To Our Shareholders,

It has been an incredible year of transformation at Benson Hill. And while much has changed, the foundation of what we have built remains firmly in place, and we are ready to deliver remarkable results.

For over a decade Benson Hill has focused on soy, the largest and most efficient source of plant-based protein in the world. However, for decades the soy commodity system has prioritized quantity over quality, resulting in more calories but less nutrition. Soybean breeders of the past drove yield, but at the expense of protein. The Benson Hill approach is different. We seek to create more nutritious, sustainable and energy-dense feed, food and fuel through soy seed innovation that lowers costs and increases profitability across the value chain.

The past 12 months have been pivotal in accelerating our transition from an asset-heavy, closed-loop business model to a more agile, asset-light licensing business model. This shift lets us leverage our robust seed innovation platform, CropOS®, to tackle challenges in larger and more lucrative soy segments. Combining our team’s unmatched expertise with strategic partnerships across the food value chain will position us for significant scaling of these innovations.

Today, our core principle is unwavering: better feed, better food, and better fuel start with better seeds.

A Differentiated Technology Core: Powering Innovation
To build a strong base for future innovation, we’ve invested heavily in an advanced, differentiated technology core – our proprietary CropOS® platform and state-of-the-art Crop Accelerator facility. These assets give us more shots on goal, with higher success rates, and enable future success by optimizing product development from our diverse germplasm base. The resulting portfolio of soybean varieties with quality traits boasts a multi-year competitive advantage over the global competition, further strengthened by an innovation pipeline that’s advancing with each crop season.

What else sets us apart? Our laser focus is on quality traits in proprietary soybean genetics. That focus, combined with AI-powered breeding technology, gives us the capability to impact multiple end markets in ways we are only now beginning to demonstrate. No other seed innovator today can match our level of innovation directed at the end user. These strengths form the bedrock for our next phase of growth.

Building a Sustainable Future: Financial Discipline Delivers Results
We have made some tough choices to get here, and I’m so very proud of what the team has accomplished.

Over the last several months, we’ve taken decisive actions to strengthen our balance sheet and financial profile. Through strategic asset divestitures, we’ve successfully extended our cash runway. Additionally, prioritizing cost management and reshaping the business will result in a 36% reduction in total operating and capital expenses in 2024 compared to year-end 2022.

Furthermore, the retirement of our senior term loan eliminated approximately $120 million in high-cost debt, freeing up valuable resources for continued innovation. As communicated previously, 2024 is a year of strategic transformation for Benson Hill. In the coming months, we intend to continue to drive efficiencies for a seamless transition to a profitable and sustainable, asset-light model.

Diversifying Our Soy Portfolio: Creating Value Across the Value Chain
Benson Hill is only now beginning to demonstrate its potential. We’ve made impressive strides in diversifying our seed portfolio and transforming how we deliver it. Our technological edge solidifies Benson Hill’s leadership in differentiated soy genetics. We are now poised to serve the entire soybean market. Starting with Ultra-High Protein, Low-Oligosaccharide (UHP-LO) varieties, we believe our products can deliver up to 20% higher protein and up to 90% fewer anti-nutrients for animal feed, leading to improved efficiency and consistent animal performance

In January we shared the timing for these innovations and our plans to expand the soybean seed portfolio from 22 to 35 varieties by 2025. Our non-GMO, UHP-LO varieties are expected to yield on par with GMO commercial varieties by 2026, while our UHP-LO varieties with an herbicide-tolerance trait are on track for commercialization in 2027. 

And there is more to come. 

Our robust data set holds promise for unlocking further value in soybean oil traits as well. Ongoing discussions with supply chain participants center on optimizing the soybean’s “mass balance” for maximum downstream value creation, impacting not just animal feed but also biofuels, presenting an opportunity for all soybean farmers.

Partnerships: Fueling Growth in an Asset Light Licensing Model
While we’ve laid a solid foundation for success for our evolution into a soy seed innovation company, Benson Hill now stands at a critical juncture. Our 2024 strategic roadmap is anchored by five key pillars:

  1. Transitioning from our legacy business model
  2. Optimizing capital structure and securing financing
  3. Continuously improving operating expenses and margins
  4. Forging strategic partnerships and licensing deals across the value chain
  5. Expanding intellectual property and advancing the technology pipeline

We expect to secure strategic partnerships with end-users and seed companies in the coming months. This asset-light model seeks to leverage partner infrastructure for faster scaling. We’ve made significant progress in this area, and we believe our compelling value propositions will incentivize participation across the value chain, from seed companies to farmers to customers.

A Brighter Future
As we transition away from grain processing and ingredients, and focus on royalties and seed sales, we anticipate a gradual improvement in our profitability profile and increased acreage adoption. We are actively pursuing capital sources to fund our operations through 2025.

Benson Hill is well-positioned to capitalize on the vast opportunities in broadacre feed and fuel markets. The benefits of our seed innovations are clear, and end users are eager to leverage them to create a more sustainable and efficient food system.

On behalf of the executive leadership team, thank you for your continued support of Benson Hill and our journey to deliver differentiated soybeans – Made from Better™. We are confident that our commitments to innovation, developing strategic partnerships, and financial discipline will unlock significant value for our shareholders and contribute to a more sustainable future.

Warm Regards,

Deanie Elsner 
Chief Executive Officer and Director

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
Certain statements in the enclosed letter from the Chief Executive Officer of the Company (the “CEO Letter”) may be considered “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Forward-looking statements generally relate to future events or the Company’s future financial or operating performance and may be identified by words such as “may,” “should,” “expect,” “intend,” “will,” “estimate,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “predict,” “plan,” or similar words. These forward-looking statements are based upon assumptions made by the Company as of the date hereof and are subject to risks, uncertainties, and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements include, among other things, statements regarding: the Company’s expectations regarding its transition to an asset-light business model to serve broadacre animal feed markets; expected strategic partnership and licensing opportunities; evolving market conditions and the Company’s ability to navigate current markets and to enter new markets; the Company’s expectations regarding its product pipelines; the Company’s acreage acquisition plans; the expansion of the Company’s seed portfolio; the Company’s expectations regarding its financial and operating performance and cost-cutting initiatives; the Company’s expectations regarding it products and product capabilities, including UHP-LO yield and commercialization; the potential adoption of UHP-LO by poultry producers or other animal companies, soybean processors, or farmers; the Company’s expectations regarding the future of food production and the industries and markets in which the Company competes; management’s strategy and plans for growth. Factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations include, but are not limited to: the risk that the Company will be unable to execute its transition to an asset-light business model; the risk that the Company will be unable to improve its capital structure and liquidity position, whether through the Company’s Liquidity Improvement Plan or otherwise, or otherwise fail to lower the cost of capital, increase return on capital and reduce costs; risks relating to acreage acquisition; risks associated with developing and maintaining partnering and licensing relationships in an asset-light business model, and maintaining relationships with customers and suppliers; risks associated with changing industry conditions and consumer preferences; liquidity and other risks relating to the Company’s ability to continue as a going concern; risks associated with the Company’s ability to grow and achieve growth profitably, including continued access to the capital resources necessary for growth; risks relating to the failure to raise additional financing to satisfy the Company’s cash needs; risks associated with the Company’s execution of its executive leadership transition, including, among others, risks relating to maintaining key employee, customer, partner and supplier relationships; risks relating to the Company’s exploration of strategic alternatives; risks associated with the failure to realize the anticipated commercial or nutritional benefits of the Company’s UHP-LO soybeans; risks that the benefits validated by a recent trial may not be able to be repeated or improved upon in the future, including in broadacre application; risks associated with the accuracy and repeatability of feeding trials generally; risks associated with the effects of global and regional economic, agricultural, financial and commodities market, political, social and health conditions; the effectiveness of the Company’s risk management strategies; and other risks and uncertainties set forth in the sections entitled “Risk Factors” and “Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements” in the Annual Report enclosed herein and in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), which are available on the SEC’s website at The forward-looking statements included in the CEO Letter are not intended to serve as, and must not be relied on as, a guarantee, an assurance, a prediction, or a definitive statement of fact or probability. Nothing in the CEO Letter should be regarded as a representation by any person that the forward-looking statements set forth herein will be achieved or that any of the contemplated results of such forward-looking statements will be achieved. There may be additional risks about which the Company is presently unaware or that the Company currently believes are immaterial that could also cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements. The reader should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date they are made. The Company expressly disclaims any duty to update these forward-looking statements, except as otherwise required by law.