North Dakota Mill and Elevator
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.
Backstory and Context
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.
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- "Mill and Elevator Association". State Historical Society of North Dakota.
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