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,1 '1 IFTEEN years ago when I N I northern Minnesota was new, there was but one hand cream separator in all the country near Thief River Falls. That one separator just about guaged the dairy industry of the region. Very few cows were being milked, and there was little demand for milk or butter. A few farmers were making butter and selling it at the grocery stores, but really good butter was so scarce, that the makers of it had a half a dozen private customers in town for every pound they produced. The cows were nearly all scrubs. The people who were trying to farm rais ed a little grain and a good deal of wild hay, but a silo was regarded as a sort of frill to farming that was less prac tical than showy. There was but lit tle railroad mileage in the country also, and even when the farmers produced good crops there was not an available market. Conditions were- changed when the rritchard-Stone company, a firm of Iowa investors that had started two or three little banks in the region, de cided to put punch back of the dairy industry as a means of building up their banking business. Mr. Pritchard, who has always represented the firm locally is still a resident of Thief River Falls, and his townsmen and the farm ers give him credit for having started the co-operative creamery that is now the pride of the whole country. CREAMERY WAS STARTED TO HELP BANKING Mr. Pritchard is now engaged in the lumber business, but he is an ardent advocate of farmers' co-operative en terprises, and will take an hour from a busy morning to talk to anyone who is genuinely interested in co-operatives, and in the development of the country. And he knows the whole history of this successful business, knows how it could be increased, and hopes some time that it will grow into a big institution that can compete with the Duluth and Twin City centralizers in a way it can not compete now. "To understand the development of our creamery," he said to the Non partisan Leader representative the other day, "you have to know the back ground of its origin. When we came in here to make investments first about 1900 there was no such thing as a creamery thought of. The farmers were in many instances trying to sell their land to get out of the country to newer places. There was no stable price for land. One could buy "Varans worth $3500 for $2500, and if he hesi tated a little about the price, he could get the farm for $1500. Down in Iowa where came from, I had helped start a co-operative creamery and thought that this country needed something like that to bring about better farming methods, and develop the country. "We had bought several thousand acres of land and were operating two small banks. I traveled over the coun try for about three months looking into conditions, and finally I put up to our firm the matter of building a creamery. We did not want to operate a creamery ourselves, but we knew we would have to start it, and we hoped it would be so successful that the farmers would take it over. Of course we were in the en terprise for the sake of building up our own banking business. But we were willing to spend a few thousand dollars if there was a chance to stabilize the country and bring about permanent farm prosperity. SEPARATORS SCARCE AND MONEY HARD TO GET "We built the creamery, p"ut a good and experienced man in charge and began to buy milk. By the end of the first week we saw we had made a mis take. The creamery business was not wanted by the farmers. They would not milk their cows. Those who did could not get to town with cream in the proper conditio^ for churning. There were few roads and they were rough. It was impossible to think of bringing milk to the creamery for separation and the only alternative was to have It separated on the farms. But the farmers had no separators, and most discouraging of all, they did not seem to care to buy any. "In those days a loan of $20 to farmer was a big thing, and the farm er was rare indeed who could borrow $100. Very little of the land had as Creamery is Pride ~~7 yet passed to private title so that land mortgages could not be given as secur ity, and the only paper banks could get for loans, were chattel mortgages. "Cream separators cost $35 to $60 and their purchase represented an in vestment of some magnitude. But we had the creamery on hand and we thought we had to make it a success. I went to a local hardware dealer, and told him to order a carload of hand cream separators. I told him our bank would take the farmers' paper and fur nish them the money to pay for them. We guaranteed him against loss. Then we sent out men through the country to sell hand separators to the farmers and show them the value of separat ing milk at home. "We were rather successful after strenuous effort. But when the sepa rators came there were only six. The IMftiMMittli *s 5 raK \t-Ts 0* A i. uriKPM hardware man decided it was too big a venture and did not fill our order. Then we ordered a carload of separa tors ourselves of a different make, and put our#agents out in the country sell ing them. We sold them for less money than the other line and we soon began to get cream of better quality. But it was uphill work. Not enough farmers would take an interest to make it prof itable. We were losing money -fight along. CENTRALIZER STUNNED INFANT LOCAL INDUSTRY Enterprise Started to Aid Banking Business Proves Great Co-operative Success in Farmers' Hands "Those were the days^when butter in the eastern markets was selling from 17 to 26 cents a pound. We bought cream on the monthly pay basis, and at the end of the month the directors would take the total receipts for the manufactured butter, determine the running expenses and decide what rati we could pay for the butter fat. Often and often we used to add a cent or more per pound to the justified price of butterfat in order to keep the cream ery alive. If we hadn't we would have lost our farmer patrons. "At the end of two years we figured up the total production and operation expenses of the creamery and found that for the 24 months we had been losing around $125 a month. We talk ed it over with our butter maker and he admitted that he knew we were not getting what we ought to be getting out of our investment, not getting what the industry ought to be paying. We were paying the best prices we could possibly pay for cream, and yet were not getting the cream. "One day we got a tip on the secret of why we were not getting more cream. The drayman happened to re mark to me that he was hauling a good many cans of cream to the railway station. One of the big centralizers in Minneapolis had opened a cream sta tion some time before. Our competitor, a local man was getting the cream. We found out how. He would Bee farmers bringing their cream to the creamery, would stop them and ask what price they were getting. They would tell him. He would step up on SS!|S the wagon, open a can, wipe his fingei around the inside of the can and take ofC the thickest, richest cream in the can and give it a test. Then he would show a much higher test than the com posite test shown at the creamery, and the farmer thought he was getting cheated. That was how the creamery lost patrons. THE FARMERS UNITE AND TAKE A HAND "We decided to quit. Our butter maker had to leave and we nailed up the doors and windows. We had loet a lot of money and the farmers did not seem more than half hearted in their support. But when the creamery clos ed down, they began to realize the situation, and the first thing we knew they were demanding it be re-opened. I told them 'Never'." Farmers making deliveries of cream to the big co-operative creamery at Thief River Falls, Minn., which is now running night and day, and turning out 60,000 pounds of butter a month. That was the turning point In the history of the Thief River Co-operative Creamery. It didn't stay closed. The man who had the only hand separator in the country when the creamery opened came to the rescue. His name was Peter Engelstad. He was an en thusiastic booster for better farming of the soil. He is also an enthusiastic booster for less farming of the farmer, for he is an ardent member of the Nonpartisan league. Mr. Engelstad got some neighbors together and formed a co-operative creamery association. They knew they could win at dairying if they could break the strangle bold of the centralizers, and they cultivated loyalty among the farmers for their local creamery. Under the new management it began to prosper, and its history of the past few years has been almost the reverse of its early history. Last month it did over $24,000 worth of business, and shipped about 60,000 pounds of butter. With present prospects it expects to do ,$150,000 worth of business for the year, including the slack winter months. If has about 160 loyal members who never ship to any outside centralizer, but keep the profits from their cream to distribute among themselves. It has about 500 shippers of cream in north ern Minnesota and North Dakota and in spite of strenuous efforts of the centralizer at Duluth, it is holding its own with the producers. FARMERS AND CITY FOLKS REJOICE TOGETHER PAGH TWELVE It is running night and day now with a crew of 10 persons, and lts_ butter Is being sold on the Boston market at a premium of three cents above the regu lar butter board quotations. Every year the association holds its annual meeting in Thief River Falls, and the farmers are hosts to the, city folks. They have a big church dinner and join with their city neighbors in re joicing over the success of a genuinely farmer-owned creamery, the largest and most complete one in northwestern Minnesota. The town people in their turn enjoy patronising the farmers' creamery in a business way, and it r,*V' turns out during the^biisy season some*" thing like 3000 pounds of print butter a month for the local stores to' sell to their customers. The best thing about this creamery is that it has opened the eyes of tha farmers to a very profitable form of farming, and to the fact that they hav« got to get hold of the marketing end of their business as well as the pro ducing end. It is an industry peculiarlj adapted to the splendid pasture coun« try of northern Minnesota, and its in fluence has greatly improved the clasa of cattle kept, been a stimulus to bet-~ ter road building, and has developed more on-the-land farmers to take the place of the absentee speculators, whom Mr. Pritchard says were a great handicap to the early development of the country. iliil IP# lllllllltltlit HOGGING DOWN CORN Hogging down corn is often acconw panied by considerable waste, particu larly when too large an acreage is al lowed & drove of hogs. Though tha amount of grain wasted is generally more than balanced *by the saving in the labor of husking, special car* should be taken to make the wastage as small as possible. An effective way to do thU is to fence off the field to be hogged down into lots small enough that they will be thoroughly cleaned up in a limited time, and by not changing the hogs to a new area until the previ ous one is exhausted. Because of the help shortage tha practice of hogging down corn promise* to be more popular than ever this fall. To some extent, however, the amount of corn hogged down will be limited by the feed shortage, many farmers desir ing to utilize the stalks who would or*' dinarily permit them to rot down in the field. At any rate the scarcity of feeds makes it imperative for every farmer to make the best use possibla Of his crops this year. Not a kernel of corn or an ounce of grain should go to waste when it can be saved. WATER THE HORSE- In hot weather the horse should be given special attention. The horsa when sweating is using up water fast. If the horse Is worked hard on a real warm day it should have a liberal suit ply of good water. From morning till noon and from noon till evening is A long time to go without water on a real hot day, for the horse as well as tot man. If water can be carried to tha field and the horses watered in tha forenoon and afternoon but especially in the afternoon, they will be in better condition to do good work and they will be less likely to be affected by tha heat. Care in feeding will also keep the horse in better condition to resist the heat. In real hot weather it pays to give the horses frequent breathing spells as it is easy to injure the horsa on a hot day so that its capacity for work is reduced for weeks.—Agr. Ebb Dept. N. D. Agr.College.