U.S. agricultural businesses are thriving despite the recession, executives say, because the sector is largely immune to many of the forces hammering other companies. Demand for commodities has remained strong, a weak dollar is helping exports and farmers haven't had trouble getting loans, since most agricultural banks didn't get involved in the subprime housing market. "We have found that food demand, grain demand, oilseed demand tends to be pretty insensitive to what the global economy is doing," said Mark Palmquist, COO of CHS Inc. "It is really driven by demographics. We keep adding mouths to feed."

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