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The nonpartisan leader. [volume] (Fargo, N.D.) 1915-1921, September 23, 1918, Image 8

Image and text provided by State Historical Society of North Dakota

Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn89074443/1918-09-23/ed-1/seq-8/

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OES South Dakota have the most
intelligent towns in the North
west? The evidence would
seem to point that way, for
many of the wide-awake towns
of that state are planning to
increase their size by taking
advantage of the League pro
gram of the farmers. They
realize that the farmers mean business. They
realize that we are coming into an era of co-oper
ation and state ownership which will build local
markets, creameries, packing plants, cold storage
houses, etc.
.. They, like the farmers, will lose nothing and
gain much when outside domination of production
and distribution is removed. Consequently these
towns are now surveying themselves to find out
what their good points are and each is telling the
farmers why that particular city would be a splen
did location for enterprises of the new kind. Their
good sense is deserving imitation by towns in
other League states.
l| In the old days of horse-drawn vehicles we
fx needed more towns in the Northwest than we do
fj now. That is why fully a third of our towns are
now going behind and nearly a third more are hav
ing no growth. The automobile makes it easy for
farmers to travel far to towns they prefer. But this
situation is just the opportunity for the wide
awake town to make itself secure and to flourish.
The new conditions which must inevitably kill
off some towns because there are loo many of
them for modern needs will just as surely give.
others a new life. Most of them are still
asleep, unaware that the times have changed.
Just as the Minneapolis Chamber of Com
merce, which expects to go back to wheat
gambling before the ink is dry on the finals
peace agreement, some of these towns will
be dead before they ever wake up. To use
a phrase of the stock brokers, "Now is the
time to get in on the ground floor" for
the small towns, before^the new conditions
and the steps to be taken are ap
parent to all.
Inasmuch as the growth of the
town depends on getting farmers to
come in to trade, we can say:
Happy is theitown which con
tains a farmers' co
operative elevator
because this binds
the farmers to it.
Again we can say:
More happy still is
the town which con
tains a," co-operative
creamery because
this brings the farm
ers in several times
a week.
The more the town
possesses in the way of
actual investments by
co-operating farmers, the
more of a cinch it has
on the future. The small
town business man, in-.,:
stead of fighting these
co-operative ventures as
he has so' frequently in
the past, should thank
God —and the sticking
spirit of the farmers that
they are there. If he
uses any sense at all,
they are as good as in
surance policies against future loss. They solve
the all-important problem of getting the farm
ers in the town.
2 These co-operative enterprises almost always
add to the volume of the particular line of busi
ness going through the town, for farmers cdme in
to get the saving and they come in on principle.
What for instance doessthe old-line elevator do
for the, town which the co-operative elevator does
South Dakota Is the First State to Realize the Value of Home-Owned
Industries—Friendly Cities Will Draw Farmers' Xrade
not improve upon? Or, to go a. little out of the
field of strict business, what town paper could
have such influence as an advertising medium to
draw farmers in as one which the farmers have
bought and which they run co-operatively? It
reaches those farmers who may be a little sore at
all towns because of the treatment they have re
ceived from misrepresentatives of the towns, better
than any other paper could.
Even the co-operative store which big business
holds up to the small retailer as a green-eyed
monster, in almost every case would be an advan
tage to the town in that it would bring in a great
deal of trade that would
not otherwise come to it.
There would probably be
enough trade for all in
the same line, for the
merchants. would find on
careful survey that they
are not getting more
than half to two
thirds of the
trade in* their
legitimate ter
ritory. Trade
in other lines
would be
In the words of the South' Dakota Leader, M. P. Bates, League candidate for governor of that state,
is a hog stopper. This picture, taken on his farm, proves it. His fat friend is his grand ctaiqpion.
Chester White boar. Yes, both look like winners to the farmers. The League, nominee is
famed as a breeder of purebred hogs and Hereford cattle.
handed a nice volume of increased business—very
profitable business in fact because the fixed charges
-which the normal business meets would not be any
a a a
The hollowness of the special interest howl
against co-operation and especially co-operative
stores, is shown by the absolute silence of these
same interests on the chain store an enemy, many
times mote dangerous to the independent retailer
than cooperative stores could possibly be. Big
^business feeds them with prices so much lower
than-it extorts from the independent retailer. Hence
their ability to undersell. Lumber yards, clothing
stores, grocery stores, banks, etc., in chains^ of even
20 or more can be fbund all over the North
west. Some of these chains have more than a
thousand local stores each. Back of many of the
chain stores are the millions of the great financiers,
such as J. D. Rockefeller. Yet there is not a peep
about these and at the same time the kept press
gets red in the face over the farmers' own stores
in the state of North Dakota. The co-operative
store brings in new trade the chain store grabs
what the town already has.
If the co-operation we now have binds farmers
to the town and promises to keep it on the map,
the co-operation of the future when the farmers
have secured' political power and protection will
be even more potent to build it up. The full work
ing out of the program of the organized farmers
will give a surprising amount of local development.
Let us take,"for instance, state-owned cold storage
plants. First will come the plants in the large
centers, then smaller plants, in the small towns
will be built either by the state or co-operatively
to handle Jocal needs.,
Farmers will use them to preserve their perish^
able goods retailers and townspeople will likewise
use them. They will thus, for example, lay in their
winter supply of eggs for themselves instead of
depending on the cold storage plant in the distant
city. Retailers will be able to buy fruits and. vege
tables in m.uch larger quantity without fear of loss
because they can keep all. but what immediate
needs demand in the community cold storage plant.
Cold storage plants are practicable in units from
the size used by the local butcher to the mammoth
plant in the big city. With ah opportunity for
free ^discussion and with protection from unfair
competition, these plants will spring up'
rapidly in towns favorable to the
—Photograph by Stairs
State-owned flour mills will lead
to a1 similar local development.
With the grip of the milling
combine broken, more of the
milling will be done locally to
save the freight and other costs
connected with sending out the
grain and bringing back the
flour and feeds from the distant
centers. State-owned and co-
Qperatively owned elevators, lo
cated in the best towns,
will replace the present
system. There will be
fewer of them but the"
town which gets one will
have a' larger business
than it could have other
wise. Local warehous
ing will be developed to
a much greater extent
Government ownership
of railroads, which will
undoubtedly, be retained
through the influence of
organized farmers, wilL
so remove the present
and past discriminations
against local industry
that wonderful develop-*
ments in, this line may
be expected. What may
come to pass may be seen
fropi what happened in
Denmark when farmeni
and workers got coiit±ol
of the government. This
little country, one-fifth
the size of the state pf ..•
Minnesota, has more than 40 local packing plants
monopoly-made distances the meat products needed
~"*e victory of the people over the spe
cial interests now dominatingpoliticsand business,
will shortly come'a more balanced community in
dustrial life. Here' we touch the ^weakest spot
"in the local community in America. Much of our
farm work is seasonal and the community offefB

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