Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Applied Economics

Department name when degree awarded

Agricultural Economics

Committee Chair(s)

W. P. Thomas


W. P. Thomas


The agricultural interests of the United States and Utah have experienced some trying situations during the past quarter century. Periods of depression followed by periods of expansion and prosperity have resulted in a condition of instability and insecurity in agriculture. The effect of alternate periods of prosperity and depression in agriculture becomes increasingly important as agriculture changes from self-sufficing to commercialized types of business enterprises. Many of the difficulties inherent in the present complex social and capital structure were of minor significances in the early types of agricultural activities. Changing conditions in agriculture and in social institutions in general have necessitated that action be taken in behalf of agriculture; that some of the disturbances and chaos resulting from rapidly changing economic conditions might be mitigated. Many attempts have been made to relieve the undesirable situations which have prevailed in our agricultural industry. Some measures of relief have been supplied by various legislative action; other movements have resulted from activities on the part of farmers' organizations. Among the remedies proposed for relieving the depressed agricultural situation was movement for cooperative enterprise, especially those adventures in the realm of cooperative marketing. This movement, according to many, was to serve as the panacea or "cure all" for the undesirable disturbances in the field of agriculture. With the general evolution of the cooperative idea as a possible remedy for agricultural ills, government aid was solicited in an effort to promote and encourage agricultural cooperation. Various legislative acts, both state and federal, were passed and numerous political gestures made in the farmer's behalf. This was largely the result of the realization of a long felt need on the part of agricultural leaders; however to some extent it may have been an act of political strategy by those desiring the support of the national farm bloc. No matter what the reason, the fat remained that sentiment was created and interest was secured favoring the development of agricultural cooperatives. Farm organizations, professional promoters, agricultural extension services, and other educational institutions have all exerted an influence ont he character and direction of cooperative development. Just what effect this cooperative movement has had on the agricultural situation in Utah and its present status, is the primary purpose of this treatise. The historical background and development of cooperative tendencies will be presented briefly in an effort to show the growth and development of cooperative marketing along with its present economic status in Utah. The purpose of this study is to analyze and interpret the historical growth and development of farmers' cooperative marketing organizations in Utah along with an appraisal of their present economic status.



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