Monday, March 21, 2011

The Grain Mill, A Rare Insider Look, Part 1 of 3, A Social Media House, Bartering Hub

To cover this topic properly, I decided that one post isn't going to cover the information needed to understand how a Milling Company works. I am not sure if 3 parts will be enough, but I do know 2 won't be enough.

I am no stranger to a feed store, feed supply store or even a milling company. The first thing that needs to be talked about is the difference between those three, and I am going to cut straight to a Milling Company. A Mill is a place that takes in grain and makes feed for animals or food for humans, they often make their own feeds and set different protein levels, and sell name brand feed along with their own. They also mix grains for feed for farmers, the farmer is the chef, they just cook it. Whatever you want, they will do it, and recipes are guarded like top secret documents.

As a child, a social event to look forward to just about this time of year, was the gathering at the local mill to get the low down on the new stuff, and who is doing what, who has the newest equipment, who is trying which seed, who is planting the newest seed as a test market, who has free seed sponsors, and how folks were doing in general since little to no contact had been made since fall.

This would be an all day event, free coffee, folks would park in a corn field and walk over, it would be a time we would spend with other folks since falls harvest. During summer, there were fairs to do, and farming was a cut throat business. My tractor is Red and better than your green one, my hogs being showed by my kid has this blood line, and the little squabbles went on and on. But those were during the times we were working the fields and showing off our hard work.

When fall came, we put all that aside to get the harvest in, helping each other without past issues. However I don't remember locals taking it to far, because we all knew that we depended on each other in the fall. I was young, and listened a while until I was bored and joined my friends to run around.

Bobby, my step father is a different kind of man. He can't read, nor write further than his name, and he doesn't care to. But he brings to the table a whole different set of skills. He knows how to grow food, hunt it, and raise hogs.

Bobby only allowed 1600 pounds of a ton load to be known by the mill, the other 600 pounds were taped in triple wrapped feed sacks and hauled in by us and dumped into the mixer. Than it was moved to be pelleted with water and high pressure. Once it was done, we would stack it on the truck and wait till Dad was ready to go.

The Milling Company was also a bartering house for goods to be exchanged either way. We often Hunted Ginseng for the plants roots, dry them and get cash for the amount of grams it weighed. They also took in grain and offered stock/store goods in exchange. I remember getting those hard candy sticks, the striped ones, 10/1.00, all sorts of flavors.







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