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

Rapid gains made in cooperative purchasing,   pp. 37-39 PDF (780.9 KB)

Page 37

a small percentage to cover any drop in
the market. When the pelts are sold,
if they bring more than the price at
which they were taken over, a dividend
is declared to the shippers.
The association makes loans on live
animals. It carries two types of insur-
ance-blanket insurance on pelts from
the time they are shipped by the
shipper until the time they are actu-
ally sold at auction, and also insurance
on live animals.
A staff of eight field men is main-
tained by the cooperative. The asso-
ciation publishes its own monthly mag-
azine. It inspects and registers eli-
gible foxes and mink, both for members
and nonmembers, and maintains the
Dfficial herd books for the industry. It
has been instrumental in establishing
the fur farming research department at
the University of Wisconsin; it has
interested itself in the passage of legis.
lation pertaining to domestic animals,
and in the quota of silver fox skins per-
nitted to enter this country.
Twenty-six State and sectional asso-
ciations are now affiliated with the
4&nerican National.
Other Commodities
Oarketed Cooperatively
Of the associations marketing other
"pes of commodities, one handles
haple syrup; several market forest
products; and one assembles, grades,
tores, and markets clover and alfalfa
Community needs in several locali-
ies have caused several cooperatives
o develop sales outlets for a wide
ariety of products. For example, the
ssaiation with the largest volume of
8ushiess in this group sells for its
farmer-patrons grain, poultry, eggs,
potatoes, and wool. It also carries on
a supply business in feed, fertilizer,
seed, cement, brick, tile, petroleum
products, twine, and implements.
Rapid Gains Made
in Cooperative Purchasing
   Cooperative purchasing by Wiscon-
 sin farmers has increased substantially
 during the past two decades. In the
 last decade-from 1930 to 1940-the
 number of purchasing associations in
 the State almost doubled, the member-
 ship doubled, and the dollar value of
 supply and marketing operations by
 these co-ops increased 45 percent. In
 1939 the 200-odd purchasing associa-
 tions in the State transacted a 20-
 million-dollar business.
   In addition to the associations that
were organized primarily for the pur-
pose of furnishing farm supplies co-
operatively, there are in Wisconsin
about 25 grain associations, the major-
ity of which now do a larger dollar
value of business in handling farm
supplies than in selling grain. With
the growth in the demand for feed for
livestock, many of these cooperatives
which began as receivers and shippers
of grain have found it more profitable
to deal in feed, flour, coal, seeds, salt,
twine, fertilizer, and a variety of other
supplies needed for farm operation.
Although the farm-supply business has
become a major activity, there are also
many types of farm products that are
marketed for the farmers, such as
grain, seeds, potatoes, livestock, and
hay. Transactions in 1939 amounted
to almost 3 million dollars.
  A recent technical report on Far-
mers' Purchasing Associations in Wis-
-37 -

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