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Your farmer’s cooperative was formed in 1923 by a group of men with an ambitious vision for the future and a lot of hard work. Organized in Gunnison, Utah as a marketing cooperative for surplus eggs in the region, the talents of Albertus Willardson, Benjamin Brown, and Clyde Edmonds merged and were immediately recognized by producers as well as groups like the Utah Farm Bureau, the railroad companies and small town businessmen looking to improve the economy of their community.

With very little capital and a unique business model that was a hybrid of standard practices at the time – including both federated community boards as well as a centralized set of officers who negotiated prices for the whole group – Utah Poultry Producers Association garnered national attention because of its fairly immediate and rare success – overhead was low and income was high giving stability to the fledgling organization.

At about the same time, approximately 10,000 other agricultural cooperatives and bureaus were organized in almost every U.S. state representing each commodity at the end of World War I in accordance with the Capper-Volsted Act, but only a handful have had the longevity of Utah Poultry Producers which eventually became Intermountain Farmers Association.

Growth began during the first year of operation when the founders took a risk and discovered that Los Angeles would be an even more profitable market than Salt Lake City alone. Their first shipment of eggs to the West Coast went by express, which was expensive, but the venture paid off when the eggs brought 18 cents per dozen compared to 10 cents in Salt Lake City. Proving their potential, investors and more employees were brought on board.

On March 5, 1923, egg receiving plants were simultaneously opened in Salt Lake City, Ogden, American Fork and Provo. The general office building was relocated to the McCormick Building in Salt Lake City and the entire staff of the company, including managers, candlers, laborers, truck drivers, clerks, stenos, salesmen and others numbered around 30 people.

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