A conversation with Sarah Bovim about government affairs

US Capitol building at sunset

Sarah Bovim, vice president of government affairs at CHS Inc., says the company has an important role in helping government decision makers understand how their choices will impact people and businesses in their communities.

Jul 19, 2023

Sarah Bovim, who grew up on Lake of the Isles in Minneapolis, Minn., has returned to her Midwest roots with her new role as vice president of government affairs at CHS Inc. We talked to Bovim, who’s based in Washington, D.C., about her new position and how businesses and government can collaborate to create new connections to empower agriculture.

Why is it important for CHS to have a government affairs team?

Government affairs is the avenue to share our point of view with government decision makers. It’s critical to have a seat at the table to help educate government decision makers about how the choices they make will impact their constituents and what the practical implications are for businesses that invest and serve in their communities.

What does your job look like on a day-to-day basis?

It varies depending on which governments are in session and operating. A day might start with a meeting on Capitol Hill. We might be meeting with senators where CHS has facilities, or with governors to talk about how legislation and regulation impact day-to-day operations. We might be sitting down with trade organizations or like-minded companies to ensure we are working together to advance our collective industry interests.

What do you hear from government officials during these meetings?

The overarching theme we get from government officials is, “Tell us more. Tell us how this decision plays out in rural America. Tell us how the cooperative system operates, how you return profits back to the farm.”

Whether you are Republican, Democrat, conservative or liberal, everyone shares a commitment to address hunger and the land, and they see farmers as that connective tissue to protect our natural resources.

What gets you up in the morning?

One of our core tenets at CHS is cooperative spirit. If you do it right, partnering with government is an opportunity, and I’m very excited about the path ahead in terms of identifying where CHS can be a trusted partner with governments of all shapes and sizes and locations so we can help inform, educate and influence decisions.


Watch a short video from our interview with Bovim