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The North Dakota State Mill and Elevator was a socialist experiment authorized by the 1919 state legislature as a response to the Populists’ belief that North Dakota farmers were being manipulated by out-of-state power brokers. The ND State Mill, is the only state-owned milling facility in the United States. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1992.

  • North Dakota Mill logo
  • North Dakota Mill and Elevator as it looks today
  • Reportedly 1915 colored postcard of the Mill
  • Aerial view of the Mill
  • 1939 photo of the Mill. Photo courtesy State Historical Society of North Dakota
  • 1919 cover of the Nonpartisan League Journal
The North Dakota Mill and Elevator is the largest flour mill in the United States. Established by the state government when it was led by Nonpartisan League representatives, it is the only state-owned milling facility in the US

The North Dakota Mill and Elevator Association started operations on October 22, 1922. The facility was built by the state as a way of bypassing what many area wheat farmers considered unfair business practices on the part of the railroads and milling facilities in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Immigrants especially felt that they were disadvantage by the actions of major capitalists in the big cities.

In the early 1900s, the flour mills and grain exchange in Minneapolis were the primary wheat markets for North Dakotan farmers and elevators. After freight costs to Minneapolis were deducted from Minneapolis market prices, North Dakotan farmers received a low price for their wheat. The North Dakota Mill was established by the Nonpartisan League leaders, who then controlled the state government, to help solve this problem and benefit local farmers.

The North Dakota Mill facilities include seven milling units, a terminal elevator and a packing warehouse to prepare bagged products for shipment. The Mill's offerings include not only flour, but also newer products such as bread machine mixes, pancake mixes, and organic wheat products.

  • Morlan, Robert L. (1955) Political Prairie Fire: The Nonpartisan League, 1915-1922 (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press) 
  • Lipset, Seymour M. (1971) Agrarian Socialism (Berkeley: University of California Press)
  • Gretchen Dystra (March 30, 2012). "Pragmatism on the Prairie". The New York Times. 
  • "Mill and Elevator Association". State Historical Society of North Dakota.
  • "Company Overview of North Dakota Mill & Elevator Association". Bloomberg Business.