ST. CLOUD -- This week in our "Behind the Scenes" series on WJON, we tour Heim Milling Company and see how they package a large variety of animal feed.

For five generations Bob Heim and his family have been operating the mill since it was bought from Frank Arnold in 1900.

"My great grandpa bought it from him in 1900 and it's been in the family ever since, we actually have the fifth generation working here now," says Heim.

The facility started as a flour mill but by the 1940s started specializing in animal feed for cows, chickens, pigs and many more.

Heim says the mill can produce about 15 to 100 tons of feed a day and it all starts in the mixer.

"From there is drops out of the mixer into a conveyer, then an elevator leg takes it up five stories and then it either gets sorted, screened or sent somewhere else for processing," says Heim.

The feed is then sorted into 1 of 4 packaging lines, with three being run manually and containing specialized product.

"One specializes in pellet products, another in sticky products (a high molasses type feed) and then their is one that does heavy products called minerals," says Heim.

The fourth line is run by an automatic system, which they have had for about five years.

"This machine will actually weigh the bag before it fills it and all the human has to do is put a tag on it, make sure it's in good shape and the machine takes care of the rest," says Heim.

After packaged the feed is stored in one of three warehouse awaiting pick up or delivery.

"We like to have the product out as fast as we can because we just don't have the space to hold everything for longer than six months," says Heim.

About nine employees help run the mill and deliver the products. Heim says the mill continues to grow and it's the memories of the past that make him love his job.

Employees at Heim Milling finish packaging chicken feed. (Photo: Alex Svejkovsky, WJON News)