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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Mahaska County Farm Bureau Women's Committee records

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1971-2002
Creator: Mahaska County Farm Bureau Women's Committee
Extent: 2.00 linear inches.
Collection Number: IWA0429
Repository: Iowa Women's Archives
Summary: The committee splintered from the extension service in 1955 and became the largest political and corporate organization representing farmer interests in Iowa.

Arrangement: 4 folders, shelved in SCVF.

Access: The history is open for research.

Use: Copyright has been retained by the authors.

Acquisition: The history (donor no. 627) was donated by Betty Barnard in 1999.

Preferred Citation: Mahaska County Farm Bureau Women's Committee records, 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
Email: lib-women@uiowa.edu
Website: http://www.lib.uiowa.edu/iwa

The Mahaska County Farm Bureau developed in the second decade of the twentieth century as part of the statewide, grassroots effort to provide agricultural and homemaking science to Iowa farmers. Although originally part of the Iowa State University Cooperative Extension, the Farm Bureau separated from the extension service in 1955 and became the largest political and corporate organization representing farmer interests in Iowa. In 1920, Mrs. Ellsworth Richardson, an active Mahaska County Farm Bureau member, became chair of the county women's group. With the support of the Mahaska County Farm Bureau, she spearheaded the development of an independently organized, statewide women's Farm Bureau committee. She insisted that the women's chair have a seat and full voting privileges on the board of directors of the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation. Richardson was elected chair of the statewide women's committee in 1923.

Since that time, women in the Mahaska County Farm Bureau have maintained their own local, county, district, and state committees. Farm Bureau women have actively engaged in promoting agriculture, safety, and nutrition in their communities. They actively lobby on political issues, provide leadership to local 4-H groups, and undertake a wide variety of civic and personal betterment projects. In the last two decades, Farm Bureau women have also joined the traditionally male Farm Bureau groups at the local, county and state level.

The Mahaska County Farm Bureau Women's Committee history dates from 1971 to 2002 and measures 2 linear inches.  The history consist of a 1971 typewritten history and an addendum composed of the annual reports of the Mahaska County women's committee from 1920 until 1998.  Josephine Van Zomeren compiled the annual records into a history of the women's committee from 1920 to 1971.  Both the history and the annual reports list the names of township groups and their officers, county officers, and committee chairs and members.  Brief reports about the projects and other events sponsored by Farm Bureau women's committee for each year are included in the history and annual reports.

Browse by Series:
Series 1: General

  • Series 1: General
  • Box 1:
  • History - 1921-1959
  • History - 1960-1964
  • History - 1965-1971
  • Annual reports - 1972-2002