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Sunflower Crop near Altona -1955.

Credit: PAM

to grow. For these reasons Altona area farmers began to consider building their own sunflower processing plant. Not only would such a plant secure the future of the new crop, but it would offer badly needed employment opportunities. Although there was a manpower shortage during the war the people in the area feared that when the C.o. 's and servicemen returned there would be serious unemployment. The idea of promoting industry to preserve the local community thus became a logical extension of the co-ops of the 1930's.

Rural Industrial Development and Co-op Vegetable Oils

The first public suggestion that a crushing plant might be built in Altona came from the Premier of Manitoba in an address given in Altona during the early years of the wartime incentive program." The prospects of a local plant, however, were unfavourable as no sunflower seed crushing plant had ever operated in North America. Undeterred, farmers in the area continued to promote the construction of the plant anyway.

Spurred on by J. J. Siemens, who was convinced that only co­ operative action could undertake the project, the idea of a plant owned

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