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The Grain Growers Associations 1905-17. Elevator capacity and services were a problem throughout this period A plan was proposed by the Manitoba Grain Growers Association The proposal was known as the ‘Partridge Plan’. Partridge Plan. Government ownership of Canadian grain elevators

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the grain growers associations 1905 17
The Grain Growers Associations1905-17
  • Elevator capacity and services were a problem throughout this period
  • A plan was proposed by the Manitoba Grain Growers Association
  • The proposal was known as the ‘Partridge Plan’
partridge plan
Partridge Plan
  • Government ownership of Canadian grain elevators
  • Specifically
    • National government to take over and operate terminal elevators and transfer elevators
    • Provincial government to take over line elevators
  • Manitoba Government was reluctant to follow the Partridge Plan
  • Instead made promises to carry out more rigid methods of inspection and supervision
reluctance reasons
Reluctance - reasons
  • Manitoba Government was reluctant to a number of reasons
    • Poor performance of local/municipal elevators
    • Did not want to interfere with the grain markets
manitoba timeline
Manitoba Timeline
  • 1909
    • Farmers asked the Manitoba government for a system of elevator
    • Government stopped opposing the idea and decided to build a system of elevators
manitoba timeline1
Manitoba Timeline
  • 1910
    • January - MGGA submits plans to government
    • Legislation ignored these plans
    • No organized system was conceived
    • 174 elevators built
  • This venture fail due to poor elevator locations and poor management
manitoba timeline2
Manitoba Timeline
  • 1912
    • GGGC contracted to lease the 174 elevators
alberta saskatchewan
Alberta & Saskatchewan
  • Farmers in Alberta and Saskatchewan were also seeking government owned elevators
saskatchewan timeline
Saskatchewan Timeline
  • 1909
    • petition by Saskatchewan farmers for government owned elevators
  • 1910
    • May – commission was set up to study proposals on elevator ownership
    • November – report completed
saskatchewan timeline1
Saskatchewan Timeline
  • 1910
  • Report determined financial failures of farmer owned elevators were:
    • Losses from over grading
    • Bad management
    • Lack of patronage
    • Failure to compete with other elevators
saskatchewan timeline2
Saskatchewan Timeline
  • 1910
    • As a result of the report Saskatchewan government rejected the Manitoba scheme
    • The Saskatchewan government suggested farmers for a co-op company with maximum amount of local control
saskatchewan timeline3
Saskatchewan Timeline
  • 1911
    • Saskatchewan premier introduced the elevator bill which permitted the cooperative
    • This began on of the biggest debates in the history of the Saskatchewan Legislature
    • March – the Elevator Bill passed
      • The Saskatchewan Co-op Elevator Company Ltd. was created
the saskatchewan co op
The Saskatchewan Co-op
  • Saskatchewan Co-op Elevator Company Ltd.
    • Shares only sold to farmers for $50/share
    • Many locals were established
    • Organization took place on July 6
    • The company soon prospered
  • UFA accepted a similar proposal
    • Alberta Co-op Elevator was formed in 1913
      • Operated for 4 years
      • Amalgamated with GGGC in 1917 to form United Grain Growers Limited
  • UGG and Saskatchewan Co-op
    • Subscribed capital of $2.8 million
    • Assets of $6 million
    • Owned approx. 300 elevators
    • Handled nearly 30 million bushels
terminal elevators
Terminal Elevators
  • Dominion government refused to build terminals
the livestock industry
The Livestock Industry
  • In the late 1800’s, factors made ranching more favorable prior to this period.
    • The US permitted access to their markets.
    • A transition away from wheat farming in upper Canada due to loss in soil fertility, pests and disease.
    • Farm prosperity permitted the importation of good breeding stock.
cattle expansion
Cattle Expansion
  • Trade with Britain first aroused interest in the cattle trade; therefore, this interest leads to the expansion and development of the range-cattle industry in the Alberta foothills and on the plain
cattle expansion1
Cattle Expansion
  • Encouragement of this development required:
    • Establishment of then North West Mounted Police
    • The provision of grazing leases
    • Maintenance of border quarantine control
    • Government importation of breeding stock
cattle imports
Cattle Imports
  • Britain became the leading importer of Canadian cattle. Since imports began to depress cattle prices and weaken the cattle market in Britain, the Richmond Bill was introduced in 1887
the richmond bill
The Richmond Bill
  • . The purpose was to exclude live cattle from countries where specified diseases existed and to require all foreign cattle to be slaughtered at the port of debarkation.
cattle inspection
Cattle Inspection
  • Canada successfully lobbied to exempt (at least until 1892) and instituted an effective quarantine system with outbound, as well as, inbound inspection.
cattle inspection1
Cattle Inspection
  • From that, set the standards for present day quarantines and import restrictions. With those standards in place, the Canadian cattle industry was able to grow unabated by the British trade restrictions.
range industry
Range Industry
  • The range-cattle industry develop itself in Alberta foothills
  • Range-cattle industry swept northward out of Texas to cover larger portions of the central American plains.
  • Texas Longhorns weren’t as dominant as before due to the important breeds being introduced from England which were Herefords and Polled Angus
range industry1
Range Industry
  • 1870-71 – horses and cattle entered Canada but the initial introduction was premature. Certain elements need to be in place before it would be successful in the Canadian Foothills:
    • Law and order
    • Elimination of the buffalo
    • Limitations of Native American claims
range industry2
Range Industry
  • Grazing leases were offered by the Dominion Land Act of 1872 to bona fide settlers only.
  • Technical problems arose
foothills climate
Foothills Climate
  • Canadian Foothills had climatic and topographic features that were favorable to ranching.
    • Chinook
    • Semi-arid regions
    • High nutritious short grass vegetation
    • Numerous coulees and streams
This region were enticing to ranch; as a result , settlement occurred in Fort Macleod and Fort Calgary
  • The fist large herd of cattle actually came from BC, driven from the Kootenay Lakes in August of 1875. There cattle ranching had flourished for years in support of the Gold Rush camps and BC ranchers were looking for new markets for their products.
Interest in start up of large cattle company’s were wanted
  • Official request for grazing land in the Bow River Valley
  • The 1881 Order in council provided for leases limited to 100,000 acres, set to 21 years and the rental fee was a mere 1 cent per acre.
Ranchers were permitted to graze 1 head of cattle per 10 acres and this stocking rate had to be reached within 3 years of the lease being granted.
  • The result was the vast ranch spread of western Canadian history.

~ 1882-91 there was a dramatic increase in beef exports to Britain causing an expansion of the ranching frontier.

~Ranching became an extremely profitable at this time because of the abundance of land at low rental rates.

~This expansion of the frontier led to the creation of large Cattle Companies.

~The first one in Canada was known as the Cochrane Ranch company. The company attracted share holders with both wealth and power.

~ Other companies similar in design were:

North West Cattle Co. ~now known as Bar U

Winder Ranche Co.

Stewart Ranch Co.

Oxely Ranch Co.


~ With the creation of large cattle companies the smaller rancher began to experience the overcrowding of the industry

-small ranchers were being driven out as large ranchers simply turned their herds out onto the open range, then when they collected them they would sometimes collect not only their own but the small ranchers as well.

~ This led to the creation of the Cattle Association

Which dealt with:

-branding, grazing rights

-organizing round-ups


-transportation and government land policy

~ Formed in 1882 the Pincher Creek Stock Association stood as the first of its kind in western Canada. It encompased a very large area from Pincher Creek all of the way to High River. It was an association centered out of Fort Macleod.


~ Cattle associations at first had a very well rounded representation even from the small ranchers but later it became an organization of the companies.

~In 1886 the Canadian North-West Territories Stock Association grew out of the SW stock association.

-they formed:

-a constitution

-voting scheme based on herd size

-and also dealt with concerns over settlers pushing them out

-they also stood as a mechanism to solve the contentious

issue of ‘Mavricks’

~Stood as the first association to claim to represent the whole whole community.


~ There was a growing competition with sheep farmers in the area as cattle ranchers tried to prevent their entry.

~ Sheep could compete with cattle because of their capability to graze on the shorter grasses.

~ The biggest competition however stood as the settlers entering the area.

As ranchers chased the settlers off of their leased land the settlers revolted and even took up arms but also sent petitions to Ottawa.

~ This created a political dilemma:

Settlement Vs. Very profitable ranch leases

~ Ranchers had a political hand however, with significant exports of live cattle, Ottawa was reminded that the western plains 1st interest was stock-raising not cereal production.

~As long as profits off of grazing exceeded those of farming, intruding farm population could be held at bay.


~ From 1892-96 marked a time of bitter feuds between ranchers and settlers/farmers.

~The government however backed the ranchers, while in other parts of the nation public pressures were mounting because the policy was stalling settlement in the west.

~Due to this pressure on Oct. 12, 1892 the government changed its stance on protecting leased lands. Reducing the leased numbers for each of the ranches, however this was just eliminating the speculative leases.

~With this decrease, came an advantage to the ranchers. They gained an extension of the regions stock-watering reserves (areas where settlement could not occur along springs, creeks, and river bottoms)

~This again led to more unrest and evictions, but the department considered the south-west to be more suited towards cattle ranching than farming. Also helping towards this was the solidarity of cattlemen, socially, politically, and economically.


~After 1896 brought the end of the era of the cattleman. This was due to the westward push put on by the farming frontier. The major steps that made farming and settlement impossible to stop included:

~1896 Liberal Government came to power.

-looked less favorably on ranching compared to farming and settlement

-this greatly reduced the influence the ranchers had in

political circles.

~As settlers and farmers moved westward and began to produce profitable crops the ranchers lost their argument that the land was only suitable for grazing.

~In 1897 Crow’s Nest Pass Statutory Freight Rates on grain were established. This favoured grain farming and excluded ranching. This caused an increase in colonization.


~Large Cattle Companies began to struggle to survive. Following the creation of Alberta and Saskatchewan it was known the settlement issues would never go away

~Feb.1905 Frank Oliver, being opposed to ranchers, became Minister of the Department of the Interior.

~he was more inclined to the view of the west in terms of what had come to be known as the ‘mixed farm’

~This vision was accompanied by the parallel stereotype of the monopolistic cattle baron.

-member of a landed and reactionary establishment standing in the way of settlement and ‘progress’

~Beginning in 1905 Oliver began to eliminate the stock watering reserves, thus again giving a blow to the ranchers.

~The final blow came in the winter of 1906-1907. With severe weather, cattle could not graze outside and ranchers herds were thus decreased by 5-85%.

~Dominion Range Commissioner estimated an overall loss of 50%

~This gave ascendancy to mixed farming and ranching never regained its former glory.

wartime 1914 to 1919
Wartime 1914 to 1919
  • Economic policies needed to change.
  • Peace time policies would not work in wartime despite what the Dominion government assumed.
  • Because of war efforts in 1916 the price of wheat began to increase due to supply not meeting demands
wartime 1914 to 19191
Wartime 1914 to 1919
  • Liver pools futures market was closed to prevent the prices form rising any higher.
  • The British Royal Commission on Wheat Supplies was appointed to acquire wheat, flour and eventually all cereals for England.
wartime 1914 to 19192
Wartime 1914 to 1919
  • By the next year all of Europe relied on the Wheat Executives of the Allies.
  • This put pressure on worldwide economies.
  • The Wheat Export Company (USA) and the Wheat Export Company of Canada purchased wheat on behalf of the Allies.
wartime 1914 to 19193
Wartime 1914 to 1919
  • To ensure supplies they purchased heavily on the futures market.
  • 1916-1917 the USA crops were small and Canada’s large crop was of poor quality.
  • The quality and limited quantity of wheat was inadequate to meet commitments to Allied purchasing agencies.
wartime 1914 to 19194
Wartime 1914 to 1919
  • Problems arose including a large increase in price of wheat contracts.
  • Dominion government terminated trading on the Winnipeg Exchange.
  • A monopoly power over Canadian wheat was established to acquire wheat, fix prices (exports and domestic), and to resell to domestic millers and Allied purchasing agents.
the inter war period
The Inter-War Period
  • The Winnipeg Stock Exchange reopened after the war but was quickly closed down again.
  • In 1919 the Canadian Wheat Board was formed and was the sole selling agent of Canadian wheat, but they could not fix prices.
the inter war period1
The Inter-War Period
  • Canadian Wheat Board operations were terminated in 1920 price kept rising for a couple of months then began a steady decline.
  • Trade restriction and agricultural subsidies kept Canada of the world market.
the inter war period2
The Inter-War Period
  • The USA and Europe where also returning to normal production after the war, this also lower prices dramatically.
  • Farmers fought to have the Canadian Wheat Board reinstated, but consumers and trade interests opposed.
the inter war period3
The Inter-War Period
  • The government became willing to pass legislation if the Prairie Provinces passed concurrent legislation.
  • Unfortunately no one qualified would head the Board and Manitoba failed to pas the legislation.
  • The matter was then left to organization by separate provincial associations.
wheat marketing and the prairie pools
Wheat Marketing and the Prairie Pools
  • The farmer owned companies had reduce the dependence of producers on private agencies, and their competition had been successful in improving marketing services, lessening market discrimination, and increasing the returns to the growers.
  • The companies worked so close together with the dominion government, they named the UGG president, minister of agriculture.
some problems arose from the companies
Some problems arose from the companies
  • Grain growers companies took some farmer supporters for granted
  • Farmers delivered grain to where the immediate advantage was
  • Co-op companies picked up farmers business to easily and didn’t always have the farmers best interest in mind
  • Were not able to distribute dividend payments equally
  • Companies had done nothing to solidify prices after the war
prairie pools
Prairie Pools
  • In spite of the criticisms, the view held buy many farm leaders was that farmer owned companies had been successful and similar success might be achieved by other companies designed to act like the Canadian Wheat Board (CWB), only on a smaller scale. This thinking led to the formation of the Prairie Pools
alberta co operative wheat producers ltd
Alberta Co-operative Wheat Producers LTD
  • Alberta Wheat Pool
  • Formed in 1923
  • Offered voluntary contract pool (5yr) for the last of 1923 crop
  • Advance or initial payment was set at .75cents
  • Sales averaged out around $1.01 / bu.
saskatchewan co operatives wheat producers ltd
Saskatchewan Co-operatives Wheat Producers LTD
  • Formed in 1923
  • Formed too late in 23 to sell any crop
  • Offered voluntary contract pooling
  • Included coarse grains as well as wheat
manitoba co operative wheat producers ltd
Manitoba Co-operative Wheat Producers LTD
  • Manitoba Wheat Pool
  • Formed in 1923-1924
  • Offered voluntary contract pooling for wheat and coarse grains
  • Formed in 1924
  • The Canadian Co-operative Wheat Producers LTD was a central sales agency for the three pools
  • Sought opportunities for direct selling
  • Since 1930 the Wheat Pools have never engaged in pooling again
the mergers
The Mergers
  • 1926 Sask Pool elevators merged with the older Sask co-op elevator co. in a large expansion. They became and still known as Saskatchewan Wheat Pool. (I like to call them now days the “sinking ship”)
  • Manitoba and Alberta Pool elevators incorporated an began to acquire elevators
  • The three pools collectively offered to buy the UGG, UGG voted against the sale since it would have forced all its farmers to participate in pooling
prairie pools resulted in
Prairie Pools Resulted in
  • Handled 50% of the grain handled in Western Canada
  • Success short lived
  • 1929 open market price was about $1.50 / bu and the Pools announced a initial payment of $1.00
prairie pools resulted in1
Prairie Pools Resulted in
  • Well known crash of 1929 sent prices plummeting, by Dec. 30 prices were 50 cents on the open market
  • The pools over paid about 22 million, over payments were a severe blow
  • Federal and Provincial governments backed the Pools, a debt that was repaid over 18 years.