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History of the quality milk company


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As an assignment for my History of American business class, I researched the history of Boise, Idaho, and wrote this business history of the fictitious Quality Milk Company. The story is based on actual facts and reflects the prices, technologies, regulations, politics, events, and issues that a dairy owner would have encountered during the last century.

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History of the quality milk company

  1. 1. milk delivery service could also prosper in History of the Boise, which then a population of about 2000 people (“Idaho Quality Milk State Historical Society,” 1995). He Company tested his concept by talking with hotel by Fran McKain managers, grocery store owners, and a sampling of housewives in various neighborhoods. The response was favorable, so he proceeded with his plans. Joe and his wife, Suzanne, and his four teenage sons did all the (Robidoux, 2007) work initially: caring for the cows, milking,The Quality Milk Company straining the milk, filling(a fictitious company) was the tin milk cans, and doing all the deliveriesestablished in 1887 in and collections. The rawBoise, Idaho. milk was sold at 13Joe Crew had ten Holstein heifers cents for a half gallon or (Wessel, n.d.). He invitedshipped in from Montpelier, Idaho 7 cents for a quart, delivered from municipal health experts to visiton the new Oregon Short Line the large milk cans in the back of his farm, even though there wereRailroad (“Short history and his wagon (“Prices and Price no official health standards yet,restoration,” 2009). He settled Indexes,” 1970). Customers and asked them to attest to thethem on his 115-acre farm on the included residents, the Overland cleanliness of his processes and theriver west of town, two miles and Central purity of hisbeyond the Chinese truck gardens. hotels (Austin, products.Although he paid only $150 apiece 1971), and a fewfor them that year, within two grocers “Joe determined As his boysyears the young cows were in full (“Original South grew, so did his Boise Plan,” that his company business. By 1900,milk production and were worth$300, each with a calf by her side n.d.). would produce he had 100 cows(Early, 1914). only the highest and a crew of 15 Joe knew that men. Quality Milk Joe had earned the money for quality was a quality dairy was delivering nothis land and his cows the year constant products.” just milk, butbefore he brought his family to problem for the butter and cheeseBoise from Baltimore. He worked milk business in also. Joe’s deliveryfor six months with a placer larger cities such wagons all boremining crew in Idaho City, as his native signs emphasizingnortheast of Boise. Baltimore, and he determined that the purity of his milk and the his company would produce only Since settling in Boise, Joe had health of his pasture-fed cows. In the highest quality dairy products.watched the Chinese gardeners the early 1900s, a typhoid scare hit In 1895 he installed pasteurizers indeliver fresh vegetables to the the U.S. as a result of his dairy. The equipment andresidents of the growing township contaminated milk. But Joe’s bottles cost more than $500, but he(Hart, 2010). He decided that a business remained steady because paid for it from his savings of the reputation he had built.
  2. 2. In 1917, Joe shifted hisbusiness focus. A bottling anddistribution creamery had come toBoise, and its advancedmanufacturing facilities out-performed and out-priced his smalldairy. With a population of nearly20,000 within the Boise city limits,Joe also had numerous competitorsby then (“Idaho State HistoricalSociety,” 1995). World War I wasunderway, and feed costs werehigh. It was becoming difficult toremain profitable, even with thefine reputation of Quality Milk.Joe helped to organize abargaining cooperative with otherdairy farmers in order to stabilizemilk prices. The distribution (“Holstein cow,” 2010) Quality Milk might not have were lower in Idaho than in many survived the Great Depression if other states, and the demand for Joe had not made that change dairy products was actually higher when he did. Boise grew very little than any other commodities, so as during the next 15 years after the the slump finally ended, Quality war ended (“Idaho State Historical Milk had a healthy financial (Kratochvil, n.d.) Society,” 1995). But Joe’s profile (Anderson, n.d.). Andcompany was glad to work with company was well-positioned to speaking of healthy, anotherthe cooperative because it ensured continue to operate without much benefit of the dairy farmers’for them a steady supply of milk investment while they waited for cooperative was collaboration with(Wessel, n.d.). For Joe and his the economy to recover. Feed costs the University of Idaho’s dairyfellow dairymen, this arrangementgave them a steadier incomebecause the distributor handled theoccasional surplus productionwhich had previously created aloss for the farmers. This change in directionenabled Joe to focus on producinglarger volumes of milk. By now,his sons were running most of thebusiness. They had brought inmilking machines and were usingthem almost exclusively. Theycontinued the attention to puritythat Joe had built his reputationupon, and it made the Quality Milkfarm a favorite with the newlyestablished government inspectors(Wessel, n.d.). Before long, thedistributor’s refrigerated milk (Jannsen, n.d.)tanker trucks were pulling intoJoe’s farm to be filled with milk.
  3. 3. research which resulted in a http://www.idahostatesman.coprogram to prevent bovine m/tuberculosis in Idaho’s dairy herds Holstein cow [digital image].and beef cattle (Anderson, n.d.).Forming the cooperative had been (2010). Retrieved July 14,a wise move. 2011 from http://www.public- By 1940, Boise city limits hadbegun creeping toward Joe’s farm. Idaho state historical societyThe 115-acres felt cramped. Joe’s reference series: Boise City andsons had ideas for expanding urban area population, 1863-Quality Milk that would exceed 1980. (1995). Number 363.the available space. Together, they Retrieved March 14, 2010 fromsold the land, on its prime location, http://www.boisestate.edufor an excellent price and bought Jannsen, N. (n.d.). Milk trailer500 acres south of town. Today, it [digital image]. Retrieved Julyis Joe’s grandsons who run Quality 14, 2011 fromMilk. They have 700 cows in their http://www.alplm.orgdairy herd. The milking machinesare fully automated and pump the Original south Boise plan:milk from the cow to the storage Chapter 2 background report.vats to the waiting trucks (Roberts, (n.d.). Retrieved March 14,2009). They still only hire 15 2010 fromemployees, although annual http://www.cityofboise.orgpayroll exceeds $400,000. The Prices and price indexes. (1970).refrigerated tankers that visit Retrieved March 14, 2010 fromQuality Milk now collect almost http://www2.census.gov6,000 gallons of milk every day Roberts, B. (2009, July 26). Dairy(Roberts, 2009). They have never sees transition over 70 years.failed a quality or safety Retrievedinspection. Joe would be proud. March 14, 2010 from http://www.idahostatesman.coReferences mAnderson, C. E. (n.d.). History of Robidoux, D. (2007). Couronne de the College of Agriculture at lait / Milk crown [digital the University of Idaho. image]. Retrieved July 14, 2011 Retrieved March 14, 2010 from from Short history and restoration.Austin, J. (1971). Idaho state (2009). Retrieved March 14, historical society reference 2010 from series: Boise hotels. Number 735. Retrieved March 14, 2010 Wessel, J. E. (n.d.). Baltimore’s from dairy industry and the fight forEarly, J.B. (1914, May 01). Big pure milk, 1900-1920. producing Jerseys. Retrieved Retrieved March 14, 2010 from March 14, 2010 from http://chroniclingamerica.loc.go vHart, A. (2010, January 31). Idaho history: Remembering Idaho’s Chinese gardens. Retrieved March 14, 2010 from