THE GREAT DEPRESSION AND RECOVERY, 1874-1914
I was reading about earlier English agriculture and thought this link might be of interest to some.
"In matters of live-stock the impulse towards the selection and standardisation of a pure breeding strain under the care of a Breed Society, which had been one of the chief achievements of English farming in the nineteenth century, was still active, as witness the formation of the following Societies--The Guernsey Cattle Society in 1885, the Dexter and Kerry Handbook in 1890, the Welsh Black Cattle Society in 1904, the British Holstein (now Friesian) Cattle Society in 1909. Flock Books began for Shropshires in 1883, Oxfords in 1889, Hampshires in 1890, Lincolnshires in 1892, Romney Marsh in 1895 and many others. Though from some points of view it might be questioned whether all these new breeds were wanted, the formation of a Society did tune up the general standard in the district occupied by the breed. The chief development during the period was concerned with milk, the demand for which was continuously increasing with the growing population and industrial prosperity. The milking capacity of the various breeds received more attention; for example, during this period the Dairy Shorthorns began to be differentiated and in 1905 an Association was formed in its interests, and herds like those of Hobbs and Evens obtained a repute to rival the northern beef herds. The necessity for care and cleanliness in the preparation and despatch of milk to the public was being continually forced upon the farmers by the Health Authorities of the large towns, who had from time to time experience of milk distributed epidemics. Regulations were enforced concerning such matters as water supply and air space in cowsheds, and if at times they were uninformed and dictatorial about the unessentials, they did arouse in the dairy world the sense that success in this growing business depended upon the purity of the product. It was indeed in the 'eighties that the process of butter and cheese making, hitherto a matter of traditional and personal farm practice, were studied and standardised. At the same time the correct temperatures and acidities were determined so that the desired result could be obtained with certainty. "Creameries" and cheese factories began to be established in order to handle milk more efficiently and economically. The importations of butter from Denmark and the Baltic countries was growing rapidly and setting a standard of quality and uniformity that neither the English nor the Irish market butter could equal, however much a dairymaid here and there could turn out a "gilt-edged" product such as can never be obtained by factory methods."