Manitoba Organization: Winnipeg Dairymen’s Association / Excelsior Dairy Society / Greater Winnipeg Excelsior Dairymen’s Association

Before 1914, Winnipeg consumers often favoured imported dairy products because they could not be assured of quality from local producers. In 1914, cream-grading standards were introduced and, during the following year, Manitoba dairies produced 10 million pounds of butter and 727,000 pounds of cheese. The Winnipeg Dairymen’s Association (WDA) was formed in 1922 in response to a new city by-law. Its objectives were to help maintain standards of cleanliness in dairy operation and the quality of raw milk, support City of Winnipeg Health Department inspectors, and represent dairy farmers in the Winnipeg area. By 1937, dairies were producing 34 million pounds of butter and 300,000 pounds of cheese annually.

The Greater Winnipeg Excelsior Dairymen’s Association (GWEDA) was formed in 1937 by the merger of the WDA and the Excelsior Dairy Society. As of 1938, one-third of the milk consumed in Winnipeg was raw, representing 120 producer-distributors, 5,000-6,000 cows, and 800 workers, all within a 10-mile radius from the intersection of Portage Avenue and Main Street. While most dairy operations were smaller herds of around 30 animals, about a dozen were larger operations of around 100 head of cattle. At this time, the GWEDA represented 90% of dairy farmers in the area.





Robert Jefferson (1871-1929)


E. R. Tailleur


Rene Van Walleghem


A. G. Gobert




“Winnipeg now gets milk of tested cows,” Manitoba Free Press, 2 November 1922, page 19.

“Winnipeg’s milk question!” Manitoba Free Press, 16 December 1922, page 6.

“A [sic, R.] Jefferson was re-elected President...],” Winnipeg Tribune, 1 March 1923, page 2.

“Winnipeg Rairymen choose R. Jefferson as President,” Manitoba Free Press, 1 March 1923, page 11.

“[The Winnipeg Dairymen’s Association],” Manitoba Free Press, 23 June 1923, page 9.

“Dairymen believe in official cow contest,” Winnipeg Tribune, 14 March 1924, page 6.

“E. R. Tailleur heads Winnipeg Dairymen,” Winnipeg Tribune, 9 April 1928, page 3.

“Winnipeg milk probe ends for time being,” Winnipeg Free Press, 12 July 1932, pages 1 and 5.

“Raw milk distributors supply third of City’s milk, employ near 800,” Winnipeg Evening Tribune, 26 March 1938, page 17.

“There’s money in milk cows, says Deputy Minister,” Winnipeg Evening Tribune, 26 March 1938, page 17.

“Modern technique in milk production,” Winnipeg Free Press, 11 March 1939, page 24.

“Darirymen’s Body analyzes milk prices and profits,” Winnipeg Free Press, 14 April 1939, page 29.

“Excelsior Dairymen elect Gobert head,” Winnipeg Free Press, 31 January 1939, page 2.

This page was prepared by Nathan Kramer.

Page revised: 1 February 2015