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CHS grant supports NDSU Quentin Burdick Center for Cooperatives

Published: 15 March 2013

The CHS Foundation has contributed $300,000 to the NDSU Quentin Burdick Center for Cooperatives. The funds will be utilized to expand the center's capacity to fulfill the mission of education, research and outreach.

The CHS Foundation is the major giving entity for CHS, an energy, grains and foods company.

The Quentin Burdick Center for Cooperatives promotes education to college-age students about cooperatives. Students who become familiar with cooperatives are more prepared for careers in these cooperatives and are better able to fulfill their roles as members and directors.

The CHS contribution will enable the center to expand the reach of graduate and undergraduate courses and improve efforts to develop and disseminate cooperative educational materials through electronic and social media sources. The center also conducts research that cooperatives can use to strengthen their operations and service to members. These funds will allow for expanded research capacity and heightened communication of research results that are beneficial to local cooperatives.

"These funds will increase the ability of the Quentin Burdick Center for Cooperatives to improve the operations of existing cooperatives, promote the development of careers in cooperatives and extend our ability to provide education to the public and college-age students," says Gregory McKee, director of the Quentin Burdick Center for Cooperatives. "Given the trends in the turnover of cooperative business employees and the increasing complexity of the markets in which cooperatives operate, an increased ability to achieve the objectives of the center could not be more timely."

NDSU President Dean L. Bresciani says CHS is an integral partner in research and education.

"As a land-grant university that has been named one of the top 2 percent of all public and private institutions in the country, NDSU is well-suited to serve the needs of industry in the future," Bresciani said. "The 20-plus years of center activities demonstrates the strength of NDSU's commitment to providing research, education and outreach in support of this important model in the North Dakota economy."

"We are proud to invest in the Quentin Burdick Center for Cooperatives and its exceptional work in building understanding of cooperative business and promoting careers in cooperatives to the next generation of agricultural leaders," said William Nelson, president of the CHS Foundation and vice president of Corporate Citizenship.

The CHS Foundation and Quentin Burdick Center for Cooperatives also were able to provide hands-on training and educational materials to the Zabul Agribusiness Development Team to promote and strengthen cooperatives in Zabul, Afghanistan.

Development team member Cheryl Wachenheim, a professor in the Department of Agribusiness and Applied Economics at NDSU, worked with the southern Afghanistan director of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock and his staff, as well as key leaders of cooperative boards and traders.

"It is impossible for me to quantify the specific role our training from CHS and McKee played in our ability to move forward agricultural technologies and thecooperative concept in Zabul province," Wachenheim says. "However, I did not fully understand the workings of the cooperative business model and the circumstances in southern Afghanistan until we were with the farmers and the government staff supporting them. There were many 'ah ha' moments when I saw the connection between what we learned and practiced with McKee and CHS and what we did in Afghanistan."

"As a global leading agribusiness that is owned by farmers, ranchers and cooperatives across the U.S., CHS recognizes the vital role of cooperatives in the success of U.S. agriculture," Nelson says. "We appreciate the center's important contributions in strengthening the cooperative system and its key role in ensuring a strong future for cooperative business."

For more information about the Quentin Burdick Center for Cooperatives, visit

NDSU is recognized as one of the nation's top 108 public and private universities by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education.

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North Dakota State University
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Last Updated: Sunday, August 25, 2013