Cortney Wagner has joined the CHS board of directors, becoming the first woman to do so.

“With being the first woman on the CHS board of directors, I really hope that I can really share the message out there, whether it is a woman or a man,” Wagner said. “I hope to share the message that whether you grew up in agriculture or not, this is a place for you. I guess I am just a testament to it.”

Wagner did not grow up in a typical farm setting, but has family ties to agriculture.

“I’m not your typical farm girl, although I do have strong family ties to dating back to the cooperative system dating back to 1939,” Wagner said.

Before joining the board of directors for CHS, Wagner spent some time in the banking industry and then went on to be a stay-at-home mother, raising her two sons. She also has an associate of art degree from Williston State College.

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She lives in Hardin, Mont., on a ranch with her husband. On their ranch they run a heifer replacement program and grow a variety of forage as well. Wagner is excited to be a part of CHS, which is the largest farmer-owned cooperative in the nation and a global agribusiness.

“I can say from my very first CHS annual meeting that I knew I wanted to be a part of CHS. I guess it’s not only carrying on the family legacy of the cooperative system, but I was also at a point in my life where I wanted to be part of something bigger than myself,” Wagner said. “At CHS they are committed to creating those connections to empower agriculture.”

Wagner has enjoyed the transition to working in the agricultural industry, which is an industry she has grown to love and respect.

“Agriculture to me is about giving back and supporting life itself. Without agriculture, we have nothing. To me, the industry is self-rewarding; we’re being a steward of the land. Just knowing that we are contributing authentically to the world,” Wagner said. “Agriculture is just a way of life. The values align with who I am.”