Cooperative Information Report 26
July 1980
Reviewed and Approved for Reprinting February 1988

Cooperative Farm Bargaining and Price Negotiations






I.  The Need for Farm Bargaining
        Overcoming Weaknesses
        Farm Bargaining and Changes in the Market Structure

II.  The Legal Background for Cooperative Farm Bargaining
        The Sherman Act (1890)
        The Capper-Volstead Act (1922)
        Farm Bargaining Compared to Labor Unions
        Court Actions
        The Agricultural Fair Practices Act (1967)
        State Legislation
        Future Legislation

III. The History of Farm Bargaining
        The 1920's
        After World War II
        Milk Bargaining
        Fruit and Vegetable Bargaining
        National Farmers Organization
        American Farm Bureau
        Broilers and the AAMA
        A Half Century of Progress

IV.  How Farm Bargaining Works
        Opportunities and Limitations
        Common Characteristics
        Bargaining Power
        The Individual Farmer's Weaknesses
        Growth in Spite of Fears
        Association Goals

V.  Types of Bargaining Associations
        Marketing Type
        Bargaining or Sales Agent
        Exclusive Representative in Collective Bargaining
        Market Service Association
        Exclusive Agency Bargaining

VI.  Why and How Bargaining Associations Are Organized
        Below Cost of Production Prices
        Adverse Terms of Trade
        The Arrogant Buyer
        Farmers Must Take the Initiative
        Advantages to Food Companies
        Four Essential Considerations
        A Typical Organizing Effort

VII.  Managing and Operating a Farm Bargaining Association
        The Manager
        Selecting a Board
        Board-Manager Relations
        The Manager's Role
        Member Communications
        Personal Contact

VIII.  Bargaining: Planning, Strategy, and Tactics
        The Bargaining and Negotiating Process
        Establishing Goals
        Members Provide the Bargaining Power
        Preparation and Fact Finding
        Who Should Negotiate
        Planning Strategy
        What People Strive For
        The Bottom Line
        Values Will Not Change
        Maximizing the Negotiation Effort
        Mediation and Arbitration
        Operating Cooperatives
        Final Decision Making

IX.  The Future of Farm Bargaining


    A.  Sample Cooperative Membership and Marketing Agreements

  1. Membership Agreement - California Canning Peach Association
  2. Washington Asparagus Growers Association Marketing Agreement
  3. Membership Agreement of California Tomato Growers Association, Inc.
  4. Processing Apple Membership and Marketing Agreement, Processing Apple Growers Division of Michigan Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Association, Inc.
  5. Association-Handler Agreement, Processing Apple Growers Division of Michigan Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Association, Inc
  6. Membership Agreement - Potato Growers of Idaho, Inc.
  7. Membership Agreement, National Farmers Organization
  8. Commodity Participation - Membership Agreement - One Year Only, National Farmers Organization
    B.  State Legislation
  1. Michigan Agricultural Marketing and Bargaining Act
  2. California Cooperative Bargaining Associations Act
  3. Maine Agricultural Marketing and Bargaining Act of 1973
  4. Wisconsin Marketing, Warehouses, and Trade Practices Act (Excerpt)
  5. Minnesota Agricultural Marketing and Bargaining Act of 1973
  6. Ohio Cooperatives Act ( Excerpt)
  7. Oregon Producers' Cooperative Bargaining Association Act

    C.  Agricultural Fair Practices Act of 1967

    D.  Proposed National Agricultural Bargaining Act of 1979

    E.  Agricultural Marketing Legislation in Ontario