From the July 1956 issue of Extension Farm-News
Approximately 2,300 persons from all over the United States, Puerto Rico, Chili, Peru, and Canada flocked to the North Carolina State College campus for the 28th annual meeting of the American Institute of Cooperation. The four-day institute ended Thursday, August 2.
North Carolina’s Governor, Luther Hodges, and Frank Graham, United Nations representative for India and Pakistan, addressed the opening session and saw in “cooperation” the solution to some current ills, farm and otherwise.
Calling cooperation a part of the “natural, biological, economic, and social process,” Graham appealed for “the cooperation of wisdom and good faith for support of basic principles of the American way of life.”
Hodges urged state agricultural agencies and institutions to take the initiative in providing cooperative marketing services for farmers. Citing instances where the farmer’s independent spirit had placed him at a handicap in the market place, he pointed out that “In a state with so many farmers, many have joined together to do a better job of marketing, purchasing supplies, and providing needed services….”
“It is a fact,” Hodges said, “that in many cases, the marketing facilities and other services were not available until the farmers formed their own associations to do the job.” He called cooperation “the hope of survival.”
On the opening day, President Eisenhower sent his personal greetings to A.I.C. president J.K. Stern in which he said, “Farmer cooperatives are shining examples of the self-help pioneering spirit that has made this nation great. The hope for improving the economic situation of most farmers lies in strengthening their organizations so as to be more effective in the market place….”
Representatives of 19 of the nation’s top FFA chapters and 4-H Club members from 28 states were recognized at the first evening assembly.
At a research and education meeting several agricultural and cooperative leaders called for expanded research programs in Land-Grant colleges to determine the best procedures in cooperative purchasing and marketing.
A.I.C. President J.K. Stern accued “too many present-day leaders” of self-satisfaction. “they forget that when they built these organizations and inspired their neighbors to work together, they were younger men. We need the enthusiasm of youth, combined with the wisdom of age, in today’s cooperatives.”
A post institute feature was the extension workshop. This brought together 60 state extension leaders who discussed cooperative ills and advantages and their own state programs of aid to cooperatives.