Henry Wise Wood An Outstanding Co-Operator

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Henry Wise Wood, a founding director ofUnitedFarmers of Alberta and first president of Alberta Wheat Pool, has been selected as one of 14 Outstanding Co-operators recognized as part of the 100th anniversary of the Canadian Co-operative Association.

Wood grew up on family farms in Missouri and Texas. In 1904, Wood visited Alberta, “The Last Best West,” and one year later purchased a farm. His passion and affinity for farming led him to become a director in the United Farmers of Alberta (UFA) in 1914, then to be elected vice-president in 1915. He then went on to serve as president from 1916.

The Canadian Encyclopedia notes that “Wood’s influence among Prairie farmers was based on widespread respect for his sincerity, religious conviction and devotion to the farmers’ cause.”

The 14 Outstanding Co-operators were nominated by members of the CCA, which then had an online vote for the one person who would be given the additional recognition of Canada’s Greatest Canadian Co-operator. That title went to Alphonse Desjardins, who founded North America’s first cooperative loan and saving society (a caisse populaire or “people’s bank”) in Levis, Quebec in 1900. Today, the Desjardins Group is the largest integrated co-operative financial group in Canada.

For a full list of Outstanding Co-operators, visit the CCA web-site at www.coopscanada. coop.

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