The Farmers Cooperative Exchange (Classic Reprint)

The Farmers Cooperative Exchange (Classic Reprint)

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Excerpt from The Farmers Cooperative Exchange

This bulletin is published to serve as a guide to farmers desiring to form cooperative societies for buying agricultural requirements or collecting, shipping, selling, storing, or manufacturing farm products.

While most farmers know something about cooperation and its advantages, not many have the definite and detailed information necessary to enable them actually to organize a cooperative exchange should they desire to do so. This pamphlet is designed to set forth plainly and briefly the advantages of cooperation among farmers' for business, the extent of farmers organizations in the United States and elsewhere, the difficulties to be avoided in forming such organizations, the fundamentals of successful cooperation, the possible fields for cooperative farmers exchanges in Massachusetts, the probable beneficial results that may be expected from cooperative buying and selling and, finally, the actual steps necessary to form an exchange.

The text of the Massachusetts laws regarding cooperative societies and the legal form of agreement of incorporation under the laws of Massachusetts, are appended. Since all cooperative societies should be incorporated, it is advisable that the form of incorporation should conform to the laws of Massachusetts and that the meetings held preliminary to incorporation should be in legal form. Specimen minutes corresponding to the form required by Massachusetts laws are also included in the appendix.

The model constitution and by-laws are suggestive only, but they not only conform to the laws of the Commonwealth with regard to cooperative societies, but they also embody those principles that the very best and most prosperous cooperative societies in Europe and in the United States have found advisable or essential to permanence and efficiency. Considerable latitude is possible in adopting by-laws to serve as working forms or rules for guidance of the society. Nevertheless, it is desirable that these forms should be based on sound principles in order that the society may be directed safely and surely.

Massachusetts farmers have already formed societies for various purposes, such as creameries, purchasing societies, cow testing associations, with more or less success. Several groups of farmers are about to organize. If the farmers of Massachusetts are to keep pace with the farmers of other states, many farmers' exchanges will be attempted within a few years. It is essential that these organize carefully.

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