Dakota Datebook

Egg Month

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

 

On this date in January in 1954, eggs were uppermost in many people’s minds, as Gov. Norman Brunsdale had proclaimed January to be “egg month” in North Dakota. The governor said that, “North Dakota farmers produce many food products that contribute to the economic stability and general good health of the State and Nation. Of great importance in the diet and unusual significance to the economic welfare are eggs.” He urged North Dakotans to eat more eggs during the month, and throughout the coming year.

 

This proclamation came as North Dakota-produced eggs were reportedly finding equal footing in sales against eggs from other states. This was due in part to a recent change in egg candling laws during the last legislative session in 1953. The legislation required eggs to be checked and marked as to whether they were graded or ungraded, and good records were required. Those who did not follow the laws had to pay a small fine—which, kept offenses down.

 

However, because the first buyers were supposed to do this candling, and because of the time it took, many local supermarkets weren’t able to buy eggs to sell them. Many had already been buying and reselling eggs at a loss.

 

Some supermarkets in rural areas continued on, but in most cases, creameries and other larger businesses with many employees took on the buying of eggs from farmers, and the retail selling.

 

At the time of all of this change, it’s worthwhile to note that eggs accounted for 2.4 percent of the state’s cash farm income from all products. This included field crops, livestock, and livestock products. Furthermore, North Dakota was producing only about one percent of the country’s eggs, and ranked 30th among egg-producing states.

 

But the cycle of the egg is ever in process. Since then, the egg has been both demonized and praised for its nutritional profile. And today, eggs are found in any store that sells groceries. But one thing has not changed. We still don’t know which came first—the chicken or the egg.

 

Dakota Datebook written by Sarah Walker

 

Sources:

 

Jan. 2, 1954, Bismarck Tribune, p14

Anamoose Progress, January 21st, 1954

The Bismarck Capital, Jan 12, 1954

State Laws of ND 1953

 

 

This text and audio may not be copied without securing prior permission from Prairie Public.

Dakota Datebook is a project of Prairie Public, in partnership with the State Historical Society of North Dakota, with funding from the North Dakota Humanities Council.

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