Building the Farmers Union Grain Terminal Association from the rubble of a defunct grain marketing organization in 1938 was M.W. Thatcher's first major co-op achievement. His efforts were also instrumental in enacting the Commodity Exchange Act of 1936, opening farm commodity markets to farmer co-ops. Thatcher was a cooperative enthusiast, but clearly understood the need to underpin enthusiasm with business acumen. He saw, too, that economics and politics sometimes must be combined for the pursuit of cooperative good. He was an eloquent speaker, and often insisted that the main goal of the co-op should be the welfare of the member, not merely financial return.