|This page is a text version of the Forest to Field History Book. You can purchase a PDF copy of the book in our online store. The PDF copy is an exact page by page representation of the original book. This text version has been reformated for the web and contains text recognition mistakes. These mistakes do not appear in the purchased version. The purchased version also includes each image in the original book.|
Page Index of Forest to Field Volume One
Previous - Page 53 or Next - Page 55
time, actually years, no matter how the prices were. However, we stopped paying the high prices, relying on the loyalty of the farmers, which was excellent.
There was, at the time, some one hundred and twenty elevators similarly owned by farmers, most of them in Manitoba and we began to wonder if our trouble would not be less if we could get those elevators under one management with a head office in Winnipeg. And so we got the negotiations with some of these firms started.
In the meantime the Pool movement had got into full swing and emotions ran high, pro and con among far mers. Our elevator board members were also divided. Some thought if we had a Pool with contract members, and a set price per bushel, the opposition could do little to upset the market. Others argued that if they could not raise prices, they might start over-grading. We had no trouble with them on that score up till then.
The Liberty Grain Elevator and Erickson Co-op Elevator Association Pool No. 7.
At that time we had Mr. Sofus Kristianson on the elevator board. He had, a short time earlier, taken a trip to Denmark, and while there he had studied the hog marketing system over there. After listening to Mr. Kristianson, we began to wonder if we could not organize a grain marketing system on similar lines as a substitute for the Pool idea.
After lengthy discussions, we finally hammered out a plan which in every respect is the Manitoba Pool Elevators system, except the financing of the building program. Our plan was either to sell shares to the far mers, or borrow from lending institutions. We had done both.
Mr. Harvey Mutch, a solicitor at Erickson at that time, typed out the memo of the plan for us.
The farm organization that sponsored the Pool Movement for Manitoba. had their convention in Winnipeg. That year, 1923, C.H. Burnell was president. Our delegates to that convention were Oscar Strand and L.B. Gusdal. They were to present this plan to the convention, as a substitute for the Pool plan.
When they revealed their intention to Mr. Burnell he warned them against it. He thought that if this was brought up at the convention, it would throw a monkey
The Co-op Elevator building crew· 1933. Left to Right: Arnold Olsen, Rod Lundman, Fred Sillen, Ellis Sillen, Enoch Eblin and Edwin Holmberg.
wrench into the works. But he asked them to leave the plan with him. He would study it, and see if he could make use of it later.
It was not long till Mr. Burnell set the plan in operation.
In order to get the elevator construction going at the various points (instead of selling shares or borrow as our plan was) a small deduction per bushel was taken from every Pool contract holder, and Pool No. 1 was soon built at Roblin. The Erickson Pool Elevator became Pool No.7. The reason we came that far down the list was that this was a local elevator, and it was a financial success, in spite of all our trouble.
Our relation with the Pool was excellent; our trouble with the opposition had almost vanished, and in 1924 we got over $1800.00 in terminal earnings from the Pool, which was something we had learned to get along without.
In 1925, we got $2200.00 from the Pool in terminal earnings. However, the Board of Directors were not satisfied. After all, here we had the marketing system we had asked for and yet we were not in it. Another thing was that we were all farmers on the Board and some had spent more time keeping the elevator company solvent than we could afford.
It was therefore unanimously agreed among the directors that we should sell the old elevator, build a Pool Elevator and come under central management.
To sell the elevator, however, was easier said than done. The shareholders who had received interest on their shares and dividends on their bushels, and a better market than they ever had before, understandably thought that this was good enough and refused to sell.
It was not until early 1926, when the directors threatened to resign in a body that they finally decided in favor of selling it; but the price they asked was almost double what the elevator was worth.
P .K. Peterson was appointed to meet Mr. Mahoney and Mr. Donovan, to negotiate a sale. The price the