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Puget Sound Agricultural Company organized
In 1839 Dr. John McLoughlin, Chief Factor at Fort Vancouver, proposed creating farms to supply meat and agricultural products to the traders and trappers. As the Hudson's Bay Company prospered in the fur trade, there was an increased need for food and other of supplies. Previously, all supplies had been brought to the Pacific Northwest from England or the Sandwich (Hawaiian) Islands and the only fresh meat was horsemeat or wild game. Some of the trading posts raised a few sheep and pigs, but caring for livestock took away from the primary duties of the trappers and traders.
In 1839, in response to the need for fresh food and supplies for their many employees, the leaders of the Hudson's Bay Company formed the Puget Sound Agricultural Company with farms at Fort Nisqually and Cowlitz Prairie. The combined farms soon encompassed hundreds of acres of land. In addition to raising animals for feed, farms also produced cheese, butter, leather, horn, tallow, and a variety of manufactured products. By 1841 the Puget Sound Agricultural Company shipped its surplus grain, butter, and cheese to the Russians in Alaska. In 1845, 10,000 pounds of fine wool traveled to England.