30 Days of Dirt Roads: The Elevator

You absolutely can’t talk about farming & Dirt Roads, without talking about the Elevator.

Go to the edge of town Dirt Road in any small town anywhere in rural America, and you’ll find one.  And it’s far more than just a place to market grain.

It’s a place for producers to gather, share stories and compare notes.  It serves as a communications hub and a therapists office.  And I’m pretty sure you have to take a course in ‘how to make the best coffee ever’ before you can work at an Elevator.

The Elevator isn’t just for farmers either.  Some of the earliest memories my kids have are of the Elevator in our town. They knew what the wheat market was before they knew what a super market was.
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The Farmer would take them for a ride-along, and after about two trips, they would get bored.  It wasn’t until years later that I’d hear about the ‘apples with salt’ they shared with the Secretary there.  Or the clandestine cans of Mountain Dew the Manager would sneak to them.

In fact, one of the first stops we made when we brought our son home from the hospital, was the Elevator.  I remember the place emptying out– all occupants coming to peek through the window of the pickup at our new little bundle.

And just as you’d expect, ours and every other Elevator I’ve ever seen…. was on a Dirt Road. Maybe it’s only a couple hundred yards off the blacktop. But dirt, nonetheless.
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That’s pretty profound when you think about it in terms of food production.

Over 50 million tons of wheat alone are produced every year in the US.

That wheat is made into the loaves of bread, boxes of cereal, Thanksgiving dinner rolls, & scores of other products that grace our tables each and every day.

And almost of of them have two things in common. Which, if you think about it, connects all of us back to each other in the simplest, most basic way.

An Elevator. And a little Dirt Road.

Thanks for joining us for another installment of the 30 Days of Dirt Roads series! Don’t forget to take a look at some of these other outstanding 30 Days of blogging Ag series going on for the rest of the month. And we’ll see you soon on The Farm (and a Dirt Road!)   -Shauna

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