The Capper-Volstead Act is the law that Andrew Volstead considered his important accomplishment and one of the reasons his house is a National Historic Landmark. The museum was originally created by the Minnesota Association of Cooperatives. A good summary of this important law is found on the University of Wisconsin's website. "The Capper-Volstead Act was signed into law on February 18, 1922 by President Warren Harding.
The Capper-Volstead Act has been called the "Magna Carta" of cooperatives in the agriculture industry, and the act has played and continues to play a vital role in enabling agricultural producers to collectively process, prepare, handle and market their products. Farmers have increasingly used the cooperative model of social needs, and the significance of the Capper-Volstead Act has grown accordingly. The legal protection from prosecution under the antitrust laws provided by the Act has allowed agricultural cooperatives to grow and prosper -without such protection business organization because they have found it well suited to their economic and a wide range of cooperative activities would be hampered or prohibited outright."
How many cooperatives can you count in the surrounding area? They are all using this law and it's framework in their business and profits are returned to the owners. Cooperatives are used in other businesses that are not farm related such as MVTV Wireless, grocery store or food co-ops and housing co-ops which are owned by it's members. The latest co-op to form in Granite Falls is a brewery co-op. Bluenose Gopher Cooperative Brewery is currently in the midst of a vital capital campaign.
Investment dollars are held in escrow at the Granite Falls Bank until the goal of $200,000 is reached. The money will be returned if this amount isn't raised by the deadline of December 28, 2017. Investor class members as well as patron class members will receive dividends from the profits of this business as determined by the board of directors. The brewery was the first in Minnesota to be listed on the Department of Commerce's new MNvest platform. There are currently 208 patron members and 17 investor class members. The annual meeting will take place on May 13 which will also elect the board of directors. If you're interested in serving on the board of directors to help move this project forward, stop into the chamber office or submit your application online at www. bluenose.coop. The brewery's mission is to help revitalize downtown and create a great gathering spot where customers can enjoy local products.