This is an authentic stock certificate from the
Foremost Dairies Corporation. The stock has a
fantastic vignette of the company logo over an idealic country
scene flanked by two allegorical Greek male figures. Cancelled and dated in the
1950s and 60s.
Foremost Farms USA
ranks among the top 10 largest dairy cooperatives in the United States in terms
of milk volume. It is also the 14th largest cheese producer in the world.
While Foremost Farms USA is a relatively new company, the dairy cooperatives
that are now a part of Foremost Farms USA come from a rich tradition decades
long, with some dating back to the 1890s. Wisconsin Dairies Cooperative,
Baraboo, Wis., and Golden Guernsey Dairy Cooperative, Milwaukee, Wis.,
consolidated Jan. 1, 1995, to create Foremost Farms USA.
Foremost Farms USA cooperative, can trace
its lineage back to the birth of a Guernsey bull that eventually found its way
into the hands of one of America's best-known businessmen: James
Cash Penney Jr, founder of J.C. Penny Co.
department stores. The Baraboo, Wis., dairy cooperative takes its name from the
Guernsey bull named Langwater Foremost,
owned by Penney. How fate brought a dairy cooperative, a Guernsey bull and a man
who lived by the golden rule together is a tall tale of twists. After his April
1915 birth, Foremost sired several animals that "became remarkable examples
of type and milk inheritance through line-breeding," according to
historical records kept at the Dallas, Texas, headquarters of J.C. Penney. In
fact, the bull was voted the fourth most influential in his breed, and he sired
68 registered daughters and 87 registered sons. Meanwhile, Penney was building a
chain of retail stores.
Between 1932 and 1944, Foremost Dairies
doubled the communities served and increased sales 10-fold. The company's major
growth started in 1945 with the acquisition of Southwest Dairy Products Co.
"It's better than good, it's Foremost" became a household slogan.
During World War 11, the U.S. military sparked Foremost's international growth
and the creamery opened additional plants nationwide. Foremost
Dairies became known as "the longest milk route in the world."
Foremost Dairies was the third largest dairy company in the world by 195 1. With
the 1954 acquisition of Golden State Co. the largest dairy business in
California - Foremost had operations in 23 states across the South and North as
well as in Japan, the Philippines, Guam and Hawaii. Foremost established its
headquarters in San Francisco, and it still lived by the golden rule established
by Penney. Wherever it set up a facility, the organization wanted to teach local
people how to operate it and then share in its success. The business continued
to grow. In 1956, it made the key acquisition of Western Condensing Co. In
Appleton, Wis., that would eventually lead the Foremost name to Upper Midwest
But troubled times hit in 1962, when the Federal Trade
Commission said that Foremost's "dominant presence" could affect
competition. The company was ordered to release ownership of its 10 most recent
acquisitions. Foremost also sold all of its milk and ice cream plants east of
the Mississippi River. In 1967, Foremost and McKesson merged. At the time,
Foremost- McKesson included chemical, liquor and pharmaceutical companies as
well as Foremost Foods Co. It also included the Wisconsin whey processing plants
formerly operated under Western Condensing.
was voted the fourth most influential bull of the Guernsey breed.
The dairy industry was changing, and Wisconsin Dairies
Cooperative, Baraboo, Wis., realized that there were ways to capture more money
for its members by further processing of whey. After all, it took 10 pounds of
milk to make one pound of cheese, leaving nine pounds of whey that was packed
with proteins, lactose (milk sugar), other nutrients and trace minerals. In
1984, the cooperative acquired the whey operations, research library, patents
and rights to the Foremost name in the United States and Canada from McKesson.
In addition to marketing whey-based products through its Foremost Ingredient
Group division, the cooperative licensed the Foremost name for use by companies
in the western United States, Hawaii, Alaska and Mexico. In January 1995, the
member-owners of Wisconsin Dairies and Golden Guernsey Dairy Cooperative
consolidated their operations. At the time, the consolidation of Wisconsin
Dairies and Golden Guernsey into Foremost Farms USA was unique in the dairy