In the center of many small towns throughout the country stands a grain elevator.
Most of us drive by them every day and don’t give them second thoughts. They have just always been there through the heat of summer and the snowflakes of winter.
We see the hustle and bustle of workers and farmers. Dust and a roar rising from the machines, tractors, and shovels. We may even get aggravated when we encounter traffic from an old farm truck or an 18-wheeler moving in and out of the bustling lot.
For others, the grain elevator is the center of their universe at certain times of the year. It is the reward for countless early mornings, late nights, and going to bed praying for rain.
The elevator is the last step on the way to feeding your family for the next few months or purchasing the seeds to plant the next crop to feed your community next season. It is a place farmers visited with their dads and grandpas and now they are taking their kids who are learning the family business.
Grain elevators, just like the corner barstool or local church pew, are also communication hubs. A place to stay connected with friends, family, and everyone in between. Stories are told, some true, some questionable, news is spread, information is gained and shared. It is organic and key to local life.
If you look to the top of many of these grain elevators, you will see another type of communication that is key to connecting these small communities on a larger scale to the rest of their neighbors, country, and the world.
Wisper Internet started in a small community just like millions of Americans live in today. They all look the same to the untrained eye, but they are all unique in their own special ways. One stoplight, a school a bunch of churches, watering holes, a few mom-and-pop stores, and… a grain elevator.
Just like farmers, Wisper Internet has been using grain elevators to get our product to market by attaching its wireless broadband internet equipment to what is usually the highest structure in a community, or even an entire county.
Since 2003, Wisper has been connecting communities and currently has wireless internet equipment on 63-grain elevators and 176 water towers connecting hundreds of communities across Illinois and Missouri.
Little towns many of you have never heard of like Cisne, IL., or Jasper, MO. You may have driven through and barely slowed down, but to the families in those communities, the farms and Wisper Internet are vital to their everyday lives.
In the words of Wisper’s founder and CEO Nathan Stooke: “Wisper is an overnight success story 18 years in the making”. That success has come from partnering with small communities and people who know how to take care of their neighbors.
Just like the crops that are processed and stored at the grain elevators, Wisper has grown organically and locally from the same hometown roots. They are an invaluable tool for Wisper, just like the farmers. Wisper cares about small towns because that’s where we live too.