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Writing Sample

  1. 1. 1 “A Time of Ferment and Toil”: Dairy Farmer Strikes in the 1930s and the Success of the Dairy Farmers Union Casey Abribat Technology, Capitalism, and the State
  2. 2. 2 On August 13th, 1933 a New York Times writer reported that violent dairy strikes throughout the state had “possibly…brought New York State closer to martial law than at any time since the Revolutionary War.”1 Though widely prevalent in New York, dairy producers, as well as some cooperatives, were striking throughout the United States as a response to drastically low milk prices. Although the Great Depression has often been cited as the primary catalyst to the failing milk industry, market tensions between independent farmers, dairy cooperatives, and distributors were the main source for the economic unrest.2 Strikes had been a popular tool by farmers seeking agricultural reform and legislation since the 1800’s.3 These different actors all had the same goals, despite their contentions, and wished to see economic reform through the implementation of price controls, in order to increase the profitability of their commodity.4 New York was not the only state that saw economic unrest in the form of violent strikes by dairy producers. Across the country, states with large, metropolitan markets faced turmoil created by these low dairy prices amidst the context of the Great Depression. California, Michigan, and Wisconsin in particular witnessed desperate farmers attempting to withhold their product from the market in an attempt to raise prices.5 Much like the New York Times reporter, Herbert Jacobs wrote in 1951 that this “was a time of ferment and turmoil. Looking back at it now, it seems almost as if we 1 Melanie E. Dupuis, Nature’s Perfect Food: How Milk Became America’s Drink (New York: New York University Press, 2002), 169. 2 Dupuis, 169. 3 Leland Spencer and Charles J. Blanford, An Economic History of Milk Marketing and Pricing: A Classified Bibliography with Reviews of Listed Publications, 1840-1970 (Columbus: GRID, Inc., 1973), 233. 4 Nancy Grey Osterud, Putting the Barn Before the House: Women and Family Farming in Early Twentieth-Century New York (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2012), 233. 5 Herbert Jacobs, “The Wisconsin Milk Strikes,” Wisconsin Magazine of History, 1951, 30.
  3. 3. 3 were close to revolution, and perhaps we were.”6 Dairy producers throughout the country were enraged by their poverty, which drove them to frantic measures such as “milk strikes, dumping of milk, livestock embargos, [and] clashes between farmers and law officers.”7 An important precursor to any discussion on the 1930s strikes by dairy producers is an examination of the dairy industry and falling milk prices. In New York State, as in the rest of the United States, “areas around cities that…provide a particular metropolitan area with a significant proportion of its fluid milk” are known as a milkshed.8 Thus, unlike other agricultural markets, such as wheat, rice, or tobacco, the milk industry was, and remains, very connected in regards to its “freshness and local production.”9 In a populated location such as New York City, it was of paramount importance to have a milkshed that would provide transportation of its fluid milk to the metropolitan center. However, an important factor that changed the shape of the dairy market in New York State was the various technological advances that occurred throughout the course of the early twentieth century. Before the advent of improved transportation techniques such as the truck, the New York City dairy market was intrinsically tied to railways, which extended into specific areas in upstate New York.10 Therefore, having a successful dairy farm prior to the twentieth century was not only a matter of having healthy, milk- producing cows; it was also a matter of proximity to a railroad station that had the means of storing and transporting milk to a metropolitan location. Prior to the 1930s, 6 Jacobs, 30. 7 Jacobs, 30. 8 Dupuis, 9. 9 Dupuis, 9. 10 Dupuis, 170.
  4. 4. 4 “transportation limitations created a physical limit on the milkshed boundary,” thus forcing dairy farms located outside of the milkshed to participate in markets other than fluid milk, such as cheese. A farmer’s ability to be relevant in the milk market was completely tied to his farm whereabouts, which therefore prevented a large portion of rural farmers from entering the fluid milk industry in cities. The arrival of truck transportation in the 1920s, which was greatly utilized by the milk industry, erased some of the physical boundaries that once hindered upstate New York dairy farmers from competing in the lucrative metropolitan market.11 With the increased use of trucking, the milkshed of the New York City market was greatly extended, as trucks could now transport dairy products from a rural location to a railway. Trucks also helped to lower transportation costs as “bulk shipments” could now be transported in an efficient manner to New York City.12 This technological triumph was beneficial for farmers who were once located outside of the metropolitan milkshed. However, the advent of the truck was a direct factor in the rising instability of the fluid milk market and therefore tensions between producers, distributors, and dairy cooperatives. The truck was not the only technological invention that would have a lasting impact on the dairy industry in the United States. By the 1930s, many technologies were introduced, all with the aim of increasing the “perfection of milk.”13 Unlike the nineteenth century, by the 1930s “the milk industry carried stronger imperatives for top breeding stock, clean scientific methods, machinery, and year-round production, 11 R.E. Plimpton, “Distribution Advances with the Motor Truck,” The Journal for Land & Public Utility Economics 7 (1931), 262. 12 Plimpton, 276. 13 Dupuis, 44.
  5. 5. 5 something that had been absent on most dairy farms in the 1880s.”14 For example, by the late 1920s, mechanical milkers were utilized throughout rural areas of the state, reducing the manual labor needed to operate a lucrative dairy farm.15 These machines would transport the milk into a “bulk tank,” where it would be stored until transportation to a railway via truck.16 A main reaction caused by truck transportation, in addition to improved milking methods, was increased competition between dairy producers. Prior to the 1930s there existed a “two dairy” market system in which milkshed farmers produced fluid milk, while those located outside of the milkshed produced cheese and butter.17 However, with the advent of these technologies, dairy farmers were no longer restricted by their location, and could enter the fluid market without fears of spoiled product. Thus, many dairy farmers who were previously in the cheese industry could now enter the fluid milk market and sell their product in bulk at a price lower than the original competition.18 For example, Jim Fisher in Changing Works: Visions of a Lost Agriculture provides an account of growing up in a rural farm in the North Country region of New York State. Fisher states that in the 1930s, “we took the milk to Ogdensburg ourselves in a three-quarter-ton truck…it was all worth it because it was a fluid market. We could probably get a dollar a hundred more than the regular [cheese] market.”19 Increased competition among dairy farmers flooding the market became a main source of price 14 Thomas Summerhill, Harvest of Dissent: Agrarianism in Nineteenth-Century New York (Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2005), 168. 15 Douglas Harper, Changing Works: Visions of a Lost Agriculture (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2001), 236. 16 Harper, 237. 17 Dupuis, 171. 18 Dupuis, 171. 19 Harper, 39.
  6. 6. 6 instability in the dairy industry in 1930s New York State. Price instability, in addition to increased supply and competition, led to tensions among independent farmers and farmers aligned with dairy cooperatives. The state of the 1930s dairy market in New York, as in the rest of the United States, was exacerbated by contentions between independent dairy farmers, dairy cooperatives, and distributors. To a large extent, the dairy industry was marked by cutthroat competition between these actors. The New York City case is a particularly interesting market to study, as its milkshed was actually the largest in the United States during the 1930s.20 Therefore, prior to its collapse, producing and distributing fluid milk to New York City was a profitable venture, and the vicious competition over its domination is evidence of that. In the 1930s, just three companies were responsible for about two-thirds of New York City milk.21 Borden’s Condensed Milk Co., Sheffield Farms and the US Dairy Company had been cutting their prices throughout the interwar era, each vying for the New York City market. This ruthless competition led to the lowest fluid milk prices in years.22 As shown by the Report of the Joint Legislative Committee to Investigate the Milk Industry, “the price received for milk in January, 1933, was little more than half the cost of production.”23 The competition between the ‘Big Three,’ as they were known, also occurred at a time when there were more cows in New York State than at any other 20 Lowell K. Dyson, Farmers’ Organizations (New York: Greenwood Press, 1986), 67. 21 Thomas J. Kriger, “The 1939 Dairy Farmers Union Strike in Huevelton and Canton New York: The Story in Words and Pictures,” Journal for Multimedia History 1 (1998). 22 Reuben A. Kessel, “Economic Effects of Federal Regulation of Milk Markets,” Journal of Law and Economics 10 (1967), 52. 23 Report of the Joint Legislative Committee to Investigate the Milk Industry (Albany: J.B. Lyon Company Printers, 1933), 14.
  7. 7. 7 given time, paired with a milk demand that was at an all time low.24 Dairy farmers were experiencing poverty like never before, and the economic climate of the 1930s during the Great Depression showed few signs of relenting. As such, the state of the dairy farmer across the United States was exceedingly poor. “Farm foreclosures, skinny ragged kids, [and] the realization that each year you were farther behind financially than the year before,” defined the life of the dairy farmer in the 1930s as the fluid milk market continued to collapse.25 Many farmers continued to increase their production during the 1930s era as an attempt to earn their money back.26 However, this endeavor worked only to flood the market with unwanted milk and drove the prices down further. To offset the economic turmoil created by the shifting dairy industry and competition, it is important to note the rise of dairy cooperatives since the turn of the century.27 The late nineteenth and early twentieth century experienced a plethora of changes in economic markets, most notably the rise of “large-scale corporations and organizations that reflected the specific and separate interests of business and labor.”28 The ‘Big Three’ capitalized on the New York City market at the turn of the century, purchasing fluid milk from the surrounding milkshed. Organizations such as the Dairymen’s League Cooperative Association (DCLA) and the Sheffield Producers Cooperative Association were groups of farmers who collectively organized and often made agreements with the 24 State of New York Department of Agriculture and Markets, Milk Control Board Minutes of: Hearing no. 2 (Albany, April 18, 1933). 25 Jacobs, 31. 26 Dyson, 67. 27 James E. Boyle, “The Battle of Milk,” Saturday Evening Post November 13, 1937. 28 Hal S. Barron, Mixed Harvest: The Second Great Transformation in the Rural North 1870-1930 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1997), 81.
  8. 8. 8 ‘Big Three’ companies. These independent deals between distributors and cooperatives were mutually beneficial arrangements, typically where the distributor agreed to purchase fluid milk from farms associated with the cooperative. In return, the cooperatives would not sell their milk independently, therefore abstaining from entering the New York City market entirely. To a great extent, this relationship between dairy cooperatives and corporations serves as the underlying context for the strikes occurring in the 1930s. During this time period, the DCLA contracted over 100,000 dairy farms in New York State, and even established their own processing plants for the influx of fluid milk.29 Meanwhile, the Sheffield Producers Cooperative Association had about 16,000 dairy farms contracted in 1934.30 Farmers who were contracted by dairy cooperatives had ties to the industrial leaders in the New York City fluid milk market, which granted them some security in an unstable market. However, farmers who aligned themselves with a powerful entity such as Borden’s Dairy, through cooperative groups, “greatly undermined the dairy farmer’s independence…[with] substantial control over its producers.”31 Dairy farmers were veritably controlled by their dairy cooperative membership, as the cooperatives bargained their milk prices for them.32 While many farmers aligned themselves with powerful entities such as the DCLA, thousands of independent farmers remained in the New York milkshed, who sold their 29 Pamela J. Karg, “More than milk: Dairylea’s scope of farmer services moves beyond milk marketing,” Rural Cooperative Magazine (September/October 2003), accessed May 1st, 2014, http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/rbs/pub/sep03/milk.html. 30 Belle Zeller, Pressure Politics in New York: A Study of Group Representation Before the Legislature (London: Forgotten Books, 1937), 116. 31 Barron, 88. 32 Kriger, “The 1939 Dairy Farmers Union Strike.”
  9. 9. 9 fluid milk to smaller companies.33 Dairy farmers that remained independent feared that joining an organization would take away their freedom of action, as they would have to support the dairy cooperative in every aspect. For example, John J. Dillon wrote in the Rural New Yorker that cooperatives “have the right under contract to make the price of milk, to collect for it and take out whatever they please. They own and control millions of dollars worth of plants and equipment purchased by the producer’s money.”34 Essentially, “the dairymen are required to sign away their right to an accounting.”35 To a large degree there was a suspicion among independent farmers that cooperatives were actually just glorified unions dictated by big industry leaders, such as Borden’s Dairy, and that associations such as the DCLA aided the destruction of small, family-run rural farms. Evidence suggests that what initially formed as a grassroots movement seeking collective action and protection in the dairy market eventually did become intrinsically linked with corporations like Sheffield Farms. Through consolidation within leadership and continued alliance with companies, most dairy cooperatives became a veritable “business cooperative, many of whose directors were lawyers and accountants with peripheral farming interests.”36 Farmers within the cooperatives, as well as independent farmers, saw this controversial association, which contributed to underlying tensions during the 1930s strikes. Therefore, the shifting landscape of the dairy market created an atmosphere that was ripe for social conflict between the different actors of independent dairy farmers, dairy cooperatives, and distributors. During the 1930s, many farmers became 33 Zeller, 117. 34 Barron, 101. 35 Barron, 101. 36 Dyson, 75.
  10. 10. 10 disillusioned with their association with large cooperatives, which accounted for some of the violence during this era. For example, in 1933 independent farmers in upstate New York went on strike after they decided not to renew their contracts with the Dairymen’s League.37 These farmers stopped several milk trucks near Pittsfield, New York, and overturned their milk onto the highway, showing their discontent with dairy producers who still planned on selling their milk at the extremely low prices.38 Throughout the state, farmers’ actions were marked by “assaults, malicious mischief, property damage and personal injuries.”39 Thus, the 1930s strikes in New York State and the greater United States was not a simple act of farmers withholding their product in an attempt to raise prices and demand.40 The nature of the dairy economy had shifted in the 1930s, as improved technologies made it easier for farms to enter the competition, and as industrial leaders attempted to control the market through extensive price-cutting. Independent farmers experienced the worst consequences from these changes, and when cooperatives such as the DCLA decided to collectively withhold their milk, these farmers continued to sell their product at the low market prices.41 The Dairymen’s League historic researcher, Irving Parmeter, explored the cause and actions of these strikes in 1952. Parmeter found that the 1933 strike “was called by non-league members and individual producers…in an 37 Kriger, “1939 Dairy Farmers Union Strike.” 38 Kriger, “1939 Dairy Farmers Union Strike.” 39 Dairymen’s League Cooperative Association records, #2614, Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library. 40 John D. Black, The Dairy Industry and the AAA (Washington: The Brookings Institution, 1935), 127. 41 Dupuis, 169.
  11. 11. 11 effort to obtain higher prices; prices were extremely low.”42 His account supports the assertion that the 1933 dairy strikes in New York State were caused by contentions between cooperative farmers and independent farmers. While it is easy to portray a narrative of independent farmers locked in a struggle against big business, as shown by primary sources and recent scholars, “much of the struggle took place as regional sectionalist politics between farmers.”43 Scholarship on the dairy strikes of the 1930s varies under two different assertions. The first argument that many historians make is that the 1930s strikes occurred as a result of economic conditions and frustrations that many independent and cooperative farmers felt during these various market shifts.44 These historians cite evidence that the farmers were acting violently and withholding their product in an effort to raise awareness to their plight and to ensure that agricultural reform occurred. Ultimately, these historians find that the strikes were efficient and eventually achieved their goals of price controls.45 The second school of thought differs in the perception of the motives behind the strikes and their ultimate conclusion. These historians convincingly utilize farmers’ accounts, as well as historical context, to note that much of the violence actually occurred between independent farmers and their cooperative adversaries.46 Although government intervention was the goal behind the strikes, and price controls were established throughout the 1930s, the overall aim of the strikes was not reached. Strikes were an 42 Dairymen’s League Cooperative Association records, #2614, Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library. 43 Dupuis, 169. 44 Kessel, 52. 45 Ronald N. Johnson, “Retail Price Controls in the Dairy Industry: A Political Coalition Argument,” Journal of Law and Economics 28 (1985), 58. 46 Dupuis, 169.
  12. 12. 12 inefficient means of stabilizing the dairy market, and it was only when separate collective organizations without ties to industry leaders, like the Dairy Farmers Union, were created that the strikes accomplished their goal of improved market conditions. As shown, it eventually became evident to government officials that “federal marketing legislation” was necessary to offset the vicious competition between producers, cooperatives, and distributors, as well as to put an end to the disruptive strikes. After a series of physical conflicts between farmers and New York State Troopers, government intervention was imminent.47 In 1933, New York State Senator Pitcher called a Milk Control Board to ascertain the cause of the milk market collapse, find out the consequences, and prepare a solution that would benefit both the producers and distributors, as well as keep prices low for the consumers.48 The task of the Milk Control Board was completely unprecedented, and therefore was a very complex and delicate process. Presented in the Report of the Joint Legislative Committee to Investigate the Milk Industry, the dairy industry was the “most important branch of agriculture in the state,” as almost 40% of the land was designated for use by dairy animals, making dairy farmers an essential leader of agricultural purchasing power.49 It is important to note that the Milk Control Board also viewed the situation of the dairy farmer as having far-reaching consequences for the rest of the state. “The wholesale failure of an industry which touches as many people as the dairying industry of New York State would be a disaster of the greatest consequence…to the consumer of 47 Boyle, 94. 48 Report of the Joint Legislative Committee to Investigate the Milk Industry, 13. 49 Report of the Joint Legislative Committee to Investigate the Milk Industry, 13.
  13. 13. 13 milk and to the general public.”50 Therefore, the ultimate and positive resolution of this conflict was viewed by the board as necessary to the wellbeing of the state and thus was handled with extreme care. Henry S. Manley, then the Counsel to the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, was the main leader in the Milk Control Board and oversaw the various hearings that occurred throughout the state as producers and distributors alike voiced their concerns.51 Unsurprisingly, the Board found that one of the main reasons for the state of the milk industry was the result of price-cutting by the Big Three who sought to maintain control over the New York City milkshed and market.52 According to this legislative document, “unsettled market conditions have led to price wars among distributors which have caused reductions in retail and wholesale prices.”53The Milk Board placed much of the blame on the big industry leaders for fostering such an unhealthy economic climate, rather than on the striking farmers. It was these “destructive trade practices” that made it necessary to enact economic reform, as price controls were continually discussed and argued throughout the meetings. Farmers’ frustrations with Borden’s Dairy, Sheffield Farms, and the US Dairy Company can clearly be seen within the Special Report, as well as in the minutes of the Milk Control Board hearings. Within these documents, independent farmers and cooperative farmers alike contested the actions and intentions of the Milk Control Board. While the Report of the Joint Legislative Committee to Investigate the Milk Industry claimed to be most concerned with the poverty-stricken state of the dairy farmer, the following Milk 50 Report of the Joint Legislative Committee to Investigate the Milk Industry, 61. 51 Report of the Joint Legislative Committee to Investigate the Milk Industry, 13. 52 Report of the Joint Legislative Committee to Investigate the Milk Industry, 14. 53 Report of the Joint Legislative Committee to Investigate the Milk Industry, 14.
  14. 14. 14 Control Board would eventually be condemned as a supporter of the Big Three, and therefore the industrial takeover of family-run farms. The hearing minutes of the Milk Control Board are very telling in regards to the concerns of farmers and distributors alike, and also highlight the necessity for legislative action. On April 18th, 1933 a hearing was held to discuss a price minimum on dairy sales in the metropolitan sector, and this source helps to exemplify how farmers, government officials, and the public, saw the violent strikes. Assemblyman Irving D. Neustein of New York City, for example, stated that in upstate New York, “there was very serious fighting going on and that lives were being threatened…[and that] we would have to pass immediately some form of legislation whereby the strikes would be eliminated.”54 This statement highlights that producers, distributors as well as government officials, saw the Milk Control Board legislation as having been rushed out of a necessity to quell the violence occurring due to the low milk prices. The hearing minutes help to depict the many different perspectives and aims of the separate actors involved in the dairy market. Although the Control Board hearings were called to action to assist the farmers and prevent further any further violence, Assemblyman Neustein’s statements exemplify that consumers’ needs were also an interest. What remains clear from these documents is the dispute many individuals had with the dairy corporations and their domination of the New York City milkshed through cooperative groups. Assemblyman Neustein continued to state his complaints with the state of the market, the findings of the Report on the Milk Industry, and the regulations set by the Milk Control Board, and noted that the Big Three seemed to be the main 54 State of New York Department of Agriculture and Markets, Milk Control Board Minutes of: Hearing no. 2 (Albany, April 18, 1933).
  15. 15. 15 beneficiaries of this legislation. Neustein even went as far as to assert that the Dairymen’s League should be considered one of the big firms, and that “eventually the only result that will come from this bill will be the driving out of the little fellow; taking away his living…and leaving the entire milk industry solely in the hands of two or three large, well-established firms.”55 Thus, it was not only independent farmers who had animosity towards the Big Three in the dairy market, but leaders in the New York State government also had qualms with their part in the combative industry. Senator B. Hendel, a representative of the third district in Queens County, also concurred with Neustein during the April 18th Milk Control Board hearings. Hendel stated to the Control Board that he initially believed that the legislation was intended to support higher prices for dairy producers, while still ensuring acceptable prices for the consumer. However, as legislation continued, Hendel believed, like Neustein, that the Big Three were receiving the better part of the litigation. It is also interesting to note that Hendel accused New York State Senator Pitcher for rushing the process of the Milk Control Board in order to put a cursory end to the agitated strikes occurring throughout the state. Prior to the Control Board, Pitcher apparently stated to Hendel that, “if you don’t want their [farmer’s] blood on your hands, go along with us,” and assured that the consumer would not be jilted out of the legislation.56 The Milk Control Board, in its expedited execution, was accused in another hearing in April of having failed to address all locations of the state in their legislation, as 55 State of New York Department of Agriculture and Markets, Milk Control Board Minutes of: Hearing no. 2 (Albany, April 18, 1933). 56 State of New York Department of Agriculture and Markets, Milk Control Board Minutes of: Hearing no. 2 (Albany, April 18, 1933).
  16. 16. 16 well as undercutting the independent, small-time farmer in the process.57 In this particular hearing on April 26th, the Milk Control Board had its first statewide meeting of producers. Farmers from all over the state came to Albany to voice their concerns with the Milk Control Board and its legislation. The purpose of the April 26th hearing was to have a general discussion on price fixing by the Control Board, and its records indicate the many debates that occurred over this contentious issue. Albert Woodhead, representing the Western New York Milk Producer’s Association, stated that the Milk Control Board initiated reform that benefitted only the large-scale milk dealers, such as Borden’s Dairy.58 This accusation was widely supported across those in attendance, as other dairy producers voiced their unease with the Milk Control Board’s legislation. Many argued that farmers not associated with the ‘Big Three’ and their cooperative counterparts would not reap the benefits from such government intervention. C.H. MacVey, the Chairmen of the Dairymen’s Protective Association, noted his concern for independent producers prior to the April 26th hearing, and wrote in the St. Lawrence Plaindealer that this meeting was the first instance in which the farmer could have his voice heard.59 MacVey took this discussion very seriously, as he stated to the Board and his farming peers that he supported the country by fighting in two wars, and that reflects “the sentiment of our farming constituency. They have been the backbone, they have been the 57 State of New York Department of Agriculture and Markets, Milk Control Board Minutes of: Hearing no. 3 (Albany, April 26, 1933). 58 State of New York Department of Agriculture and Markets, Milk Control Board Minutes of: Hearing no. 3 (Albany, April 26, 1933). 59 “Committee to Represent Dairymen at Hearing,” The St. Lawrence Plaindealer, April 25th, 1933.
  17. 17. 17 loyalty, they have been the very basis upon which we have [built] America.”60 This bold statement was met with rigorous and thunderous applause, and it can be ascertained that much of the farming audience supported MacVey’s proclamation. Dairy farmers throughout the April 26th hearing not only stated their issues with the Big Three, but also condemned the Board for not putting the producers at the forefront of their legislation. The farmers who attended this hearing also made note of their present state as poverty-stricken and ultimately ignored by the American government and population. Their articulation of these sentiments supports the assertion that the strikes were caused by the economic landscape created by market unrest and competition between producers, distributors, and cooperatives. One farmer stated that they “cannot continue to produce either milk or any other agricultural commodity under the present depleted prices or under the present market conditions.”61 Citing the Great Depression of the 1930s, the producers within the April 26th hearing stated that farms all across New York State were going into foreclosure. And, even if producers could maintain their home and farm, they were not earning enough to make a proper living, making dairy farming no longer a viable agricultural pursuit.62 In effect, what is clear from the hearing minutes is that many of the farmers who voiced their concerns defended their actions during the strikes that occurred prior to the establishment of the Milk Control Board in 1933. One such producer went as far as to argue that there is a different between a ‘strike’ and ‘withholding a commodity.’ He 60 State of New York Department of Agriculture and Markets, Milk Control Board Minutes of: Hearing no. 3 (Albany, April 26, 1933). 61 State of New York Department of Agriculture and Markets, Milk Control Board Minutes of: Hearing no. 3 (Albany, April 26, 1933). 62 State of New York Department of Agriculture and Markets, Milk Control Board Minutes of: Hearing no. 3 (Albany, April 26, 1933).
  18. 18. 18 stated that a “depletion of that amount of goods [could] create a demand for it.”63 The actions taken by independent farmers prior to the 1933 Milk Control Board were not a strike, according to his account, because it was a farmer’s privilege to remove their product from the market as a function of a capitalist economy. It is also clear from the hearing minutes that farmers felt as though their place in the American economy was undervalued, despite serving an important agricultural function. Indeed, the interwar era was distinguished by attempts to make milk a practical and important product for children and healthy families.64 Evidence of this practice can be seen in Part II of the Report of the Joint Legislative Committee to Investigate the Milk Industry, highlighting the necessity to solve the strike crisis due to the milk industry having “a most important bearing upon the welfare of the people [and] the state.”65 Thus, the producers’ concerns over their perception within the state, as well as the country, were not entirely unfounded. What remains apparent from the Statewide Meeting of Producers on April 26th, 1933, was that many dairy farmers craved recognition for their labor and commodity. The Milk Control Board eventually established fixed milk prices across the state, which was seen as the primary goal of the strikes by historians and scholars within the first school of thought. Official Order No. 5 of the Milk Control Board Orders established the following system of price controls for milk producers, distributors, and consumers:66 63 State of New York Department of Agriculture and Markets, Milk Control Board Minutes of: Hearing no. 3 (Albany, April 26, 1933). 64 Dupuis, 4. 65 Report of the Joint Legislative Committee to Investigate the Milk Industry, 24. 66 New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, “Official Order No. 5,” Milk Control Orders, 1933-1938.
  19. 19. 19 Milk By Milk Dealers to Consumers By Milk Dealers to Stores By Stores to Consumers Quarts in bottles 10 cent 8 cent 9 cent Pints in bottles 6 cent 5 cent 6 cent ½ Pints in bottles - 3 cent - Although the strikes achieved economic reform through the Milk Control Board and its legislation, many producers were displeased with the results when they were actually put into practice throughout the state.67 Borden’s Dairy, Sheffield Farms, and the US Dairy Company still controlled two-thirds of the New York City market, and prices continued to fluctuate in April and May of 1933 when the law was supposed to be in effect.68 Small, independent producers did not fare any better, as they were still shut off from the New York City market, contributing to the prominent perception that the large companies had the best outcome from the Milk Control Board. Therefore, rather than solve many of the producer problems the Milk Control Board originally planned to mitigate, farmers were more frustrated than ever. Their strikes were not efficient in forcing real, tangible change in the dairy market. Price controls were established, and yet the state of the independent farmer was hardly improved.69 Instead, farmers and dairy cooperatives were more divided than ever, albeit with an increased exasperation with the Big Three’s control of the industry and their alliance with large dairy cooperatives. The overall ineffectiveness of the Milk Control Board and the strikes prior to its establishment can be seen in the discord that occurred almost immediately after the legislation went into practice. 67 Black, 335. 68 “A Real Showdown,” New York Food Museum, accessed March 31st, 2014, http://www.nyfoodmuseum.org/milk/a_real_showdown.php 69 Black, 334.
  20. 20. 20 Resentment over the Milk Control Board, as well as cooperative groups connected with powerful dairy distributors, was shown in August 1933.70 Only months after the legislation by the Control Board, a considerable group of dairy farmers broke off from the Dairymen’s League in the western part of New York State.71 Albert Woodhead of the Western New York Milk Producer’s Association, who originally protested the Board in the April 26th hearing, and an organized group of independent farmers led this movement. It is important to note that this August strike was indeed “a protest against the Milk Control Board.”72 The farmers did not accomplish their goals of higher prices and market stability, and continued their actions intended to enact effective and lasting reform. This August 1933 strike was in direct conflict with the Dairymen’s League and other cooperative groups.73 Organized by independent producers such as Woodhead, these farmers’ actions highlight that many producers were leaving collective groups such as the Sheffield Farms cooperative.74 Middle and lower class farmers were among the groups most likely to join the strikes following the Milk Control Board, as they were continually “pushed out of the market,” by dairy cooperatives and the Big Three.75 This fragmentation helped to somewhat weaken the control the Big Three had over the fluid milk market, but also contributed to a lack of solidarity among dairy producers.76 Disunity among striking groups became a serious problem in the years following the Milk Control Board. Although contentions between independent farmers, cooperative 70 Black, 333. 71 Kriger, “The 1939 Dairy Farmers Union Strike.” 72 Kriger, “The 1939 Dairy Farmers Union Strike.” 73 Kriger, “The 1939 Dairy Farmers Union Strike.” 74 Dupuis, 178. 75 Dupuis, 178. 76 Kriger, “The 1939 Dairy Farmers Union Strike.”
  21. 21. 21 groups, and milk dealers resulted in disintegration prior to the Milk Control Board, it is really after its legislation that this became prevalent. Because the Dairymen’s League did not call the August 1933 strike, farmers were torn between their contracts with the cooperative, and the desire to join other frustrated, independent farmers. One contemporary farmer wrote, “there were two groups, those that were for the strike and those that were against. We didn’t go along with the strike, because we didn’t think we could afford to throw our milk down the drain, but some of the people down the road who were on strike tried to dump their milk.”77 This quote exemplifies how the strikes prior to the Milk Control Board did not accomplish the greater goal of settling the dairy market, and following this failure the dairy farmers increased the occurrence and violence of the strikes from 1933 onwards. Disunity among farmers contributed to the ineffective manner of the strikes following the Milk Control Board. While the dairy strikes had always been of a violent nature, these strikes “quickly spread beyond the control of the groups that organized them, and, as with the farm strikes in the Midwest, acquired a reputation for more violence and destruction than for constructive political accomplishments.”78 According to New York State Troopers archives, nearly 400 striking farmers attempted to stop a shipment of fluid milk with “axes and clubs.”79 Violence such as this continued throughout August 1933 in New York State, and many New York State Troopers were injured while protecting transports of fluid milk to cooperatives and dealers. 77 Grey Osterud, 234. 78 Kriger, “The 1939 Dairy Farmers Union Strike.” 79 “Milk Holiday Synopsis,” New York State Troopers History, accessed April 13th, 2014, http://nytroopershistory.com/1933---Milk-Stikes236.php.
  22. 22. 22 By the end of August, however, many of the striking farmers had been arrested, and their actions began to stall because of this. In addition, in order to counteract the withholding actions of these dairy farmers, dealers threatened to buy their fluid milk from out-of-state producers at “less than board prices.”80 In purchasing fluid milk from areas such as Pennsylvania and Vermont, the dealers reestablished their status as the controlling force behind the market. 81 The independent farmers were unsuccessful in enacting change in the dairy market, and were forced to submit for the time being. Thus, from late1933 to 1936 there existed a relative calm among producers, cooperatives, and dealers. The lack of strikes in this period is not indicative of stable market conditions, however. Rather, actions by fluid milk dealers and government officials to subdue producer unrest were successful. In addition to finding cheaper alternatives to the New York milkshed, officials of the Dairymen’s League also utilized “accusations of communism” to damage the striking movement and farmers.82 New York State officials also took a firm stance against striking farmers, allowing State Troopers to use tear gas and riot sticks to stop the unrest. The August 1933 strikes “pitted farmer against farmer,” and this lack of solidarity among producer groups was not alleviated, despite the two-year period of no strikes.83 In 1936 it became clear that the era of ‘peace’ in the dairy market was at an end. In September of that year, farm milk prices fell to their lowest point in fifteen years, and dairy farmers across New York State were angry and disgusted with their state in the 80 Black, 334. 81 Spencer Leland and Charles Blanford, An Economic History of Milk Marketing and Pricing, 239. 82 Dyson, 67. 83 “Milk Holiday Synopsis,” New York State Troopers History
  23. 23. 23 industry.84 About 500 producers in upstate New York called for a “committee to consider the prospect of a new organization which would represent northern New York’s angry independents.”85 Out of this committee came the establishment of the Dairy Farmers Union (DFU), headed by Archie Wright, who was once an Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) organizer. The establishment of the Dairy Farmers Union was a major turning point for independent farmers and for the overall effectiveness of the strikes. Archie Wright and the Dairy Farmers Union wanted to bring back the “family farm” in the agricultural industry. Reminiscent of the April 26th, 1933 producer hearing during the establishment of the Milk Control Board, Wright and the DFU saw small, family-run farms as the foundation of the United States. This perception is evident in a DFU pamphlet written by Wright: Our government, reflecting small farm, small business ownership was set up as a democracy that attracted worldwide attention and no small amount of envy. [Yet] suppose this situation should change. Suppose all of our rural counties were in one or two, or even ten farms. What would happen to our town meetings and town government…[which] are the backbone of our democratic form of government, both national and state. Fascism, [or] business dictatorship, its not inevitable as long as these town and country governments can be preserved.86 The beginnings of the Dairy Farmers Union were humble at best, as the independent, rural farmers who initially joined had few economic resources, and even less political manpower. The DFU agreed to bargain “with any organization that bought from its members,” which included the Dairymen’s League, as the Union saw the DCLA as a dealer much like Borden’s Dairy and Sheffield Farms.87 A major juncture for the 84 Kriger, “The 1939 Dairy Farmers Union Strike.” 85 Kriger, “The 1939 Dairy Farmers Union Strike.” 86 Kriger, “The 1939 Dairy Farmers Union Strike.” 87 Dyson, 68.
  24. 24. 24 Dairy Farmers Union occurred at the hands of Sheffield Farms, which cancelled over 2,000 upstate New York farm contracts.88 This action included the closing of twelve fluid dairy plants across the North Country region of New York State. With the livelihood of many upstate dairy farmers at stake, the DFU had a unanimous vote to strike the Sheffield plants, and “from the outset, it was clear that this strike would be conducted much differently.”89 Unlike the strikes of the early 1930s, the 1937 DFU strike was carefully organized and monitored. Wright and the leaders of the Dairy Farmers Union were very aware of the violence and subsequent failure of previous strikes by independent farmers, and their conscious handling of the 1937 strike is evidence of that. For example, rather than dumping milk onto highways, it would be “diverted to other processing facilities.”90 It was this lack of violence and increased control and organization that led to the success of dairy strikes by the DFU. Whereas strikes were once caused by a frustrated, divisive group of producers, the Dairy Farmers Union’s solidarity and their methods allowed the strikers to accomplish their goals. The “passive resistance” method utilized by the Dairy Farmers Union resulted in the closing of a Sheffield Farms plant for 108 days without any instances of violence or destruction of property.91 It is important to note that newspapers around the North Country indicated a positive reaction by the public towards the DFU’s actions at the twelve Sheffield Farms plants. The Advance News on August 5th, 1937 noted the unity existing between producers in the Dairy Farmers Union. “In this strike the dairy farmers 88 Dyson, 68. 89 Kriger, “The 1939 Dairy Farmers Union Strike.” 90 Kriger, “The 1939 Dairy Farmers Union Strike.” 91 Kriger, “The 1939 Dairy Farmers Union Strike.”
  25. 25. 25 of the north country have followed the union theory of united effort. They have decided together; they have acted together; they have stuck together, and they have put on such a demonstration as has never been seen before in this industry.”92 Eventually, Sheffield Farms would raise the price of milk bought from producers, although without granting any recognition to the DFU strike.93 Despite this, the efforts of Archie Wright and the Dairy Farmers Union were recognized by the public and, more importantly, by other producers. As the Dairy Farmers Union’s collective action gained more publicity throughout New York State, more independent farmers were drawn to their cause by their strategies and values. To a large degree, the DFU’s goals and policies offered an “alternative economic [vision] that challenged the industrial ideal of perfection.”94 The Dairy Farmers Union was extremely different from previous organized collective farming groups. Unlike the Dairymen’s League, the DFU did not maintain any affiliations with large, industrial dealers. Rather, the Dairy Farmers Union sought to organize producers and defend the nature of rural farms in the New York City milkshed and throughout the state. Many producers, after seeing successful strike actions by the DFU, left dairy cooperatives and joined the Union.95 In October 1937 the membership increase prompted Archie Wright and other Union officials to expand their strike to the Big Three dealers in the New York City milkshed. However, this strike was not successful in ending the dealers’ dominance over 92 “No Confusion As Milk Strike Enters Sixth Day, Pickets Are Still On Duty,” The Advance News, August 5th, 1937. 93 Kriger, “The 1939 Dairy Farmers Union Strike.” 94 Dupuis, 184. 95 “Robert Dudley Signed With Dairy Union: General Manager of Irona Creamer, Inc., Signed Contract in Utica,” Plattsburgh Daily Press, November 24th, 1937.
  26. 26. 26 the metropolitan market, due in part to increased advertising efforts by dairy distributors.96 For example, ‘Elsie the Cow,’ was a Borden’s Dairy mascot created in 1937 to symbolize “the trust, quality and freshness of Borden products.”97 Another reason the strike efforts against the Big Three failed in 1937 was the perception by the public, and by some dairy producers, that the DFU had gained a considerable victory against Sheffield Farms, and should be careful not to “overshoot the mark…an early settlement would benefit all.”98 While still not large enough to efficiently challenge the Big Three dealers, the Dairy Farmers Union and its effective striking methods were becoming more powerful throughout New York State in the late 1930s. The DFU’s striking methods were a direct contrast to the elements that defined strikes earlier in the decade. Unlike the violent demonstrations, which required tear gas and arrests at the hands of New York State Troopers, the DFU exemplified the ways in which organized, peaceful, and carefully executed protests could achieve real results, in the form of higher prices for farm milk. It was only through challenges to dairy distributors and cooperative groups that independent farmers could improve their economic standing in the New York dairy market. By 1939 the Dairy Farmers Union had acquired over 14,000 contracted members in the New York milkshed, and this number was only increasing.99 Information on DFU membership suggests that this organization attracted a certain kind of dairy farmer. Dairy 96 Kriger, “The 1939 Dairy Farmers Union Strike.” 97 Kristina Peterson-Lohman, About Borden Dairy Company: About Elsie the Cow, PDF, http://www.bordendairypresskit.com. 98 C.S Cantwell, “‘Round Town,” Ogdensburg Journal, November 12th, 1937. 99 Dyson, 70.
  27. 27. 27 farmers closest to the metropolitan center often were not interested in membership, as they enjoyed a “secure access to fluid milk markets,” unlike the fluctuating market conditions further upstate.100 It was those farmers in places like St. Lawrence County and Jefferson County that were “most radical in their fight for higher milk prices,” and were attracted to the DFU’s successful striking techniques and unified organization.101 This trend helps to exemplify the Dairy Farmers Union strike that occurred in 1939, at the peak of the DFU’s influence. The Dairy Farmers Union, by 1939, had honed their striking methods and was prepared for action when Federal District Court Judge Frank Cooper removed price regulations in the New York milkshed.102 This federal court decision led to immediate price-cutting by milk dealers in New York State, and despite the reinstatement of market controls later that summer, dairy farmers were extremely irate and frustrated with years of discontent within the milk industry.103 Across the state in August 1939, thousands of DFU members voted to strike the dairy dealers. Although membership to the Union was concentrated in the North Country region of New York State, it is important to note that DFU representatives from the Hudson River Valley, Mohawk River Valley, and even from Pennsylvania and Vermont, were involved in the voting process.104 The organized, collective withholding by the Dairy Farmers Union was estimated to have reduced the metropolitan milk supply by thirty percent after just one day, and by the third day the DFU experienced considerable control over the New York City 100 Dupuis, 179. 101 Dupuis, 179. 102 Kriger, “The 1939 Dairy Farmers Union Strike.” 103 Kriger, “The 1939 Dairy Farmers Union Strike.” 104 Nicholas Clifford, “The Dairy Farmers’ Union in Vermont, 1939-1942,” Vermont History 79 (2011), 61.
  28. 28. 28 market.105 Some violent actions were reported, however it is difficult to distinguish which accusations actually occurred and at whose hand. This discrepancy is due to the fact that many non-DFU members actually joined the strike “either by refusing to deliver their product or by arranging for DFU pickets to dump their milk.”106 Allegations of violence ensured that these cooperative farmers could aid in the strike movement, while ostensibly appearing to continue their allegiance to their cooperative organizations. This solidarity between farmers is a complete contrast from the disunity that marked the strikes of early 1930s. Greatly contributing to the Dairy Farmers Union success, one striker’s sign exemplified the different nature of the strikes: “If we all pull together & nobody kicks, We will show the dealers, We are not Hicks.”107 The successful withholding of milk to various plants throughout New York State had created a crisis in New York City, shown by Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia’s intervention in August 1939. The metropolitan milk supply had dropped about sixty percent by day three of the strike, and it became necessary to come to terms with the striking producers for the benefit of the consumers. LaGuardia orchestrated a conference in which DFU leaders, as well as major dealers and cooperatives, would meet and come to a settlement over farm milk prices.108 The final settlement constituted a price of $2.15 for “a hundredweight for September milk,” and Mayor LaGuardia later denounced the big industry dealers for their role in market unrest.109 This agreement was a major victory 105 Kriger, “The 1939 Dairy Farmers Union Strike.” 106 Kriger, “The 1939 Dairy Farmers Union Strike.” 107 Kriger, “The 1939 Dairy Farmers Union Strike.” 108 Kriger, “The 1939 Dairy Farmers Union Strike.” 109 “LaGuardia Cudgels Milk Firms Into Paying His Price,” The Post-Standard, August 12, 1940.
  29. 29. 29 for the Dairy Farmers Union, as in a single stroke “the rate paid to farmers jumped by about 40 percent.”110 Thus, the Dairy Farmers Union strike of 1939 had achieved a tangible change in the dairy market, and ensured that milk prices had increased to an acceptable level for all farmers within the New York milkshed. Celebrations occurred throughout the state, such as the farmers in Canton, New York who “marched in a mock funeral procession down Main Street complete with two coffins- one for Dairymen’s League, the other for the ‘Milk Monopoly.’”111 The overarching sentiment in the farming community was that the Dairy Farmers Union and its vision of small, family-run farms had triumphed over industrial groups, which had continually threatened their way of life into the twentieth century. Unfortunately, the fate of the Dairy Farmers Union did not continue this trajectory of success. Following the 1939 strike, the DFU faced many accusations and threats by those who wished to see Archie Wright and the Union fail. For example, the DCLA, Milk Producers’ Bargaining Agency, and other notable groups, pointed to Wright’s close association with Communist organizations such as the Transport Workers’ Union.112 Critics accused Wright and the DFU of attempting to “gain Communist control over the milkshed,” and DCLA-funded periodicals asserted that Wright “was leading the gullible farmers of the DFU down the path to communism.”113 The weight of these accusations 110 Dyson, 70. 111 Kriger, “The 1939 Dairy Farmers Union Strike.” 112 Dyson, 70. 113 Dyson, 70.
  30. 30. 30 proved to be too much for Wright and the DFU, and amidst this controversy, the Union would eventually merge with the United Dairy Farmers in 1942.114 Although the Dairy Farmers Union had an anticlimactic and surprising end, at the time of its merger there were over 30,000 farmers across five states in DFU membership. The Dairy Farmers Union following their 1939 success was a collective bulwark for dairy farmers, especially within upstate New York. Archie Wright and the leaders of the DFU helped to foster a different image of dairy farmers across the United States. Gone was the popular image of farmers as poor and unintelligent, such as the Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz.115 Independent farmers saw themselves, shown in the Milk Control Board hearing minutes, as “the backbone…they loyalty…the very basis upon which we have [built] America.”116 Through the Dairy Farmers Union’s success, the public image of the dairy farmer had shifted to better reflect their role in an agricultural economy, as well as bring attention to the plight of the dairy farmer in New York State. A lack of solidarity and disunity among actors was a defining feature of New York farming strikes. Kerosene fires and overturned milk trucks were met with tear gas and arrests, particularly in 1933. Dairy farmers were hurting their cause in the early years of the 1930s, although enough attention was gained to establish a Milk Control Board. Some scholars viewed the 1933 Milk Control Board, following these violent strikes, as having achieved the dairy producers’ goal of price reform. However, this was not real success, shown by the continuing market fluctuation, industry domination by the Big Three, and repeated signs of unrest by independent farmers. Rather, ‘success’ in the form 114 Dyson, 70. 115 Kriger, “The 1939 Dairy Farmers Union Strike.” 116 State of New York Department of Agriculture and Markets, Milk Control Board Minutes of: Hearing no. 3 (Albany, April 26, 1933).
  31. 31. 31 of strikes did not occur until the Dairy Farmers Union was established. The DFU provided organized leadership and calculated methods to bring order to the struggling dairy farmers in upstate New York. While strikes had always been a method for agricultural workers to achieve changes, the DFU promoted a much different type of strike. Instead of overturning milk trucks and injuring cooperative farms and farmers, members of the DFU utilized ‘sit- down’ strikes to peacefully ensure that milk shipments could not reach their destination. As shown in the 1937 case, when striking a dairy plant, rather than wasting the perishable commodity, the DFU diverted shipments to other processing plants, effectively ‘drying’ out industrial plants run by dairy cooperatives. Because the DFU achieved results without violence, many independent farmers flocked to their organization, and this accounted for the successful overhaul of the metropolitan milkshed and the undermining of market control by the Big Three. The DFU and its organization and leadership ensured that farmers could strike in a way that was popular with the public, other farmers, as well as the state government. Although the DFU was eventually merged with another dairy organization, this is not indicative of its failure as a farming collective. Rather, the Dairy Farmers Union strikes were the only successful strikes in the 1930s, because they brought actual changes to the market. Prices were increased by the DFU’s actions, not the 1933 Milk Control Board legislation. At its peak in 1939, the Dairy Farmers Union had successfully raised prices about 40 percent through the use of strikes, and was therefore celebrated by dairy farmers throughout New York State.
  32. 32. 32 Bibliography Barron, Hal S. Mixed Harvest: The Second Great Transformation in the Rural North 1870-1930. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1997. Black, John D. The Dairy Industry and the AAA. Washington: The Brookings Institution, 1935. Boyle, James E. “The Battle of Milk.” Saturday Evening Post, November 13, 1937. Cantwell, C.S. “‘Round Town.” Ogdensburg Journal, November 12th, 1937. Clifford, Nicholas. “The Dairy Farmers’ Union in Vermont, 1939-1942.” Vermont History 79 (2011): 58-81. “Committee to Represent Dairymen at Hearing.” The St. Lawrence Plaindealer. April 25th, 1933. Dairymen’s League Cooperative Association records. #2614. Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections. Cornell University Library. Dupuis, Melanie. Nature’s Perfect Food: How Milk Became America’s Drink. New York: New York University Press, 2002. Dyson, Lowell K. Farmers’ Organizations. New York: Greenwood Press, 1986. Grey Osterud, Nancy. Putting the Barn Before the House: Women and Family Farming in Early Twentieth-Century New York. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2012. Harper, Douglas. Changing Works: Visions of a Lost Agriculture. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2001. Jacobs, Herbert. “Wisconsin Milk Strikes.” Wisconsin Magazine of History, 1951. http://content.wisconsinhistory.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/wmh/id/1891 6/show/18864/rec/2. Johnson, Ronald N. “Retail Price Controls in the Dairy Industry: A Political Coalition Argument.” Journal of Law and Economics 28 (1985): 55-75. Karg, Pamela J. “More than milk: Dairylea’s scope of farmer services moves beyond milk marketing.” Rural Cooperative Magazine (September/October 2003). Accessed May 1st, 2014. http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/rbs/pub/sep03/milk.html Kessel, Reuben A. “Economic Effects of Federal Regulation of Milk Markets.” Journal of Law and Economics 10 (1967): 51-78. Kriger, Thomas. “The 1939 Dairy Farmers Union Strike in Heuvelton and Canton, New York: The Story in Words and Pictures.” Journal for Multimedia History vol. 1 (1998). “LaGuardia Cudgels Milk Firms Into Paying His Price.” The Post-Standard. August 12, 1940. New York Food Museum. “A Real Showdown.” Accessed March 31st, 2014. http://www.nyfoodmuseum.org/milk/a_real_showdown.php. New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets. “Official Order No. 5.” Milk Control Orders, 1933-1938. New York State Troopers History. “Milk Holiday Synopsis.” Accessed April 13th, 2014. http://nytroopershistory.com/1933---Milk-Stikes236.php. “No Confusion As Milk Strike Enters Sixth Day, Pickets Are Still On Duty.” The Advance News, August 5th, 1937. Peterson-Lohman, Kristina. About Borden Dairy: About Elsie the Cow. PDF http://www.bordendairypresskit.com.
  33. 33. 33 Plimpton, R.E. “Distribution Advances with the Motor Truck.” The Journal for Land & Public Utility Economics 7 (1931): 262-281. Report of the Joint Legislative Committee to Investigate the Milk Industry. Albany: J.B. Lyon Company Printers, 1933. “Robert Dudley Signed With Dairy Union: General Manager of Irona Creamery, Inc., Signed Contract in Utica.” Plattsburgh Daily Press, November 24th, 1937. Spencer, Leland and Charles J. Blanford. An Economic History of Milk Marketing and Pricing: A Classified Bibliography with Reviews of Listed Publications, 1840- 1970. Columbus: GRID Inc., 1973. State of New York Department of Agriculture and Markets. Milk Control Board Minutes of: Hearing no. 2. Albany, April 18, 1933. State of New York Department of Agriculture and Markets. Milk Control Board Minutes of: Hearing no. 3. Albany, April 26, 1933. Summerhill, Thomas. Harvest of Dissent: Agrarianism in Nineteenth-Century New York. Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2005. Zeller, Belle. Pressure Politics in New York: A Study of Group Representation Before the Legislature. London: Forgotton Books, 1937.

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