Minnesota-based CHS Inc. and Illinois-based Growmark are partnering to create a new capital fund for ag tech startups. Dubbed “Cooperative Ventures,” the $50 million fund will, “create an industry-leading test field for products and services within North American” and focus on three investment areas: crop production, supply chain, and sustainability.
“This is a terrific opportunity to act cooperatively by working together on a venture meaningful to agriculture and our corresponding supply chains,” Growmark CEO Jim Spradlin said in a post about the new venture. “Both GROWMARK and CHS have trusted relationships and expertise within our networks, which will provide tremendous value for technology startups and ultimately benefit our respective customers. This is a natural evolution of GROWMARK’s AgValidity trial and testing program.”
The two companies say Cooperative Ventures will provide ag tech startups, “unprecedented access to robust distribution capabilities within multiple value chains, allowing for opportunities to test and refine at different scales.” Cooperative Ventures will be helmed by teams out of St. Paul and Bloomington, Illinois.
“This partnership will help accelerate technology solutions to existing and emerging challenges in agriculture and is yet another way CHS creates connections to empower agriculture,” President and CEO of CHS Inc. Jay Debertin said in the post. “Our ongoing commitment to investment in growth and innovation for the benefit of CHS owners and the cooperative system further places CHS and GROWMARK at the forefront of cutting-edge technology solutions by leveraging our deep expertise and strong connections with farmer-owners.”