Cooperative Marketing Act

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The Cooperative Marketing Act of 1926 was a piece of agricultural legislation passed in the United States which expanded upon the Capper-Volstead Act of 1922. It allowed farmers to exchange “past, present, and prospective crop, market, statistical, economic, and other similar information” at their local cooperative meeting, without breaking antitrust laws. Previously, under the Capper-Volstead Act, they had only been permitted to exchange pricing information.[1]

Under the Cooperative Marketing Act, farmers and their local, regional, and national cooperatives could legally exchange a host of information within their marketing systems. It was a critically important strategic authorization that enabled federated cooperative systems and marketing agencies-in-common to effectively function as coordinated entities.

In addition, the Act created the Division of Cooperative Marketing within the United States Department of Agriculture to assist cooperatives in gathering and sharing data on output, prices, and demand. The Act also created the Cooperative Research and Service Division which conducted research and service activities relating to problems of management, organization policies, merchandising, sales, costs, competition, and membership arising in connection with the cooperative marketing of agricultural products and the cooperative purchase of farm supplies and services.

The Cooperative Marketing act was useful, but it was still not satisfactory to the Farm Bureau or other farm lobbyist groups. For farmers, an increase in available information to help cooperatives work together was no substitute for the price floor on select crops that they demanded. Demand for a price floor was steady, and culminated in the passage of the McNary-Haugen bills in 1927, and again in 1928, both which suffered the veto of President Calvin Coolidge.


  1. ^ Varney, Christine (December 2010). "The Capper-Volstead Act, Agricultural Cooperatives, and Antitrust Immunity" (PDF). American Bar Association. Retrieved 2013-06-04.