The precursors of today’s Country Guide

Our History: November 1908

Though the exact nature of the transaction is not clear, it appears that the Manitoba Grain Growers Association took over the Nor-West Farmer in 1908, renaming it The Grain Growers’ Guide. It later became Country Guide in 1928.

The publication served as the “official organ” of the Grain Growers Grain Company, which later became United Grain Growers. It did not have elevators at the time, and based on the opinions in the November 1908 issued, it took a dim view of the owners of the current system. One article listed the 82 elevators then operating in Manitoba, along with their capacity and receipts, taking the view that there were too many inefficient points and arguing for the government to build a system of larger, more efficient elevators.

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“In some places there are four or five elevators doing the work that could easily be done by one… (Q)uite a number of these elevators has no value as a business concern, with the exception of what they are worth for old lumber. Their maintenance is a drain on the wealth of producers, and the sooner the business interests are relieved of them the better for all concerned, with the exception of the handful of men in Winnipeg who are beneficiaries of the system.”

The importance of businesses establishing a “brand” is a frequent topic today, but it appears the idea is not new. An article on agricultural advertising advised that the farm should be “christened with a suitable name, and its stock and its produce marketed under the name of the farm, as well as the name of the proprietor.”

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