Minneapolis Flour-Milling Industry during World War I

The Minneapolis flour-milling industry peaked during World War I when twenty-five flour mills employing 2,000 to 2,500 workers played a leading role in the campaign to win the war with food. Minneapolis-produced flour helped to feed America, more than four million of its service personnel, and its allies.

Milwaukee Road in Minnesota

The Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad Company, better known as the Milwaukee Road, was a large railroad network that operated in the state of Minnesota for nearly 130 years. It provided freight and passenger service to many communities, playing a vital economic role. In 2017, much of the Minnesota route survives as a part of the Canadian Pacific Railway.

Oak savanna

Oak savannas—open grassland studded by tall, spreading oak trees—once covered 10 percent of Minnesota, mostly in the southeast quarter of the state. They are an attractive ecosystem for animals such as deer, turkeys, and red-headed woodpeckers. Before European immigration, indigenous people valued the savannas for the good hunting they provided, fostering and maintaining them through the regular use of fire. In 2017, only about 1 percent of the savannas that existed 200 years ago remains.

Northern Pacific Railway Como Shops

St. Paul’s Como Shops served as a major passenger-car repair facility on the Northern Pacific railroad between 1885 and the 1970s, providing employment to many St. Paul residents. The durability of the shops’ construction guaranteed their longevity, and in 1985 the facility was listed as a historic district on the National Register of Historic Places.

Officers’ Training Camps At Fort Snelling, 1917

At camps held around the country during World War I, the U.S. Army quickly trained the officers it needed to grow from a small defensive force into one of millions, ready to step onto the world stage. Fort Snelling hosted two such camps in 1917: one between May 11 and August 15 and another between August 28 and November 27.

Precision Agriculture

Precision agriculture is a farming method that uses the global navigation satellite system (GNSS), sensors on the ground, and drones in the air to study individual farm fields. With these tools, farmers can fine-tune their approaches to planting, harvesting, and maintaining crops to save themselves time and money. Minnesota farmers have used the technology since the early 1990s to improve crop yields while protecting the health of their soil.

Oregon Trail (computer game)

First thought up in 1971 by Minnesota student teachers, Oregon Trail has gone on to become the longest-published and most successful educational game of all time. As of 2017, more than 65 million copies have been sold worldwide, and the game that began on a teletype machine remains popular in a version designed for smartphones.

Minnesota Public School Fund

In 1854, the United States took the mineral-rich lands of northeastern Minnesota Territory from the Ojibwe Nation after the signing of the Treaty of La Pointe. Four years later, it granted to the new state of Minnesota sections 16 and 36 of every one of its townships, either to be held in trust or leased to support state schools. Close to three million acres were dedicated to a public school trust fund, and the iron ore and forest lands of the Ojibwe generated over 85 percent of its value. In 2017, it is worth over a billion dollars.

Pest Management in Minnesota Agriculture

Insect pests have harmed harvests in Minnesota country since European immigrants first arrived in the area. Most local farmers, however, did not actively manage pests. Instead, they planned for the risk of losing some of their crop. It took both huge losses from the late 1800s grasshopper plagues and the industrialization of agriculture for Minnesota’s government to invest in pest management methods.

Minnesota State Horticultural Society

The year 2016 marked the 150th anniversary of the Minnesota State Horticultural Society. In its early years, the society was a small, male-dominated organization focused on fruit production. Its mission shifted to become more educational as members taught each other, and the public, how to use plants to enhance their environments.


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