CHS Foundation Awards CFANS 3.44 Million Dollar Grant

The grant "will support a comprehensive approach to impacting agriculture education and rural communities across the country," according a news release. The grant is timely since the agriculture industry faces a shortage of workers. According to the release, the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates more than 20,000 jobs are unfilled in the industry each year.

"The CHS Foundation is committed to growing the next generation of agriculture leaders," Linda Tank, president of CHS Foundation, said in a statement. "Together with the University of Minnesota, we are cultivating, preparing and helping agriculture leaders thrive now and into the future."

The grant is designed to help the U fund, among other items:

  • An agriculture education technology lab
  • A curriculum for kindergarten through 12th grade
  • An endowed fellowship at the U

"We are charting a new course for the future of ag education with new technologies, interdisciplinary curriculum and experiential learning that combine best practices in agriculture and natural resource sciences," Brian Buhr, dean of the College of Food, Agriculture and Natural Resource Sciences at University of Minnesota, said in the release. "This critical support from CHS and the CHS Foundation will better prepare future agriculture leaders and educators while strengthening rural communities."

The two entities were in talks for some time, according to a spokesperson for CHS. Buhr said the grant, which will be spread out over several years, is one of the largest the school has received in recent years.

Inver Grove Heights-based CHS (NASDAQ: CHSCP) is one of the largest agricultural cooperatives in the world and one of Minnesota's largest employers and private companies. The foundation awarded more than $11 million in 2015 to support the agriculture industry.

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