- The Minnesota Cooperative Creameries Association, seeking a brand name for its golden butter, ran a contest, offering $500 in gold as a prize to the person who named it. Two contestants, Mrs. E.B. Foss and Mr. George L. Swift, offered the winning name—Land O’Lakes, a nickname for the state of Minnesota, which is famous for having over 15,000 lakes.
- In 1921, a group of small, farmer-owned dairy cooperatives banded together to form the Minnesota Cooperative Creameries Association in Arden Hills, Minnesota, to distribute butter produced by the cooperatives. In 1924, the association decided to package their butter—made from fresh, sweet cream and sold in one-pound boxes with four individually wrapped sticks—under one brand name. The co-op imposed strict standards for butter quality and helped implement grading regulations for the industry. In 1926, the association changed its corporate name to Land O’Lakes Creameries, Inc.
- Around the same time the co-op was searching for a brand-name, the Land O’Lakes Indian Maiden was created, based on the legends of Hiawatha and Minnehaha, both native to Minnesota and Wisconsin. In 1928, Land O’Lakes received a painting of an Indian maiden holding a carton of butter, inspiring a new design for the butter carton. In 1939, nationally renowned illustrator Jess Betlach updated the Indian Maiden. Betlach’s distinctive design, with only minor changes, continues to grace Land O’Lakes products to this day.
- When dairy farmers in Minnesota formed the Minnesota Cooperative Creameries Association in 1921, federal law prohibited co-ops to sell farm merchandize. The law was changed in 1922.
- During World War II, many Americans switched from butter to margarine. In 1972, after decades competing against margarine, Land O’Lakes introduced its own margarine.
- In an episode of Seinfeld [“The Butter Shave,” Season 9, Episode 1], Cosmo Kramer (played by Michael Richards) shaves with butter and then uses butter as suntan lotion, accidentally frying himself.
- Land O’Lakes is the number one marketer of butter, butter blends, and deli cheeses in the United States.
- Land O’Lakes has more than 1,000 member co-ops, serving 300,000 farmers and ranchers in fifteen states.
- Land O’Lakes operates educational offices in Russia, Bulgaria, Poland, Pakistan, West Africa, the Philippines, and Jamaica to help teach modern farming methods and free market principals to farmers.
Copyright © 1995- Joey Green. "Land O’Lakes" is a registered trademark of Land O’Lakes, Inc.