Original feed mill
Original feed mill on main street where Citizen’s State Bank is currently located.

Company Roots
Steve Brussow – begins working at August Witt & Sons feed mill during high school. Following military service in WWII, Steve returned and went back to working at the mill.
Steve Brussow starts Northside Elevator with purchase of existing business by the name of August Witt & Sons. Steve raised his family, including son, Tom Brussow, in lodging above the mill on Main Street in Loyal. Space was tight, and the wooden structure was dusty but the business continued to grow… just like the family. Tom worked in the mill as a child and through high school before heading to business college. Upon graduation from college in 1962, Tom returned to work at the mill in 1964.

Tom became mill operator and began taking on more responsibility of the business and the 5 employees. At this time, most farms were multi-species and included dairy cows, chickens, hogs and horses so Northside Elevator offered a varied product line and a diversity of services.

Wisconsin dairy farming was growing and becoming more of a focus in the region. With headquarters in Loyal, the opportunity for business expansion in any direction to serve these dairies was a business opportunity the Brussows’ capitalized on through hard work and dedication to customers.

A fertilizer plant was added to the business and has remained a steady part of business growth ever since. This additional service helped farmers realize better crops — and it also gave Northside’s first full-time sales person more tools for building the business.

Fire destroys the feedmill
Fire destroys the feedmill on Main Street.

Fire destroyed the mill on a cold November evening the night before deer hunting season opener. Steve, was alerted to the fire when a passerby threw a rock through a window and Steve escaped onto the roof of another structure then to the ground to safety. The mill however, was a complete loss. With the mill in ashes, one of Northside Elevator’s best wholesale vendors OW Trindal, made an offer to continue servicing Northside Elevator customers at night after they had serviced their own retail customers. Tom worked with OW Trindal during the day and then serviced their own Northside Elevator customers by night alongside OW Trindal staff. Fortunately, the fertilizer plant was not damaged during fire and this business became a good way to stay in touch with farmers during the rebuilding.

Insurance covered losses from the fire and allowed the Brussows the opportunity to rebuild a mill better and more advanced than the original. Steve and Tom bought the land at the location of the present mill very shortly after the fire. Lots of help was offered and shared for rebuilding, with farmers pitching in to help lay block and working side by side with the contractor. The new mill was designed with overhead bins and a central scaling system was added among other updates. More modern than most for its time, the new Northside Elevator mill helped service farmers more accurately, more quickly and was less labor intensive.

Fertilizer division began spraying crops as a convenient service to farm customers.

The mill in its current location
The mill in its current location with the old canning factory in the background.

Steve retires and the business ownership transitions to Tom.

Tim Brussow (Tom’s eldest son) joins the business after graduation from college. Familiarity with the family business came from working at the mill during his high school years. Upon returning after college, Tim worked in the Shop facility before managing the fertilizer business for the next three years. In 1992 Tim started feed consulting and, to date, manages that part of Northside’s business portfolio.

Rick Brussow (Tom’s son) joins the family in the business working in the mill before becoming mill manager in 1996 continuing though 2013. After 2013 Rick stepped into the role of Supply Specialist with extensive knowledge of all facets of Northside’s vendor management, manufacturing processes, and customer service.

Northside Elevator constructs their first grain bin (50,000 bushels) which was built to add to the services offered to area growers.

Construction of a pellet mill provided the path for Northside Elevator to quickly became one of the only area suppliers to offer pelleted feed. With this, Northside Elevator had more feed delivery, purchasing and customization options to offer customers.

Grain bins
Grain bins.

Northside Elevator internalizes trucking/logistics by buying their contractor group, Bixby. By forming NSE Transport, Northside is now able to haul own feed, internalize cost and have better control of customer service.

Ted Brussow (Tom’s son), starts working in the mill bagging and hauling feed after attending college. Ted performs and participates in most all job functions around the facilities for a couple years before spending extended time in the office becoming more familiar with the Northside business.

The mill with the current office
The mill with the current office.

Ted moves Northside into grain contracting and hedging. Since construction in 1985 and years following, the grain bins were used for storing grain used in the mill. Ted adds Risk Advisor for grain contracts, General Manager of operations, and Logistics Director to his duties.

Tom retires and business ownership transitions to Tim, Ted, and Rick.

Office space is expanded and redeveloped to meet the needs of the growing staff.

New feed mill increases manufacturing capacity and is more technologically advanced. Additionally, a new warehouse is constructed.

Mill with added warehouse and newly built fertilizer plant at top.
Mill with added warehouse and newly built fertilizer plant at top.

Jordan Brussow (Tim’s son and 4th generation Brussow family) joins the business and today serves as CFO.

New grain bin is erected, pushing total grain storage capacity to nearly 3 million bushels and a new fertilizer plant is built.

New state-of-the-art fertilizer plant is built featuring automatic scaling, greatly increasing accuracy and production time. Delivery trucks were also added that have variable rate boxes to assure precision application on the field.

A new Service Shop is built for convenient and timely repair and maintenance of vehicle fleet.

Grain bins at dusk
Grain bins at dusk.

Completed acquisition of Golden Grain business just south of Loyal, and have constructed more bins since the acquisition for total storage capacity of 4.4 million bushels.

Completed a full automation project of our pellet mill for greater efficiencies and improved worker safety. We constructed a fully independent calf grain mill with stringent biosecurity protocols.

Constructed a dry storage facility with 7,000 ton holding capacity. Additionally, we relocated our rail site and expanded to 30-car capacity.

Expands its geographic footprint by purchasing property in Stanley, WI and begins construction on a state-of-the-art fertilizer production facility with advanced logistics. This facility will produce consistent, high-quality fertilizers to serve agribusiness in central Wisconsin. The new location includes:

  • A rail spur for more efficient procurement of production materials
  • Warehousing that will create greater flexibility in purchasing and storage of fertilizer, seed and serve as an internal distribution hub
  • Office space will be staffed to support the one-on-one personal customer service long expected by Northside Elevator customers. 

Learn more about the Stanley, WI expansion here.

Northside Elevator fertilizer facility in Stanley, Wisconsin
Fertilizer facility in Stanley, Wisconsin.

Northside acquires Buck Country Grain in Arcadia, WI. This acquisition highlights Northside’s expertise in grain and commodity markets and offers another option for procuring locally grown commodities.
Learn more about the Buck Country Grain acquisition here.

Northside Family
Northside Family:  Jordan Brussow, Ted Brussow, Cameron Brussow, Tim Brussow