"Joe Farmer, Agribusinessman"(April 9) revealed that other states in the union have at long last emulated California in the co-op business in agriculture. While it is listed as the nation's 12th-largest co-op, the Sunkist Growers of Sherman Oaks is also the oldest. Formed in Los Angeles as the Southern California Fruit Growers in 1893, Sunkist pioneered this field.
Other farmers and growers soon followed (e.g., Calavo for avocados, Blue Diamond for almonds, Sun Giant for walnuts). A major reason for California's leadership in agricultural revenues over the last seven decades has been the enduring success of numerous cooperatives. What longtime Sunkist President Charles C. Teague called a "federated democracy" has long delivered high profits for farmers by cutting out the middlemen.
It is interesting to learn that the financial reporters have discovered this secret of our farmers' success.
WILLIAM F. KING
Chair, History Department
Mt. San Antonio