Newspaper Page Text
With prosperity is coming infla
tion, and big fortunes in stocks.
Prices are likely to break the record
again this winter. Those fortunes
must come form somewhere and
where but from the people who pro
duce with their fingers and thumbs?
What can be done about it?
This corner of Wisconsin is finding
the'anwser. It is knocking the props
from under the high cost of living by
means of co-operative farmers' pack
The first of these is now running in
La Crosse; another is being built at
Wausau, and others are being organ
ized in Madison and New Richmond.
The Farmers' Co-Operative Pack
ing company of La Crosse is the first
in the United States, was incorporat
ed in April, 1914, and has more than
2,000 farmers as members. They sell
their live stock to their own plant In
stead of shipping it to Chicago com
mission men, who dispose of it to the
big packing concerns the Swifts,
Armour and Morris the beef trust
They get a better price for their
live stock on the hoof by eliminating
the following six "middle expenses:''
Shipper's profits, railroad, terminal
railroad, yardage, feeding, commis
sion. In addition he can buy dresed meat
for his own consumption at the
plant's wholesale price instead of
paying retailers about double, as the
average farmer always does after
selling his live stock.
Then, with "from the farm to you"
as a slogan, the co-opejative plant
disposes of its "dressed" product in
the restricted or "home area" to
other folks at lower prices than the
beef trust charges.
The first co-operative plant is
breaking even, or making only a very
small profit, which, in the eyes of the
bankers and money kings, marks it a
But in the eyes of the consumers
whose meat prices are lowered, and
the farmers who get more for their
cattle, it is not a failure!
Mistakes were made in starting the
plant and these very mistakes have
pointed out the pitfalls for the other
co-operative companies to avoid!
The La Crosse stockholders paid
some $125,000 for a new plant now
said to have been worth $50,000. It
was over-capitalized at $250,000, and
the stock, when it didn't sell fast
enough, was "forced on the market
by professional salesmen," according
to E. H. Baker, vice president and
The plant was soon found too old
and inadequate, and after thousands
were spent on improvements, as A.
W. Johnson, secretary and treasurer,
puts it, "were stuck before it start
ed." The founders maintain that co
operative packing plants scattered
thickly throughout the country, with
housewives' co-operative buying so
cieties, can put porterhouse steak on
the table at half the price now paid.
THE FATAL THIRTEEN
Here are the 13 reasons why the
farmer gets so little money for his
meat and why you get so little meat
for your money!
1. Farmer's profit, that of the real
producer which he sometimes does
2. Buyer's profit, for buying the
beef from the farmer.
3. Railroad's profit, for taking the
cattle to the stockyards.
4. Feeder's profit, for feeding the
cattle en route to slaughter.
5. Terminal profit, for taking the
train from the main line to the stock
yards. 6. Yardage profit, for switching the
cars to the unloading point.
7. Packer's profit (The beef trust
also gets a share of several other
8. Another railroad's profit, for
taking dressed meat to city where it
9. Express company's profit, pack
er's private car line's profit
10. Drayman's profit, which in