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throughout the country properly to merchandise dairy products, attend to their storage as well as sale, and the development of an increasing consumption of such products, the possibilities of which, in America at least, have hardly been touched.
Of approximately 89,000,000,000 pounds of milk, estimated by the United States Bureau of Markets to have been produced in the United States in 1918, 44.25 per cent was consumed as fluid milk. These figures are an interesting comment upon the plentiful use which the American people make of fluid milk, but they are an even more interesting comment upon the woefully undeveloped capacity of the American people to consume dairy products, notably cheese, of which there was manufactured in that year only 400,000,000 poundsor, at the rate of 10 pounds of milk to the pound of cheese, only 4,000,000,000 pounds of milk, or 4.45 per cent of the total production.
This is less than 4 pounds of cheese per capita per year in the United States. To one who knows the food value of cheese and the volume of its consumption in some of the most advanced countries of Europe, this figure is almost an absurdity. Few other statistics could more clearly prove the immense development of the American milk producer's market for dairy products which awaits the proper merchandising of these products by such skilled and powerful cooperative marketing methods as have increased the American consumption of raisins from 50,000 tons per annum in 1912 to 250,000 tons per annum at the present time.
The reference made just now to the fact that the adoption of proper cooperative marketing methods by the milk producers of America is only a dawning growth, is no reflection upon the initiative or past organization record of these producers. As a matter of fact, in the amount of organization of one sort or another that has been put into effect by our dairy farmers, these farmers lead any other group of agriculturists in the United States. These organizations have accomplished great things against bitter opposition and problems that would have confused any genius. Only that very confusion has necessitated all the experimentation that has gone on in the past to find the solution of these problems, and has prevented, until very recently, a clear conception of the things to be attained and the means to be used.
For example, take the old problem of the possible competition in the fluid milk market of the normal fluid milk producers close to a given metropolitan center and the producers of milk for creamery and factory use at greater distances from that market. While milk producers have long realized the necessity for organization about metropolitan centers, it is only recently that they have also realized that it is necessary for such a metropolitan organization to have within its own ranks a large percentage of the dairymen who are even remotely capable of shipping fluid milk to such a center whether that is their normal outlet or not. And having realized this, the working out of a plan that would amply protect the interests of both the metropolitan producers and the outlying dairymen has presented still further problems. Within the past two years, at least one organization in the Chicago district has solved this difficulty, and others have come to the realization that it must be solved-namely, that milk must be organized about metropolitan centers whether it is produced for fluid consumption or creamery purposes primarily.
Further to handicap proper development, there has been, from time to time, the temporary and unsound success of the wrong kind of organization, with the result that the leaders of such efforts are blinded to their own limitations and oppose improvement until the damage which their opposition causes sometimes costs the dairy farmers more than their former success gained. There have been times, for instance, when some metropolitan organization, in no way correctly organized for marketing but strong in sentimental hold upon its members, has succeeded in bringing about a concession from the dealers in that locality by calling a strike among the milk farmers. Such strikes have only been effective in periods of temporary crisis and have been at the expense, though not so intended, of the consuming public rather than of the dealers. The result is that the milk producers have been burdened with an already unfair amount of public sentiment against them.
With the crisis passed, and improperly organized for the permanent and proper merchandising of their product, except through the dealers who have always had them at their mercy, the milk producers have been as bad off as they were before.
This business of fighting the dealers, as the primary aim of milk marketing organization, is a fruitless one. The proper aim of milk marketing organization, like that of any other cooperative, is to develop and stabilize the market for milk and milk products and to use the legitimate dealer, to his own profit, in the process. That many dealers are short-sighted and do not see their own advantage in such a development is true; but if the organization of milk producers is properly constructed with the merchandising aim in mind it will win its fight against such dealers merely as an incident of its progress, and it will have the support of those of the dealers who understand its powers and possibilities.
I could wish that the American dairy farmer would absorb to the full the lesson of his Danish brother in the matter of the long-ternı contract. Other American producers have learned that lesson, but it is extremely hard to drive home to American dairymen. The Danish farmer pledges the output of his cows to his cooperative marketing organization for a period of from 12 to 15 years. If American dairy farmers ever did that on the scale on
which some of them are now pledging their product to certain great metropolitan marketing cooperatives for 1 or 2 years, the battle of most of the antagonists to these cooperatives would cease almost overnight. The speculators who have made milions out of an antiquated system of marketing are naturally willing to lose a great deal of money for a short period in the effort to see that that system is not transplanted by something more efficient. They would seldom undertake to lose their earnings in a hopeless and unfair fight ranging over a decade or more. They would, instead, turn around and help the cooperatives to develop the vast untouched possibilities in the marketing of milk and milk products, in the attainment of which possibilities their legitimate service is an essential part.
But the proper cooperative marketing of milk or milk products in this country is coming apace. Some of it is already here on a big scale, and the immediate future holds, to my mind, practical results in milk producer cooperatives that will at least equal, if not surpass, those which have been achieved in any other basic agricultural industry in the United States.
Some of the newer milk cooperatives, especially, will already bea: most critical inspection with high honor to themselves organizations like the present Twin City Milk Producers' Association, for example, which, both in its present technique and the goal toward which it is consciously moving, is a most admirable venture.
Furthermore, the tremendous amount of older organization already existing becomes a stupendous asset toward the attainment of such results the moment the leaders of these organizations see and think clearly upon their problem, and there is ample evidence thai the great majority of them are doing so to-day. They are not only seeing the problem and thinking upon it along correct lines, but are already acting upon the principles which they have discovered.
I believe our dairy leaders are convinced to-day of the three essentials of true cooperative marketing, for milk or for any other produce—first, the right aim; second, the right technique; and, third, the right personnel. One can not say too often that the right aim is merchandising; and certain activities of the Dairymen's League, for instance, which I have already mentioned, show quite a profound appreciation of the fact. This is one example only—there are others among the existing milk marketing organizations of the country.
By correct technique, I mean the proper form of organization to accomplish the aim. Among its demands are pure cooperation, the binding contract, the internal pool, and organization upon a sufficiently large scale to do real merchandising. There are a number of binding-contract, 100 per cent pooling, milk-marketing cooperatives in existence now, and others are forming. Meantime, we have the very important spectacle of the National Milk Producers' Federation, representing 28 major milk-marketing organizations, indorsing and recommending this new and correct form of organization. Moreover, we have, in various places in this country, groups of formerly independent, and therefore more or less helpless, local cooperativo creameries organizing into closely knit, correctly constructed selling organizations for the marketing of their united product; and we have afoot, right now, projects for the joint operation of all these selling organizations in the development of the general market for dairy products.
By the right personnel, I mean the employment of the greatest experts in the business of processing and marketing the milk that the country affords. Such men are to-day being drawn by the score into the service of the dairy farmer. The business of actually attempting to market milk and dairy products along the lines of impractical dreams held before the farmer by politicians, or even efficient organizers with no specialized knowledge in marketing, is rapidly passing: Even those who are to-day engaged chiefly in the attempt to guide legislation or public opinion on behalf of the dairy farmer are beginning to show the mechandising rather than the political point of view in their activities.
An instance of what I have in mind has been the recent brilliant procurement by the organized milk producers of this country of à Government bill to stop the imposition of filled milk upon the milk-seeking children and housewives of the United States. We all know how unscrupulous or misguided manufacturers have been subtracting the butterfat from milk and substituting vegetable oils which give their finished product the feel of milk without giving it the nutritional qualities which have been taken away. The passage of this bill was a boon to the public; but it was also decidedly a boon to the milk producers, and it was the education of the milk producer to the marketing point of view that made him see this and secured his united support to a measure that could never have been passed without such united effort.
Had milk producers a generation ago been properly organized for marketing, and had they had the merchandising point of view and skilled merchandising advice which knows how to handle the possibilities of advertising, they would not to-day be confronted with certain public misconceptions as to the essentials of wholesome milk which have proved a great hindrance to their business. Milk producers were too busy fighting milk dealers and each other to answer, with the scientific truth, misstatements as to the dangers of certain kinds of milk under certain circumstances with which journalistic exaggerations unduly frightened the public for a long period of years.
Furthermore, where, as was frequently the case, scientific investigation did show the necessity for more sanitary and efficient dairy methods, correct organization, with merchandising as its aim, would have seen to the universal application of these methods long before that application actually came.
The public has properly, if a little too amply, been frightened away from the use of undergrade milk. It has never been properly educated in the food values of good milk.
There is a tremendous field of achievement ahead for properly organized cooperative marketing associations of milk producers; and to-day, at last, the long travail of an older order is giving birth to such associations—a race of giants born full-fledged and fullarmed to ride forth upon that field and win it.
Chairman ScOVILLE. The National Association of Practical Refrigerating Engineers is holding a conference at Memphis, Tenn., December 12 to 15. Any of you who are going that way are cordially invited to attend.
The Pacific Slope Dairy Show Association will hold its show at Oakland, Calif., October 29 to November 3. An invitation is extended to you to visit that show. These notices will be posted on the bulletin board at Syracuse and anyone interested will please consult them there.
You have had your instructions this morning as to how to assemble for the reception at the White House, and this session will now stand adjourned.
(At 3.50 p. m. the members of the congress went to the White House, where the following address was made by the Hon. Calvin Coolidge, President of the United States.)
PROCEEDINGS OF THE WORLD'S DAIRY CONGRESS.
ADDRESS BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.
The Hon. CALVIN COOLIDGE.
Mr. Secretary, members of the congress: You represent one of the very oldest of the industries. We read that even in the days of Abraham the keeping and tending of flocks and herds was not new, but was well established. Your presence here indicates especially the importance that this industry has attained. It is important in the building up of the race. As a food product, there is nothing which can take the place of that which comes from the dairy. It contributes an important element to the growth and the development, both of the body and mind, for which there has never been discovered any adequate substitute. You meet here as representatives of different States and of different nations. That indicates the growth and the extent of your industry. It began, of course, as a neighborhood affair. As transportation developed, it became national in its scope, and from that it became international, representing a most important human activity. It makes large contributions to our welfare, going into all the industries. It is the support of the packing industry. Different manufactured articles result from the raising and breeding of cattle, going into commerce that reaches from shore to shore, and from nation to nation. Your presence here indicates that it has become a mainstay to commerce and it is a support to friendly international relationship. You do not come representing governments, you come representing people. Commerce and industry are the interplay, the relationship, not between governments, but between groups of different peoples. I take pleasure in welcoming you this afternoon as those who are engaged in an activity for the promotion of human welfare, the building up and the strengthening of all of that which is best in mankind, contributing greatly to the facility of international friendship and the support of a higher civilization.
(Following the sessions in Washington on Wednesday, October 3, the delegates were taken by special trains to Philadelphia, where they arrived on the morning of Thursday, October 4. This was done to enable them to study the methods used by the National Dairy Council in demonstrating the nutritional value of milk. The forenoon was occupied by a demonstration of methods used in the public schools. In the afternoon the delegates were taken on automobile excursions to points of interest in and around Philadelphia and in the evening were entertained at a banquet given by the committee representing the dairy interests of the country.)