Home > CHS breaks ground on site of future Worthing grain facility

CHS breaks ground on site of future Worthing grain facility

CHS broke ground at the future site of its grain facility in Worthing, South Dakota. Pictured (l. to r.) are: Kent Mulder, vice president of operations, CHS; Jim Jibben, Lincoln County commissioner; Tom Versaevel, producer board chair, CHS; Mike Skuodas, general manager and senior director of operations, CHS; Jonathan Hagena, producer board secretary, CHS, and son Alex; and Michael Van Otterloo, senior operations manager, CHS.

Dirt work has begun at the future site of the CHS grain shuttle facility in Worthing, South Dakota.

Once completed, this 1.1-million-bushel grain facility will tie into existing rail loop and the current 4.2 million bushels of bunker storage already on site. This facility will bring area farmers even more market access to the Pacific Northwest, the Texas Gulf and Mexico.

In late August, CHS officially broke ground on the project at the Worthing Ag Center.

“Expanding and upgrading this facility is key to the flow of grain from the Upper Midwest to strategic export terminals in the Pacific Northwest, Mexico, and the Texas Gulf,” said Mike Skuodas during the groundbreaking event. Skuodas is senior director of operations for the CHS business unit served by Worthing. “This new grain facility will complement the current grain and agronomy assets in the area and will expand customer-focused solutions for our area producers.”

Many CHS producer board members from the area attended the groundbreaking, and Jonathan Hagena, producer board secretary, spoke about the impact this project will have for current and future ag producers like his young son, Alex.

“Investments like this strengthen our farms for future generations,” Hagena said at the event. “My youngest son Alex is eight years old. If Alex chooses to farm, he will be the sixth generation in our family.  The current economic condition of our operation and the decisions we make now directly impact the opportunities he will have to continue the business in the future.  Because this facility will strengthen our farm today, it will improve his opportunities to farm tomorrow, just like it will for countless other operations in our area and generations of farmers to come.”

Also speaking at the event was Michael Van Otterloo, operations manager for CHS. He is excited that the new Worthing facility will simplify the act of loading a shuttle train.

“I love grain trains more than anyone else I know,” he said at the groundbreaking event. “My wife thinks I am crazy. Our current grain terminal at Canton is organized chaos when we load a shuttle train, taking 14 people 15 hours to load a bean train with 430,000 bushels. With this new Worthing facility, we will slowly push cars around the track with four to five people and do it in seven to eight hours.”

He said from September to December, crews will be setting the boot pit and track work which will build the underground structure for the new facility. Then from January through March, 475 auger cast pilings will be poured to hold up the structure. Installation work will continue from July to September with the hope that by early December 2024, CHS will ship its first train from the new facility.

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