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BY HUGH J. HUGHES
YO-OPERATION has been a house- or a poor business manager, or of under- cause one or more of these four basic
hold word in the Middle West for taking too much or too little—things laws of co-operative self-preservation
so many years that when one sug- that may happen to any organization, no have been disregarded. gests that there is something new de- matter how well planned it may be. In addition, the association that hopes veloping along that line he is in danger Improper organization can somehow be to succeed must put aside any philanof being passed by as an idle tale-teller, tolerated in the local association, where thropic roseate dreams. Unless the yet the fact is that we are on the verge hard common sense comes in and saves ledger can be made to show a favorable of a great forward movement in co-opera- a situation that a little careful planning balance; unless there is fair assurance tion that seems destined to do for the might have avoided, but improper or- that it will do so, stay out of the trouble local co-operative groups what these ganization is fatal to large associa- that lies just ahead-unless, in other groups, in the days of our fathers, did tion, where the actual management is words, working with each other pays for the isolated farmers in the com- out of the hands of the individual mem- better than working alone-work alone. munity. bers.
The time may come when you can sucTo put it in a sentence: The next big And under this head fall the mis- cessfully co-operate, but that time has advance in co-operation is the federation takes and blunders and misjudgments not yet arrived. of the local co-operative groups and the that have made the whole question of
It is a social blunder amounting to a creation by such federative action of "What is a co-operative concern?” such crime to start a co-operative concern central selling and buying agencies. a hard one to answer.
where the business does not warrant it, There are those who will tell you that These blunders include proxy voting,
or in such fashion that it fails for lack farmer co-operation is perfectly all the holding of an indefinite number of of support. right, provided it sticks to the local shares, the payment of all dividends And right at this point enters a new neighborhood, but that it cannot go far. upon the basis of the shares held, and phase of co-operation, in so far as the ther without certainly running into the cash buying and selling of produce.
Middle West is concerned. In times trouble and disaster. And in support of Nor am I forgetting the worst blunder past we have been entirely too anxious their contention they mention large co- of all-that of starting a co-operative to get “co-operators"-falsely so called. operative enterprises that have failed, association without sufficient reason for We have taken it for granted that the and because these have failed they ar- its existence or with too little capital. man who bought a share or two of stock gue, perhaps with some seeming of These are some of the known dangers in the creamery or cheese factory or logic, that all other attempts of the to avoid, though there are others, such elevator would give the association his farmer to carry his business beyond his as the diversion of paid-in capital to or- patronage, forgetting the long and bitlocal neighborhood are bound to fail. ganization expense, that cannot be for ter experience of neighborhood after
So, they argue, it is the business of one little moment forgotten. And, neighborhood where men dreamed and the farmer to produce his crops and live knowing where trouble lies ahead, it planned and invested their money in costock and dairy products, and, if he ought to be fairly easy to lay a course operative ventures, only to see the memwants to do so, he may organize breed- for the future.
bers of the association listen to the ing circles and co-operative shipping Over against these things that tear voice of the tempter and sell their prodassociations and creameries and eleva- down the co-operative organization sup- uce to competitive concerns. tors, or any other purely local body of pose we put the positive factors that Our Danish friends learned a long farmers-and there he should stop! time and experience show should be a while ago the lesson which we are just
If that were true—if the field of co- part of the well-knit, socially correct, taking to heart: That one's patronage operation were so limited—1, for one, and businesslike co-operative associa- is of far more account than one's share should feel pretty discouraged about the tion. The things that build up a solid membership. future of the farmer. But I am not dis- co-operative business may also be And the new thing we are introducing couraged as to the progress the farmer grouped under two heads. They are: into Middle Western co-operation—the is going to make in the future, because (A) Correct organization.
thing that is going to make it practiI do not believe that his horizon is fixed (B) Good management.
cally invulnerable against the attacks or that his hands are tied to the things Correct organization assumes, first of of competition-is the "produce conthat he has done, and only to these. all, that there is a real business need tract."
The co-operative failures of the past, for the co-operative concern. If not, it According to this plan, the association and there are many of them, are not at is a waste of time to start one. And it is not merely a group of men who have all confined to the more ambitious at- likewise is a waste of time to start built an elevator or a creamery or a tempts of the farmer to follow his prod- an organization which is not heartily potato warehouse with their joint capiuce to market. The local co-operative backed by those taking stock in it. The tal; it is also a group of men who have association has gone to pieces times essential principles involved in proper pooled their selling by pledging it, unwithout number. One has no right to co-operative organization are:
der a written and bonded guaranty, to assume that co-operation will succeed or (a) One man, one vote.
the association. fail according as to whether it is or is (b) A limited number of shares to the This assures the association, provided not local. Some other test must be ap- stockholder.
it has been organized in response to a plied than that of size, or than that of (c) A reasonable rate of interest on real business need, the necessary volume distance from the farmyard gate. shares held.
of business with which to maintain itFailures have been due principally, if (d) The distribution of all surplus self, in spite of outside competition. not entirely, to two groups of causes: earnings, after the running charges of The Minnesota Potato Exchange plan, (A) Improper organization.
the business have been met, and after for instance, provides that the grower (B) Bad management.
provision has been made for the safe- shall give the local association a conThe latter cause accounts for the ma- guarding of the business, according to tract to deliver a stated acreage of potajority of failures of local co-operative the patronage given the association. toes, and performance of this contract enterprises, and the former for the more Cast over in your mind the co-opera- is guaranteed by a $100 note given to ambitious attempts at organization. tive ventures that have failed, and you the association for that purpose. If the
Bad management includes such mat- will be surprised to find how many of grower deserts his association and sells ters as the selection of poor directors, them have gone down to disaster be- to its competitors, the margin of profit so lost to the association is deducted offers John ten cents above market. Pacific coast, whose business has grown from the face of the note-in other John goes and turns his offer in to the to a volume of something like $125,000,words, the note is sold, the loss de- manager of the association, who sells 000 a year, and whose agents you will ducted, and the balance turned back to the load for him to the buyer! John find in every fair-sized city from the the grower, whose stock share in the gets his price, and the buyer gets his Pacific to the Atlantic. And, going back association is also made liable for de- potatoes. And if the buyer wants more, to the Danes, it is a plan that has made sertion losses.
the manager can help him get them. Danish butter and Danish bacon the Naturally, one might think that such This supposititious case is one of en- standard of quality in these products the a binding agreement would meet with tirely fair competition. But suppose the world over. opposition. In point of fact, in the in- buyer comes in for the purpose of put- The Exchange is formed, not by the stance above mentioned and in the case ting the association out of business. individual farmers, but by the local asof the Michigan Potato Exchange, this Don't you see how the same plan will sociations. The local association gathers binding contract has been one of the work? He will get potatoes at his own and grades and handles and ships out leading selling features. A guaranteed price-all the potatoes that the associa- the produce of its members. But just acreage, and the control of that acreage, tion controls, if he holds out that long. as the individual agrees with it to sell means business volume and the business And with every bushel he buys he adds through it, so the local in turn agrees stability of the association, and the man to the success of the business he is try. to sell only through the Exchange, and who might hesitate about going in ing to down!
pledges itself to that effect, giving as a without such assurance feels that he is Does the plan actually work that way? guaranty a $500 note to the Exchange. joining a strong organization.
Ask those who have tried it. Ask the All the business relationships between Under this plan of pledging it is pro- Michigan Potato Exchange, Cadillac, the two, including the sales privilege of vided that the note given shall be used Michigan. Or ask the farmers' elevator the local, offered a higher bid than the for no other purpose than as a protec- men who have adopted, in an informal market, are the same as for the local tion to the association against loss way and years ago, similar methods to association I have already described. through breach of contract, and for the defeat the "cutting under” policy of the And just as the local is managed from further purpose of establishing a revolv- line houses. Of course it works!
its membership, so the Exchange plan ing fund out of which to conduct the So, as the first and most important of management makes each local a memcurrent business of shipping.
part of the new co-operative programme, ber, with one vote, and provides that And since the Potato Exchange fol- we have a local association built along the directors shall come from the memlows the sound co-operative practice of correct business lines, according to well- bership of the locals. This system pronot buying outright, but merely moving established co-operative principles, and vides both a local association and a the produce forward to market on joint safeguarded against business undermin- wholesale organization, directed and account for all the shippers, substan- ing by the new-to us-feature of the controlled by the farmers who compose tially as done by the live-stock shipping pledged business of the member.
the locals. In so far as possible the plan associations and the creameries, this But the big job in marketing, as we safeguards against the danger of too guaranty note is peculiarly safe, in a are coming to understand, is to get onto much centralized power. And as far as business way, from any loss through the terminal market with enough vol- it has been tried out in this country mismanagement.
ume of business to command the at- such centralization has not reached a Some one, I am sure, is wondering tention of the buyers—with enough so point where the welfare of the indijust how this will work in case the that we can go out and hunt the best vidual has been lost to sight. grower is offered a price better than markets and place our products upon In conclusion, just a word about what that bid by the association. A fair them.
this plan of federated co-operation does question. It would be a one-sided bar- And on these larger markets the small to, or rather with, the "middleman," of gain that would force the grower to offerings of the local association are at whom we hear so much. It doesn't do deliver to the association at all times a disadvantage. The direct competition away with him. That, as any one who and cause him to lose sales that he of individual farmers is replaced by the has studied the actual labor performed might secure through accepting outside no less direct competition of individual in moving a car of wheat or hay or live bids.
associations. The work done by one stock or potatoes forward from the proAnd right here is where the competi- group of middlemen has been taken ducer to the consumer knows, is impostive buyer has always done his most over, only to find that we are up against sible. But it does take over his workeffective work of destruction. He has another line of the same sort of fellows, makes him, if you please, the hired man paid above the market until the co- firmly intrenched in the trade knowl. of the farmer. And this is as it should operative association has been crushed, edge and trade practices and trade ac- be. Without destroying or even disand then has taken it out of the hides quaintance acquired during a lifetime in turbing any of the machinery that soof the men he used as tools for the the business.
ciety has painfully built up through cendestruction of their own association. The answer to this situation is the turies of experimentation as to the best The new plan-I call it new merely be- federation of the local co-operative asso- ways of selling and buying, under the cause we of the Middle West have just ciations and the formation by such fed- federated co-operative plan the farmer begun to adopt it, though it is perhaps eration of one central selling agency steps forward and takes a place in the fifty years old in Denmark and in Hol- having a large enough volume of busi- big markets; and whether he shall go land and has had a shorter but success- ness so that it can afford to go out and still further forward toward the conful life in the fruit-growing regions here establish its own connections with the sumer, or whether he shall wait for the in America—the new plan provides in jobbing or retail markets, or, at any consumer to organize and
the the contract that the grower may have rate, come as close to the consumer as other half of the way to meet him, is the benefit of the highest price offered, it is possible for it to come, with profit still a question of the future. but that he shall turn all bids in to the to the producer, whose indirect agent But that the farmer has found a form (1ssociation! it is.
of co-operation that will bring him What happens ? John Jones comes to This is the Potato Exchange plan, safely, and with power in his arm, into town with a load of potatoes, or any. now in successful operation in Michi- the wholesale markets of the Nation is thing else pledged under this plan. Call gan, and already adopted in Minnesota, no longer a question. It is a fact, to be it potatoes. A buyer is in town, anxious New Jersey, and Colorado. It is the used by him in such fashion as he sees to get a car loaded out that day. He plan of the citrus-fruit growers of the fit.
BY ALEXANDER MEIKLEJOHN
PRESIDENT OF AMHERST COLLEGE
N intercollegiate game is, or ought to be, a contest between the un
dergraduates of two competing colleges. It should be managed by undergraduates, coached by undergraduates, and played by undergraduates. Our National vice of over-administration has in all these respects robbed the games of their proper character. Our games are managed by outsiders, coached by outsiders, and, in a very real and lamentable sense, played by outsiders. For this the authorities of the college are largely responsible. In our games, just as in our teaching, we have said, "What the undergraduates cannot do for themselves we will do for them." And the result is in both cases rather pitiful.
Thirty or thirty-five years ago our colleges made what is for older people always a startling discovery, that boys are in danger of over-emphasizing sports. They thereupon took over the management of those sports to keep them within proper bounds. The favorite device was to set up Joint Boards of Control, on which faculty, graduates,
(C) Geo. H. Hill and undergraduates were represented.
THE HARVARD STADIUM, THE OLDEST OF THE GREAT ARENAS DEVOTED TO MODERN To that and like forms of organization
COLLEGE ATHLETICS. IT WAS THE GIFT OF A GRADUATE CLASS we owe most of the exaggeration of college sport. It has the authority and
our games annual contests between excluded. Just so far as possible it is prestige of all the parts of the college themselves. This is what we get as the desirable that we give to the people or university. It becomes inevitably an
fruit of our attempt to keep the game about us a chance to see good, spirited independent body, representing all other
of our students within proper bounds. sport. bodies, and therefore subject to none.
As against it, surely, we must say that On the other hand, I do not think that It has done in the way of enlarging the students should coach their own teams winning teams really add to the repute scope of athletic management what no and win or lose their own games.
of a college. A winning team does not undergraduate board would ever have
I should stop here to discuss for what indicate very strongly that a college is dreamed of doing or being allowed to
teams coaching is or is not allowable, giving good education. And, in the last do. It has built Stadiums, Coliseums, but the time is too short. Let me say resort, the only worth while recommenBowls; it has brought the gate receipts simply that as genuine competition dation of a college is that it does give of a team for a season into the hundreds
comes in outside coaching must go out. good education. There is much nonof thousands of dollars. In a word, it
There is a difference between teaching sense talked about other kinds of adverhas over-managed our college games, and coaching.
tising. has given them the money and the pub- And, thirdly, coaches and graduate Nor should I like to be understood as lic place from which every other type managers in greater or less degree bring attacking the games or their importance of exaggeration inevitably comes.
into the college outsiders, men who are in college life. Next to the studies, I In the second place, this over-manage- in no genuine sense members of the col- should place them as the determining ment has given us over-coaching. In
lege, to play on its teams. Here, again, and beneficial influences in the life of every college a staff of "outsiders"-SO are the fruits of our own wisdom.
a college community. far as the game is concerned, graduates I am not saying, or intending to say, But what I do say is that we, the color non-graduates of the college-are that undergraduates have too much in- lege authorities, have foozled our atbrought in to take charge of the team. terest in their athletic games. My own tempt to control and direct these games. These men build up a system. In the impression is that their active interest It is time that we began to give them hands of that system the players are is too little, rather than too great. They their freedom, demanding at the same puppets used in the conflict, with a like
supplement our desire by preferring to time that they respect the rights of system elsewhere. If we have
one their own the more "efficient" manage- those other activities which we have in coach, Williams must have two; and ment of their elders.
control. Good sport rests upon equal then we, three. We will not allow our I do not think that, on the whole, we terms of competition, and so it is hard students to earn money by playing, be- play too many games, though in many for any college to do much alone.. But cause that would destroy the amateur cases the trips are far too long and ex- by co-operation we might work our way quality of the college sport. But these pensive. One game of football in a back out of the desert or the tempest. outsiders, demanding for ten weeks' week, two of baseball—this is not too If only Harvard or Yale or Princeton, work salaries twice those paid to our much if the distances are reasonable. or all three, would call a conference and best professors for a year—these out- And the intercollegiate visiting is, or would announce the scrapping of boards siders make the rules of the games, might be, both delightful and worth of control, and especially of armies of dominate the play, and substitute for while.
coaches, the way to peace might be
I do not think the games should be opened. If the way were found, I think 1 From an address delivered before the Alumni of Amherst in New York City. made private affairs, the "public" being we would all very gladly follow it.
From H. O. Barnthouse, Toledo, Ohio
WITH MOUNTAIN SHEEP
Courtesy of Catifornia Academy of Sciences
THE MOUNT DOME ANTELOPE REFUGE IN SISKTYOU COUNTY, CALIFORNIA This photograph, ta January 15, 1922, shows about forty wild pronghorn antelope coming up to the feeding ground. The refuge was established in November, 1921, under the auspices of the California Academy of Sciences, California Fish and Game Commission, United States Forest Service, New York Zoological Society, and the American Bison Society. The pronghorn antelope has been threatened with extinction, and this refuge will no doubt prove
great aid in its preservation