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A Land of Milk and ButterHow Elites Created the Modern Danish Dairy Industry$
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Markus Lampe and Paul Sharp

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780226549507

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226549644.001.0001

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From Bullshit to Butter: Accounting and Production Decisions

From Bullshit to Butter: Accounting and Production Decisions

Chapter:
(p.85) 5 From Bullshit to Butter: Accounting and Production Decisions
Source:
A Land of Milk and Butter
Author(s):

Markus Lampe

Paul Sharp

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226549644.003.0005

We explain how part of the basis for the establishment of modern dairying lay in the understanding of the importance of the systematic recording of information on production, input, and output through bookkeeping and accounting. We demonstrate that Danish estate owners, their administrators, and an increasing circle of smaller farmers were pioneers in this regard. They used their accounts to make important decisions regarding what to specialize in (eventually butter), and how best to produce, for example in terms of the feeding and breeding of the cows as well as varieties of production technologies. Best practice was then disseminated through for example scientific societies, the press, and formal education. We discuss how this development within dairying was probably exceptional in an international setting through the contemporaneous statements of international observers.

Keywords:   accounting, bookkeeping, production decisions, diffusion of information, benchmarking

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