Ever since I began reading Our Grandfathers’ Grain Elevators: The men of slip-formed concrete and the buildings they created in North America, they have taken on a new significance for me. I always admired the structures, and many of them were benchmarks along the roads I traveled as a child in Texas–usually situated next to the railroad. One deeply etched memory is being in Elbert during wheat harvest, sitting in the truck in the long lines as my grandfather waited his turn to unload, seeing the men at the top of the elevators working various conveyor belts that funneled the wheat into the proper storage.
Driving back to Mississippi from Texas last Sunday, I was facing that dragging sensation when you know you need to take a rest break, and I still had 4 more hours ahead. On impulse, I pulled off at the Delhi, Louisiana exit–one I have never taken. I drove toward downtown and found myself in Anywhere, USA–my favorite places. I had walked across the street to get a view of the street-scape and when I turned around to survey the other side of the tracks, there she was: Terral Farm Service.
The Terral family entered the agriculture business in 1946 in Lake Providence, Louisiana, and later expanded to Delhi and opened a river service business on the Mississippi. In 2007, the Lansing Trade Group acquired the grain elevator operations in Delhi and Wisner, although the Terrals continue to manage the grain facility and to operate the river service. The facility is a 2.1 million bushel Kansas City Southern rail loading facility.