The publications in this collection do
not reflect current scientific knowledge
or recommendations. These texts
represent the historic publishing
record of the Institute for Food and
Agricultural Sciences and should be
used only to trace the historic work of
the Institute and its staff. Current IFAS
research may be found on the
Electronic Data Information Source
site maintained by the Florida
Cooperative Extension Service.
Copyright 2005, Board of Trustees, University
N, 92 N, hN] \\ 1til, 14 ,1 I, 1 l
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Florida Department of Agriculture
NATHAN MAYO, Commissioner
Federal Writer's Project of Florida
Table of Content,
Coopercat\le Agricultlul' 7
The Farmnr'w Shaie' io the Contmrn i' Fi. Dollai 12
Actn( F.idnelS CopL'idtlive Association\ in J"('m (ii 14
Classilicrtiri' ] ol Coopeiativu Associations ini Fl[oida 15 2&
Cooidinalttd UL'it, 28-31
Wh\i Fillu 3-'
PI oductliln Cuntj iol 34
[Flctors o( SuccesIiul Operatiini 35
C'oopeiati\ PuLchasmiig ot Falln Suppil-* 3b
Colbun]ClIs Coopii,i ii\'C' :i8
O'od C}idiil Coopcl..li. 3ll8
CneIhel l'igrslatiiin Arlectinig Aglicultt.[ C>oopeiati e(, 41
Cooperalivre Flaishel 45 47
What Othei States A.e Doing 48-50
List iof a1111 Clerlt Admministiaic Publicationsii
Door to Doi Sunvl\, Shows Pro'iess ,) C(o, p, 51
Spe'lcilty Crups 53
Puichaliing Coopi atix e 54
Far-i Services 5a
Piugirlea in EdcLI ti.on 56
Members' Capitali 7
Patroniag Di% id, d- 57-58
Cooperative agriculture is an index of our times. It is
no longer an experiment, but a major pait of the great
swing of the general cooperative movement of recent years.
So significant ha., the coopci alive method become. that
it has been asked if it is generally adaptable to all commer-
cial activities of human society. Will it eventually displace
practically all plivate or individual business" Will the co-
opeiative gradually fuse all intre't.s if buyer and seller?
Coopirat ives haie been dete;loped to include practically
every phase of business enterprise
In any event, cooperative agi culture seems an absolute
necetsty if the time-honioreod occupation of tilling the soil
is to regain and maintain its status a a profitable endeavor.
The necessilty of meeting present tends in the capitalist
economy *do(s inot lend itself to argument: it is a demand
that must be met. as evidenced b,, the estabti.hment of
gou ernment crop control
Agricultuial paitntiship in its present development is
the most ii)ortant change that has taken place in the farm
situation over a long period Between 1932 and 1934, the
fai meir o(f the United States organized collectivelt. to deal
with their collective interests upon a broader scale than ev-
The growing season of 1933-34 saw- 73', of the total
cotton acreage 77' if the total wheat acreage. 93' of the
total t-bat(,- aiet.ge. 1.1d 73 of the Nation huogsh covered
by contracts \\ lit tht Agricultural Adjustment Adrmnis-
The .iglilfliint pilllt where e,)op t.tI(e agriculTure de-
pa'.:t fitIrn oll ltlondial Illethods. I1e Im tihe Iflnllli's recog-
loin that ihe must think in tetrmll of national as well as
inid]VIdiu l IIlodu l io l l Thl e dcfilllllonllo (I p iI'ty price is a
relatiol betwluei city-miade and failm-glown onlonldities.
vniplia,/t./ how defCirtt 1 agricultUlial and nilni-ai irculur-
al pursuit. inter-nlea e to make up ti.t A'tItican .ollonomic
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
fabric. The sense of community has so widened the form-
er's horizon, that he has become accustomed to assist in the
formulation of national policies.
The position of the farmer today is one of our biggest
problems. For successful production, he must receive prices
for his products commensurate with those the manufacturer
charges for his products. Government figures reveal that,
from March 1931 to March 1938, farm prices dropped about
I30,, while the price drop on a wide range of manufactured
goods the farmer had to have was less than 6%; reducing
the purchasing power of farm products approximately one-
Agriculture is more essential to our comfort, happiness
and welfare than any of the primary industries. There are
more than 6.000,000 farmers in the United States, represent-
ing approximately one eighth of the Nation's voters. With
the average farmer's family comprised of five persons, al-
most a quarter of the country's population live on farms.
The maintenance of such a vital factor as the Nation's pros-
perity depends upon the success of agriculture. The farmer
must receive prices for his products in just proportion to
what the manufacturer charges for his.
Farmers' purchasing and marketing associations are
but part of the equipment of the individual production un-
its. The farmer, alone, rarely develops an effective purchas-
ing and marketing technique; but he can develop it by co-
1,p1rating with other farmers. What marketing or pir-
elusing service he can use profitably he cannot afford to
be witro-t. The farm as a producing unit faces purchas-
ing and marketing problems tnat must be handled effective-
ly to Obtaln full returns for the producer. However, as
piLchasing and sales agencies, cooperatives must be more
than farmer-owned brokers to negotiate purchases and
sales. They must return real service and be so valuable
that they are worth a considerably higher cost.
Cooperative agriculture is today a practical formula
by wh.cn the individual farmer, through marketing and
purchasing, can turn hiL products into more profitable
channels. Cocperatlze marketing of farm products and
purchasing of supplies represent hundreds of millions of
dollars annually The cooperative credit system, under the
supervision of the Farm Credit Administration, embraces
approximately 1.000,000 voting farmer-stockholders That
American agriculture is committed to the policy of coop-
erative development is indicated not only by tins tremen-
dous business and membership but also because the train-
ing of future farm leaders in our agricultural colleges mn-
cludes thie study of sound cooperative practices
According to records, the first attempt in the United
Stat to im.ket colkctlveI was by a group of dauty farm-
ers in 1810. Because oJ difficult s and oppoiition the mote-
nient grew slowly until the depression subsuequetnt to the
World Wa.i DI ing this period the farmer's income shank
tragically. Although his lands and products had deptrciat-
ed in \alue, those things he purchased failed to dipleciate
in pirpoition The situation bLcame critical Both State
and Federal goiutrzniT-nts found it necessary to devise s\ m-
pathetic cooperation fio anll economic rehabilitation oi agri-
cultural stability However, it was not until 1921 that the
:c(tperiatlic law movelmenlt received any real Impetus At
present. it ma \ g'oveinmental agencies. State and Federal.
have been tl-.retted to help and foster the growth of cooper-
Through the Fairn Credit Administiation. tlhe Federal
Government is putting much emphasis on the cooperative
nmoement to help solve the farm problem. By the Farm
Credit Acts of 1933 and 1935 the Administration was au-
thorized to permit banks for cooperatives to make loans to
farmer cotpeurative-puchasing associations. Also through
the Farm Credit Administration cooptratlie farm credit
institutions are filling farmer' credit needs from coast to
coast. These agencies lorm a complete and flexible system
that provides long-term mortgage loans to lielp farmers
pui chase fans or ranches, or to iefinance their debts They
piolide sIihoit term operating loans to carry In all ty p's of
livestock operations, to purchase equipment, repair and al-
tl building, and meet a variety of other faim expenses.
And when groups of farmers buy supplies or sell their pro-
ducts thilough cooperativeCs, their associations also can ob-
tain the credit they need cooperatively.
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
About 1,000,000 farmers and stockmen have loans from
these cooperative credit institutions amounting to more
than $3,000,000,000, and approximately 1,400 of their coop-
eratives have loans totalling $50,000,000.
Farmers obtain long-term farm mortgage loans from
their local national farm loan associations, and purchasing,
marketing, and business service associations borrow from
the banks for cooperatives.
During the past several years the Farm Credit Admin-
istration's big task has been refinancing existing farm debts.
A major problem has been that of assisting young and mid-
dle-aged men to become owners of the farms they wish to
operate Members of cooperative production credit asso-
ciations have found the following credit advantages:
1. Substantial savings in paying cash for feed, seed,
fertilizer, livestock and machinery.
2. Maturities are arranged for the time or times when
the farmer will have funds from the sale of crops, milk, or
livestock with which to pay.
3. Interest at the rate of 5% is charged only on the ac-
tual amount and for the exact time outstanding.
4. Endorsements are not required.
5. Borrowers become stockholders and as such have
a voice in the management of their association.
6. Established and satisfactory credit arrangements
with a permanent organization making short-term loans to
agriculture, bring a feeling of security to the farmer
In spite of the initial difficulties confronting the farm-
er-cooperative movement in this country, the sales of farm
commodities sold through cooperative associations during
the marketing season of 1936 aggregated nearly $2,000,000,-
000 and the purchasing of farm supplies by cooperatives en-
gaged in that activity amounted to $250,000,000. Over 12,-
000 marketing and purchasing associations have a member-
ship of 2.000.000 farmers.
COOPERATIVE AGRICULTURE 11
The figures in above paragraph by W. I Myers,
governor of the Farm Credit Administration, as published
in NEWS FOR FARMER COOPERATIVES. Oct.. 1936.
Cooperative marketing and consumer associations have
existed in one form or another in England and Europe for
centuries Abroad, the International Cooperative Alliance
comprises 105.000 cooperative societies in 39 countries, with
an estimated membership of 90,000,000 and with an annual
cooperative trade of approximately $20,000,000,000.
Agricultural cooperatives in this country are of many
different kinds, embracing a considerable variety of func-
tions. The majority of "local" cooperatives are organized
for marketing, or purchasing, or both. Most of them work
on the same general plan
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
The Farmer's Share of the
Consumer's Food Dollar
When food prices rise noticeably, consumers often won-
der what percentage of the increased prices is received by
Farmers look at the retail prices paid by consumers in
the cities, then at the prices they are being paid for their
products, and naturally wonder what becomes of the differ-
ence between the two figures.
These dual questions have been acute while the prices
of food were rising during the past three years. In attempt-
ing to answei them, the best available figures have been
bi ought together from various sources. The result is a more
complete answer to the consumers than to the farmers, al-
though in neither case can the answer be considered entire-
l1 adequate, their implications, however, are significant.
The annual food budget of the average city working-
ma n's family is used as a representative example. Fifty-
eight foods air considered. The money spent for these 58
for*ds is about thiree-fourths of the amount spent for all foods
by the average city workingman's family. This family
.spent $331 in 1935 for these 58 foods as compared with $24(
spent in 1933, when the depression low point was reached
in prices paid for foods
What did the farmers receive for these foods during
those two years? In 1935 they received $138 of the retail
price, and inl 1933 they received $92. These figures are ex-
clusive of rental and benefit payments that were made to
farmers during those years.
This difference between the price paid by the consum-
er and the amount received by the farmer is the margin
that goes to processors, transportation agencies, and distrib-
utors for carrying on their functions This margin was $193
in 1935, including about $11 for processing taxes, and $172
COOPERATIVE AGRICULTURE 13
in the low-price year of 1933, includmg about $2 for process-
ing taxes. The proceeds from these processing taxes were
used to increase returns to farmers through rental and bene-
These mtermediate charges represent varying degrees
of transportation, processing, and marketing. Trucking
vegetables from market gardens to the nearest city is much
less expensive than shipping the same kinds of vegetables
from Texas to New York. Practically no processing is done
on eggs and potatoes, but turning wheat into crackers is a
complicated matter. Costs of city wholesale and retail
marketing also vary as between commodities, between cit-
ies, and between dealers Improvements in the efficiency
of marketing will tend to reduce these costs Real improve-
ments could result in lower prices to consumers, better in-
come for farmers, and greater profits to those processors
and dealers whose efficiency is increased most.
Between 1915 and 1920 the margin between farmers'
and consumers' prices nearly doubled. During the period
between 1920 and 1935, at no time did prices fall so low as
in 1932 and 1935. In 1933 the 58 kinds of food cost the con-
sumers more than in the pre-war period, whereas the farm-
ers received substantially less for producing them.-(Leaf-
let No 123, U.S D A)
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
ACTIVE FARMERS' COOPERATIVE ASSOCIATIONS
(Sept. 30, 1937)
Marketing, Farm Business Service
Marketing, Purchasing, Farm Business Service
Farm Business Service
Educational, Marketing, Purchasing
Purchasing, Marketing, Educational, Social
Educational, Public Relations
Educational, Cattle Theft Suppression
Operating Groves and Packing Houses
Purchasing, Educational, Farm Business Service
Marketing, Farm Business Service, Credit
Marketing, Purchasing, Processing, Farm Business
- .... ....... 189
In addition to the above, there were 73 coordinated units
in the State as of Sept., 1937.
COOPERATIVE AGRICULTURE 15
Classification of Cooperative
Associations in Florida
Cooperative associations are local or regional as to type.
The local associations are further classified as to independ-
ent or federated. Independent locals are associations serv-
ing a distinct locality and doing business usually at one sta-
tion. Federated locals differ from independent locals in
that they are affiliated with other locals for the purpose of
uniting their efforts in selling or engaging in other activi-
Regional associations are federated or centralized. Fed-
erated associations are central agencies formed of groups
of locals for the purpose of performing certain specialized
services. Centralized associations often perform similar
services to the federated type, but the control of the busi-
ness rests with the central rather than with the locals as
in the case of the federated associations, and the contract
runs directly between the association and the grower rath-
er than through a local association In the case of the cen-
tralized association, the property rights are vested in the
central organization, whereas in the federated type all local
property is usually owned by the local organizations. (Bul-
letin No. 245, Agricultural Experiment Station, Gainesville,
Fla., April 1932.)
In the following list the cooperative associations were
classified as to the principal products handled and the nature
of services rendered. This list shows considerable change
in the nature of organizations and products handled since
a few years back. The largest group of associations is or-
gamzed for handling citrus fruits, with the group for hand-
ling truck crops next in importance and ranking about the
same, in number of associations, as the educational group.
Associations handling livestock and livestock products fol-
Note: This list of active farmers' cooperative associations
in Florida, with classifications and commodities handled,
16 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
furnished by The University of Florida Agricultural Ex-
periment Station, Gamesville, in cooperation with the
Division of Resident Teaching, College of Agriculture,
University of Florida; by Marvin A. Brooker and H. G.
Hamilton. Published Nov., 1937.
(Compiled between March 13 and September 30, 1937 in
cooperation with The Columbia Bank for Cooperatives,
Farm Credit Administration, Columbia, South Carolina).
Gamesville Farmers' Association, Gainesville, Market-
ing, cucumbers, peppers.
LaCrosse Agricultural Credit Corporation, LaCrosse,
LaCrosse Potato Growers' Association, LaCrosse, Mar-
keting and purchasing, potatoes, fertilizer, seed.
Bay County Poultrymen's Association, Panama City,
East Peninsula Cattlemen's Association, Panama City,
Educational and legislative.
Bradford County Sea Island Cotton Growers' Associa-
tion, Starke, Marketing, Sea Island cotton.
Cocoa-Merrtts Island Citrus Association, Cocoa, Mar-
keting and purchasing, Citrus.
Mims Citrus Growers' Association, Mims, Marketing
and farm business service, citrus.
Broward Cooperative Association, Incorporated,
Fort Lauderdale, Marketing and purchasing, Vegetables.
Everglades Orange Growers' Association, Hollywood,
Citrus County Cattlemen's Association, Inverness, Ed-
ucational and purchasing.
Dade County Growers' Cooperative Marketing Asso-
ciation, Miami, Farm business service, Rent stalls.
Dairy Owners' Association of Dade and Broward coun-
ties, Miami, Educational and public relations.
Florida Avocado and Persian Lime Growers' Associa-
tion, Naranja, Marketing, Avocados, limes.
Florida State Poultry Producers' Association, Lemon
City Station, Educational, marketing and purchasing.
Flolida East Coast Growers' Association, Miami, Mar-
keting and purchasing. Tomatoes.
Goulds Fruit and Vegetable Growers' Association,
Goulds, Marketing, Tomatoes.
Miami Home Milk Producers' Association, Miami, Mar-
Miami Poultry Producers' Association, Lemon City Sta-
Producer Dairymen's Association, Lemon City Station,
Bargaining and Educational.
Redland Citrus Growers' Association, Homestead, Mar-
keting and purchasing, Citrus.
Royal Palm Truckers' Association, Homestead, Mar-
Silver Palm Citrus Growers' Association, Homestead,
South Florida Potato Growers' Association, Goulds,
DeSoto County Coopsrative Association, Arcadia, Mar-
keting and purchasing, Vegetables, seeds.
DeSoto County Livestock Association, Arcadia, Educa-
18 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Fort Ogden Citrus Growers' Association, Fort Ogden,
Marketing. purchasing, farm business service, Citrus, ferti-
Duval County Dairy Association, Jacksonville, Legisla-
Dural County Poultry Producers' Association. Jackson-
ville, Marketing, educational, Eggs.
Duval Farmers' Federal Credit Union, Jacksonville,
Jacksonville Pure Milk Association, Jacksonville. Mar-
Barrinenu Plark Independent Growers' Cooperative As-
sociation, Cantonment, Marketing and purchasing, Potatoes,
Escambia Stockmen's Association, Pensacola. Educa.
tonal, cattle theft suppression.
Ilog Producers' Association, Pensacola. Marketing,
Escambia County Milk Producers' Association. Pensa-
cola, Educational, legislative.
Tung-Empir' Corporation, Pensacola, Marketing, pur-
chasing, farm business service, Tung oil.
United Growers Association of Escambia County, Can-
tonmirnt, Marketing and purchasing, Potatoes, fertilizer,
Flagler County Growers' Association, Bunnell, Market-
ing and purchasing. Potatoes, fertilizer, seed. containers,
Gilchrist County Cooiprrative Jack Association. Tren-
ton. Jdck service.
Gulf Copvrattve Marketing Association, Trenton, Mar-
Wewahitchka Florida Cooperative Association. Wewa-
httchka. Marketing and purchasing, Honey, wax
Belleville Cooperative Canning Plant. Belleville, Pro-
Associated Growers, Incorporated, Wauchula, Market-
ing and purchasing. Tomatoes, citrus, fertilizer, crates.
Hardee County Livestock Producers' Association, Wau-
chula, Educational, marketing.
Brooksvile Citrus Growers' Association, Brooksville,
Marketing, purchasing, farm business service, Citrus, ferti-
Brooksville Sea Island Cotton Growers' Association,
Brooksville, Marketing, ginning, Sea Island Cotton
Avon Park Citius Growers' Association, Avon Park,
Marketing and purchasing, Citrus.
Highlands Crate Company, Avon Park, Crate Manu-
facture, Citrus crates.
Highlands Cooperative Association, Sebring, Purchas-
Highlands County Cattlemen's Association, Sebring,
Sebring Fruit Growers' Association, Sebring, Market-
ing, farm business scivice, Citrus.
Deciduous Sales Company, Incorporated, Tampa, Mar-
keting, Deciduous fruits.
Exchange Supply Company, Tampa, Purchasing, Paper
wraps, no kuts. strapping, nails, etc.
Florida Citrus Evchange, Tampa, Marketing, Citrus.
Growers' Loan and Guaranty Company, Tampa, Credit.
Guaranty Operating Company, Tampa, Operating
groves and packing houses, Citrus
20 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Hillsborough Citrus Growers' Association, Tampa, Mar-
Hillsborough County Cattlemen's Association, Lithia,
Hillsborough County Poultry and Egg Producers' As-
sociation, Tampa, Educational.
Plant City Cooperative Association. Plant City. Mar-
keting and purchasing, Strawberries, vegetables, cups, etc.
Tampa Better Milk Producers' Cooperative, Inc., Tam-
pa, Marketing, Milk.
Indian River County
Indian River Associates, Incorporated, Vero Beach,
Oslo Citrus Growers' Association, Vero Beach, Market-
Vero-Indian River Producers' Association, Vero Beach,
Marketing and purchasing, Citrus.
Florida Cooperati\e Syrup Association, Grand Ridge,
Jackson County Farmers' Cooperative Association,
Greenwood, Marketmg and purchasing, Hogs, fertilizer.
Jackson County Hoe Growers' Cooperative Association,
Marianna, Marketing, Hogs.
Jackson County Livestock Association, Marianna, Edu-
Round Lake Satsuma Packing House Company, Round
Lake, Marketing, Satsuma oranges.
Lafayette County Sea Island Cotton Growers' Associa-
tion, Mayo, Marketing, Sea Island Cotton.
Clermont Citrus Growers' Association, Clermont, Mar-
keting, farm business service, Citrus.
COOPERATIVE AGRICULTURE 21
Florida Grape Growers' Association, Tavares, Educa-
Florida Plumosus Growers' Cooperative Association,
Leesburg, Marketing, Ferns
Lake County Citrus Sub-Exchange, Tavares, Represen-
Lake County Horticultural Association, Tavares, Pur-
chasing, educational, farm business service, Fertilizer, in-
Lake Region Packing Association, Tavares, Marketing,
purchasing, farm business service, Citrus, fertilizer.
Leesburg Truckers' Association, Leesburg, IMarketing
and purchasing, Cabbage, crates.
Mount Dora Growers' Cooperative, Mount Dora, Mar-
keting, farm business service, Citrus.
Umatilla Citrus Growers' Association, Umatilla, Mar-
keting, farm business service, Citrus.
Owanita Citrus Growers' Association, Owanita, Mar-
keting, purchasing, farm business service, Citrus
West Coast Citrus Sub-Exchange, Alva, Representation,
Florida Farmers' Cooparative Association, Tallahassee,
Educational, marketing, purchasing
Leon County Agricultural Bureau, Tallahassee, Mar-
keting and purchasing, Agricultural products, fertilizer.
Leon County Dairymen's Association, Tallahassee, Po-
Leon County Negro Farmers' Council, Tallahassee, Pur-
chasing, marketing, educational, social, Cotton seed, ferti-
lizer, sweet potatoes, lurkeys.
Miccosukee Peanut Growers' Association, Miccosukee,
Farm business service, Peanuts.
Domino Citrus Association, Bradenton, Marketing, farm
business service, Citrus, fertilizer, spray.
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Florida West Coast Poultry Association, Incorporated,
Bradenton, Marketing and purchasing, Eggs.
Manatee Citrus Growers' Association, Manatee, Mar-
Manatee County Agricultural Credit Corporation, Bra-
Manatee County Growers' Association, Bradenton, Mar-
keting and purchasing, Celery, tomatoes, peppers, fertilizer,
Terra Ceia Citrus Growers' Association, Terra Ceia,
Marketing and purchasing, Citrus, eggplant, peppers, ferti-
Florida Tung Growers' Cooperative Association, Ocala,
Marketing, farm business service, Tung oil.
Jerusalem Cooperative Hay Association, Ocala, Mar-
Retail Producer-Distributor Association, Ocala, Market-
Farmers' Marketing Association, Orlando, Retail mar-
ket, Farm produce.
Florida Grape Growers' Exchange, Orlando, Marketing,
Growers' and Shippers' League of Florida, Orlando,
Transportation problems, Transportation.
Orange County Citrus Sub-Exchange, Orlando, Repre-
Orange County Fern Growers' Association, Zellwood,
Marketing and purchasing, Ferns.
Orange County Milk Producers' Association, Orlando,
Orlando Citrus Growers' Association, Orlando, Market-
Plymouth Citrus Growers' Association, Plymouth, Mar-
keting, purchasing, farm business service, Citrus, fertilizer,
gas and oil, auto parts, etc.
Poultry Producers of Central Florida, Winter Park,
South Lake Apopka Citrus Growers' Association, Oak-
land, Marketing. farm business service. Citrus.
Tree-Gold Cooperative Growers of Florida. Orlando.
West Orange Citrus Growers' Association, Winter Gar-
den. Marketing. Citrus.
Winter Garden Citrus Growers' Association. Winter
Garden, Marketing, farm business service, credit, Citrus
Okeechobee County Cattlemen's Association. Okeecho-
Florida State Cattlemen's Association. Kissimmee. Ed-
Kissimmee Citrus Growers' Association, Kissimmee,
Marketing, purchasing, farm business service, Citrus
Osceola County Cattlemen's Association. Kissimmee.
Pasco County Cattlemen's Association, Dade City,
Pasco Egg Sales Association, Dade City, Marketing,
Pasco County Poultry Producers' Association. Dade
City, Marketing, educational. Poultry.
Pasco Packing Association. Dade City, Marketing. pui-
chasing, farm business service, Citrus.
Citrus City Growers' Association, Largo. Marketing,
Clearwater Growers' Association, Clearwater, Market-
ing. farm business service, Citrus.
Elfers Citrus Growers' Association. Elfers. Marketing,
farm business service, Citrus, fertilizer.
24 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
North Pinellas Citrus Sub-Exchange, Largo, Represen-
Palm Harbor Citrus Growers' Association, Palm Har-
bor, Marketing, purchasing, farm business service, Citrus,
Pmellas Citrus Sub-Exchange, Largo, Representation,
Pinellas Poultry Producers' Association, Largo, Educa-
Adams Packing Company, Incorporated, Auburndale,
Alturas-Garfield Citrus Cooperative, Bartow, Market-
ing, purchasing, farm business service, Citrus.
Auburndale Citrus Growers' Association, Auburndale,
Marketing, farm business service, Citrus.
Babson Park Citrus Growers' Association, Babson Park,
Farm business service, Citrus.
Dundee Citrus Growers' Association, Dundee, Market-
Eagle Lake Fruit Growers' Association, Eagle Lake,
Eloise Growers, Incorporated, Winter Haven, Market-
ing, farm business service, Citrus
Florence Citrus Growers' Association, Florence Villa,
Marketing, farm business service, Citrus.
Florida Citrus Canners' Cooperative, Lake Wales, Mar-
keting, Canning Citrus.
Florida United Citrus Growers, Incorporated, Lake
Fort Meade Farmers' Cooperative Marketing Associa-
tion, Incorporated, Fort Meade, Marketing, Corn, other veg-
Frostproof Citrus Growers' Association, Frostproof,
Marketing, purchasing, farm business service, Citrus, fer-
Growers' Fertilizer Cooperative, Lake Alfred, Purchas-
Haines City Citrus Growers' Association, Haines City,
Marketing, farm business service, Citrus.
COOPERATIVE AGRICULTURE 25
Holly Hill Cooperative Citrus Association, Davenport,
Holly Hill Fruit Products, Incorporated, Davenport,
Marketing, purchasing, processing, farm business service,
Lake Alfred Citrus Growers' Association, Lake Alfred,
Lake Hamilton Citrus Cooperative, Lake Hamilton,
Lake Hamilton Citrus Growers' Association, Lake Ham-
ilton, Marketing, Citrus.
Lakeland Citrus Growers' Association, Lakeland, Mar-
keting, purchasing, farm business service, Citrus.
Lakeland-Highlands Cooperative Association, Highlands
City, Marketing, farm business service, Citrus.
Lake Region Citrus Sub-Exchange, Haines City, Repre-
Lake Wales Citrus Growers' Association, Lake Wales,
Polk County Citrus Sub-Exchange, Bartow, Represen-
Polk County Farmers' Association, Incorporated, Kath-
leen, Marketing and purchasing, Strawberries, seed, ferti-
Polk Packing Association, Winter Haven, Marketing,
Scenic Citrus Sub-Exchange, Bartow, Representation,
Waverly Growers' Cooperative, Waverly, Marketing,
purchasing, farm business service, Citrus, fertilizer, gas, oil,
Winter Haven Citrus Growers' Association, Winter Ha-
ven, Marketing, farm business service, Citrus.
Winter Haven Citrus Sub-Exchange, Winter Haven,
Winter Haven Cooperative Growers, Winter Haven,
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Crescent City Citrus Growers' Association, Crescent
City, Marketing, farm business service, Citrus.
Florahome Bean Grading and Marketing Association,
Florahome, Farm business service, Marketing, Beans.
Saint Johns County
Florida Planters, Incorporated, Hastings, Marketing,
purchasing, Potatoes, fertilizer, seed, containers, dust.
Hastings Agricultural Credit Corporation, Hastings,
Hastings Agricultural Supply Company, Incorporated,
Hastings, Purchasing, Fertilizer, seed potatoes, containers,
Hastings Potato Growers' Association, Hastings, Mar-
keting, purchasing, Potatoes, fertilizer, seed, containers,
Saint Lucie County
Cooperative Indian River Growers, Incorporated, Fort
Pierce, Marketing, Citrus.
Fort Pierce Growers' Association, Fort Pierce, Market-
ing, purchasing, farm business service, Citrus.
Indian River Citrus Associates, Incorporated, Fort
Pierce, Marketing and purchasing, Citrus.
Palmer Farms Growers' Cooperative Association, Sara-
sota, Marketing and purchasing, Celery, fertilizer, plants,
Sarasota County Strawberry Association, Incorporated,
Sarasota, Marketing and purchasing, Strawberries, toma-
toes, peppers, eggplant, crates, cups.
Chase and Company Cooperative, Sanford, Marketing,
Sanford Farmers' Exchange, Sanford, Marketing, Cel-
Sanford Growers' Credit Corporation, Sanford, Credit,
Sanford-Oviedo Truck Growers, Incorporated, Sanford,
Marketing and purchasing, Celery.
Seminole County Agricultural Association, Sanford,
Seminole Poultry Producers' Association, Sanford, Mar-
The Southern Bulb Association, Sanford, Marketing,
Standard Growers' Association, Sanford, Marketing and
purchasing, Celery, mixed vegetables, containers, blue
Oxford Hog Association, Oxford, Marketing, purchas-
Sumpter County Cattlemen's Livestock Association,
Bushnell, purchasing, Educational, breeding stock.
Sumpter County Sea Island Cotton Growers' Associa-
tion, Bushnell, Educational, pu chasing. Sea Island cotton,
spray and dust.
Suwannee Resources, Incorporated. Live Oak, Educa-
Taylor County Farm and Livestock Association, Perry,
Purchasing, marketing, educational. Hogs, fertilizer.
Union County Farmers' Bureau, Lake Butler, Purchas-
Daytona Beach Dairy Association. Daytona Beach,
DeLand Citrus Growers' Association, DcLand, Market-
28 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Indian River Citrus Sub-Exchange, Oak Hill, Represen-
Oak Hill Citrus Growers' Association, Oak Hill, Mar-
keting, purchasing, farm business service, Citrus.
Pierson Citrus Growers' Association, Pierson, Market-
ing. farm business service. Citrus.
Saint Johns River Citrus Sub-Exchange, DeLand. Rep-
Samsula Growers' Cooperative, Samsula, Marketing
and purchasing, Vegetables.
Volusia County Poultry Producers' Association, Day-
tona Beach. Educational. legislative.
Walton County Poultry Producers' Association, DeFun-
jak Springs. Marketing, purchasing, Eggs, feed.
Washington County Swine Growers' Association, Chip-
ley, Marketing. Hogs.
In addition to the active farmers' cooperative associa-
tions given above, the set-up of the nine Florida coordinat-
ed units of the Production Credit Associations and the Na-
tional Farm Loan Associations of the Farm Credit Admin-
istration is given below,
Bradenton Production Credit Association. Bradenton.
Arcadia National Farm Loan Association, Arcadia.
Duncan U, Fletcher National Farm Loan Association,
Ellenton National Farm Loan Association, Ellenton.
Limestone National Farm Loan Association, Wauchula.
Wauchula National Farm Loan Association, Wauchula.
DeFuniak Springs, Florida.
DeFuniak Springs Production Credit Association, De-
COOPERATIVE AGRICULTURE 29
Blountstown National Farm Loan Association, Blounts-
Central National Farm Loan Association, DeFuniak
Chipley National Farm Loan Association, Chipley.
Coldwater National Farm Loan Association, Botts.
Graceville National Farm Loan Association, Graceville.
Marianna National Farm Loan Association, Marianna.
Oak Grove National Farm Loan Association, McDavid.
Okaloosa National Farm Loan Association, Laurel Hill.
Shady Grove National Farm Loan Association, Grand
Westville National Farm Loan Association, Westville.
Gainesville Production Credit Association, Gainesville.
Chachala National Farm Loan Association, Gainesville.
Gainesville National Farm Loan Association, Gaines-
Lake Butler National Farm Loan Association, Lake
Lawtey National Farm Loan Association, Lawtey
Levy County National Farm Loan Association, Bronson.
Ocala National Farm Loan Association, Ocala.
Reddick National Farm Loan Association, Reddick.
Jacksonvlle Production Credit Association, Jackson-
Baldwin National Farm Loan Association, Baldwin
Hastings National Farm Loan Association, Hastings.
Pioneer National Farm Loan Association, Bunnell.
Progressive National Farm Loan Association, Jackson-
West Putnam National Farm Loan Association, Palatka.
Live Oak, Florida
Live Oak Production Credit Association, Live Oak.
Hamilton National Farm Loan Association, Jasper.
30 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Lake City National Farm Loan Association, Lake City.
Live Oak National Farm Loan Association, Live Oak.
Suwannee National Farm Loan Association, Live Oak.
Will be discontinued in 1938.
Miami Production Credit Association, Miami.
Davie National Farm Loan Association, Davie.
Fort Lauderdale National Farm Loan Association, Fort
Fort Pierce National Farm Loan Association, Fort
Little River National Farm Loan Association, Little
Vero National Farm Loan Association, Vero Beach.
Monticello Production Credit Association, Monticello.
Gadsden National Farm Loan Association, Quincy.
Havana National Farm Loan Association, Havana.
Hixtown National Farm Loan Association, Madison.
Jefferson County National Farm Loan Association,
Leon County National Farm Loan Association, Talla-
Liberty County National Farm Loan Association, Bris-
Perry National Farm Loan Association, Perry.
Tallahassee National Farm Loan Association, Tallahas-
Plant City. Florida
Plant City Production Credit Association, Plant City.
Bartow National Farm Loan Association, Bartow.
Citrus Growers National Farm Loan Association, Dade
First National Farm Loan Association, Brooksville.
Frostproof National Farm Loan Association, Frostproof.
Highlands National Farm Loan Association, Dade City.
COOPERATIVE AGRICULTURE 31
Lakeland National Farm Loan Association, Lakeland.
Lake Region National Farm Loan Association, Winter
Plant City National Farm Loan Association, Plant City.
Seffner National Farm Loan Association, Seffner.
Thonotosassa National Farm Loan Association, Dover.
West Coast National Farm Loan Association, Tarpon
Sanford Production Credit Association, Sanford.
SKissimmee National Farm Loan Association, Kissim-
Leesburg National Farm Loan Association, Leesburg.
Orlando National Farm Loan Association, Orlando.
Saint Johns Citrus Growers' National Farm Loan As-
Samsula National Farm Loan Association, Samsula.
Seminole County National Farm Loan Association, San-
Umatilla National Farm Loan Association, Umatilla.
West Orange National Farm Loan Association, Winter
West Volusia National Farm Loan Association, DeLand.
Was disconinued m 1938
32 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Three-hundred and seventy-four cooperative associa-
tions were organized in Florida between 1889 and 1929.
During the 1929-30 season only 190 of these associations
were active. Fifty-five associations had never been active
while 129 had once operated.
One or more of the following reasons were given as the
chief causes of failure:
1. No need for a cooperative. V
2. Lack of sufficient capital.'-
3. Poor management.
4. Lack of cooperative spirit.
5. Lack of volume.
7. Unsatisfactory Prices. '
Since the mechanics of cooperative organization have
been well worked out, the problem of cooperative agricul-
ture is not HOW TO ORGANIZE but HOW TO OPERATE
SUCCESSFULLY after the cooperative group has been
One of the major requirements in any type of coopera-
tive organization is LOYALTY OF MEMBERSHIP. With-
out it the movement is doomed to failure. Money can buy
the leadership to guide the association through critical or
prosperous periods. It can set up standards of pack, super-
vise handling, lay out growing programs, and otherwise di-
rect operations, but only the individual member can furnish
the element of loyalty required for success.
It is evident that the paramount requirement for the
progress of the cooperative is the confidence of the indi-
vidual farmer in its objectives, and his support of the lead-
COOPERATIVE AGRICULTURE 33
ership selected to accomplish the undertaking. Unless a co-
operative's members feel a sense of responsibility and own-
ership in their organization, it will likely be unable to with-
stand a critical period.
Although cooperatives are sanctioned by laws providing
for their operation, maintenance, and control, the whole
system relies on the integrity of the persons comprising the
membership in carrying out their part of the collective
Moreover, a multiplicity of cooperatives in the same
field competing for busmess without coordination of effort,
is in practice defeating the very purpose for which they
exist, that of meeting the law of supply and demand through
collective marketing. Such procedure not only fails to
stimulate confidence, but foments disagreement and cre
ates unsatisfactory marketing conditions and frequent fail-
The officials of many cooperatives gradually allow their
organizations to get out of date. This results from fail-
ures to make adjustments to meet changes m marketing
methods and practices and other conditions which affect
The three general phases of collective agriculture that
make it desirable are:
1 Group purchase of fertilizer, seed, and general
2. A planned system of planting so as to assure given
standards of production.
3. Established marketing channels for quality products.
In the past, the first step of the cooperative program-
the purchase of supplies, etc has been largely successful.
The second step, planning growing programs, has been the
weak link in the cooperative undertaking; for without pro-
duction control, the third step of marketing profitably can-
not be carried out.
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Florida is confronted with an increasing production of
citrus, truck, poultry, dairy products, livestock and general
farm products. In its program of cooperative agriculture,
the State has a paramount problem to keep in mind. Its ma-
jor crops are largely perishable, and most of them must be
disposed of almost immediately. While advances have been
made toward better marketing conditions by sound organi-
zation and intelhgent direction, it is increasingly imperative
that planned production be made a feature of the coopera-
tive program. Staples such as corn, wheat, tobacco, cotton,
etc., lend themselves to "carry overs," but the proportion
of these crops grown in Florida is relatively minor.
In many countries where control of production is un-
dertaken it is imposed from above. Here, in the United
States, production is being adjusted by democratic proce-
dure, and, in the program of production control, cooperative
action is the leading factor. That the farmer himself is of-
fered the opportunity to reorganize his part in the adjust-
ment of production, is a part related to the whole, and that
recognition is of vital importance to success.
"One of the tragedies of agricultural life in our coun-
try," says Mr. Nathan Mayo, Florida Commissioner of Ag-
riculture, is that too often the very agency that has func-
tioned profitably with a crop of normal size, goes down in
defeat because, not having production control, acreage is
increased to such an extent that crops have to be sold at
low prices There we have the sad spectacle of farm or-
gamzations defeating their own ends and thwarting the
very purpose for which they were founded. We must con-
sider the fact that one invariable result of successful col-
lective selling by farmers has always been a marked in-
crease in production. Cooperatives that direct the market-
ing of 75% or more of any crop, can, and always have, un-
der normal conditions, sold that crop at a price satisfactory
to themselves. But no cooperative yet brought forth has
mastered the vexing problem of EXCESS or SURPLUS
COOPERATIVE AGRICULTURE 35
"What can be done about it? The thing that MUST be
done, if cooperative marketing shall function, is to CON-
TROL NOT ONLY MARKETING, BUT AHEAD OF IT,
"Whether this can readily be done is the BIG QUES-
TION LOOMING UP BEFORE COOPERATIVES It will
have to be solved or all our efforts to help ourselves through
organizations will in the end fail. The facts must be faced.
The cooperatives we are to have in our state will give us
some IMMEDIATE RELIEF and will prove a blessing, but
unless our growers by common consent can control produc-
tion, they will not be able to control prices. COOPERA-
TIVE MARKETING CANNOT SUCCESSFULLY HANDLE
A SURPLUS SO LARGE AS TO EXCEED DEMAND "
Never before has proper management in this respect
been so urgent or fundamental to far products. Agricul-
tural competitive conditions demand ever increasing com-
FACTORS OF SUCCESSFUL OPERATION
A cooperative faces its critical period when it begins
to operate There are a number of salient factors impera-
tive to the success of any cooperative association, the lack
of one or more of which too often spelled defeat:
1-Its existence must be justified by a DEFINITE need.
2-The volume of business must be LARGE enough.
3-The management must be capable and efficient.
4-The structure must be adequate and flexible
5-The business policies must be sound
6-The association must be supported and controlled
by its members.
7-Too early or too rapid expansion must be avoided.
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Cooperative Purchasing of
Cost of supplies is a farm problem. From an economic
point of view, farmers are comparable to manufacturers
and like manufacturers, are concerned with keeping down
costs of production. The more value a farmer receives for
each dollar invested in his supplies, the lower is his cost of
production. Farmers are entitled to buy the materials for
their industry at wholesale prices as much as a shipbuilder
or a factory proprietor. Profits lapse when farmers buy at
retail prices and sell at wholesale prices. The cooperative
purchasing form of business organization provides a meth-
od by which farmers, through collective purchase, are able
to reduce the cost of basic supplies.
By setting up their own purchasing organizations,
farmers are generally able to obtain trade discounts and
other price considerations customarily granted only to re-
tail agencies. Carrying the method still further and com-
bining the purchases of local associations, it is possible for
farmers to effect additional savings by obtaining basic sup-
plies direct from manufacturers or primary producers for
processing in cooperative plants. Purchasing cooperatives
are in many instances carried to an extent where such as-
sociations engage in extensive manufacturing operations.
Cooperative farm supply associations are interested in
enabling farmers to purchase supplies at the lowest possible
price. Prices paid by farmers too often must cover ineffi-
ciency in distribution. Many existing agencies handle an
insufficient volume of business for efficient operation.
Costs are often unnecessarily high because of competitive
sales expense; carrying charges on unneeded, unstandard-
ized, or slow-moving merchandise; excessive delivery ser-
vice; poor credit and collection policies, and inadequate
A well-managed cooperative purchasing association may
eliminate or reduce many of these costs and bring competi-
tive pressure to bear on prices. Cooperative purchasing
associations endeavor to provide a type of service especially
adapted to farmer's needs. The customary retail and whole-
sale agency is concerned foremost with making a profit and
any service that does not tend to develop an immediate
profit is likely to be neglected. On the other hand, the aim
of the farmers' cooperative purchasing associations, while
concerned with saving as much as possible for patrons, is
to give detailed attention to the provision of supplies and
services which will result in profitable farm operation
In every section of the United States there are many
farmers' cooperative associations that do both marketing
and purchasing. Approximately 6,000 associations, primar-
ily engaged in marketing, handle farm supplies as a side-
line activity. In many instances the cooperative purchase
of farm supplies is of more value to the farmer than the
cooperative marketing of his crop. Cooperative purchas-
ing has developed along with cooperative marketing for
several reasons. For example, associations have found it
possible to reduce their overhead costs by using the same
facilities for assembling and selling crops, and for buying
and distributing supplies to the farmer. Furthermore, a
farmer delivering crops to be marketed by an association
looks upon it as a convenience if he can buy his supplies
from the same organization. Also, he may not desire to be-
long to two organizations with the responsibilities of mem-
bership in both when one association can perform satisfac-
torily all the required services. Furnishing supplies of high
quality is accepted by cooperative purchasing associations
as a fundamental principle of operation. (Condensed from
Bulletin No. 1, Farm Credit Administration).
One large cooperative association expresses itself in the
1-To encourage, introduce and apply improved busi-
ness methods in agriculture and to promote cooperation
with national, sectional, state, county, and local organiza-
tions that are engaged in the work of developing agricul-
tural interests concerned in cooperative buying and selling.
2-To encourage, introduce, and apply better and more
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
economical methods in the purchase of farmers' supplies
3-To secure efficient and economical methods in the
grading, packing, transporting, marketing and advertising
of farm products.
4-To effect economical methods of distribution.
5-To develop business cooperation among agricultur-
al interests and to encourage a cooperative spirit on the
part of the public.
6-To encourage and promote a closer mutual relation-
ship between agricultural interests and industrial interests
and the consuming public, and a better understanding of
the problem pertaining hereto.
Increasingly related to cooperative agriculture in a
more or less definite sense, are the consumers' cooperatives
which have developed over the country into one of the great
groups of cooperatives. A rough estimate shows 6,500
local consumers' cooperatives, with members approximating
2,000,000 families and with a business turnover of about
S500,000,000, in 1936.
A considerable part of this business is done by farmers'
purchasing associations. For the 1935-36 season the Farm
Credit Administration placed the number of such associa-
tions at 2,112 with a membership of 950,000 and total pur-
chases of $315,000,000. Consumers' cooperatives are not on-
ly set up by residents of cities and towns but by small
Food Chain Cooperation
In 1936 a special committee of the National Cooperative
Council met with representatives of the National Associa-
tion of Food Chains to discuss problems of common inter-
est among agricultural producers and the distributors of
their products, and especially a means of intensively hand-
COOPERATIVE AGRICULTURE 39
ling seasonal surplus crops occasionally flooding the mar-
Leaders of the chain food store industry had been ad-
vised that certain practices of long standing m distribution
were regarded by a large number of farmers as harmful
to their interests. According to the food chain association
such practices had never been followed by the majority m
the industry except at times when merchants were forced
to meet a competitive situation. It was admitted, howev-
er, that many chain food store operators had failed to un-
derstand the problems of the farmer, as for instance the ad-
vertising of "loss leaders" for the purpose of luring custom-
ers, resulting in depressed prices to the farmer. Above
a clearer understanding between these two groups, lay the
realization that one of the most pressing problems of the
farmer are the occasional surplus crops and the consequent
demoralization to the grower.
Following a series of meetings between representatives
of many farm marketing organizations and representatives
of the food chains, agreement was reached in which chain
food store operators pledged their aid toward the elimina-
tion from all branches of the industry of practices to which
the farmer objected, as inimical to the best interests of both
retailing and agriculture. Preference was expressed on the
part oi both chain food store operators and producer groups
to deal with one another on a net price basis, elhmmating
from negotiations as far as possible all intervenmg brok-
erages, commissions, and agency allowances. The members
of the National Association of Food Chains pledged their
help to the National Cooperative Council whenever season-
al surpluses and emergencies might threaten a substantial
portion of an important crop.
These developments were embodied in resolutions and
unanimously adopted by the members of the National As-
sociation of Food Chains, comprising some 150 food store
chains, including about 37,000 stores. The National Coop-
erative Council adopted a resolution commending the work
of the special committee and another resolution commend-
ing the action of the food chains.
Since then a number of separate Producer-Consumer
40 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
campaigns have been carried out to meet surplus emergen-
cies with such products as canned peaches, domestic fresh
beef, dried fruit, poultry, avocados, walnuts, lamb and
grapefruit. During the 1936-37 season a grapefruit overage
of 22,000 cars between Florida and Texas was largely dis-
posed of through one of these campaigns.
For the disposal of surplus crops through chain coop-
eration, several requirements are to be met. According to
the association, "First, it must be demonstrated statistical-
ly that an emergency exists; i.e., that a surplus threatens
the market. Second, the request for aid must come from
the farm organizations or producers themselves. Third, the
farm organizations must represent a substantial majority
of the producers of the crop in all major producing areas."
When these requirements are met, dates for the nation-
wide sale are set and the entire personnel of each chain
company is enlisted.
General Legislation Affecting
Most cooperatives are interested in three types of gen-
eral legislation The first class includes the cooperative
marketing acts and other acts permitting the formation and
operation of cooperatives on a basis not permitted under the
general cooperation laws. The second class of laws include
such features as found in the exemption provisions of the
Federal Revenue Act, m the financing features of the Farm
Credit Act, and m the anti-trust exemption contained in
the Capper-Volstead Act. The third class embraces the
many laws, both State and Federal, which regulate business
and business practices, which impose taxes, and which gov-
ern the relations between employer and employee. Exam-
ples of this type of legislation are the Robinson-Patman
Act, Social Security Act, Wagner-Connery Labor Act, and
laws such as governing cold storage and warehouse com-
The Robnson-Patman Act prohibits discrimination in
price between purchasers of commodities of like grade and
quality. To accomplish this, certain discrimination in
price and advertising and brokerage allowances have been
made unlawful This law requires a seller to treat all of
his customers equally, or at least on proportionately equal
terms. It applies to every transaction of interstate com-
merce and it applies indirectly to intrastate sales. Those
responsible for the management of cooperatives engaged
m buying or selling goods in intrastate commerce, should
become familiar with the provisions of this act and endeavor
to keep up to date with the rules and regulations imposed by
the agency responsible for its administration.
The Social Security Act is legislation of a different
character. It provides, among other things, for old-age
benefits or pensions, and indirectly for unemployment in-
surance. To provide revenue to cover the benefits and in-
surance, certain taxes are imposed
42 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Every employer, regardless of the number of his em-
ployees, unless he is in an excluded class, is subject to one
of the taxes imposed by the Social Security Act. And ev-
ery employer of eight or more employees, unless he likewise
is in an excluded class, is subject to both of the taxes im-
posed by the act.
The cooperative businessman should also become fa-
miliar with the exemption provisions of the Federal Reve-
nue Act, for if his business meets the requirements of the
exemption provisions, his cooperative is excused from the
payment not only of the normal income tax, but also the
undistributed profits surtax, the capital-stock tax, the ex-
cess-profits tax, and the stamp tax. (News for Farmer Co-
operatives, Nov., 1937.)
By NATHAN MAYO, Commissioner of Agriculture
A great many things can be accomplished through the
medium of cooperatives. At the same time there are things
that cannot be done. Following are a few salient "cans" and
cannott" in the field cooperative agriculture:
A Cooperative CAN:
Standardize and help stabilize production.
Advertise and widen distribution and develop new
Improve grade, pack and containers.
Help to improve distribution between existing mar-
Finance marketing operations.
maintain favorable relations with the trade by con-
forinmg to the highest ethics in business.
w2&je men who believe in cooperation and fire men
a democratic instead of an autocratic movement.
Employ skilled salesmanship
Assemble the commodities and resources of its mem-
Employ expert graders and packers.
/Eliminate competition between local organizations.
Decrease wasteful practices.
More easily secure shipping point inspection.
Collect claims, improve quality, form pools.
Help to avoid gluts and famines.
Make cheaper credit possible.
Make for cooperative production.
Make for cooperation in preparation for market.
44 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Eliminate a large percentage of the middlemen deal-
ing in farm crops.
Get the grower a quality price when he grows a
A Cooperative CANNOT:
Distribute large crops to the market at as high prices
as small ones.
Entirely eliminate the middleman.
Dominate markets when controlling only part of the
Change human nature or make a good farmer out
of a poor one.
Sell all the produce of all its members all the time
for a profit (neither can this be done by independent
Monopolize supply or prevent all competition.
Succeed if a majority of its members are disloyal.
Wave a magic wand and remove all the difficulties
in production and distribution.
Change low grade products into "A" grades.
Make the weatherman cooperate even if farmers lim-
it the acreage.
However, with many of the difficulties and limitations
of cooperative marketing still to be overcome by experience
in actual operation, Florida producers may well forge ahead
in the work of building their organizations for greater fu-
ture service and permanent success.
COOPERATIVE AGRICULTURE 45
The Cooperative Division of the Farm Credit Admm-
istration maintains a research and educational service for
cooperatives. Recently that service has been greatly in-
Thousands of groups of farm women over the country
are cooperating to find a short cut between producer and
consumer. For the miscellaneous items, "curb" markets
often represent a profitable outlet and the cooperation m
this respect of the farmer's wife has helped to make pos-
sible the additional satisfaction of the family's needs by di-
rect interchange of cash and commodities.
Courses m cooperative agriculture are being taught in
practically all State agricultural colleges in the Country.
More farmers sell dairy products cooperatively than
any other agricultural commodity.
About one farmer in every three in the United States
sells a part or all of his products through agricultural as-
Sales value of cooperatively marketed farm products is
roughly equal to one-fifth of the total cash farm income.
Auctioning poultry and eggs cooperatively has made
rapid growth m the last ten years and has become one of
the most interesting developments m cooperative market-
About 350 farmers' cooperatives m New England, New
York and New Jersey are mutual insurance companies. Co-
operative insurance societies write insurance covering life,
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
health, accident, household goods, fire, storm, and all types
of auto risk. In 1935 seven of these societies had 270,145
policy holders, with over $138,900,000 insurance in force.
By the close of the 1934-35 marketing season there were
1,082 active fruit and vegetable associations in the United
States that did an annual business of $200,000,000. These
cooperatives had a total membership of 158,000 producers.
Approximately 28% of these were in California and 9% in
Florida. More than 60 varieties of fruits and vegetables
were handled. Of the associations, 731 specialized in hand-
ling citrus fruits, potatoes, apples, strawberries and grapes;
300 handled citrus fruits. While 60% of the total citrus
crop was marketed cooperatively, only 25% of the Florida
citrus crop was handled through cooperative associations.
In California and Arizona about 85% of citrus production
was marketed cooperatively.
Farmers are the only group of people in the United
States who are allowed to organize without limitation, in
that only the farmer can have a complete monopoly and be
within the law.
With barely 7% of the world's population, the people
of the United States have created and now own more than
half the world's wealth.
It has been estimated that there are about 5,500 credit
unions in the Country, with membership of 1,250,000 and
combined assets of $100,000,000.
There are cooperative groceries, butcher shops, general
stores, filling stations, fuel yards, bakeries, restaurants,
dairies, student supply stores, burial societies, printing
plants, laundries, garages, and a large variety of others in
COOPERATIVE AGRICULTURE 47
Florida's laws covering cooperative agricultural asso-
ciations were passed in 1909 and have been amended from
time to tune to make their provisions of greater benefit to
Cooperation in the technical sense has been defined as
a "new form of industry ... its inspiration is fraternity; its
method is economy; its principle is equity." It refers to
producers and consumers who have united to satisfy their
economic needs, collectively rather than individually.
48 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
What Other States Are Doing
During the 1937 season, Virginia Dark Fired Tobacco
Growers Marketing Association, Farmville, Va., sold 7,067,-
000 pounds of tobacco. Of this amount, 601,000 pounds were
marketed through the "nicotine program." Additional
warehouse space has been provided; 7,500 square feet at
Blackstone, 20,000 at Farmville, and 15,000 at Lynchburg.
Material expansion in operations by the Rio Grande
Valley Citrus Exchange, will enable the association to han-
dle three or four times more fruit. This will be brought
about by an increase in the membership and by bringing
into the Exchange several additional local cooperative as-
sociations. With the enlargement of the juice plant the
Exchange will have a potential volume of 1,000,000 cases
of juice annually. A dehydrating plant is being completed
for the purpose of drying the hulls and pulp, a by-product
from the juice plant, to be made into grapefruit pulp meal
for poultry and dairy feed.
In 1937 the Central Cooperative Association with head-
quarters in South St. Paul, Minn., paid its members patron-
age refunds and dividends amounting to 25% of commissions
collected in 1936. Payments of $107,859, brought the total
payments since the cooperative was formed in 1921 to $1,-
606,803. In 1936 Central handled 18,810 carloads of stock,
an increase of 467, over 1935, or approximately 25% of all
livestock marketed in South St. Paul. Business handled by
Central at West Fargo brought the total to 20,139 carloads.
Ray-Carroll County Grain Growers, Wakenda, Mo., did
a total business of over $900,000 m 1936. About two-thirds
of this volume was grain marketed, and one-third supplies
purchased for the membership.
COOPERATIVE AGRICULTURE 49
Maine Potato Growers, Presque Isle, Maine, during the
1936-37 marketing season, serviced 186 members and hand-
led 3,080 cars of potatoes. As a result of an aggressive cam-
paign the association now has a total membership of 320
Feed buying for members, started in 1936 by the Pure
Milk Producers Association, Kansas City, Mo., resulted in
a saving of about $3,700. The feed was purchased in car-
load lots; in most instances several orders were pooled to
make a carload, thus giving the advantage of wholesale
prices on small quantities. Seventy-five carloads of hay and
13 carloads of grain and mill feeds were bought.
Organized in 1933 and beginning with one employee,
the Lorain County Farm Bureau Cooperative, Elyria, Ohio,
did a business of $54,714. Patronage in 1934 was $127,192;
in 1935 the record was $151,954, and the total for 1936 was
$189,148 There are now 14 full-time employees.
Sowega Fertilizer Corporation, Adel, Ga., paid a total
patronage dividend in 1937 of $7,844. This amount was
considerably m excess of any previous season. Approxi-
mately 4,500 tons of mixed fertilizers and materials were
manufactured and sold.
The total value of farm products sold by the Michigan
Potato Growers Exchange, Cadillac, Mich., during the 1937
season was $724,999. Of this amount, $25,642 represented
beans and grams and the balance potatoes.
For 50 years ranch operators in the Southwest have
been moving cattle to the Flint Hills area during the sum-
mer and fall for fattening on grass under contract. Coop-
eratives now provide supervision of grazing under pasture
50 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
In the 1935-36 season, fruit and vegetable farmers of
Utah marketed 118%T more of their crops through coopera-
tive associations than during the 1934-35 period.
California citrus growers control one of the largest
timber holdings in the United States. Their cooperative
purchasing organization, the Fruit Growers Supply Co.,
could produce in the farmers' own lumber mills and box
factories enough shipping crates to move the entire Cali-
fornia citrus crop to market annually.
In 1912, membership of the California Walnut Growers
Association totaled 1,164 with a production of 5,683 tons
of merchantable walnuts or 52% of the State crop. In 1937
there were 7,988 members who produced 35,873 tons of mar-
ketable walnuts during the record 1935 season or 85% of
the State total
List of Farm Credit Administration publications, in-
cluding bulletins of interest to cooperatives, furnished by
FCA, 1300 E. Street. N. W., Washington, D. C.
COOPERATIVE AGRICULTURE 51
Door to Door Survey Shows
Progress of Co-ops
By F. F. HILL, Deputy Governor, Farm
(Published m FARMER COOPERATIVES for September, 1938)
Twenty-one years ago this fall the old Office of Mar-
kets and Rural Organization in the Department of Agricul-
ture published the first official survey of farmers' coopera-
tives. The 1917 report showed 5,424 cooperative marketing
and purchasing associations in the United States, with an
estimated annual business of $625,940,000. At that time
about 1 in every 10 farmers was a member of a cooperative.
As this article goes to press a new Nation-wide survey-
the first actual door-to-door canvass of farmer co-op to be
made in this country-is being completed by the Farm Cre-
dit Administration and the 13 banks for cooperatives and
about 30 of the State agricultural colleges and universities.
They report 15,573 farmers' co-ops and mutual companies.
Gross business of the marketing and purchasing associa-
tions, including both wholesale and retail sales, aggregates
$2,750,000,000 annually Nearly half of all American farm-
ers are now marketmg farm products or purchasing farm
supplies, insurance, or farm business services through co-
operative farmer-owned organizations.
We know before this, of course, that the business of
farmer cooperatives declined during the depression, due
primarily to falling price levels, and then turned upward
as recovery began. The Cooperative Division of the Farm
Credit Administration mails inquiries to cooperatives each
year, which enables the division to estimate current busi-
ness and membership. What we did not know definitely
was that cooperative marketing has regained most of its
depression losses; that the membership and business of pur-
chasing cooperatives have more than doubled during the
past 10 years; and that, from the standpoint of membership,
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
dividend payments, and fmancial condition, agricultural
cooperation in the United States appears to be in a stronger
position today than at any time in its 70 years of history.
Farmer cooperatives are found in every State in the
Union, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Heaviest
concentration is m the North Central States, but association
in Eastern, Southern, and Pacific States have also forged
ahead since the depression. Minnesota has the largest nmn-
ber of farmer cooperatives-over 1,300-but California,
thanks to the cooperative marketing of citrus fruit, has the
largest volume of business.
There are 10,752 associations engaged in marketing
farm products and purchasing farm supplies; 2,500 mutual
irrigation companies, about 1,900 mutual fire insurance com-
panies, and several hundred others in the miscellaneous
The actual value of farm products sold and supplies
purchased cooperatively by farmers increased $750,000,000
since 1932 to approximately $2,100,000,000 in 1936, the final
year covered by the survey. Over 7,400 cooperatives sell
farm products as their main business and about 2,600 are
primarily purchasing cooperatives. In 1936 farmers receiv-
ed $1,762,000,000, or about one in every four of their cash-
income dollars, from cooperative marketing organizations;
and bought over $337,000,000 worth of farm supplies coop-
In the field of cooperative marketing, farmers continue
to receive the largest dollar returns from the sale of milk
and other dairy products-over a half-billion dollars in 1936.
Gram marketing associations rank second and livestock
third with sales of about $300,000,000 each. Cooperative
marketing of fruits and vegetables amounted to approxi-
mately $275,000,000 during the survey year, cotton $140,000,-
000, eggs and poultry $68,000,000.
Although the number of marketing associations has not
increased during the past 10 years, the existing organizations
appear to be operating over larger areas and handling farm
products more efficiently. Because of changing methods
of transportation and for other reasons, many smaller as-
sociations have combined into larger units of discontinued
operations. Both grain marketing and livestock shipping
associations have declined in number. This tendency to
decrease has been offset to a considerable extent by the or-
ganization of cooperatives in other fields, such as vegetables,
cotton and poultry. There are many more bargaining as-
sociations than there were 10 years ago. There has also
been a noticeable increase m the use of auctions by coop-
eratives as a means of selling eggs, fruits, and vegetables.
Significant also is the fact that farmers' marketing associa-
tions have increased the consumption of many farm pro-
ducts through Nation-wide advertising and by cooperating
with distributors in planning sales programs to "eat more
of this" or "drink more of that."
The life expenctancy of marketing cooperatives is con-
siderably longer than it was 20 years ago. The mortality
rate has decreased. The average length of life of associa-
tions in operation today is about 17 years, whereas the ave-
rage life of associations which discontinued operations since
1900 was less than 10 years. Associations today are not
plagued by price-fixing schemes, misinformation, and mem-
bership disinterest to the extent that they were 20 years
ago. The childhood diseases of cooperative marketing are
Cooperatives are finding Nation-wide markets for fruits,
vegetables, and specialty crops which 10 or 15 years ago en-
joyed only a seasonal demand. The year-round demand for
California's citrus fruits, raisins, walnuts, olives, and other
products has been created largely through cooperative ad-
vertising. Eggs and poultry from the Pacific coast are reg-
ularly marketed in New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore,
and other urban centers. Irish potatoes from Virginia's
Eastern Shore go to a dozen or more States Strawberries
from Louisiana find their way through cooperative chan-
nels to northern markets. Turkeys from Colorado, Utah,
and Wyoming handled by cooperatives enjoy a market al-
most Nation-wide in extent. Cooperation is finding a per-
manent place in the grocery basket for Maryland's sweet
corn and spinach, Michigan's cherries, Georgia's pecans,
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Idaho's dry beans, Montana's peas, Wisconsin's cheese, Penn-
sylvania's mushrooms, Minnesota's butter, New Jersey's to-
matoes, Oregon's pears, Texas' grapefruit, Arkansas' rice.
Purchasing cooperatives have made the largest gains.
Over a million farmers are buying farm supplies and equip-
ment across the counter of cooperative associations. In ad-
dition to the 2,000-odd associations whose main business is
purchasing, there are nearly 4,000 marketing associations
which handle supplies for their members as a side-line ac-
tivity. Feed for livestock and poultry makes up the larg-
est dollar volume of cooperative purchasing, but sales of
oil and gasoline for farm trucks and motors are crowding
for first place. Other products handled in volume by farm-
ers' associations include fertilizer, farm machinery, binder
twine, hardware, crates, baskets, and other containers, spray
material and seed.
Large-scale purchasing organizations like the Grange-
League-Federation in New York State, Southern States at
Richmond, Va., or the Farmers' Union Central Exchange
at St. Paul are supplying scores of local purchasing associa-
tions in their respective areas and increasing their business
steadily each year.
Although the typical purchasing cooperative continues
to be a relatively small association of several hundred farm-
ers operating in one or more counties, one of the most im-
portant developments m agricultural cooperation during
the past 10 years has been the growth of wholesale purchas-
ing associations. There are large purchasing wholesales
serving most of the Northern and Middle-Western States
and some of the Southern and Western States.
Cooperatives are manufacturing more farm supplies.
Ten years ago a few farmer cooperatives were selling their
own seed and mixing some feed and fertilizers. Today hun-
dreds of cooperatives are mixing feed. There are a dozen
or more cooperative fertilizer factories, five or six oil-blend-
ing plants, a number of paint-manufacturing establishments,
and a few associations which are manufacturing or assem-
bling farm machinery and other implements
With the increased use ol power-driven machinery on
the farm, the growth of farmei-owned oil and gasoline as-
sociations has been almost phenomenal Over 1.050 farm-
ers' coop filling stations in 26 States are pumping gasoline
and oil to their members as a principal business, and over
700 other associations are selling these and other petroleum
products as a side-line activity. Ten years ago there were
only a handful of such organizations Today they dot the
agricultural map from Ohio to Montana and are moving
into Eastern and Pacific States.
Cooperatives are not only helping farmers do a better
job of marketing and purchasing but are also teaching their
members how to do a better job of farming
Agricultural cooperatives have brought the lessons of
science and chemistry to the farmer's doorstep For years
the Grange-League-Federation and other cooperatives have
been driving home to farmers the importance of "open for-
mula" on the outside of a sack of fertilizer. Today farmers
know what they are getting in the form of phosphates, pot-
ash, and nitrogen From the marketing associations have
come the treated seed, the standard varieties, the disease-
resistmg plant, that mean assured income instead of crop
failure. Today m hundreds of agricultural communities
co-op membership meetings are virtual classrooms for in-
structing farmers in the latest methods of spraying, hand
ling, packing, and preserving farm products
To prevent the ravages of insects and blight, to check
the wash of soils, to improve dairy herds-these are some
of the purposes for which farmers have organized hundreds
of production-service associations These associations pro-
cure for the use of the whole community the heavy machm-
ery or the technical services which the individual farmer,
acting alone, could not afford to buy. Scores of new soil
conservation co-ops are buying machinery for terracing and
grading Farmers are cooperatively ginning 15 to 20 per
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
cent of the Texas-Oklahoma cotton crop. In the Western
and Pacific States, the new survey shows that about 2,400
mutual irrigation companies are leading water to farms and
ranches on a cooperative basis. Dairy-herd improvement
associations are increasing the profits per cow. Through
other types of service associations farmers are cooperative-
ly spraying orchards and field crops, crushing limestone for
fertilizer, and setting poles for electric lines and telephone
PROGRESS IN EDUCATION
Farmers' Association are marketing sound cooperative
principles along with their commodities and farm supplies.
From the new survey we learn that 86 per cent of the 10,-
000-odd marketing and purchasing associations in the United
States are governed by the accepted cooperative principle
of one-man-one-vote control Not many students of agri-
cultural cooperation would have ventured to place the per-
centage so high before the actual count was made The of-
ficials of farmer cooperatives realize today as never before
that the success of cooperative marketing and purchasing
depends to a large extent upon an interested, informed,
and responsible membership. Members not only own the
organization but participate actively in its affairs
The larger associations are spending an increasing per-
centage of their net income on membership education. Ma-
ny have employees trained in the science of membership
relations It is the business of these officials to help the rank
and file of members understand the technical side of coop-
eration and instruct members in the long-range, as well as
the more immediate, benefits of cooperative marketing and
purchasing. This is being done by membership meetings
which hundreds of thousands of farmers regularly attend.
In addition to supplying information on improved methods
of preparing farm products for market, these meetings are
teaching the business side of cooperation by means of cir-
culars, house organs, wall charts, and readily understood fi-
nancial statement. As a result, farmers have begun to re-
alize that cooperatives need strong financial structures and
adequate operating capital, as well as markets for products
and reliable sources of farm supplies.
Membership and employee education has become an
accepted activity of agricultural cooperation Many asso-
ciations are developing their own technical schools to teach
their employees and some of their members the principles
of cooperative business. There are short-course cotton-class-
ing schools m the Southern States; grading schools for the
employees of cooperative wheat elevators; and schools con-
ducted by wholesale purchasing associations to train store
managers, field men, and other employees But education-
al work is by no means confined to activities by the co-ops
themselves. State agricultural colleges and universities
over the past two generations have been teaching coopera-
tive marketing and cooperative business principles to farm-
ers' sons as regular college courses Today such classes are
being taught m 45 of the 48 State agricultural colleges and
The work is showing up on cooperative balance sheets.
At the time the new survey was made the total assets of
the marketing and purchasing associations amounted to
$510,846,000. Member-ownership capital in these associa-
tions amounted to $287,860,000, representing either original
contributions or savings which members allowed the asso
ciations to retain; $109,561,000 represented borrowed capi
tal for which the associations had given notes or mortgages,
$54,194,000 had been obtained on open accounts; the balance
came from other sources.
Agricultural cooperation is paying cash dividends. The
survey-taker from the banks for cooperatives found that in
addition to providing more effective marketing of farm pro-
ducts and reasonable-cost farm supply purchases, over 4,000
of the 10,752 marketing and purchasmg associations turned
back patronage dividends to their members in 1936 amount-
ing to more than $25,000,000. Many of these cooperatives
also pay limited dividends on stock owned by farmer-mem-
Another significant fact brought out by the survey is
the influence of the 13 banks for cooperatives in pushing
down interest rates paid on borrowed money by farmer-
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
cooperatives. Since 1934, the year after the banks for co-
operatives began operation, the trend in interest rates
charged farmer co-ops by various creditors has been stead-
ily downward For the United States as a whole, the ave-
rage interest rate on short-term money borrowed by co-ops
dropped from 5 9 to 5.7 per cent; on medium-term loans
from 5.6 to 5 per cent; and on long-term loans from 5.1 to
4.8 per cent. The banks for Cooperatives charge 2 per cent
a year on commodity loans, 3 per cent on operating loans,
and 4 per cent on physical facility loans.
The survey also shows that about 5,900 farmers' mar-
keting and purchasing cooperatives, or slightly more than
half the total number in the United States, use credit for
their operations. The largest amount of borrowed money
used at any time in 1936-the last year embraced by the
While commercial banks are the largest creditors of
farmers' associations, the business volume of the Banks for
Cooperatives has grown steadily during the past 4 years and
now occupies second place. In 1936 cooperatives using com-
mercial banks as a principal source of credit, borrowed a
total of $124,114,000; those using Banks for Cooperatives as
a principal source, $81,711,000; other cooperative organiza-
tions, $12,473,000; individuals, $13,328,000; and the remain-
mg amount from miscellaneous sources.
Patronage dividends returned to farmers in 1936 ex-
ceeded 25 million dollars.
Total assets of cooperatives exceed a half billion dollars.
Of this amount, members have invested $287,860,000
Farmers' mutual fire insurance companies represent the
the oldest form of cooperative activity among farmers in
this country. However, more than 2,000 of the marketing
and purchasing associations have been operating continu-
ously for more than 25 years
Purchasing associations have made the most rapid
growth during the past 5 years.