CHS Awards $10,000 Grant to Support West Central Area Agriculture Program

Agricultural education is all about hands-on learning, and through a donation from CHS, students at West Central Area High School will have an even greater opportunity for those important hands-on experiences in horticulture, agronomy and other plant-based classes.

The school’s agriculture program received a $10,000 grant from CHS Prairie Lakes to support the building of a school greenhouse. The greenhouse will be used to enhance current course offerings, with students able to experience year-round plant growth. Currently, the classes rely on what can be grown during the May to September growing season, which limits what students are able to learn during the school year.

Eric Sawatzke, agriculture instructor, is excited to develop a fully modernized hands-on plant science curriculum and facilities for West Central Area Schools.

“Not only will this be a highly educational space for students enrolled in Agricultural Education, but it will also provide a year round source of vegetables that will be useful for Family and Consumer Science classes, food service, and donations to the Grant County and Hoffman Food Shelves,” says Sawatzke. “A one time donation of this kind will provide decades of stable, nutritious food for the communities that make up the West Central Area School District and beyond.”

CHS is committed to supporting the development of youth agricultural education and has dedicated money to fund projects in safety and ag leadership through the CHS Seeds for Stewardship program.

“CHS Prairie Lakes has a strong history of supporting our local communities through our donation programs,” says Brad Manderschied, general manager, CHS Prairie Lakes. “We’re proud to be able to support this initiative. I look forward to students gaining exposure to agronomy through these course offerings, which tie into many careers we offer locally, including right at our Hoffman agronomy center.”

Since 2019, CHS retail locations have awarded more than $270,000 in matching funds through the program.

CHS Prairie Lakes supports hometown community

Pictured, left to right: Steve Gorder, CHS Prairie Lakes Energy Manager; Jerry Moore; Brad Manderschied, CHS Prairie Lakes General Manager; Paul Hippe; Todd Johnshoy, Fire Chief; Doug Noyes; Scott Ogdahl

Starbuck, MN (September 5, 2019) – CHS Prairie Lakes announced today a $10,000 grant to Starbuck Fire Department. The funds will help replace the fire department’s wildland fire protective clothing, which is used during the spring, summer and fall months to fight grass fires. 

“As a former fire chief of the Starbuck Fire Department, I understand the need for this lighter weight protective gear,” says Steve Gorder, CHS Prairie Lakes Energy Manager.  “Traversing the rough terrain encountered wildland fires is a challenge, and regular gear is too heavy and cumbersome in those situations.  I’m proud that CHS and CHS Prairie Lakes are funding this initiative and supporting our local fire department.”

Of the $10,000 grant, half is contributed by CHS Prairie Lakes. That contribution will be matched dollar for dollar by a CHS Seeds for Stewardship grant, which helps cooperatives grow their impact locally. Jointly, $10,000 will benefit the Starbuck Fire Department.

“Cooperatives were founded on the principles of education, community involvement and cooperation,” says Gorder. “By combining resources, we are providing double the impact to our local community and demonstrating the cooperative spirit.”

Providing products and services in the agronomy, energy, and grain markets with locations in the communities of Elrosa, Glenwood, Hoffman, Long Prairie, Lowry, Park Rapids, and Starbuck, CHS Prairie Lakes is here to supply for your needs. For more on the company and to learn about other ways CHS Prairie Lakes gives back, visit www.chsprairielakes.com.

Hearts & Hands Food Shelf Received Donation from CHS Prairie Lakes

Amy Perreault, CHS Prairie Lakes Community Funds Administrator & Shirley Zempke Hearts and Hands Food Shelf Coordinator

Starbuck, Minn, Hearts & Hands Food Shelf received a donation of $882.00 from CHS Prairie Lakes. Back in March, each CHS Prairie Lakes location did a fundraiser to raise money and collect non-perishable food items to support the company’s Harvest for Hunger program. The funds and food were donated to our local food shelves to support our local community.

Providing products and services in the agronomy, energy, and grain markets with locations in the communities of Elrosa, Glenwood, Hoffman, Long Prairie, Lowry, Park Rapids, and Starbuck, CHS Prairie Lakes is here to supply for your needs. For more on what’s new and to learn about other ways CHS Prairie Lakes gives back, visit us at www.chsprairielakes.com, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter.

Hubbard County 4-H Riders Horse Project Receives Grant from CHS Prairie Lakes

Front row left to right: Maddyson Brakke, Pasleigh Brakke, Ana Etzler, Jordan Koebernick, Addison Cestnik, Adison Weiss, Janis Lappinga, Joelle Blanchard
Back row left to right: Katie Kamphaus, April Snook, Ava Etzler, Holly Packman, Rylee Belina, Ellie Rotari

Starbuck, Minn, Hubbard County 4-H (4-H Riders Horse Project)was awarded an Agricultural Education grant from CHS Prairie Lakes, as part of the company’s Community Funds Program.

CHS Prairie Lakes selected Hubbard County 4-H to receive a $400 grant to help maintain the safety of their youth riders and horses. Funds will be used to improve arena footing and purchase equipment to maintain the arena. 4-H Riders Horse Project is dedicated to training, working together, and teaching in a safe environment.

Applying schools and local community organizations are asked to state their plans for the grant money, supply general information about the project and purpose of the request, along with specific financial needs and projected outcomes. Applications for grant funding are available online at www.chsprairielakes.com.

Providing products and services in the agronomy, energy, and grain markets with locations in the communities of Elrosa, Glenwood, Hoffman, Long Prairie, Lowry, Park Rapids, and Starbuck, CHS Prairie Lakes is here to supply for your needs. For more on what’s new and to learn about other ways CHS Prairie Lakes gives back, visit us at www.chsprairielakes.com, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter.

Pope County 4-H Livestock Committee Awarded Grant from CHS Prairie Lakes


Colin Cihlar, CHS Prairie Lakes Credit Manager & Jodi Schoumaker, Pope County 4-H Livestock Committee Secretary

Starbuck, Minn, Pope County 4-H was awarded an Agricultural Education Grant from CHS Prairie Lakes, as part of the company’s Community Funds Program.

CHS Prairie Lakes selected Jodi Schoumaker, Pope County 4-H Livestock Committee Secretary, to receive funds to help cover the costs of a 4-H Livestock Clinic. 4-H Livestock clinics help members in the sheep & goat projects gain information & skills to better raise their animals now & in the future

Applying schools and local community organizations are asked to state their plans for the grant money, supply general information about the project and purpose of the request, along with specific financial needs and projected outcomes. Applications for grant funding are available online at www.chsprairielakes.com.

Providing products and services in the agronomy, energy, and grain markets with locations in the communities of Elrosa, Glenwood, Hoffman, Long Prairie, Lowry, Park Rapids, and Starbuck, CHS Prairie Lakes is here to supply for your needs. For more on what’s new and to learn about other ways CHS Prairie Lakes gives back, visit us at www.chsprairielakes.com, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter.

Center for 4-H Youth Development Awarded Grant from CHS Prairie Lakes

Photo:  Brian McNeill, 4-H Youth Development &, Amy Perreault, Community Funds Administrator

Starbuck, Minn, Center for 4-H Youth Development was awarded an Agricultural Education Grant from CHS Prairie Lakes, as part of the company’s Community Funds Program.

CHS Prairie Lakes selected Brian McNeill, Extension Educator, to receive a $400 grant to help support the 4-H Crop Scouting Event. This event helps to get youth connected with agriculture and potential careers in agronomy.

Applying schools and local community organizations are asked to state their plans for the grant money, supply general information about the project and purpose of the request, along with specific financial needs and projected outcomes. Applications for grant funding are available online at www.chsprairielakes.com.

Providing products and services in the agronomy, energy, and grain markets with locations in the communities of Elrosa, Glenwood, Hoffman, Long Prairie, Lowry, Park Rapids, and Starbuck, CHS Prairie Lakes is here to supply for your needs. For more on what’s new and to learn about other ways CHS Prairie Lakes gives back, visit us at www.chsprairielakes.com, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter.

Park Rapids Panthers Fastpitch Softball Team Awarded Grant from CHS Prairie Lakes

Photo: Marion Goeden, Park Rapids Panthers Fastpitch Coach & Trisha Demarais, CHS Prairie Lakes Park Rapids Agronomy Sales Representative

Starbuck, Minn, Park Rapids Panthers Fastpitch Softball Team was awarded a Returning Value grant from CHS Prairie Lakes, as part of the company’s Community Funds Program. The softball program is typically made up of 40 middle school players and 30 high school players.

CHS Prairie Lakes selected Marion Goeden, Park Rapids Panthers Fastpitch Coach to receive a $300 Local Donation to support the funding of softball equipment. The funds awarded are being used to buy game balls for their 7th grade varsity team.

Applying schools and local community organizations who are interested in applying for our Community Funds Giving Program are asked to state their plans for the grant money and supply general information about the project and purpose of the request, along with specific financial needs and projected outcomes. Applications for grant funding are available online at www.chsprairielakes.com.

Providing products and services in the agronomy, energy, and grain markets with locations in the communities of Elrosa, Glenwood, Hoffman, Long Prairie, Lowry, Park Rapids, and Starbuck, CHS Prairie Lakes is here to supply for your needs. For more on what’s new and to learn about other ways CHS Prairie Lakes gives back, visit us at www.chsprairielakes.com, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter.

Discovery Days Preschool Awarded Grant from CHS Prairie Lakes

Photo: Margaret Skogmo, Discovery Days Preschool Instructor & Amy Perreault, CHS Prairie Lakes Community Funds Administrator

Starbuck, Minn, Discovery Days Preschool was awarded a Returning Value grant from CHS Prairie Lakes, as part of the company’s Community Funds Program.

CHS Prairie Lakes selected Margaret Skogmo, Early Childhood Education Instructor, to receive a $950 grant to help fund the renovation of building a classroom bathroom. Have a restroom facility within the classroom allows the teacher to stay in the classroom while students need to use the facility, rather than leaving the room with the child.

Applying schools and local community organizations who are interested in applying for our Community Funds Giving Program are asked to state their plans for the grant money and supply general information about the project and purpose of the request, along with specific financial needs and projected outcomes. Applications for grant funding are available online at www.chsprairielakes.com.

Providing products and services in the agronomy, energy, and grain markets with locations in the communities of Elrosa, Glenwood, Hoffman, Long Prairie, Lowry, Park Rapids, and Starbuck, CHS Prairie Lakes is here to supply for your needs. For more on what’s new and to learn about other ways CHS Prairie Lakes gives back, visit us at www.chsprairielakes.com, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter.

WIN (What I Need) Academy Awarded Grant from CHS Prairie Lakes


Lisa Menninger, Special Education Teacher and Amy Perreault, Community Funds Coordinator

Starbuck, Minn.  WIN Academy was awarded an Elementary and Secondary Grant totaling $355 from CHS Prairie Lakes, as a part of the Prairie Lakes Grant Program.

CHS Prairie Lakes selected Lisa Menninger to receive a grant of $230 to incorporate a Water Works and Water Quality Test kits into her classroom. Lisa also received a grant of $125 to assist in bringing in the Minnesota Science Museum to her school to help teach students how essential water is for life on earth, how water cycles around our planet and how water is a limited supply.

Applying schools and local community organizations are asked to state their plans for the grant money, supply general information about the project and purpose of the request, along with specific financial needs and projected outcomes. Applications for grant funding are available online at www.chsprairielakes.com.

Providing products and services in the agronomy, energy, and grain markets with locations in the communities of Elrosa, Glenwood, Hoffman, Long Prairie, Lowry, Park Rapids, and Starbuck, CHS Prairie Lakes is here to supply for your needs. For more on what’s new and to learn about other ways CHS Prairie Lakes gives back, visit us at www.chsprairielakes.com, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter.

Long Prairie-Grey Eagle Elementary Thunder Dash Awarded Grant from CHS Prairie Lakes

Starbuck, Minn.  Long Prairie-Grey Eagle Elementary was awarded a $500 Elementary and Secondary Grant from CHS Prairie Lakes, as a part of the Prairie Lakes Grant Program.

CHS Prairie Lakes selected Katie Lieser to receive a grant of $250 to support the school’s color run. Katie is a teacher and a member of the Thunder Dash Committee. The school took a BOLD take on fundraising this year. Instead of having students sell food items and gifts, LPGE chose to host a Color Run. The money raised at the Thunder Dash Color Run is utilized for field trips and other educational activities.

Applying schools and local community organizations are asked to state their plans for the grant money, supply general information about the project and purpose of the request, along with specific financial needs and projected outcomes. Applications for grant funding are available online at www.chsprairielakes.com.

Providing products and services in the agronomy, energy, and grain markets with locations in the communities of Elrosa, Glenwood, Hoffman, Long Prairie, Lowry, Park Rapids, and Starbuck, CHS Prairie Lakes is here to supply for your needs. For more on what’s new and to learn about other ways CHS Prairie Lakes gives back, visit us at www.chsprairielakes.com, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter.

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