The Farmers’ Meeting, October 4, 1913

From the Leesburg Commercial, Friday, October 10, 1913:

The Farmers’ Meeting

The meeting of farmers called for Saturday afternoon was held in the city hall and well attended.

G.E. Winter, who issued the call for the meeting, was elected chairman, and Geo. R. Smith of Fruitland Park, secretary.

Mr. Winter stated that the meeting was called to consider the advisability of forming an organization at this point similar to those existing at other places; also to adot a size of cabbage crate to be used, two sizes now being used.

After considerable discussion a committee of seven was appointed to investigate the crate question, and to draft by-laws, etc., for a farmers’ or growers’ union. Messrs. H.J. Peter, F. Kramer, sr., Jas. A. Lee, Geo. R. Smith, S. Peper and Stringfellow were appointed on the committee.

A number of colored farmers were present and two of them were appointed to investigate the sentiment existing among their race in regard to organization.

The meeting adjourned to meet on October 25, when the committees will report, and a permanent organization be considered.

All growers are requested to be present at this meeting to give their views on the question.

The October 10, 1913 edition is the earliest copy of The Leesburg Commercial in the microfilm collection at the Leesburg Public Library. “The Farmers’ Meeting” was transcribed from Page 1, author unidentified.

Image of Charles S. Barrett

In 1913 Charles S. Barrett was president of the National Farmers’ Union, headquartered in Fulton County, Georgia.

Farmers’ unions, cooperatives and the like were a hot topic for farmers in 1913. Dr. Carole E. Scott and Dr. Richard D. Guynn, Professors of Economics at the State University of West Georgia, published a detailed description farmers’ union activity in Georgia of the period and farmers’ union organizer Charles S. Barrett (left).

An excerpt:

Barrett transformed a Southern protest movement into “…a viable national interest group which outlasted the tide of farm rage and, according to some, marked the entry of a permanent farm public onto the political scene.” [Crampton, 114] He made common cause with the labor movement; advocated marketing cooperatives; and refused “…to take a narrow commodity approach to the farm problem,” which he believed was the lack of equitable markets rather than too low productivity. [Crampton, 114] He advocated bringing business principles to the farmer and organizing all of them into “…one vast, compact body” in order to “….make the most advantageous disposition of …[their] crops.” [Crampton, 114] Because, ultimately, everybody else is dependent upon the farmer, Barrett thought farmers were superior to everyone else.

Alas, no followup report is recorded in the microfilm collection.

 

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