In 1949 a strike by the steel workers on the east coast led to a shrinking supply of bailing wire needed by Valley farmers and what was available was exorbitantly prices. The need for less expensive wire drove Stanislaus County farmers to creatively pool financial resources under a committee to secure a railcar of wire. One of the farmers, Joe Sousa, offered to the Farm Supply Committee headed by Maurice McDonald to manage the company for six months without pay. He also offered free use of his pickup and one-and-a-half-ton truck. If directors were satisfied with the operation at the end of six months, he agreed to continue for six more months; if not, he pledged to resign with no compensation. Another farmer, Fred Thiemann matched Sousa’s proposal by offering office space and clerical staff at no charge, and in 1949, Stanislaus Farm Supply was born.
That was 75 years ago and on Thursday evening the Ceres based grower-owned co-op celebrated with a dinner gala and program at the Turlock Fairgrounds.
Continue Reading on The Ceres Courier