and safety
Fully utilizing our powerful and flexible supply chain and asset base should it become necessary to deliver to or from alternate locations
As the busy spring season unfolds, we will continue to adjust as circumstances change. We don’t take this challenge lightly, but we’re committed to working through it with effective planning, communication and execution. With our talented and committed team, best-in-class assets and our values of safety and cooperative spirit, we are confident CHS will continue to deliver products and services for customers and value for owners.