With the influx of farmers in the West, came a need for
farmers to organize so that they would not be at the mercy
of Eastern interests, who seemed more interested in their
own profit than the need for farmers to make a living.
Farmers who settled in the West had a hard time making ends
meet, and high tariffs, transportation costs that exceeded
the value of their produce, and expensive equipment made
their situation that much harder.
In 1909, two cooperative farm organizations joined
together to form one larger organization, the United Farmers
of Alberta (UFA). It was felt that if farmers joined
together, they would be better able to make their voices
heard and achieve reforms applicable to farms.
Major goals of the UFA included the furtherance of the
interests of farmers and ranchers, by uniting their efforts
to obtain fair prices for farm produce and the cheapest
prices for transporting that produce to market; fostering
cooperation by studying and teaching cooperative principles
and establishing cooperative societies; and watching,
influencing, and promoting farm-friendly legislation.
Although the Liberal government in Alberta was
sympathetic to the concerns of the UFA, by the end of the
First World War, the UFA began gearing up to run its own
candidates in the 1921 election. Widespread discontent with
social, economic and political conditions—on both the
federal and provincial levels—motivated the UFA to take an
active role in politics, believing that neither the Liberals
nor the Conservatives were able to effectively represent the
needs of farmers.
|Heritage Trail: Controlling Liquor
in Alberta, Part Four: Prohibition
||At the time when the new
province of Alberta passed its Liquor Ordinance in
1907, it also brought into effect provisions for
"Direct Legislation." And as historian David Leonard
points out, it didn't take long for the United Farm
Women of Alberta to rally support for Prohibition.