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Wisconsin Cheese Makers' Association / Proceedings of the Wisconsin Cheese Makers' Association thirty-third annual convention December 10, 11, 12, 1924 assembled in the Milwaukee Auditorium, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
(1925)

Ubbelohde, T. A.
Why some co-operative factories fail and others succeed,   pp. 54-57 PDF (1.0 MB)


Page 56


56   WISCONSIN CHEESE MAKERS' ASSOCIATION
factory it requires an awful sight of hard work. You have got tc
push all the time. And you talk to the farmers-some men have the
unhappy faculty of saying the wrong thing unitentionally-they may
mean well enough.
To illustrate this, I want to tell you what happened at a factory
I was at, and at an annual meeting of one of them. The cheese
maker was a good maker; he was a little bit nervous-an old fellow.
He says: "well what are you going to charge us for making this
year, are you going to make it a little bit cheaper?" Mind you,
this man had no intention of cutting down on the making price.
He was an old Irishman and he liked a little fun. He says: "are
you going to make a little cheaper for us?" and Ed. says: "No."
He says: I can't do it. The cheese maker comes first; what is left
goes to the farmer." There was no tact in that remark. That is
practically what happens at the cheese factory. You make for a
certain amount per pound and that much you take out what is left
naturally goes to the farmer. This man stated it. His statement
was correct enough, only it was unfortunate the way he stated it.
That was his own lack of tact, and there was a row right straight
off. This man had to sell his factory a few years afterward be-
cause he couldn't get along. He was a good man-perfectly straight
-made a good cheese-kept a good factory but lacked tact.
Another thing, our cheese factories aren't large enough. We have
got pretty nearly where we should get larger factories. They
should be good enough to cut down overhead expenses.
The returns to their farms just now is very light. In our sec-
tion this Fall they have been getting-a good herd of cows has
netted about 7% net profit-7% a hundred. That is about all. Feed
and labor is high. The farmer can't pay any more. The cheese
maker can't make for any less. He don't get hardly enough now.
The only solution I can see is to increase the size of the factory-
to cut down overhead expenses. There are many things that are
required in a 4, 5 and 6 thousand pound factory that would answer
for a factory many times that size without any extra expense. If
the farmers buy several cheese factories and build one first-class
co-operative cheese factory they can back these problems-they can
finance it. The farmers could do it-they could buy a cheese factory
and use the apparatus in the factory and get larger factories. Up
until lately the roads were bad-the farmers hauled the milk with
horses-they couldn't afford to go any long distance. Most of our
roads are pretty fair now. We haul our milk in trucks. In our
section of the country most milk is delivered to the cheese factory in
Ford trucks so the distance is not much of a hardship, but the roads
are very bad in the winter time. Whether this will be done or
not I don't know but I think our cheese factories ought to be big
enough to have a first class man in the cheese factory and pay him a
first class salary.
The Secretary: Mr. Chairman, there has been a request made
from several members who inquired, who distributed this yellow


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