For over a century now, Mansfield's economy has revolved around one product, grain. Settlers began arriving in Mansfield in 1909 with the introduction of the Great Northern Railroad. At the time, land was for sale and it was cheap. Many people hoped to start a new living, and a new way of life.

Throughout time, Mansfield was served by many different grain companies and mills. Eventually, they were bought out by Central Washington Grain Growers, Inc, a large corporation that serves twenty different locations in Central Washington. The largest amount of grain ever taken in at Mansfield was in 1981 totaling 3.2 million bushels of grain.  Today, many of the hopes and dreams of the original settlers have stayed with the local farmers. The farmers of Mansfield raised soft white wheat, barley, and oats for many years. Today, soft white wheat remains the number one crop in the area. Over the past few years, however, a new crop has sprung up...canola. Many farmers are finding the new crop to do well in the dry, sandy climate of northern Douglas County. 

Last year, there were a total of thirty three farmers that delivered there crops to the Mansfield elevators. Annually, the elevators bring in nearly 1.7 million bushels of grain, the third largest intake in North Central Washington. The main grain harvested in the area, soft white wheat, is shipped around the world for production of pastries and noodles. The canola that is harvested is trucked to Canada, where the seeds are processed into oil. The seed remains are then trucked back down to Washington where they are used as cattle feed. The pressed oil is sold to the Light House Salad Dressing Company for use in dressings.

Top Photo - "Anderson and Jensen thrashing wheat on September 2, 1914." Courtesy of the Jensen Family.

Middle Photo - "Mansfield Elevators." Courtesy of Central Washington Grain Growers, Inc.

Bottom Photo - "Thrashing Near Mansfield." Courtesy of Shumaker Family.

Posted on September 24, 2008