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four-year secondary course. Systematic practice in farm operations is included in the agricultural course.
A department of agricultural instruction has been organized in about 2,000 public high schools in the 48 States and in a small number of private schools. In each school there is usually a single teacher of agriculture. In most of these schools the agricultural course covers only one or two years, but in an increasing number of schools an effort is being made to continue it through the four years covered by the regular high-school program. The instruction varies from that which is largely practical and truly vocational to that which consists chiefly of textbook and laboratory work. Some of the schools have small tracts of land and a few animals, but for the most part the practical work is conducted on the farms where the students reside with their parents, through what are known as home projects.
Since 1917 secondary agricultural instruction has been increasingly influenced by the provisions of the Smith-Hughes Vocational Education Act. Under this act in 1917, $548,000 of Federal funds was allotted to the States on the basis of their rural population for the salaries of teachers and supervisors of agricultural instruction. This amount has been annually increased by $250,000, and this will continue until 1926, after which the annual appropriation will be $3,000,000.
The instruction in agriculture must be of less than college grade and be designed to meet the needs of persons over 14 years of age who have entered or are preparing to enter upon farm work. Each student in agriculture must pursue supervised practice in agriculture on a farm for at least six months per year. The “home projects” of the students usually consist of the growing of some crop on at least an acre of land or the feeding and care of one or more animals for a period of at least six months. The student must keep a record of his farm operations and their cost and make a written report on his project at its completion. The teacher visits the farm to observe and comment on the work. Care is also taken to connect the school instruction with the practical work on the farm.
SECONDARY DAIRY INSTRUCTION. In the special agricultural schools dairy instruction is commonly given as part of the course in animal husbandry, which occupies from one to two years. The dairy work covers breeds, breeding and judging of dairy cattle, feeding and care of the dairy herd, construction, ventilation, and sanitation of barns, silos, and milk houses, common diseases of dairy cattle and their treatment or prevention, milking and handling of milk under farm conditions, use of separators and Babcock testers, butter making, cheese making, dairy bacteriology, and marketing of dairy products. These schools have dairy herds and barns.
In the local secondary (high) schools having agricultural departments the same general plan of instruction is followed as in the special schools, but the dairy work is usually less elaborate. The amount of dairy instruction will depend largely on the extent to which dairy husbandry is practiced in the vicinity of the school. In some Smith-Hughes schools short dairy courses have been organized to give practical instruction to farmers and farm boys who are not able to take the regular courses. Students taking dairy courses in Smith-Hughes schools must have at least six months' practical work on their home farms under the supervision of the agricultural teacher. In 1920-21, 942 students in 34 States completed home projects in dairy husbandry, using 3,670 cows, or an average of 4 cows per
Chairman SCOVILLE. I am sure I express the regret of all of you in saying that we are keenly disappointed in not having Mr. Sapiro's paper presented at this time. We had hoped to have him here with us, but he is unavoidably detained. We had then hoped to have Mr. Holman read his paper but it was obvious some little time ago that there would not be time so we have not made the attempt. It will, therefore, be read by title and will appear in the published proceedings.
THE COOPERATIVE MARKETING MOVEMENT.
AARON SAPIRO, attorney and cooperative marketing expert, New York City and
There is a particular fascination in discussing cooperation with milk producers. About the dairy industry there lies the appeal of original sources in both the birth and the higher development of the cooperative movement among producers. The dairy farmers of Switzerland were making experiments in producer cooperation two centuries ago.
Of late, perhaps, the most powerful and successful form of coop: erative marketing that the world has ever known has been evolved among the growers of the western United States. Within the last decade, and mostly within the latter part of it, this form of cooperative marketing, known as the “commodity plan,” has been applied to all sorts of farm crops in every part of the United States as well as on the Pacific coast, and to the marketing of great staples, such as wheat and cotton, as well as to specialty crops. In the last two years it has been applied to the tobacco crop to such an extent that over two-thirds of the entire American crop is being marketed to-day by five great associations which have met with immediate and brilliant success.
Its application to the marketing of milk and dairy products in America is as yet comparatively limited and only a dawning growth; yet the plan itself was first evolved by none other than the dairy Parmers of Denmark.
To the man who milks the cow in little Denmark the agricultural producers of the world will owe the economic freedom that is rapidly coming to them through the knowledge and successful application of the proper principles of cooperative marketing. These men produced the long-term binding contract between the individual grower and his marketing association which is the key to the success of the latter. They first worked out the absolutely essential principle of the internal pool, and they were first to see that the aim of cooperation for marketing purposes is not merely a battle against speculators but the development and stabilization of markets, the improvement of the product and of selling methods, to the advantage of the consumer as well as of the producer-in short, what American men of big business call "merchandising.”
When the Danish dairy farmers' cooperatives succeeded, against tariff barriers and copious foreign production, in selling their butter in huge quantities to the other countries of Europe; when they accomplished this end solely by the fact that these cooperative marketing societies surpassed, in the quality of their product, even the already famous "Estate butter” of Denmark, and by the fact that consumers who bought from these cooperative societies bought under business methods that brought higher guaranties of quality and higher standards of service to them than they had ever known before, then these farmers taught the true lesson of cooperative marketing to the husbandmen of the world.
Sun-Maid raisins, Sun-Kist oranges, Sun-Sweet prunes—all the glamorous achievements of gigantic cooperative marketing in now far-famed California-owe their existence to the dairymen of Denmark.
The new “ Dairylea ” milk, now being advertised from end to end of the United States—the branded evaporated milk product of the Dairymen's League of New York-owes its existence indirectly to the same sources. The members of the first modern Danish dairy cooperative marketing organization, established in 1881, would probably receive a thrill of which they never dreamed if they could see the posters advertising “Dairylea” milk in the New York subways and carrying the slogan, "Guaranteed by 70,000 farmers.”
The true gospel of successful cooperative marketing contains much more than merely the preachment of a correct form of organization. Without such organization success is impossible; but without the proper use of correct organization success is equally unattainable. There must be full realization that the right aim of cooperative marketing is to substitute scientific merchandising for the disorganized dumping of farm products, and the intense application of every effort of the organization to the winning of that goal.
This is so important that it would be well to set forth informally the six cardinal principles of modern merchandising, which are:
1. Grading-Grades must be standardized and the standards strictly adhered to. This results both in reliance upon the quality of the product by the consumer, and the improvement of quality by the producer, to his profit.
2. Proper packages.-Merchandise in packages has a great advantage over merchandise in bulk. In packaged goods there is uniformity, a higher percentage of preservation, greater ease in handling, the opportunity for the establishment of easily recognized brand names and trade-marks, cleanliness and attractiveness. But the package must be right-different sized packages for different classes of trade, packages that suit the product; their selection is always a task for experts and a field for constant experimentation for better and better results.
The two foregoing principles are recommended for most particular attention by milk producers' associations selling butter and cheese.
3. Extension of markets.—Markets for almost every sort of commodity can be expanded both as to time and place. By proper handling, the period over which a product may be marketed can be lengthened to allow for more orderly sale; and the places where it is sold, and the agencies through which it is sold can be increased. Markets can be greatly extended by direct effort to intensify the use of the product. New uses for the product are sought; the public is educated by the tremendous adjunct of advertising and other means, to both the new uses and the old ones. Advertising is also a great aid in
4. The procuring of continuous use.- Former luxuries, like raisins, for example, have been converted into something like a staple food product in the public regard, by correct merchandising methods applied to this end, and what was an almost wholly seasonal consumption at Thanksgiving Day and Christmas time has been changed to a steady year-round demand.
5. The securing of even and complete distribution.-By this is meant the prevention of a glut in some markets while there is a famine in others.
Before successful cooperative marketing came to the orange industry in this country, for instance, disorganized growers and shipping interests, working in ignorance of each other's plans, used to swamp one market, while another remained bare. The result was terrific loss to the producers, both in spoiling fruit and crashing prices. Now the great citrus cooperatives of California and Florida chart every car of oranges moving in the United States, keep upto-the-minute information on every market, redirect shipments in transit to see that the markets are evenly supplied and not oversupplied. 6. Making prices depend upon supply
at the point of consumption and not at the point of production. This can be done when the market movement of a commodity is known to be under control of large and efficient organizations which do not glut consuming markets no matter what the quantity of the produce they may have to dispose of. It can not be done otherwise. When the farmers are disorganized, a time of overproduction, such as we had in the potato crop last year, brings not only the loss of the unassimilable surplus, but drives to a ruinous point the prices obtainable for the part of the crop which is to be consumed. Seventeen million bushels of potatoes, rotting in the ground in Maine last year, made the price on hundreds of millions of bushels of potatoes moving upon the market, all over the United States, because buyers knew that there was absolutely nothing to prevent the surplus at the point of production from coming upon the market if the producer could possibly get it there. Powerful cooperative organization skillfully merchandising a great crop is the only solution for the surplus problem, and, as will be seen presently, this problem is particularly and always the great one to be solved in the successful marketing of milk by producers.
If the relation of cooperative marketing to the milk producer is a fascinating study for sentimental and historical reasons, it is even more so because of the many peculiar and intricate problems which milk presents to the marketing expert. It is the number and depth of some of these problems, especially in America, which has been responsible for the delay in the application of the most advanced principles of successful cooperation to the dairy industry in this country.
Fluid milk is probably the most perishable of the farm products that form the basic food of the world. The distances over which it can be shipped are decidedly limited and the methods under which that transportation must take place are specialized and very expensive. Therefore producers of fluid milk must be organized first about great metropolitan centers, and conditions covering existing milk markets will differ widely among these various centers.
The dairyman producing milk for fluid consumption in these centers, and located near them, must pay higher rentals and use more expensive methods and a more highly specialized equipment than the dairyman some distance away, who produces milk chiefly for manufacture into condensed milk, butter, or cheese. Therefore, it is for fluid milk that the highest return must be and is paid to the farmer.
But let us consider for a moment some of the problems with which the producer of fluid milk is confronted. In the first place he has, perhaps beyond any other producer, a tremendous obligation to his consuming public. Above all things there must always be enough milk for the metropolitan centers which he supplies. The feeding and the health of little children, rich or poor, is the first simple material obligation of civilized mankind.
Now if there is to be enough milk, that means that in addition there must be a constant surplus. And if there is enough milk throughout the year, that means that there must be a very large seasonal surplus, in addition to the regular small surplus, at those periods of the year when the cows produce greater quantities of milk.
It is this surplus and the disposal of it that primarily make the price of all milk and milk products. While milk in fluid form is absolutely perishable, it can be converted into butter which is good for a season, into cheese which is still nearer imperishability, and into condensed and evaporated milk or milk powder which are to-day put up in forms that constitute absolutely nonperishable products. Dairy products, related to the surplus problem, form the key to the intelligent handling of milk.
Without organization for cooperative marketing, and without very powerful and technical organization in each of the great metropolitan districts, fluid milk producers are absolutely at the mercy of speculative dealers in these centers through this surplus problem. During the season of flush production, if the unorganized fluid milk producer will not sell his milk for any price the dealer will name, he will not sell his milk at all. Because it is so much cheaper to produce milk in far outlying districts, the dealer is able to hold over the head of the fluid milk producer, at such times of the year, not only the normal surplus of himself and his brethren, but the surplus of the outlying producer which he can bring into the city as fluid milk.
On the other hand, the outlying producer who makes milk for creamery and factory processing is confronted with the fluid milk producers' surplus in the same markets. The only solution to this problem is a two-fold one: First, the very complete organization of the fluid milk producers about every metropolitan center; and, second, the interlocking organization of all dairy product producers