As one of the most successful farm organizations in the United States, the Missouri Farmers Association brought together farm clubs from all over the state to serve as the central body through which farmer-owned businesses could compete with investor-owned businesses. In Cultivating Cooperation, Raymond A. Young follows the fascinating history of MFA from its grassroots beginning in a schoolhouse in 1914 through the upheaval that led to only the second leadership change in the organization's history in 1979. With intimate knowledge of the organization, Raymond Young involves the reader in the intricacies of the formation and development of the Missouri Farmers Association, enlivening his account with liberal use of anecdotes from the pages of The Missouri Farmer. An introduction by Michael L. Cook explores the parallel development of other cooperatives nationwide. Students and scholars of Missouri history, as well as farmers and those interested in agriculture, will find this comprehensive examination of MFA an invaluable resource.
The late Raymond A. Young started his lifelong career with the Missouri Farmers Association in 1933 as an accountant for the Producers Produce Company in Springfield. In 1938 he moved to Columbia, were he served as President of MFA Oil for forty-two years, spending the last thirteen years of his career as Executive Vice President of MFA.