The vernacular landscape of the rural midwestern USA over the first half of the twentieth century can best be understood at two levels. First, as a wonderfully stable and productive adaptation to the prevailing natural, technological and economic systems of the region, and secondly, as a culminating expression of the ages old northern European mixed animal and small grain agricultural system described so eloquently by Carl Sauer. Since 1950, however, drastic changes have occurred in this landscape: an electro-petro-chemical revolution that replaced older energy and fertilizer systems, extreme capital intensive development, total dominance of a two-crop, row-planted system and at least one key technological innovation, seemingly minor, that revolutionized crop handling and storing. All these changes are commonly read as decay or at least disruption and imbedded as object lessons in a mythic structure of corporate landscape.