Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School



Introduction: General Facts Underlying the Whole Problem of Distribution and Marketing of Farm Products Before entering into a detailed discussion of cooperative marketing of farm products as applied to South Dakota, I wish to briefly mention a few general historical facts which in a large part go to make up the background for the whole present day problem of distribution and marketing. 1. Pioneer America’s Agricultural Problems Mainly Those of Production During the period when our country was predominately agricultural, each farm produced practically everything it needed and was in the main self-sufficing. Each farmer produced his own wheat and hauled it to the local mill to be converted into flour, bran and shorts. Likewise, he grew and slaughtered his own meat, made his own butter, cheese and sugar, and quite generally provided himself with the means of subsistence. Whatever surplus he had, he bartered off to other local men in the nearby village or small town for goods or ash. Accordingly, at that time there were practically no problems in distribution as we now know them and few in marketing except of a local character and where both buyer and seller knew each other. 2. Development of Industrial Life Modified Conditions The real problem of modern distribution and marketing came later when the country began to develop industrially and where producer and consumer became separated by long distances. With the development of modern facilities for transportation and communication, agriculture grew away from the old self-sufficient basis and began the production of large surpluses of foodstuffs for commercial purposes. As land was both cheap and plentiful and the prospects for profits good, farmers concerned themselves largely with production and were content to follow their products only to the nearest shipping point or market. As a consequence it was only natural that a class of middlemen developed who stepped in to bridge the gap of distribution and marketing between the producer and the distant consumer. After the railroads and the distant markets were once established, it was inevitable that our intricate modern system of distribution and marketing should follow. In fact so important has the later process become in comparison to that of production that in many instances the cost charges for the former service almost double the cost charges of the later. (See more in text)

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Cooperative -- South Dakota
Agricultural economics


Includes bibliographical references (page 37-38)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State College


No Copyright - Non-Commercial Use Only