|If ever there were an individual who believed that things could only get better and that farmers deserved their fair share of the market for their crops, it would have to be Charles (C.W.) Croes. Growing up on a farm near Wessington, South Dakota, he knew the hardships farmers faced. In 1923, with low commodity prices and a growing number of farm bankruptcies, Croes helped organize the South Dakota Wheat Growers Association, an agricultural cooperative controlled by farmers and serving farmers. Present at the first organization meeting of the South Dakota Wheat Growers, Charles was selected as the organization’s manager because of his experience as a farmer, legislator, lawyer and banker.
During Croes 41 years as general manager, the South Dakota Wheat Growers grew, from a dream of a handful of legislators, to an organization with a net worth of slightly under 3 million dollars. Upon his retirement in 1964, the Association had saved its farmer-members over $3.5 million since converting to a farmer cooperative in 1930.
Charles Croes was a man of uncommon foresight, who campaigned rigorously, to win farmers a better price for the farm commodities they produced, not only locally but also regionally and nationally as well. As the South Dakota Wheat Growers was organizing, Charles was elected to the Board of the American Wheat Growers Association.
Few men are handed the torch that calls for a lifetime of sacrifice in order that a lot of their fellow men be made better and more fruitful. Fewer still respond so faithfully or so capably as did Mr. Croes.
|Home Town (Wessington, SD)|