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Bell, Florence C. (Florence Colfax), 1899- / Farmer co-ops in Wisconsin

Many local co-ops strengthened by equity,   pp. 27-28 PDF (557.7 KB)

Page 27

handled by the Equity Cooperative
Livestock Sales Association, Inc., on
the Milwaukee terminal market. It is
estimated that in 1939 there were 190-
odd cooperative shipping associations
or local groups located in Wisconsin,
about 175 of which shipped to Equity.
The cooperative shipping and trucking
associations assemble the animals at
country points in most counties of the
State and ship them by rail or truck.
The local associations use a number of
sales outlets: cooperative sales agencies
operating on the terminal markets at
Milwaukee, South St. Paul, and Chi-
cago; private commission firms on
terminal markets; and packers located
in Wisconsin or other States, to whom
direct sales are made.
  In addition to handling livestock,
some of the local associations sell for
their patrons other commodities such
as poultry, potatoes, and cabbage.
Others furnish a supply service. The
commodities handled include feeds,
salt, fertilizer, seeds, grain, corn, coal,
binder twine, sugar, coffee, flour, hard-
ware, tile, cement, fence posts, roofing,
and oyster shells.
  Equity Cooperative Livestock Sales
Association, Inc.-The Equity Coop-
erative Livestock Sales Association,
Inc., operating on the Milwaukee ter-
minal market has made an outstand-
ing success. In 1939 it broke all form-
er records by the sale of 7,912 carloads
of livestock for over 8% million dollars.
This was the seventh successive year of
substantial increase in the volume of
business handled. Net earnings ag-
giegated nearly $27,000 in 1939, over
$ 17,000 being distributed as dividends
to affiliated local associations for their
farmer-members. Since the overhead
sales agency was organized in 1922, ap-
proximately $235,000 has been re-
turned as patronage dividends.
  Equity received livestock in 1939
from about 175 Wisconsin locals and
also 10 associations located in Michi-
gan, Iowa, and Minnesota. These co-
operatives provide more than 85 per.
cent of the Equity business, individual
farmers supplying the balance. It is
estimated that approximately 40 per-
cent of the local co-ops affiliated with
Equity continue to ship livestock by
rail; 60 percent, however, have changed
to the newer method of transporta-
tion by truck.
Many Local Co-ops
Strengthened by Equity
  Equity has done a splendid job in
rebuilding many of the old associa-
tions on the new transportation basis,
and has even organized new ones as
truck cooperatives. This outstanding
work at country points has enabled
the overhead sales organization at
Milwaukee not only to hold its own as
a federated terminal market sales
agency, but to expand the volume of
its business. Although there has been
some degree of decentralization in
Wisconsin, the extent of this has been
much less than in nearby States. Be-
cause of the aggressive promotional
and educational work of the Equity
management and personnel, the asso-
ciation has been able not only to main-
tain, but actually to increase, its vol.
ume of business on the terminal
   All of the voting stock of Equity is
 held by the local cooperatives. The
 40,000 farmer-members through these
 locals elect the directors who formulate
 the policies of the central association.
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