CHS Chooses New Chief Executive

INVER GROVE HEIGHTS, Minn. -- Carl Casale, 49, will become the new chief executive of CHS Inc.. Casale has been CFO of Monsanto Co., a St. Louis-based company that focuses on seed and weed-control technology, since September 2009, the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune reported.

Casale will succeed John Johnson, CHS' veteran chief executive who announced in June that he would retire at the end of the year, according to the newspaper.

Casale appears to be the first chief executive to be hired from outside CHS or its two predecessor co-ops, said Michael Toelle, CHS' chairman and a farmer from Browns Valley, Minn.

CHS, which was created in 1998 from the merger of Harvest States and Cenex, is the nation's largest producer-owned cooperative. With $25.3 billion in annual revenues, it's made up of 1,000 smaller cooperatives and at least 50,000 individual farmers, the report stated.

Casale is a 26-year veteran of Monsanto. He started by selling Monsanto's Roundup herbicide to farmers and farm co-ops in eastern Washington, and then worked his way up in the company through a variety of roles. He has a B.S. degree in agricultural economics from Oregon State University and an executive M.B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis.

"He has a really impressive and broad scope of business experience," Toelle said. Plus, he has "rural values and a commitment to agriculture."

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