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    CHS Leaders Pledge to Put Future First at Annual Meeting

    President and CEO Carl Casale said company is looking 10, 20 years down the road.

    MINNEAPOLIS -- CHS Inc., parent company of the Cenex fuel brand, is turning its focus to boosting the economic value of the company for its farmer owners and their rural communities.

    "Our ultimate responsibility is to invent the CHS of the future by making the decisions, executing the investments and managing the financial health of this company in a manner that not only adds value for you today, but continues to pay off 10 and 20 years down the road," CHS President and CEO Carl Casale said at the CHS Annual Meeting.

    The event, held Dec. 5-6 at the Minneapolis Convention Center, drew nearly 2,000 of the cooperative's owners and other stakeholders.

    CHS is a leading cooperative, as well as a global energy, grains and foods company. In recent years, it has completed or committed to $4 billion in acquisitions, expansions and upgrades in its energy, grains, and processing and food ingredients businesses with the goal of adding long-term value for its farmer and cooperative owners, as well as customers worldwide.

    As CHS pursues its growth strategy, commitment to safety is the company's overriding priority, Casale said.

    In addition, Chief Financial Officer Tim Skidmore, who joined CHS in August, told the company's owners gathered at the annual meeting that his priority is to maintain the strong balance sheet, financial flexibility and liquidity that ensures CHS has access to the capital it needs to fuel growth in the future.

    "Continuing to generate strong earnings as we have in recent years certainly helps, but we are in volatile commodity businesses and our strategic direction includes significant growth," Skidmore said. "That means we must optimize our capital structure to manage both costs and the duration on our balance sheet of both assets and capitalization."

    In November, CHS reported its second-best earnings on record at $992.4 million for fiscal 2013 (Sept. 1, 2012 to Aug. 31, 2013). Its highest earnings on record was $1.26 billion for fiscal 2012.

    The company operates petroleum refineries/pipelines and manufactures, markets and distributes the Cenex brand of refined fuels, lubricants, propane and renewable energy products. CHS also supplies energy, crop nutrients, grain marketing services, animal feed, food and food ingredients, and business solutions including insurance, financial and risk management services.

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