E is for Elevator — an A to Z Series about Agriculture

It wasn’t too long ago that I was talking with someone and they started describing something they saw and didn’t know the right words to use. They wanted me to understand, but it was sort of like they were speaking a different language. They were talking about a town I hadn’t been too but they knew it had something to do with farms so we both thought we would focus on it and figure it out.

The “it” was a really big building. It was right there on the river. You know the big building. It’s really white. I’d never been to that town and yet I had been to every town and seen “it.” The “it” being a grain elevator — the storage facility for corn, soybeans, wheat and rice.

My first chance to be in the world of grain elevators was while I was in college in Oklahoma. I got used to the elevator on the horizon. Enid, Oklahoma was the Wheat Capital of the US so the elevators there were hulking masses. And in the photo on the left, you can see grain bins in the foreground.

grain elevator Union Equity in Enid, OK

Now I live in a river city and as you can see, there are grain elevators nearby! When you go up in the city’s most recognizable landmark, the St. Louis Arch, you see elevators just across the river, and from the base, its clear how close they are!

Downtown St. Louis river & grain elevator grain elevator on the Mississippi River

Tons of bulk grain move through elevators as farmers from throughout the area, bring their crops to elevators to be sold. Elevators are virtually always on a major river or a railroad line because transportation is so critical to getting the crop to market.

I don’t feel like I can stop my post on the letter E without acknowledging there were several other words to consider. The biggest one was the environment as farmers need to work within the environment, making choices that will insure our planet can produce food for generations to come, but there are so many areas of the environment involved in agriculture that I think I could do an entire A to Z on ag & the environment. I could do earthworms. Yesterday I did an economy related piece talking about debt. And there are all types of farm equipment my friend Al Winmill pointed out. And ewes are really cute and produce wool!

But elevators seemed a good fit for the series.

A to Z Agriculture blog post seriesF is for….

Tomorrow (Saturday) is the day for the letter “F” so what do you think the word of the day should be?

See the other posts in this series by clicking on the logo at right and reviewing the letters, or by browsing the A to Z ag tag archives. You should also feel free to add ideas for upcoming letters!

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About Janice Person

I'm Janice & this blog is about my passions -- photography, travel, agriculture & whatever else comes to mind. Putting all those things together is intriguing to me…. I can spend a lot of time soaking it up! It's almost always a colorful adventure!

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20 Responses to E is for Elevator — an A to Z Series about Agriculture

  1. brhsteach April 5, 2013 at 8:02 am #

    wow! I am impressed with the elevator. I am fascinated with all the aspects of super farming.

    • Janice Person April 5, 2013 at 10:28 am #

      Those elevators serve a large region. There are smaller ones out in small towns that funnel into the big ones on the main rail lines. Its really a complex system that I knew nothing about til I was in college!

    • jtailele April 6, 2013 at 5:38 pm #

      The elevator is really cool. Great photography

      • Janice Person April 6, 2013 at 11:04 pm #

        Thank you! I love taking photos!

    • Deanie Humphrys-Dunne April 8, 2013 at 10:02 am #

      I had never seen a grain elevator, either! They are monstrous for sure. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about them. I love sheep too. In fact, they’re so cute that there’s one named Wooliam in my book, Charlene the Star and Hattie’s Heroes. If you’d like to find out more about my books, please visit: http://www.dhdunne.blogspot.com. The book has just been released on Kindle.

      • Janice Person April 8, 2013 at 2:28 pm #

        WoolIAm! That’s an awesome name for a sheep! Will check out your site too!

      • Deanie Humphrys-Dunne April 8, 2013 at 2:53 pm #

        Thank you so much, Janice. Wooliam’s name was really my husband’s idea so he gets the credit. If you visit my page, you’ll see some of the things Wooliam and his friends say and think. They are an incredible team. Thanks in advance for visiting.

      • Janice Person April 8, 2013 at 8:05 pm #

        Very cool. I have a metal deck rooster I named JZ because the Bloggess named hers Beyonce.

      • Deanie Humphrys-Dunne April 8, 2013 at 8:30 pm #

        That’s cute about the rooster, Janice. Thanks for telling me about it.

  2. Linda Adams April 5, 2013 at 12:23 pm #

    I went to Decatur County, Indiana for a family reunion (they hold a tri-family reunion every year). Across the street from the hotel was this strange looking structure that I finally figured out was a grain elevator. They were all over the place! I took this photo of it at sunrise: http://www.flickr.com/photos/76426709@N06/8621591547/

    • Janice Person April 5, 2013 at 1:24 pm #

      Nice shot! Love how the pickups provide the scale for the photo too! If you come across odd sights in the backroads and aren’t sure what they are, feel free to get a photo & get in touch. I’d be glad to help you solve a mystery!

  3. Jessica Marcarelli (@jmarcarelli) April 5, 2013 at 8:50 pm #

    I like that you chose elevator. I’ve seen those buildings, as well, but never knew quite what they were for.

    Jessica @ Visions of Other Worlds
    Twitter: @jmarcarelli, #atozchallenge

    • Janice Person April 5, 2013 at 10:16 pm #

      Thanks Jessica for coming by and taking the time to comment! I look forward to seeing what you are up to with your A to Z project as well!

  4. Leilani Hook April 5, 2013 at 9:05 pm #

    Janice – thank you for reminding me of one of the landmarks that told us we were “home”. Farmland, Marshall building & union Equity told me my many hours in the car had nearly come to an end!

    • Janice Person April 5, 2013 at 10:28 pm #

      Yes indeed! The skyline was definitely a unique one.

  5. Faye North April 6, 2013 at 3:55 pm #

    Hi, Janice:
    I followed you back here from your comment on my A-Z blog post. I share your love of travel. And I’m very familiar with those huge elevators – we’ve got plenty of them in Canada too. Great post!
    Faye at Destination: Fiction

    • Janice Person April 6, 2013 at 5:27 pm #

      Thanks Faye! Nice meeting you and I appreciate your love of travel! We will have to compare notes on where we’ve been though I see quite a few in your blog I’ve yet to make!

  6. Kara Heideman (@KaraAgEcon) April 8, 2013 at 2:56 pm #

    I’ve had a similar conversation with someone, except they assumed they were old missile silos! There are lots of people who probably drive by them everyday and don’t realize what they are.

    • Janice Person April 8, 2013 at 8:12 pm #

      You are probably right then again, I’m sure there are things that are everyday happenings for me and yet unfamiliar to folks in rural areas. Its part of the reason I think being on social media is so cool…. I can learn and share a bit of the stuff I’ve already picked up too! 🙂 Thanks for coming by Kara!


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    […] Janice Person’s real job is ‘photography’,she travels the world for pleasure, and is a self acclaimed ‘city girl.’ She shares her life experiences and passion for agriculture using social media and her blog – A Colorful Adventure. […]

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