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Agricultural Research Policy When learned of the contributions of experimental farms in the United States, Canadian farmers had been pushing for the same in Canada. Parliament voted $20, 000 which led to the establishment of the Dominion Experimental Farms system in 1885. Gigault, a member of parliament, expressed displeasure with the current government agriculture policies. He demanded that the government increase the efforts of provincial governments in circulating scientific facts about agriculture. Improved agriculture was counted upon to bring prosperity to the transportation, commercial, and manufacturing industries. Government was receptive to the idea of scientific research because the national plan to have large number of immigrants establish farms in Western Canada was not working out. Even worse is the fact that emigration in the U.S. and Australia was continuing on a very large scale. This was all traceable to the unsatisfactory results obtained by western farmers. The failure of the settlement program led to the development of the Experimental Farm System. The goal of the System was to corporate investigational work in association with stock breeding, dairying, field husbandry, horticulture and entomology, in order to discover methods, breeds and varieties to best be fitting with the different parts of Canada. The main focus was to find out how to farm beneficially in the West, which would than increase settlement. Education was later included as a policy of public support for research and experimentation. Grants to provinces were provided by legislation. This new policy includes additional services within the provincial departments of agriculture, and support for professional education within the universities. Marketing To expand the sales of farm products, certain tactics must be present. They include measures to improve the quality of farm products, and those which aim to reduce marketing costs and increase marketing efficiency. Grading systems have been established in the marketing of various products. Grading was established gradually as farming became more commercialized, and the export of products had increased. It was developed to facilitate trading operations A variety of subsidies were introduced in addition to the grading policies. These included premiums on hog carcasses, assistance on the construction of cold storage warehouses, bonuses to farmers to assist in the purchases of sires, and the record of performance testing. Live cattle trade with Britain marks the time when the government first became involved in marketing. The government’s efforts in connection with the live cattle trade was to open up agricultural possibilities in Canada thus encourage immigration. A dairy institute program was instituted in 1986 which provided financial grants to assist the establishment of creameries in districts where none existed. This was to improve the products of the diary industry. To improve the quality of the diary products, the federal government extended its program. Financial assistance for the establishment and operation of diary plants, voluntary and later compulsory grading, and subsidization of refrigeration equipment in warehouses, were some of the extended programs. These measures represent the first real program in Canada to improve the quality of farm products. Statutory freight rates which apply to grain shipped from Western Canada for export, was an important feature of the grain marketing policy. This feature surfaced from the Crowsnest Pass Agreement in 1987. They contribute to strengthening the competitive status of Canadian grain in export markets. The safeguarding of these rates has persistently been a part of Canada’s export marketing policy for agriculture The 1870's and 80's were characterized by depressed markets and prices for farm products. It was also a time when agriculture became increasingly commercialized. This tied the industry's economic well being to the relationship between inputs and products. Eventually farmers realized that the buying and selling prices were not what they should be. This subjected farmers to a cost-price squeeze. The farmers also contended with inequality in the market place. As a result the middleman was regarded as unnecessary by Canadian farmers. At this time a group f farmers called the patrons of husbandry or Grange was rapidly growing in certain parts of the United States. The group aimed to improve the lot of farm people through collective action, and to exert an educational; and cultural influence in agricultural communities. In London Ontario, the dominion grange was formed which set up a number of principles, one of which was to dispense with a surplus of middlemen. The grange tried to improve the farm price-cost situation by buying and selling cooperatively. The significant point is that Canadian farmers in the 1870’s sought a solution to the problem by voluntary cooperative action without the help from the government. Tariffs In 1870 the government placed an import duty of 4 cents a bushel on wheat and 25 cents a barrel on flour. The grange, through a questionnaire, indicated that they were in favor of higher tariffs on imports. The higher tariffs had been in place for only a short period of time before farmers support changed to opposition. This was because the farmers realized how little the tariffs were improving the selling prices. They also discovered that the tariffs were increasing the buying prices on manufactured goods. Farmer’s opposition to the tariff was expressed in other agrarian organizations, like the patrons of Industry. The farmers association of Ontario was formed in 1902, which stood for free trade. They appeared before a government commission denouncing the whole system of government tariffs. After this there were some small changes and in some cases commodities previously subject to duty, were placed on the free list. By 1905 agricultural opposition to the tariff had come to be taken for granted and largely ignored. As a result of continued pressure some fairly substantial deductions were made in the duties. In summary it can be said that for several decades’ farmers felt they were being subjected to very adverse treatment because of the existence of the system of protective tariffs. The various farmers’ organizations made continuous efforts to improve their price situation by having tariffs eliminated or reduced. For the most part the government reacted to the farmer’s requests by making minor deductions in tariff rates. Western Agrarianism The Canadian movement didn’t occur solo it was greatly influenced by American and British agrarian movements. Some of which still exist today. In the late 19th century there was a rising trade unionism (union) and cooperativism in Europe and U.S. In England the British labor party was formed and the Rochdale principles drafted. These principles were the foundation of cooperative movement. They spread through Germany and Scandinavia and North America. But this alone was not enough to award social change. This lead to continued unrest and an unstable agriculture economy which gained attention for these agrarian movements. The agrarian movement was an expression of Canada’s wheat economic problems. A little history on the Rochdale principles 28 people mostly weavers formed the equitable pioneers society which wrote the rochdale principles. The most significant fact of these principles is not what they did but how. They tossed together a bunch of old principles to create a new unique system. This was the start of the cooperative system which still works today. The principles include 1) Democratic control 2) Open membership 3) Fixed or limited return on capital 4) Dividends on purchase 5) Trading on cash basis only 6) Selling pure unadulterated goods 7) Provisions to educate members 8) Political and religious neutrality Early Canadian movements The grange of the Patrons of the husbandry (1872-1914) was a secret fraternal order for farmers, much like the masons. Originally established in 1867 in Washington it usually avoided political action. It established in Canada in 1872 and 1874 it split form the American organization. The new group was called the Dominion Grange. Their goal was economic improvements and social betterments through organized action. It fought against tariffs and monopolies. It also preformed 2 main functions. 1) Engaged in commercial activities to bypass the middleman 2) Acted as political pressure group to get a better deal for farmers Other functions it did or provided include 1) campaigned for public ownership of electric power and regulation of railways 2) got rural mail delivery 3) attempted to eliminate sexual distinctions in its organization 4) establish co-ops for processing and selling of agriculture products 5) formed companies to supply products and services to farmers This group did well in the east but never caught on in the west. This group was the root from which all other movements started. Manitoba and northwest farmer union (1883-1886) it started due to the land boom collapse in 1882 and low crop prices the following year. In 1883 100 debt burdened farmers met in Winnipeg where they formed the group. They wrote a declaration of rights citing 1) oppressive duties 2) monopoly of the CPR 3) Public land administration 4) Poor representation in Ottawa They sent many petitions to Ottawa but little was done by the government. The union then became militant and talked of joining the US and armed revolts became frequent. This however lead to its discredit and the disbanding of the union in 86. The patrons of Industry originated in 1887 in Michigan but flourished in Ontario. They were an educational and agitational association thus encouraging political action. Their main objective was the CPR directive of 1897 that grain must be loaded by elevators. The patron’s spokesman James Moffat Douglas claimed that the elevators and CPR were a monopoly. This lead to the 1st royal Grain commission of inquiry of 1899 and the Manitoba grain act of 1900. This signaled the start of government involvement in the grain industry. The liberal party eventually absorbed the patrons. James Moffat Douglas could be called the 1st leader of Canadian agrarian movement. His accomplishments include. 1) Member of Manitoba and northwest farmer union and patrons of industry 2) Being elected to parliament in 1896 3) Introducing a bill to curb elevator abuses and provide better car distribution 4) Forcing the Laurier government to appoint a royal commission and the Manitoba grain act of 1900 5) He was then appointed to senate in 1906 To sum it up the Canadian agrarian movement was due to unstable agriculture economy. In particular the wheat economy and the grain handling industry that was considered uncompetitive. The Problem of Effective Competition in the Marketing of Grain -In the early 1890’s marketing began to take a turn for the better because of the following reasons: 1)Technical Improvements in transportation reduced the cost of moving grain 2)The rapid movement of people into urban centers made an increase in the market for foodstuffs. -eventually Western Farmers began to feel that their buying prices were being increased by protective tariffs -they also began to feel uncomfortable with the local monopoly which they faced when they were selling their grain. -the reason farmers felt shortchanged with selling their grain was the fact that the CPR had given free sites to companies that were prepared to build country elevators near the railroads. The result of this was very little competition when the farmers sold their grain, because there was usually only one elevator for farmers to sell to. To make matters worse all buyers were part of the North West Grain Dealers association which established a daily buying price and then sent telegrams to the other elevators advising them on the set price of the day. -another problem with the marketing of grain was that prior to 1900 grain dealers were not subject to regulation. This arouse suspicion within the farmers that dealers were making large profits at the farmers expense by mixing high and low grades of wheat and selling the entire amount at the higher grade. The Manitoba Grain Act of 1900 -In response to these complaints, the Manitoba grain act was created -the act stated that all dealers be licensed and bonded to increase safety of commission selling so as to encourage that method of marketing. It also stated that the Railway provide farmers with areas to store their grain. -After this act was passed the competition for buying grain grew dramatically. The Act Basically Provided: 1) Powers of supervision and investigation by the warehouse commissioner 2) Government weigh masters were to be located at chief receiving points 3) Producer access to scales 4) Railways provision of loading platforms for direct shipment 5) Railways also had to provide flat warehouses The Territorial Grain Growers Association(TGGA) -was formed in 1901 by a group of farmers to organize farmers in protest of their poor treatment by the CPR and the elevators -In 1902 their was a large crop and farmers were able to show a case in which the CPR had broken the law. The TGGA laid charges against the CPR regarding provision of railcars and they won their case. The Grain Growers Grain Company Initially was intended to be a 1) Non partisan, 2) Non political, and 3) Non trading company However they did have close ties with the liberal government of Saskatchewan In 1904 there was the creation of a new grain inquiry commission to hear complaints and make recommendations, John Millar was Appointed senior commissioner In 1905 E.A. Patridge Dubbed the Exchange of Grain by the Territorial Grain Growers Association the “House with the closed shutters.” This meant that it was controlled by traders who did not want the outside farmers or independent companies to have any say within. After this the only effective solution was for a cooperative company. The TGGA formed a counterpart in Manitoba that was called the Manitoba Grain Growers Association. In Jan. 1906 In the Sintaluta Town Hall The Grain Growers Grain Company was approved for 200 shares at 25 cents each and $2.50 down. The Stockholders would be farmers only and it would be one vote for one member. There was an initial problem selling shares there was not much of a following in Sask. and Man. Selling only about 1000 shares between the two provinces, but there was a boom at the Winnipeg Exhibition (July 1906) in a tent where the GGGC sold many shares and held their first provisional shareholders meeting. The GGGC Issued a circular indicating its intention of distributing net profits to farmers on a patronage basis. This meant that the more grain the farmers sold to the GGGC, the more dividends he/she got in the company. On December 22 1906 the patronage distribution feature was cancelled due to an overdraft at the bank of $356,000, Partridge and two others had to sign a personal bond for the over drafted money at the bank. Partridge was objectable to this. His seat was transferred to a man named Spencer, the secretary treasurer, and on July 24 1907 T.Crerar became president of the GGGC. In 1909 although there were several groups being created in Alberta, the United Farmers of Alberta (or UFA) was the biggest. Since there were prominent grain companies now all the leaders felt there should be some common body to handle problems, accordingly the Interprovincial Council of Farmers Association was formed in February 1907 and later in 1910, the Canadian council of agriculture was formed. The leaders of all these groups also felt there was a need for a farm paper to advance the cause of the farm organization. This paper was founded by the GGGC and was termed the Grain Growers Guide and appeared first in 1908, Partridge was the editor. In 1909 and 1910 the GGGC handled twice as much grain as the year before (16 million bushels).
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