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

Co-ops rank high in length of service,   pp. 2-4 PDF (783.9 KB)

Page 2

land of promise to emigrants from
Europe. Beginning about 1840 and
continuing for many years, a great
tide of Germans and Norwegians
settled in Wisconsin-also Swedes,
Poles, Czechs, Danes, Finns, Swiss.
and nationals from other European
  Wisconsin rates second among the
States in the number of cooperative
marketing and purchasing associations.
The Farm Credit Administration has
records for approximately 1,200 active
associations of these types. The esti-
mated total membership in 1939 was
approximately 180,000. This includes
some duplications, as farmers may be
members of more than one association.
Co-ops Rank High
in Length of Service
  These farmers' cooperatives also
rank high as compared with those in
other States from the standpoint of
length of life and operating experience.
About 50 percent of all which have
been organized are still operating to-
day. It is probable that the oldest of
the 1,200 marketing and purchasing
associations now operating was formed
about 1877-more than 60 years ago.
All told, more than 60 associations
have been operating for 50 years or
more. Some of the cheese coopera-
tives still doing business were organized
in the early 1880's. As in many other
sections of the United States, however,
the largest number of today's co-ops
in Wisconsin were organized in the
years following the end of the first
World War-80 in 1919, 60 in 1920,
and 50 in 1921.
  Dairy cooperatives are far more
numerous than any other type of
marketing or purchasing association in
Wisconsin, just as dairy products ar
the leading source of farm income
The Farm Credit Administration ha
records for close to 700 dairy asso
ciations in the State. Some 200 co
operative creameries manufacturin~
butter are located through a broaw
western area-many of the countie
being on the banks of the Mississipp
and St. Croix Rivers and also in cen
tral, eastern, and northern sections.
  More than 400 of the dairy asso
ciations are cheese factories, many o
them located at country crossroadi
Two extensive areas of concentratioj
of these cheese co-ops are in the south
western section of the State and in th
east central counties bordering oi
Lake Michigan. Approximately 14
milk distributing cooperatives delive
milk to the doorsteps of customers ii
Milwaukee and other cities. Mi
bargaining associations in Milwaukee
Madison, Racine, and other citie
negotiate price agreements betweei
their producer-members and dis
Farmers' Active Marketing and Pu
  chasing Associations in Wisconsin bi
  10-Year Periods.
41 he
61 *e
I.  2. e
Siuy permnt of the fanners' actie associato
have passed their majority, having fu-ntion
for more  an 21,yers.  Thiry perat hag
been in business for more thA 30 years am
4 percent for 50 years or more. Less Lhat
200 associations have yet to celebrate thv
eleventh birthday.
- 2-
11@4 A550C

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