Farm Crisis Collection, ca. 1979-1989

Collection Overview

Title: Farm Crisis Collection, ca. 1979-1989

Record Series: MsC-32

Record Group:


Creator: Gerald Peterson

Date: ca. 1979-1989

Extent: 6 boxes (2.5 linear feet)

Repository: Special Collections & University Archives, Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa

Language: Materials entirely in English.

Information for Users

Accessing the Collection:

No restrictions. Materials are open for research.

Technical Access: Materials include VHS tapes which require special playback equipment or may necessitate the creation of an access copy for patron use. These tapes have not been transcribed or digitized.

Sensitive Materials Statement:

Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy or similar laws, and the Iowa Open Records Law (see Iowa Code § 22.7). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of Northern Iowa assumes no responsibility.

Preferred Citation: [Identification of item] in the Farm Crisis Collections, ca. 1979-1989, Manuscript Record Series MsC-32, [folder number], University Archives, Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa.

General Use, Reproduction, and Copyright Policies

Many items housed in the Rod Library Special Collections & University Archives, including unpublished images and manuscripts, may be protected by copyright, publication rights, trademarks, or model release rights which the library does not own and for which the library cannot grant permission or licensing. Materials currently under copyright are usually still available for research and limited reproduction under Fair Use laws. However, it is the sole responsibility of the patron to determine whether or not their use of a given material falls within Fair Use guidelines and to obtain permission for said use from the rightful copyright owner. If you are unsure where to begin, please consult the Copyright LibGuide. Please note that it is not the library's responsibility to locate or contact copyright holders for a patron, and neither the library nor library employees are responsible for copyright violations of the materials to which they facilitate research access.

Please see our full General Use and Service Policies for more information.

Historical Note

Gerald Peterson compiled these materials at the request of Barbara Jones, who briefly served as Head of Library Services, around 1987. He contacted different sources and requested their publications, and he also attended state and local events where he picked up materials. Some materials were picked up by others and given to Peterson.   

Scope and Content

This collection contains materials compiled by former UNI archivist Gerald Peterson pertaining to the farm crisis in the late 1970s and 1980s. Materials include pamphlets, booklets, newsletters, news clippings, farm bills in Congress, VHS tapes, correspondence, mailings, books, reports, and articles published or created between 1979 and 1989 from numerous civic and religious nonprofit organizations, governmental agencies, and individuals. The collection does not have any particular focus or special depth beyond Iowa, nor does it reflect any particular point of view. Rather, it was intended to capture general ideas and communications about the farm crisis and those it impacted.



Folders 1-7: Small Farm Advocate (newsletter), 1979-1987

Folder 8: Prairiefire material

Folder 9: Rallies and meetings

Folder 10: AFL-CIO

Folder 11: Agricultural Missions (pamphlet)

Folder 12: Nebraskans for Peace pamphlets

Folder 13: Center for Rural Studies brochure

Folder 14: Farmer to Farmer (pamphlet)

Folder 15: Family Farms in Crisis (pamphlet)

Folder 16: Oxfam America newsletter

Folder 17: Farm Coalition Group letter to senators

Folder 18: North American Farmer Associate pamphlets

Folder 19: The Import Export Farm Report

Folder 20: Iowa Farm Unity Coalition (brochures and handouts)

Folder 21: Rural Coalition newsletter

Folder 22: Legal Guide for Farm Families in Iowa

Folder 23: North American Farmer (newspaper)

Folder 24: Iowa Farm Unity News (newspaper)

Folder 25: AAM Reporter (newspaper)

Folder 25: Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement News (newspaper and newsletters)


Folder 1: With My People (handbook)

Folder 2: U.S. Farmers Association, International Farm Crisis Summit

Folder 3: “Plowing Under the Farmers” (article)

Folder 4: Entrée (Lutheran newsletter)

Folder 5: “Plowing Up a Storm” (article)

Folder 6: “The Church and The Challenge of Rural Concerns” (article)

Folder 7: “Parity Not Charity” (article)

Folder 8: Catholic Social Teaching (newsletters)

Folder 9: “Christian Faith and Economic Justice” (article)

Folder 10: Trilateral Commission for Rural Studies

Folder 11: Farm crisis manual

Folder 12: “Loss of Family Farms,” Center for Rural Studies (article)

Folder 13: “U.S. Farm Policy and World Hunger,” League of Rural Voters (article)

Folder 14: “Political History of U.S. Farm Policy,” League of Rural Voters (article)

Folder 15: “U.S. Agricultural Policy,” League of Rural Voters (article)

Folder 16: “Farmer-Labor Solidarity” (article)

Folder 17: The United Farmer and Rancher Congress (booklet)

Folder 18: Peace and Agriculture (booklet)

Folder 19: “The Path Not Taken” (case report)

Folder 20: Farm and Food Policy

Folder 21: “Take Hogs, For Example” (article)

Folder 22: Center for Rural Affairs newsletter

Folder 23: “It’s Not All Sunshine and Fresh Air” (article)


Folders 1-5: Miscellaneous pamphlets, booklets, brochures and mailings concerned with the farm crisis of the 1980s


Folder 1: Book: The Rainbow Challenge, by Sheila D. Collins

Folder 2: Book: Holiday, by David Nass

Folder 3: Prairiefire Bank Failure Response Team & FDIC Training Manual

Folder 4: Reports and booklets

  • A Letter to the Churches on the Crisis in the American Countryside
  • Making Real the Vision
  • Farms Not Arms
  • Displacement Vision and Hope in the Land
  • Update on the Anti-Semitic and Racist Intervention in the Farm Protest Movement
  • Toward Wholeness and Community
  • Farm Crisis: The Human Side
  • U.S. Farm Policy
  • Letter writing packet
  • Renew the Spirit of my People
  • Iowa Farm Unity News (newsletter, 9 issues)
  • The Continuing Crisis in Rural America
  • Rural Action: Agenda ’87
  • Who Is Behind the Farm Crisis?
  • Anathoth (3 issues)
  • Harvesting Our Potential
  • Land Values
  • Newspaper clippings

Folder 5: Miscellaneous newsletters and handouts


VHS tapes

  • Carol Hodne—Coalition Building
  • Rural Women’s Conference, January 1986, “Our Vision of the Future”
  • Managing Stress, pt. 1
  • Managing Stress, pt. 2


Folders 1-2: News clippings

Folder 3: Miscellaneous newsletters, brochures, newspapers

Folder 4: Market Oriented bill

Folder 5: Payment-in-Kind program (PIK)

Folder 6: Research/Opinion Polls, farm bills

Folder 7: State Minimum Price bill

Folder 8: House farm bill

Folder 9: Farm Bill, miscellaneous views

Folder 10: Bedell bill

Folder 11: Helms/Dale farm bill

Folder 12: Farm crisis action rally, newspaper clippings

Folder 13: Farm bill action by Congress

Folder 14: Farm group unity

Folder 15: Other state rallies

Folder 16: Charles Grassley

Folder 17: Tom Harken

Folder 19: Tom Tauke

Processing Information

Finding aid created and added online by Library Associate Dave Hoing, March 2017; updated October 2017; updated by Jaycie Vos, January 25, 2018.