The Silo Story

The Silo Story

Alan Russell, D.D.S.*:

Tom and I (the author) grew up in Richfield, Minnesota and graduated from Richfield High School in the early 70’s. We were college roommates, both went to dental school, and have hunted  together for almost 40 years.

One of the areas where we hunted wild turkey was Mercer County, Missouri. This part of the country more than caught our eyes, it caught our imaginations. We bought some of it. It’s a small piece of ground, but enough to lease part of it to a Cainsville, Missouri cattleman. It is used as summer pasture for free range, grass-fed Black Angus.

In addition to the pastures, woods, creeks, and stock ponds, we have three structures on the property: a large milk-loading building from its old dairy farm days, a grain bin, and a Harvestor Silo  built in 1967. The buildings are on the top of a hill, allowing the view of six miles in all directions from the top of the silo. That’s looking at more than 100 square miles of rolling northern Missouri hill country. It can be described as the middle of nowhere, or God’s country, depending on who you talk to.

Chris Lutzen, a local buddy, said we should fix up the silo, as it would be a good project for two city boys with more money than brains. We seem to be down there about 13 weekends per year.  The silo has a first floor kitchen, bath, laundry, and utilities. The second floor has two bedrooms. The third floor is known as the man room, with bar, bunk area, TV, and a urinal for old guys who don’t want to go down two flights in the middle of the night. Going up further, there is a loft under the roof. If you go through the central loading hole, you get to a deck we have built outside on  the very top. That’s a destination worth the climb.

Many projects remain: millwork to be finished, a large outdoor groundlevel deck, and an endless list of other chores for us brainless city-dwelling neofarmers. We’ll keep at it, though, and when it’s  done, we’ll let you know.


*Drs. Russell and Bruss are is a general dentists in private practice in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Email is or