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

Wisconsin Society of Equity initiated broad program,   pp. 8-9 PDF (538.0 KB)

State aids cooperatives,   pp. 9-10 PDF (512.1 KB)

Page 9

Farmers' Marketing and Purchasing Associations in Wisconsin That Were
                        Active Each Year, 1901-39.
2383 ASSOCIATIONS  l     :
large majority of these associations
were formed by Equity members.
Although the State Society did not
have control over these associations,
it was active in aiding farmer members
to establish and develop them.
  The period of greatest activity of
the Wisconsin Society of Equity was
in the second decade of the century,
when its paid-up membership reached
40,000. In 1934, it consolidated with
the Farmers' Union under the name,
"The Farmers Educational and Co-
operative Equity Union of America,
Inc., Wisconsin Division."
The Wisconsin Farm Bureau Feder-
ation has made substantial contribu-
tions to cooperative supply purchasing
in the State. In 1921 it organized a
wholesale distributing agency for the
purpose of lowering the cost of distrib-
ution by centralizing the purchasing
power of the farmers who patronized
the local warehouse and distribution
points used by the county Farm
Bureau organizations. The operations
of its successor, the Wisconsin Co-
operative Farm Supply Co., are dis-
cussed on page 42. An auto insurance
s'rvice, which the Federation considers
The number of active associations
increased yzr by year from
about 300 at the beginning of
the cen      to 1,664 in 1922.
Since then the number of active
enterprises has declined. This
is due party to consolidations
and partly to the disappearance
of several hundred of the small
associations manufacturing
cheese, and local livestock ship-
ping cooperatives.
offers very favorable coverage and
rates, was initiated in 1935 for Farm
Bureau members in Wisconsin.
State Aids Cooperatives
  The State government has aided in
the development of cooperative enter-
prises. The legislature has enacted
noteworthy cooperative legislation-in
1887 one of the early cooperative laws,
in 1911 a cooperative statute that was
used as a model by a number of the
other States, and in 1935 an educational
act which requires that instruction in
cooperative marketing and consumers'
cooperatives be given in every high
school and vocational school, as well as
in the university, State teachers col-
leges, and county normal schools. The
State department of agriculture renders
a variety of services: such as assisting
with the organization of new coopera-
tives, and with consolidations of exist-
ing associations in order to effect
economies; furnishing legal advice,
and accounting and auditing services;
developing programs in educational
activities; and helping to build up
co-op membership. In 1939 a "tWis-
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