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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Sally Puttmann papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1994-1998
Creator: Puttmann, Sally (1936-)
Extent: 2.00 linear inches.
Collection Number: IWA0396
Repository: Iowa Women's Archives
Summary: Farmer, speaker, and first woman on the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation Board of Directors.

Access: The papers are open for research.

Use: Copyright to portions of the collection has been transferred to The University of Iowa.

Acquisition: The papers (donor no. 565) were donated by Sally Puttmann in 1998.

Preferred Citation: Sally Puttmann papers, Iowa Women's Archives, The University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City.

Repository: Iowa Women's Archives
Address: 100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, IA 52242
Phone: 319-335-5068
Curator: Kären Mason

Farm woman Sally Puttmann was born and raised on a farm near Kingsley in western Iowa, graduating from Kingsley High School in 1952. She met Dwight Puttmann while she was in high school and married him after his graduation from Iowa State University in 1954. They moved to a farm in Plymouth County where they raised two daughters and had a successful, mixed livestock and row crop farm. In 1995, the Puttmanns had 850 acres in crops and marketed 2,500 hogs annually.

Both Dwight and Sally Puttmann were active in the Woodbury County Farm Bureau from 1976. In 1979, neighboring farmers asked her to run for vice president of the Woodbury County Farm Bureau board of directors with the expectation that she would run for county president the following term. With the encouragement of her husband, she agreed, and, in 1981, she progressed from that position to become the first woman president of a county Farm Bureau board. From 1983 to 1986 she served as the voting delegate to the Iowa Farm Bureau board for Plymouth County. She chaired the Iowa Farm Bureau Environmental Resource Committee and the Women´s Involvement Task Force that studied integrating the Iowa Farm Bureau Women´s Committee into the main organization.

In 1985, Iowa Governor Terry Branstad appointed Puttmann to the State Soil Conservation Commission where she served eight years. She was appointed to the advisory board of the Leopold Center at Iowa State University in 1995. In 1996, she became the first woman on the Iowa Farm Bureau board of directors as a district representative. During this period, she was also active in her church and synod, filling requests to preach and serving as president of her congregation.

Since neither of the Puttmanns´ two daughters chose to farm, Dwight and Sally Puttmann became advocates for farm succession plans by which retiring farmers help young farmers enter their operation. They developed a plan to turn over their farming operation to a young farmer, Joe Hlas. Dwight and Sally Puttmann spoke at numerous conferences designed to draw attention to and overcome the difficulty young farmers had in entering farming. When Dwight Puttmann died in 1995, Sally assumed responsibilities for the farm oversight, conference appearances, and other church and community activities.

The Sally Puttmann papers date from 1994 to 1999 and measure two linear inches. The majority of the collection relates to her advocacy for succession plans that help young farmers get started.  Her personal papers consist of correspondence and biographical information.  The published pieces about her include newspaper and magazine articles, as well as a typescript of a chapter from the book Farmers for the Future, by Dan Looker.  Material concerning conferences at which Sally Puttmann spoke include programs, brochures, newsletter accounts, speaker biographies, and transcripts.

Browse by Series:

  • Series 1: ADVOCACY WORK
  • Box 1:
  • Awards and Biographies - 1995-1998
  • Correspondence - 1994-1998
  • Speech - 1996
  • Conferences: Farmers for the Next Century - 1994, 1995, 1997
  • Conferences: National Conference on Farm Succession Plans - 1996
  • Publications: Newspapers and magazine articles - 1990-1996
  • Publications: "Farmers for the Future" - 1996