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Wauneta Roller Mills to be featured on NET’s ‘Nebraska Stories’ PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wauneta Breeze   
Thursday, 22 December 2011 20:11

Jim Maxfield visits with NET crew members Jerry Johnston, Erin Green and Kay Hall, who were in Wauneta earlier this week filming a segment of “Nebraska Stories” which will feature the Maxfield family and the Wauneta Roller Mills in a May 2012 broadcast.


By Tina Kitt

The Wauneta Breeze

Three generations of Maxfields have worked as millers in Wauneta since 1925, when Wauneta Roller Mills was established. Their’s is a story long recognized as unique to the people of this area. Soon, it will be retold statewide.

NET’s “Nebraska Stories” will feature the Maxfields and the Wauneta Roller Mills in an upcoming episode. Producer Kay Hall of Lincoln was working on the project in Wauneta earlier this week, accompanied by coworkers Jerry Johnston and Erin Green. The trio filmed interviews with several members of the Maxfield family, including 92-year-old Raymond Maxfield and his son Jim, along with Raymond’s 86-year-old sister Emma Jean Maris who has done the bookkeeping for the family-owned mill since childhood.

“Nebraska Stories” is a half-hour “magazine-style” series that airs on Sunday nights on NET — Nebraska’s PBS station. The program “presents new, short-form video segments, highlighting people, ideas and events that inform Nebraskans’ sense of place and their unique perspective on American life as it is lived on the Great Plains.”

The story of the Maxfield family and their mill — the last family-owned roller mill in the state — is a perfect fit for the program, noted Johnston.

“This is one of those stories that people across the state want to hear. That they need to hear,” added Johnston.

He went on to explain that one of the primary missions of “Nebraska Stories” is to connect Nebraskans — from east to west; rural and urban — “to connect Omaha with Wauneta and let them know what’s going on across the state.”

“I’m not used to all of this,” said Jim Maxfield laughing good-naturedly as he pointed to the crew filming him as he filled the mill’s trademark cloth sacks with “Wauneta’s Best” flour and stitched them shut. “I’m just a miller, not some kind of celebrity.”

The timing of the interviews will prove an integral part of the storytelling, with 2011 likely to be the last year that Wauneta Roller Mills operates under the ownership of the Maxfield family. While an official announcement has been deferred until the transfer is complete, the Maxfields plan to the sell the mill at the end of the year as none from the fourth generation of Maxfields has felt the miller’s calling.

“That, too, is a Nebraska story: the exchange of a business from one family to the next is the heritage of business in Wauneta and other small towns across the state,” said Johnston.

The episode featuring the Maxfields and the Roller Mill will likely air in May 2012, said Hall, adding that photos of their visit to Wauneta are already available on the “Nebraska Stories” Facebook page. To receive updates on the progress of the episode and announcements of when it will air you can “friend” the show.

Last Updated on Thursday, 22 December 2011 20:14