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United Farmers of Alberta (UFA)

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UFA Forms Government

Involvement with the UFA

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Cartoon from "The Grain Grower's Guide", August 7, 1909With 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.

United Farmers of Alberta, Board of directors.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. Listen Now
 
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