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Bell, Florence C. (Florence Colfax), 1899- / Farmer co-ops in Wisconsin
([1941])

Co-ops provide farm business services,   pp. 44-45 PDF (547.2 KB)


Page 44


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Mr. Farmer: "Which route do your supplies
               follow?"
Farmers Equity Union, and the Farm
Bureau Federation-the purchasing of
supplies cooperatively has become one
of the major activities in which Wis-
consin farmers have united for joint
action. The dollar volume of the
business of the purchasing associations
is surpassed only by that of the dairy
co-ops. By cooperative purchasing
farmers are saving many thousands of
dollars annually.
Co-ops Provide
Farm Business Services
  Wisconsin farmers have joined in
cooperative action not only to market
their products and purchase agri-
cultural and household supplies, but
also to provide essential farm business
services. They have formed mutual
insurance, telephone, and frriation5
companies. An extensive cooperative
rural electrification program is under
way. Providing cooperatively the fa-
cilities of frozen-food lockers is a
service which is relatively new.
   In the livestock field farmers have
 organized about four or five cooper.
 ative artificial inseminating associa.
 tions. The variety of needs that may
 be met through cooperative action is
 demonstrated by the fact that a
 cooperative burial association is operat.
 ing in Marathon County, with head.
 quarters at Spencer.
   Since as early as 1860 groups of
Wisconsin farmers have taken cooper.
ative action to protect themselves
against property losses from  the
hazards of fire and lightning. In that
year two farmers' mutual fire in-
surance companies were formed-in
Manitowoc County, the Mutual Farm-
ers Insurance Co.; and in Kenosha
County the Bristol Mutual Insurance
Co. There are almost 200 companies
now operating, the services of at least
one company being available in almost
every county. The membership was
approximately 240,000 in 1936. In-
surance in force at the close of 1937,
the latest year for which this informa-
tion is available, amounted to more
than $1,150,000,000. The bulk of
this insurance was on farms, but some
on urban properties.
  The cost of this mutual protection is
exceptionally low in the Badger State.
Only a few other States equal or excel
Wisconsin in this respect. In 1937
the cost for losses per $100 of insurance
amounted to 14.5 cents, and for
operating expenses, 4.2 cents; making
a total of only 18.7 cents. The Wi,-
consin companies paid approximately
$1,660,000 for losses in that year.
  In addition to these farm fire in-
surance mutuals Wisconsin has 13
farm mutual windstorm insurance con-
panies, some of which also write in-
surance against loss by hail on growing
-44-


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