Farm Bureau: Farmers Helping Farmers

Berlage, Nancy K., Farmers Helping Farmers: The Rise of the Farm and Home Bureaus, 1914-1935

If one is not careful, one’s bookshelf can grow at an exponential rate. Mine increased by one with the purchase of Farmers Helping Farmers: The Rise of the Farm and Home Bureaus, 1914-1935 by Nancy K. Berlage.

According to family lore, my great-grandfather Habben had no use for the Farm Bureau. The reasons have been lost to history.

My great-grandfather Ufkes was active in the Farm Bureau. There are numerous references to him and to his wife in the seven years of the local county Farm Bureau bulletin that are extant in the early 1920s. There’s not one mention of my great-grandfather Habben. There are occasional relatives to other relatives, but none have nearly as many as my great-grandfather Ufkes.

Family tradition has it that he was one of the first to raise soybeans in Hancock County. How true that is I don’t know, but there is a reference to him having soybeans for sale in 1926.

 

Great-grandma Ufkes (actually Tena Ufkes and styled as “Mrs. Fred Ufkes) appears a few times in her own right–usually involving the selling of eggs or chickens. In this 1926 reference she’s selling “Buff Rock hatching eggs.”

Like many things, the Farm Bureau was about economics and politics. That’s probably why one relative was a supporter and the other one was not. I won’t find references to my relatives in Farmers Helping Farmers: The Rise of the Farm and Home Bureaus, 1914-1935, but I may get a little insight. And that’s always a good thing.

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