Hailing from Nebraska, Cory Hildebrandt has been the Location Manager of CHS Midwest Cooperative since February of this year. Prior to accepting the position, Hildebrand spent two years in Pierre farming and serving as a hunting guide, eventually coming to the thought that it was time to “get back into the elevator.”
“I’ve been in elevators and farms all my life,” said Hildebrandt, explaining that he’d previously operated a feed mill for a swine operation and “in my younger years, I worked in a co-op.”
“It’s going good,” said Hildebrandt. “It’s interesting. I love Onida – it’s full of good people. I had no idea that the amount of grain and acres that we did here was so huge… and the size of the farms is just crazy! We can load a train and these farmers will have us full the next day. Most of the farmers have more storage than we do.”
Growing up, Hildebrandt took part in rodeo. Today, Hildebrandt has three children, who enjoy the outdoors. “The boys liked walleye fishing, so the river kind of helped pick the area.” said Hildebrandt.
Hildebrandt relates that one of the challenging aspects of his job is being at the railroad’s mercy as far as getting the cars needed to load out Sully County grain.
“It’s good that the ethanol plant is back up and going, as well as surviving COVID, so that’s definitely a positive for us and the community. Most of our stuff is going out on the rail,” said Hildebrandt.
A new development for the Onida location is the pending merger between CHS Midwest and CHS Northern Plains. Todd Oster, the general manager for Northern Plains, will now be the general manager of both of the locations once the process of merger is finished.
“It’s exciting because we are the furthest north of the Midwest elevators and Northern Plains is the furthest south,” said Hildebrandt. “There’s almost been a little bit of a competition even though we’re part of the same company. Now, with the consolidation, we can better serve our farmers whether it comes out of Gettysburg or Onida. We will be working together, and I think it will be a very positive and exciting adventure.”
Among the changes customers might expect from the merger is a new name, yet to be determined, but Hildebrandt states that there will be no change in personnel, and that it will be business as usual, with the two divisions working together.