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Chairman HATCH. The question naturally arises, how long can you keep it up? You have, as I understand it, a certain, select group now that are producing extra quality products. Are you safe in your extension service in going ahead and pushing these until you get all to produce the same grade?
If you do get them all, what assurance have you that you are not going to increase the cost and therefore decrease the profits to your dairymen when they come into that group?
Professor MORTENSEN. Well, the increased cost will be very small, if any. It is the opinion of the farmers in our State that it does not cost any more to produce sweet cream than it costs to produce sour cream. It is true that delivery will cost somewhat more; we must admit that. If you are satisfied in having deliveries made twice or once a week you will have poor quality, and if you have a poor market you will lose a good deal of money on it.
But with us, there is not a creamery in Iowa to-day, of those that are using the Iowa State trade-mark that would go back to the old system. We withdrew the trade-mark from one of the creameries. and as soon as that happened they called me up to their annual meeting; they wanted to know why, and as soon as it was explained that the quality was not up to standard they fired the butter maker and they have a new one now who is producing State trade-mark butter to-day-in fact, he is one of the prize winners of the State.
So far it has appealed to the people.
The Danes at the present time are manufacturing over 200,000,000 pounds of butter a year from that little country, and it is only onefourth the size of Iowa. They are manufacturing over 200.000.000 pounds a year. Why have they got a market? Why do we store it in New York City? Because we are getting it at a reasonable figure; but another reason is that the American people are beginning to demand the Danish butter.
We don't want that to take place. American butter for American people, but if we can not make butter up to the standard that people want, the Danish butter, the Holland butter, the Irish butter, the New Zealand butter, the Australian butter, and the Argentine butter will be sold on the American market.
Chairman HATCH. To what extent do you think that the price affects that demand, Mr Mortensen?
Professor MORTENSEN. To some extent, but the butter dealers will now tell you that there is an actual demand created in this country for Danish butter.
Chairman HATCH. Is there any further discussion?
Mr. R. W. BROWN (Manitoba Agricultural College, Canada). I did not hear the chairman's paper, but I take it from the title of the session that your main discussion is on dairy education work, the relation of different departments of the Government or college.
Chairman HATCH. We feel that the pure research in dairying has been well done, but we believe that the various fragments of that research have not been coordinated into an economic unit; and because they have not, that much of our extension work is ineffective on account of the fact that we are always “up against” the insistent demand from the field, “Tell me how to make money out of
66 You can
dairying." That is what our farmers tell us. They say, produce if you want to, but it costs money to produce high quality. Show me how I can make money producing sweet cream.
You can hare sanitary conditions such as you describe, milk coolers, milk rooms, and handle your herd thus and so, but show me how I can make money out of it."
That is what they are asking us now. We are simply discussing the possibility of getting some answers to some of these economic problems from the research workers. Mr. Brown. Then I will say just a word in regard to sweet cream.
We believe that sweet cream is what we want and we want to churn it while it is sweet because the butter keeps better in storage. Eighty per cent of our butter is made during six months in the summer, 20 per cent during the winter six months. That means that a good deal of this butter must be stored for six months or longer and it must have a good keeping quality. If it has not a good keeping quality it can not be sold at any price. If it comes out of storage off-grade, as we call it, there is very little market for it. If it is special or first grade butter then there is a good market for it and people are willing to pay, I believe, a number of cents more for good butter than for butter which they can't use at all.
So we are working toward that, and, I believe, as Professor Mortensen said, it does not cost much more to produce sweet cream than sour or off-grade cream. The thing is to get people to take care of their cream by simple, cheap methods.
With regard to the extension work: Dairy extension has largely been done by the dairy branch with us. A change had been made just before I left. The extension department has moved from the Department of Agriculture back to the agricultural college, where We believe it ought to be. For some years it was directly under the control of the Department of Agriculture and the extension workers have very little connection with the college; in fact, we very often did not know who were on the extension service at all, and there was no satisfactory arrangement. I think that from now on, our extension work will be more effective.
Chairman HATCH. This is everybody's meeting. We can't proceed with the regular program, so we may as well pass the time this
Mr. J. S. MOORE (Mississippi). I believe that Professor Mortensen struck the keynote there in cooperation, in the working together of the different forces. This is a big industry and you can't confine the work to the dairy department of the institution; you have to call in other men.
It seems to me one of our weak points is the fact that we have not gone out far enough yet. We have county agents in practically every county in our State, but we have not been able to line them up, as it were, with the dairy work, and if anyone has worked out a system of getting the county agent (of course he has a broad
cover; he can't be a specialist in dairying) linked up with the dairy extension man, I would like to know about it. Then he should also be linked up with the investigator of the college and with the other forces there at the college.
So I would like to hear a little discussion as to how other States handle that feature in getting this information through your dairy extension agent to your county agent, who, in turn, gets it down to the man that he works with.
We only have, for instance, two dairy extension agents. They can't cover the whole State, but if they could connect up with these county agents and get that before the people, we feel it would help us quite a little bit in getting our research work right to the man who needs it most.
Chairman Hatch. May I ask a question right at that point which is suggested by your remarks? You spoke of the cooperative movement. We are being drawn into this whirlpool of the cooperative movement in dairy production, dairy marketing, and dairy manufacturing. What assurance have we to give the farmer that five years hence he is going to be better off if he participates in this thing? What do we know about the actual working out of these cooperative units that assures us that the dairy industry will be more profitable to the producer when he has created these organizations of his own? How do we know that they are going to be any more efficient than the present institutions that are set up and are now handling the product?
Mr. MOORE. I could not answer that offhand, but taking the economist's view of it, it seems to me that of all the systems that have ever been in practice in any place, the present system, or the past system I will say, that has been adopted in the marketing of all farm products, including dairy products, has been the most wasteful; it is economically unsound. We are simply trying to get on a sound economic basis.
I will use as an illustration an article that perhaps you are not very familiar with, cotton. Cotton has been the great money crop of the South. Cotton has been marketed about like we used to market dairy products. Tom, Dick, and Harry markets his crop. He gets it ready, carries it to the market, and takes what he gets for it, just as we used to carry our butter, as individual farmers, to the market and take anything we could get. The creameries came along, a cooperative movement, whether by individuals or by farmers cooperating together forming a cooperative creamery.
If we can get cooperation still more efficient and have cooperative marketing as they have it, it will help a great deal. Out in the West they have worked out some of those problems to the benefit of the farmer.
So I don't think we need to have any fear as to what will happen if we can get there. The trouble that I see is getting everybody to cooperate. There is our trouble. We have no fear but what cooperation and working together will be more efficient than our present plan. Perhaps we are wrong, but that is the way we feel about it. We feel that we are on safe grounds so far as the cooperative movement is concerned.
Chairman IIATCH. I did not mean to question the cooperative idea, but to suggest that we would hesitate to continue on faith and advocate the practices of whose workings we know little. We would not
have advocated the application of the serum and virus method for the control of hog cholera without first having fundamental research upon which to base that kind of instruction from our institutions.
I can multiply illustrations, but I don't need to; and yet we do not hesitate in going ahead on some of the philosophy that we are doing now without any more information and without any facts.
I am just wondering if it is not pretty nearly the function of our educational instrumentalities to produce the facts and put them in the hands of the extension workers, so that the extension workers can say, “ This and this much do we know," not “Do we believe," but - This much do we know with respect to these things."
That is what I am trying to suggest by this little informal discussion that we have had this morning.
Mr. W. S. KELLOGG (Derby, Conn.) We could accomplish the purpose by the formation of a few local farmers, which would be in the nature of an embryo cooperative society. We can not, it seems to me, figure out the mathematics of the profit in the cooperative movement until it has been experimented with in small units in different parts of the world.
While I am not altogether familiar with it, I believe the cooperative movement in Denmark has practically revolutionized the farming industry. Twenty-five years ago they were in quite bad shape. Through the cooperative movement they are highly prosperous to-day.
However, I know in the Eastern States every farmer is sure that if he ties up with some other small farmer that somebody is going to " do” him. He goes to the nearest village or town and peddles his product from his wagon to the grocer or milkman or restaurant that can buy his stuff.
They are not all people of high moral standards, and they don't give him all they can afford to pay for his product. The result is the farmer is always underselling the market, and his product is very irregular. He brings in “strictly fresh eggs," and they may have been gathered any time within two weeks. He sells them for “ strictly fresh," and people who are gathering real strictly fresh eggs are handicapped.
However, they will not get together in a community and take turns coming to town regularly so as to deliver those eggs as strictly fresh, find out what strictly fresh eggs in the market are worth, and sell them for that.
They do the same thing with their milk. In Connecticut we have a milk exchange cooperative association, and yet they can not get farmers of Connecticut to pay the membership dues and join that association. One of the functions of the association is to find a market for their milk at a fair price. They will go out and sell from 3 to 4 cents a quart regularly under the market, and they don't take care of their milk, most of them. The result is there is a low-priced milk being thrown on the market. People buy it, and they complain that the milk is poor.
I should say that more than 50 per cent of the farmers can not be made to see that if they could trust somebody to the extent of maintaining a price, even if they had to hold it a few days until their surplus could be disposed of, that they would benefit.
I think that the preliminary steps must be worked out in the smaller communities in piecemeal before you can establish anything on a general cooperative basis. In that way you can determine whether it is a success or a failure.
Professor MORTENSEN, I fully agree with Mr. Kellogg about what cooperation has done for the Danes. When I went to school in that country in 1880 it was practically bankrupt. To-day they are living in luxury. Also I think that what Mr. Kellogg has said about the small unit should be emphasized. We have organized a great many cooperative creameries from the Iowa State College, and there has not been a creamery that has failed of those that we have organized; but we have had several farming communities that have come to us about establishing a creamery at a place where we knew that they could not operate cooperative creameries satisfactorily, and we have suggested that they not go ahead, and in one place where they went ahead anyway they have closed to-day.
We have another kind of cooperative organization that they are starting, and I believe you have reference to that, to some extent. in the butter-marketing associations. Denmark has not gone very strong on those. It is understood in this country that the Danish butter is all marketed cooperatively, but it is not so. The Maypole Co., of England, and, I think the Lipton Co. are handling some, and the big cooperative wholesale organizations at Manchester are buying the butter direct from the Danish creameries.
When I was over there in 1914 I talked with a man who was the president of a farmers' college. He told me that he had the biggest cooperative organization, that was made up from 100 creameries
. When you talk to the creamery men over there they seem to think that they are not making any more money by selling through the cooperative organization than by selling direct to some of those dealers. Of course, they are somewhat differently situated from what we are, because they have those big dealers in England.
The Maypole Co. is operating over 800 stores in England. The Lipton Co. is operating about the same number. The big cooperative wholesaling organization is selling all of the cooperative stores. practically, in England. They are experimenting now.
We had this same matter up in Iowa with the director of the extension department, the economies department, and the dairy department when they wanted to organize this big cooperative selling organization in the State of Iowa, the same as they wanted to do in Wisconsin and in Minnesota. We felt that as they were going ahead in Minnesota we would prefer to have them go ahead and carry on the experiment. They have now an organization there composed of some 100 creameries, and I understand some of the Wisconsin creameries have joined. I consider that that is our experiment station at the present time on marketing butter in a big way. If that works out, we will follow, but we are not ready to start an organization of that kind until we have some experimental data.
The small organizations do not prove at all whether such a big organization will have stability enough to carry on that sales organization as it should be done.