Fernheim Agricultural Cooperative (Sociedad Civil Cooperativa Colonizadora Fernheim)
Fernheim Agricultural Cooperative (Sociedad Civil Cooperativa Colonizadora Fernheim), located in Colony Fernheim in the Paraguayan Chaco, was officially organized on 20 November 1944 in Filadelfia, Colony Fernheim, in the presence of all village administrators and the colony leader as well as representatives of Paraguayan courts, with a total membership of 311. It sold 10,000 shares valued at 25 guaranies, thus having a total operating capital of 250,000 guaranies, the shares being paid out of net proceeds of the cooperative. Its operating capital on 31 December 1949 was 525,000 guaranies and its 1949 turnover 1,920,721.77 guaranies. Of the yearly earnings, 10 per cent are paid into the reserve fund and 10 per cent into the social security fund, which monies were used for the support of the old and ill in the colony as also to cover school deficits and other colony undertakings of this nature. The cooperative was organized for the purpose of facilitating all buying and selling for its members and also to establish and operate small basic industries within the colony such as sawmill, oil press, woodwork shops, cotton ginning, creamery, and extraction of essential oils. Also it managed the colony cattle herds and arranged all land purchase transactions. Among its primary difficulties were the long distances to markets with inadequate roads and the instability of markets. Like the other Mennonite colony cooperatives in Paraguay it is legally recognized by Paraguayan Law No. 13, 635 of 1942 and its managers are responsible to the colony administration. Its first president was Bernhard J. Wall and its president in 1954 was Heinrich Dürksen.
The 1944 co-operative organization is the lineal descendant of the earlier Fernheim Cooperative which was established in 1931, in the second year of the colony's history. All the other Mennonite colonies in Paraguay also have cooperatives founded as follows: Menno 1936; Friesland 1942, reorganized 1947; Neuland, Volendam, Sommerfeld, Bergthal, 1947 and 1948.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, p. 323. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Dyck, Cornelius J. "Fernheim Agricultural Cooperative (Sociedad Civil Cooperativa Colonizadora Fernheim)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1956. Web. 23 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/fernheim_agricultural_cooperative_sociedad_civil.
APA style: Dyck, Cornelius J. (1956). Fernheim Agricultural Cooperative (Sociedad Civil Cooperativa Colonizadora Fernheim). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 23 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/fernheim_agricultural_cooperative_sociedad_civil.