Know Your Agriculture Secretaries: Edwin T. Meredith (1920-1921

May 5, 2010 at 1:24 am | Posted in Department of Agriculture, Historical | Leave a comment
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Agriculture Secretary Edwin T. Meredith. 1920 May 5. (Library of Congress)

Appointed by President Woodrow Wilson to the Treasury Department’s Advisory Committee on Excess Profits in 1918, Meredith went on to serve as secretary of agriculture from 1920 to 1921. An Iowa boy, he was passionate about farm and agriculture issues.

After leaving Washington, Meredith returned to his publishing company, and in 1922 he started Fruit, Garden and Home magazine which became Better Homes and Gardens.

(Time – November 29, 1926) He urged that a federal commission be authorized to fix and guarantee minimum prices on the wheat, corn, cotton, sugar crops and on the production of wool and butter. He suggested that his commission be composed of the Secretaries of Agriculture, Commerce and Labor, and four other members appointed by the President. Other farm relief plans have sought to take care of the crop surplus by government marketing aid, but Mr. Meredith’s price-fixing scheme aims to eliminate the surplus by insuring a balanced production. Said he: “By raising and lowering the prices of these crops from year to year, as the law of supply and demand indicates, and relying upon the law of incentive, a balance can be kept and continuous surpluses avoided.”

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