Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Honoring the small town feed mill March 6, 2014

The Lonsdale Feed Mill.

The Lonsdale Feed Mill.

SOME TERM THEM “Cathedrals of the Prairie.”

Feed mill, close-up top

I know them simply as “the elevator” or “the feed mill,” the grey structures which, for years, have graced our farming communities.

Feed mill, back of

 They hold memories for me of bouncing in the pick-up truck, seated beside my farmer father, to the Vesta Feed Mill.

Feed mill, truck

Deafening roar of machines grinding corn.

Feed mill, bags of feed

Dust layering surfaces. The memorable smell of ground feed, as memorable as the scent of freshly-cut alfalfa. Stacked bags awaiting pick-up or delivery.

Feed mill, front 2

Like barns, these feed mills and elevators are disappearing from rural America, replaced by more modern structures. Or simply falling apart.

I hold on to fading memories. And I promise to pay photographic reverence to these Cathedrals of the Prairie whenever I can.

Copyright 2014 Audrey Kletscher Helbling