Monthly Archives:: June 2022

Farm safety and volunteer firefighting with Dan Neenan

The following information is provided by Nationwide®, the #1 farm and ranch insurer in the U.S.* June is National Safety Month and we want to recognize the volunteer firefighters who keep our rural communities safe and partners like Nationwide who support them with training and resources.


Dan Neenan became a volunteer firefighter in 1991 and quickly saw something that would become a huge part of his career. First responders in small towns like his often didn’t have the training and equipment they needed to save lives on the farm.

So he set out to change that. Now more than 30 years later, Neenan embodies how and why to be a volunteer firefighter. He’s a paramedic specialist and firefighter II with the Epworth and Centralia/Peosta, Iowa, fire departments. He’s also the director of the National Educational Center for Ag Safety (NECAS) that provides valuable resources like grain bin rescue tubes to rural first responders. And through a close partnership with Nationwide, he’s been able to deliver what he saw lacking when he first started fighting fires and saving lives.

Hands-on training for firefighters and farmers

A huge part of Neenan’s work at NECAS is providing training for rural firefighters and farmers. Much of his instruction is hands-on and involves simulating some of the most hazardous working conditions and settings on and around farms.

“We develop hands-on training programs like our grain bin safety training that involves a state-of-the-art grain entrapment simulator to conduct entrapment and rescue simulations. Farmers and firefighters are alike in that they don’t want to sit and listen to somebody talk for 8 hours,” Neenan said. “They want to go out and get their hands dirty. And do something.”

What Neenan’s work means to farm communities

In the almost 20 years since beginning these programs and simulators, Neenan said it’s not always easy to gauge his success. But with around 10,000 first responders having completed training, it’s clear he’s leading a team that’s making a big difference. And saving lives.

“From the safety side, it’s really hard to count an incident that didn’t happen,” he said. “From the rescue side, it’s a different story. Thirty-two departments have completed our grain bin safety training and have gone on to rescue someone in a bin.”

Neenan has led lifesaving efforts. But he’s quick to point out he’s no hero. To him, he’s just one member of a larger team — including Nationwide — who has made a lifesaving difference in farm towns around the country. It’s part of why he is a volunteer firefighter.

“If you look at the partnership we have with Nationwide and all the partners who have come together to donate or help make something like Grain Bin Safety Week happen, do I play a part in it? Yes. Am I the only reason? I don’t think so,” Neenan said. “It takes a team to do that. Just like a fire department.”

Visit AgInsightCenter.com for expert tips and information from Nationwide for your farm or ranch.

*A.M. Best Market Share Report 2021.


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New state-of-the-art facility coming to Erskine!

ERSKINE, MINN. (June 14, 2022) – CHS will begin construction this summer on a new state-of-the-art grain facility with 1.25 million bushels of additional storage capacity in Erskine, Minn. The facility is slated to be operational in the fall of 2023 and will help CHS expand operational capabilities and increase efficiency across its footprint. The new shuttle elevator will bring total capacity at the location to 4.55 million bushels of storage and will complement existing CHS grain, agronomy and energy assets and offerings for area producers.  

“CHS is committed to growing our cooperative with customer-focused solutions that make it easier for producers to do business with us,” says Rick Dusek, executive vice president of CHS ag retail operations. “Our people, assets, capabilities and operational footprint are the strengths of our retail platform, and this important project advances our strategy to expand our customer-focused retail solutions platform, creating value and driving growth for farmers – as customers and owners. This facility is a key location in the flow of grain from the Upper Midwest to export terminals in the Pacific Northwest.”  

The new terminal is the latest in a series of investments throughout Minnesota and North Dakota by CHS. In keeping with its core value of safety, the company has placed priority on safety features and advancements to improve operating conditions. 

“Along with expanding our grain handling capabilities and value to area farmers, the new facility will create advantages for our employees, farmers and community,” says James Hardy, who manages CHS Northern Grain, a CHS business unit with eleven grain facilities in northwest Minnesota. “Improved traffic flows, better operating conditions, advanced equipment and the latest safety advances are just some of the innovations to help us provide a better customer experience. We want to get producers in, out and back to the field as quickly and safely as possible.” 

Vigen Construction out of East Grand Forks, Minn., is overseeing this construction project. 

CHS Northern Grain is a part of CHS Inc., (www.chsinc.com) 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. 

This document and other CHS Inc. publicly available documents contain, and CHS officers and representatives may from time to time make, “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements can be identified by words such as “anticipate,” “intend,” “plan,” “goal,” “seek,” “believe,” “project,” “estimate,” “expect,” “strategy,” “future,” “likely,” “may,” “should,” “will” and similar references to future periods. Forward-looking statements are neither historical facts nor assurances of future performance. Instead, they are based only on CHS current beliefs, expectations and assumptions regarding the future of its businesses, future plans and strategies, projections, anticipated events and trends, the economy and other future conditions. Because forward-looking statements relate to the future, they are subject to inherent uncertainties, risks and changes in circumstances that are difficult to predict and many of which are outside of CHS control. CHS actual results and financial condition may differ materially from those indicated in the forward-looking statements. Therefore, you should not place undue reliance on any of these forward-looking statements. Important factors that could cause CHS actual results and financial condition to differ materially from those indicated in the forward-looking statements are discussed or identified in CHS public filings made with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including in the “Risk Factors” discussion in Item 1A of CHS Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended August 31, 2020. Any forward-looking statements made by CHS in this document are based only on information currently available to CHS and speak only as of the date on which the statement is made. CHS undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether written or oral, that may be made from time to time, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise, except as required by applicable law. 

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