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Letter Accepting the Resignation of Samuel R. McKelvie as a Member - of the Federal Farm Board.

June 24, 1931

[Released June 24, 1931. Dated June 20, 1931]

My dear Mr. McKelvie:

On my return to Washington I find your letter of June 15th conveying your resignation from the Farm Board. You already know how much I regret that personal affairs compel you to leave the Board and how anxious I was for you to continue.

You have contributed a real public service to American agriculture during your term on the Board which I know will be recognized by the farmers of the country.

Yours faithfully,


[The Honorable Samuel R. McKelvie, Federal Farm Board, Washington, D.C.]

Note: Mr. McKelvie served on the Federal Farm Board from 1929 to 1931. His letter of resignation, dated June 15, 1931, and released with the President's letter, follows:
My dear Mr. President:

I retire from the Federal Farm Board with mixed feelings of regret and happiness: The work of the Board is of such far reaching importance and so interesting that I wish I might feel privileged to continue on. Yet, I prefer private life and these are times when if one has a business he may be pardoned for wanting to give it his attention. I will be happy to be back home.

The undertakings of the Federal Farm Board have been twofold, first, to assist farmers in establishing an enduring marketing system owned and controlled by them; second, the application of emergency measures that would prevent precipitate declines in farm commodity prices due to world-wide economic conditions. In both respects substantial progress has been made.

In the development of cooperative marketing more has been accomplished since the Federal Farm Board was established than could have been achieved in ten years without the assistance of such an agency of Government. Largely the funds and energies of the Board have been expended to that end. Cooperatives that were purely local or regional in character have been welded into national sales agencies on a commodity basis, thus giving the farmer the volume of business, bargaining power and control over the flow of the commodity that are essential to better prices and larger returns to growers. The Farmers National Grain Corporation is illustrative of this. This cooperative in the first year of its participation in a full crop became the largest and one of the most successful grain concerns in the United States. Its profits of two-thirds of a million dollars on that year's business were of minor importance compared with greatly enhanced prices that were received by growers due to its activity in the markets of the United States and the world.

The Board, in meeting emergencies through stabilization, has given to agriculture and the country at large a relief of immeasurable value. In the course of a year the American farmer accumulates inventories ranging in value from ten to twelve billion dollars. These inventories are liquidated over a period of twelve months or more. They cannot be turned in the short periods that apply to most manufactured articles. Stabilization activities in wheat and cotton stayed the shock of precipitate declines that otherwise would have taken place and gave the farmer time to market his crops while adjusting himself to changing economic conditions. Vast benefits from this were reflected to every other line of business in the country. The unprejudiced and the informed admit this. They know, also, that this is the first time the Government has undertaken successfully to save the farmer from the immediate price debacle that commonly has fallen upon him in such periods of economic readjustment. Price declines that were inevitable have come about gradually instead of at once. This has saved untold millions to farmers and has prevented numerous unwarranted farm failures.

From my two years' service on the Federal Farm Board I am firmly convinced of the soundness of the Agricultural Marketing Act. I am sure it will do all that was claimed for it by you and its other advocates. The affairs of the Board are in the hands of experienced men who are actuated only by thoughts of what is best for the farmer. It has been a privilege to serve with them and with those who retired before me.

Nearness to your administration has enabled me to appreciate the more your able leadership and I wish for you every success in these troublous times. With expressions of highest personal esteem, I remain
Very truly yours,
Member, Federal Farm Board

Herbert Hoover, Letter Accepting the Resignation of Samuel R. McKelvie as a Member - of the Federal Farm Board. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/211265

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