Elevators thrust against the prairie sky stand as indelible icons of midwestern farming. They now stand rusting by the railroad siding, where they once transferred grain to railroad cars, destined for world markets.

Some are still used, but many small operators have gone out of business. In the on-going farm crisis of the 1970s and 1980s, hundreds of small midwestern elevators went bankrupt. Farmers lost the grain they had entrusted to the elevator, as creditors seized the owners' stock.

Now most farmers store their own grain, or they ship it to elevators owned by transnational grain traders like ConAgra and Cargill.

ConAgra web site

Cargill's web site
© D. Gorton 2001
Elevator and Grain Storage, Tuscola, Douglas County
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