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and, with their eggs, furnish good material for studies such as embryology, physiology, anatomy, reading, writing, and arithmetic, as well as the care of poultry itself. Every country school should have a flock of chickens cared for by the children.
The produce dealer may encourage activity in poultry lines by furnishing the schools with eggs for hatching, small flocks of hens, poultry houses, incubators, etc.
In many of the States the legislatures, through the boards of agriculture or agricultural colleges, have provided funds for the holding of farmers' institutes. Poultry talks should be upon every program of such gatherings. Most States have experts who may be secured to give these addresses, provided their expenses are paid by the meetings which they attend, their salaries being paid by the State. The value of these talks to the produce dealer is usually worth more than the cost of securing the services of such an expert. Therefore it is a good investment for the dealer to guarantee these expenses personally, if the institute has insufficient funds for this purpose.
PUBLICATIONS OF THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AND STATE EXPERIMENT STATIONS.
While many buyers of poultry and eggs know that the U. S. Department of Agriculture and the State experiment stations have conducted investigations relative to the raising and handling of poultry and eggs, very few of them know how to secure these publications. For publications of the U. S. Department of Agriculture requests should be sent to the Superintendent of Documents, Washington, D. C. If requests for available poultry publications are sent to the directors of agricultural experiment stations at the addresses given on page 352 much valuable information can be obtained.
Most of the publications referred to are available for free distribution; on some a price is charged to nonresidents of the State wherein they are issued. Much valuable information from these sources may be copied and distributed by the dealer to the farmers, or a list may be distributed telling the poultry raiser how to secure these bulletins.
Every dealer should get in touch with his own State experiment station and follow closely its poultry work. The poultry workers in experiment stations are anxious to aid in the development of the
industry in their States and appreciate heartily the cooperation of dealers and farmers, whose interest increases the appropriations that may be secured for the advancement of the work. In the few States where the experiment stations do no work on poultry problems the produce dealer should do what he can to aid in the establishment of such work by cooperating with his competitors, arousing interest among legislators, farmers' organizations, and State officials.
POULTRY SHIPPERS' ASSOCIATIONS.
Although all of the suggestions offered in this article have been practiced at different times by many shippers with excellent results, what has been accomplished has been because of individual efforts on the part of the shippers. Much more could have been accomplished if they had been put into effect by all of the shippers in unison, as through an organized effort of poultry shippers' associations. For his own good every shipper should belong to one or more of the several shippers' associations throughout the country, which are frequently addressed by the foremost handlers of poultry and eggs, as well as by Government and State experts, and are centers from which radiate many progressive ideas. They create confidence among shippers, give each man a broader view of his own business, and tend to increase his profits by aiding in the prevention of his losses. Through these organizations experts may be employed to aid the farmer in solving his poultry-raising problems and give greater publicity to the value of the poultry industry. This tends to create a realization on the part of the farmer that poultry is more than a mere side line on the farm and to increase his output, thereby aiding the consumer to secure a larger quantity and better quality of nutritious food.
Post-office addresses of the agricultural experiment stations.
Durham, N. H.
New Brunswick, N. J. Agricultural College, N. Mex. Geneva and Ithaca, N. Y. Raleigh, N. C.
Agricultural College, N. Dak. Wooster, Ohio.
State College, Pa.
Mayaguez, P. R.
Kingston, R. I.
Clemson College, S. C.
Brookings, S. Dak.
College Station, Tex.
College Park, Md.
East Lansing, Mich.
University Farm, St. Paul, Minn.
Columbia and Mountain Grove, Mo.
Morgantown, W. Va.
A SUCCESSFUL METHOD OF MARKETING VEGETABLE
By L. C. CORBETT,
Horticulturist, Bureau of Plant Industry.
In order to discuss satisfactorily any improvement on or modification of the present method of marketing perishable crops, such as vegetables, it is necessary to review briefly existing practices. The present method of marketing vegetables may be spoken of as that of independent action. In a country like the United States any criticism or suggested modification of a system of independent action would seem to be a criticism of the fundamental principles of our Government, but a criticism of the method of independent action in connection with the marketing of a perishable product is by no means a criticism of our system of Government. The system of independent action, so far as it applies to the marketing of vegetable crops, is open to the following criticism: Independent action means wide variation in types of packages, as is exemplified in our markets at the present time. Packages of all sizes and descriptions are received in the markets from various districts, so that a quotation on a basket, hamper, or container in one market may mean little in another section. The packing of the product is done according to the ideas of the individual directing the work; the grades are founded upon his personal notion of what constitutes a first, second, or third grade, judged by the product he himself handles and not by any market standard.
Shipments are, for the most part, by local freight or express. Sometimes a grower is able to load a few cars from his own field, but this is the exception rather than the rule. The result is that any brand which he may adopt appears in the market at uncertain intervals, remains but a short time, and disappears until the succeeding year. It is very difficult under such conditions to build up a repu tation for one's product and to establish a standing for a brand or style of package which will serve to assist in the sale of the crop the following year. Such shipments must, of necessity, be consigned to commission merchants, and in some instances are sold at auction
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and in others at wholesale in the regular channels of trade. A new, untried, or unknown brand, no matter how good it may be, is at a decided disadvantage in auction sales and at a slightly less disadvantage in the regular wholesale trade. As a rule, large lots of recognized grade and brand can be sold at the early auction and return greater profits than small lots which have to wait for the later trade.
A product, after it has reached the city and before it is ultimately delivered to the consumer, may go through any or all of the following agencies designed to promote trade: After reaching the commission merchant or receiver, it may be purchased by a jobber or handler, or go to a broker, by whom it is sold to a retailer, from whom it goes to the consumer. The receiver, jobber, broker, or retailer may, however, place the product in a warehouse or in cold storage. The factors, therefore, which may enter into the ultimate cost of the product to the consumer are:
(1) Cost of transportation, including (a) freight or express; (b) terminal or switching charges, and (c) drayage; (2) commission; (3) jobber's or dealer's profit (change of ownership); (4) storage charges; (5) distributor's profit (change of ownership); (6) the cost of growing, packing, and hauling to the shipping point is never taken into account in determining the cost of the product to the consumer, except in so far as the return made by the commission merchant, jobber, or dealer affects this price. The farmer has an investment in land, labor, and product which is never considered in modern trade because he is never a party to any transaction, unless, perchance, he is able to sell his product f. o. b. shipping point, and even then he does not fix the price, but simply accepts or rejects the price offered. The question of the cost of production plus a fair profit is not taken into account in agricultural transactions as in other productive enterprises. In fact, farmers themselves, with few exceptions, have no idea of the cost of producing many of the crops they offer for sale. The cost of production in any single year should not, however, be taken as the basis for the cost of a given product. Seasonal variations are so great that the only just basis for determining the cost of any product is its average cost on a given farm over a series of 5 to 10 years.
A careful analysis of trade conditions indicates that from 33 to 36 per cent of the price which the consumer pays for a perishable product reaches the producer. This must cover the cost as well as the risk of growing, and must also provide the profit on the "know how" and money invested. About 26 per cent of the cost to the consumer is required for transportation and from 5 to 10 per cent for commission. Dealers' profits range from 50 to 100 per cent, for it is maintained that every time perishable goods change hands the