CHS updates

Employee spotlight: Doing good together

Man wearing CHS Volunteer T-shirt in garden cuts lettuce with scissors and places it into a large yellow bin

CHS employee Aaron Sillanpa harvests lettuce at Urban Roots, a Saint Paul, Minn., nonprofit whose mission is to cultivate and empower youth through nature, healthy food and community.

Jun 22, 2023

By Amy Sitze

On a hot, humid June afternoon, 23 CHS employees spent three hours pulling weeds, harvesting produce, planting seeds and prepping garden beds at an Urban Roots garden in St. Paul, Minn.

Among them was Aaron Sillanpa, asset portfolio manager for CHS agronomy. At work, he helps the wholesale agronomy team oversee its real estate portfolio. Outside of work, he’s a committed volunteer for non-profits that support youth and animal welfare.

That’s partly because of his personal passion for these causes and partly to show his children what it means to spend time and money helping others, he says. “We teach our kids that we’re extremely fortunate, and we want to give back to others who may not be as fortunate as us.”

Sillanpa is also on the committee that organizes Spirit of Service Days, which brings together CHS employees across the world for two weeks of volunteering in the communities where they live and work. Eligible full-time employees receive 16 hours of paid time off to volunteer wherever and whenever they wish, and Spirit of Service Days is one opportunity to use that time.

Sillanpa sees volunteering as a way to live out one of the company’s core values: cooperative spirit. “Being with coworkers and showing how much good we can do together is very powerful,” he says. “It’s energizing for me.”

Watch a short video about Sillanpa and Spirit of Service Days: