How many of us really know where our food comes from? Sure, it grows on the farm. Sure, you may go to the farmer’s market and purchase your veggies or visit a U-Pick to get the whole apple orchard experience. But there is so much more to food than even farmer’s think about each time they sit down to the table!
Sure, farmers planted seeds, but where did the seeds come from? Yes, farmers grew the wheat, but who baked that bread?
So here’s a look at a small piece of the big food picture; these are pictures of what we do with the corn after it has been harvested.
Daddy drives the semi and trailer to the grain elevator. This elevator, part of a company called Ingredion, is in Kansas City. Ingredion is a smaller elevator than others, but it has some neat technology others don’t. The huge, concrete cylinders store grain. Imagine how much grain they can hold and then remember this elevator is small!
Depending on the day, Daddy and Anna must wait in line for their turn to unload. Some days they wait for several hours.
This is a scanning system. Our truck has a card on the dashboard with all our farm’s information. As you drive across this computer scans the card so the elevator knows who the grain is coming from.
These trucks are waiting in line just in front of the probe. This machine takes samples of the grain to be tested for moisture, foreign material, to see if it is the correct kind of corn (waxy), and for a fungus called aflatoxin.
This shows the probe sampling our corn.
The machine will take samples from a couple of places in the trailer, often once in the front and once in the back.
Then its into the office to await the results of the tests.
Inside the office Brett watches an employee test for foreign matter.
Here they check for alfatoxin.
This screen displays information about the automated grain leg system. The grain leg moves the corn from the shed where farmers unload to the concrete silos, which you’ll see soon in another photo!
And now the appropriate thing to do would be to play in the semi truck while waiting yet again for your turn to unload.
If test results are fine the next stop is this green shed. Grain is unloaded from the bottom of the trailer and goes under the floor. Then the yellow grain leg, using a belt and buckets, hauls the corn up and over to the storage silos.
Daddy cranks open the hoppers on the bottom of the trailer and corn flows out! This, I might add, is about the best part and the whole reason to sit for hours in a semi truck!
Here Brett sweeps up each and every kernel, making sure it falls into the grate. You might also see that the truck is parked on a plate of metal. This is the scale which weighs the truck before unloading and after. The difference is the amount of corn the elevator will pay Daddy for.
And this is the last of the corn, trickling out of the hopper bottom. All that is left of the trip is to close the doors and grab a ticket from the scale house telling us how much the truck weighed. And then its back to the farm to pick up another load and do it all over again!