New exhibition: Activist Agriculture: Farm Protest in Iowa, 1929-1969

Activist Agriculture: Farm Protest in Iowa, 1929-1969 a new Special Collections and University Archives exhibition opens July 18, 2018 in 403 Parks Library, Special Collections Reading Room. A tour and Q&A with the exhibition team is planned from 10:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. This event is open to the public.

Throughout the twentieth century, farmers in Iowa and the Midwest struggled to make a living off their land. Post-war price busts and the Great Depression only exacerbated their struggles. In response, farmers organized in an effort to move from being victims of the economic and social situation to activists. This exhibition takes a closer look at mobilization of farmers to confront and obstruct tuberculosis testing of cattle during the Iowa Cow Wars of the early 1930s and the commodity holding actions of the National Farmers Organization in the 1960s. Images, a timeline and news articles are among the items that will be on display.

The exhibition team, composed of staff members from Special Collections and University Archives, the Preservation Department and Digital Initiatives, will be on hand to discuss the development of the display, including materials in the online component.

Please note: Planning is underway for an additional program that will complement the exhibition. That event will take place during the fall semester. Contact Rachel Seale for information. The exhibition will be open through January 2019.


Kimberly Anderson, digital scholarship and initiatives co-lead, 204 Parks Library, 515-294-8590

Rachel Seale, outreach archivist, 403 Parks Library, 515-294-5311

M. Monica Gillen, communications specialist, 302 Parks Library, 515-294-1442

About the Iowa State University LibraryThe Iowa State University Library advances the university’s academic excellence and land-grant mission by collecting and preserving world knowledge for its faculty, staff, students and community; by teaching the information literacy skills that enable researchers at all levels to identify, access and use high-quality information; and by actively participating in the creation, sharing, and application of knowledge, research and creative activity, to energize and empower its users toward creating a vital future for the state of Iowa and the world.

About Special Collections and University Archives: The Iowa State University Library Special Collections and University Archives collects, preserves, and shares documentation of the experiences, achievements, and memories of people and organizations reflecting the university's major research areas, with a special commitment to documenting the history of the university. Supporting the land-grant ideals of putting science, technology and human creativity to work, we strive to enrich learning and encourage investigation. We are an invaluable resource to Iowa State University and the public.