A Great Canadian
To add your name to our petition, please copy / paste it into an email and send it to
the email address on our Contacts page. A few of the 200 hundred or so names
gathered thus far are here.
Basis for the Milk Challenge: Origins of the milk marketing board movement in Ontario
In the course of publishing Neigh the Front -- Exploring Scarboro Heights we were thrilled to discover that Ontarios milk marketing board movement very probably began in Scarborough on April 18 1892 under the leadership of Alex McCowan of Scarborough. We are so certain of this that we are issuing the following challenge...
The Milk Challenge
The McCowan Society and the Scarboro Heights Record challenge other local and regional heritage organizations, fair boards, Dairy Farmers of Ontario and other groups, corporations and individuals to prove that Ontarios milk marketing board movement began prior to April 18 1892 in some location other than in Scarborough.
Historical Information: Milk Producers Find A Leader
That the family dairy farm has survived in Canada is due, to a large extent, to the vision of Canadian farmer, Alexander McCowan.
Alexander McCowan (1853-1939) farmed his fathers 220 acres at Warden and Eglinton Avenue in Scarborough with his older brother, George. Alex was one of Scarboroughs keenest community builders and visionaries of his time. He was on Scarborough Council from 1901 to 1904 and served as the member of the Provincial Legislature, 1905-1913, and as Sheriff of York County, 1913-1934. His public service had started when he was Secretary to the Scarboro Agricultural Society. (See McCowan, Fairs and Frolics, pg. 25). But perhaps his greatest contribution to history -- and of national significance -- is that fact that he was essentially the founder of the milk marketing board movement in Ontario.
A bonafide hero of the family farm, Alex McCowan has been nominated in the CBC "Greatest Canadian" project. He is, arguably, the father of modern agri-marketing in Canada.
Alex McCowan had entered the Ontario Legislature the previous year. According to Clarke, many of the early (1906-14) leaders of the Toronto Milk Producers' Association were, like Alex McCowan, from south Scarborough including James Chester, Levi Annis, James Cornell and A.J. Reynolds. This perhaps suggests a longstanding influential Scarborough involvement in Toronto area milk industry management. Clarke is vague on the actual date of the founding of the Toronto Association, suggesting only 1900 or perhaps earlier.
Page 1 of Clarke's Ontario Whole Milk Producers' League lists the other earliest milk producers' associations in Ontario and Quebec -- all formed after 1900. Of course it is possible that other primary source material may eventually reveal that other collective bargaining associations in Ontario's milk industry preceded 1900. But it is quite a jump to 1892 when Alex McCowan chaired the inaugural meeting of the association of Scarborough area dairy farmers. (Incidentally, Clarke had simply misspelled Alex McCowan's surname as "McGowan".)
A Milk Industry Student Project
Our recent publication, Neigh the Front -- Exploring Scarboro Heights includes the following student Research, Analysis and Writing Assignment:
New e-Learning Resource
Our on-line learning resource and information processing program uses community studies and local history as a catalyst. This is a joint project of the James McCowan Memorial Social History Society (www.mccowan.org) and the Scarboro Heights Record (www.scarboroughrecord.com).
Recent Local History Publication as a Focal Point for Information Processing Program
Our information processing program begins with students looking at reviews of Neigh the Front -- Exploring Scarboro Heights. This recent soft-cover publication provides a focal point for the program and includes individual exercises and class discussion topics. Only some of the materials in the book are on the web site. Please refer to the reviews of Neigh the Front at the end of this note for the value of this book within a learning context. Neigh the Front is available from the James McCowan Memorial Social History Society.
Sharing a Vision for On-Line Research and Local History Studies
The Toronto Public Library has linked the Scarboro Heights Record web site to Toronto Public Library's Virtual Reference Library (VRL) and (we understand) to its forthcoming Historicity: Toronto Then and Now gateway on the VRL (http://vrl.tpl.toronto.on.ca/internet/01net_f.html). The VRL entry for Scarboro Heights Record is: "http://www.beamccowan.com/scarboro.htm -- James McCowan Memorial Social History Society. This site features a great amount of information about Scarborough history, particularly that of the community of Scarborough Heights. You will find a map of Historic Sites, as well as a listing of historic events in the area. There is some biographical information on the founders of the area. Included is an index to all of the articles in the Scarboro Heights Record."
We hope that you can arrange for similar helpful links to www.scarboroughrecord.com.
Reviews of Neigh the Front
We look forward to hearing from you soon with respect the Milk Challenge.
Visitors Since October 8 2006