North Carolina Farm Bureau Records 1936-1999

Size
54.5 linear feet
Location

For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Special Collections Research Center Reference Staff.

Call number
MC 00313

The bulk of these papers document the corporate activities of the North Carolina Farm Bureau between 1936 and 1999. The North Carolina Farm Bureau Federation, North Carolina Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company, North Carolina Farm Bureau Service Company, and North Carolina Farm Bureau Marketing Association are all represented in the documents of this collection. Also, a substantial amount of material testifies to the activities of the North Carolina Farm Bureau Women's Committee. Formats include correspondence, corporate documents, publications, financial ledgers, legal documents and transcripts, scrapbooks, photographs, film reels, audio recordings, and miscellaneous artifacts.

Organized in 1936 as a chapter of the American Farm Bureau, the North Carolina Farm Bureau was created to be a grassroots organization that would give farmers a unified voice on agricultural issues. Its Women's Committee was established in 1942. In 1953, the North Carolina Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company was established. Beginning in 1962, the North Carolina Farm Bureau pioneered creation of a group purchase program that was managed by the North Carolina Farm Bureau Service Company. The following year, the North Carolina Farm Bureau further expanded with the establishment of the North Carolina Farm Bureau Marketing Association. Because of the organization's involvement in legal and legislative matters, a Legal Foundation for the North Carolina Farm Bureau was created in 1983. In 1987, a Political Action Committee was also added. Educational programs of the Farm Bureau include the R. Flake Shaw Memorial Scholarship Fund, the Institute for Future Agricultural Leaders, and "Agriculture in the Classroom."

Biographical/historical note

Organized in 1936 as a chapter of the American Farm Bureau, the North Carolina Farm Bureau was created to be a grassroots organization that would give farmers a unified voice on agricultural issues. Its Women's Committee was established in 1942. In 1953, the North Carolina Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company was established. Beginning in 1962, the North Carolina Farm Bureau pioneered creation of a group purchase program that was managed by the North Carolina Farm Bureau Service Company. The following year, the North Carolina Farm Bureau further expanded with the establishment of the North Carolina Farm Bureau Marketing Association. Because of the organization's involvement in legal and legislative matters, a Legal Foundation for the North Carolina Farm Bureau was created in 1983. In 1987, a Political Action Committee was also added. Educational programs of the Farm Bureau include the R. Flake Shaw Memorial Scholarship Fund, the Institute for Future Agricultural Leaders, and "Agriculture in the Classroom."

During the height of the Great Depression, a group of North Carolina farmers traveled to Washington in order to seek a solution to their many economic problems. They became aware of a need for mass organization through which they could work together to solve some of their problems. After researching the farming organizations of the time, these farmers decided to create a North Carolina chapter of the American Farm Bureau.

On March 2, 1936, the first meeting of the North Carolina Farm Bureau was called to order by Chairman J. E. Winslow. Although this initial meeting was held in Greenville, North Carolina, the organization elected to establish its headquarters at 403 Evans Street in Greensboro. An original membership numbered slightly over 2,000 people and represented 24 counties in eastern North Carolina. At the time, membership dues were $2.00 per member. In July 1936, the North Carolina Farm Bureau held its first annual meeting in Raleigh on the campus of North Carolina State College. By the time of this meeting, membership had grown to 4,490 members from 30 counties.

Throughout the 1940s, membership in the North Carolina Farm Bureau continued to grow. By 1944, the organization had 30,000 members, thus fulfilling the quota set by the American Farm Bureau Federation. By the end of the decade, the North Carolina Farm Bureau led the South in membership statistics. Administrators also furthered participation by establishing a Women's Committee for the organization in 1942.

In 1953, the North Carolina Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company was established. The initial offering was limited to casualty lines. However, by the next year, members could receive life and annuity insurance through Southern Farm Bureau Life. Later additions to the insurance programs authorized fire lines and crop insurance. Later in the 1950s, the Farm Bureau elected to move its headquarters to Raleigh, where they inhabited the former Raleigh Times building.

Under the guidance of President B.C. Mangum, in 1962, the North Carolina Farm Bureau pioneered the creation of a group purchase program that would soon be adopted by other Farm Bureau chapters across the country. Managed by the newly-formed North Carolina Farm Bureau Service Company, this program offered a variety of Safemark products, including tires and batteries, to Bureau members at a substantial discount.

The following year, the North Carolina Farm Bureau furthered its expansion with the establishment of the North Carolina Farm Bureau Marketing Association. Involved in a number of commodity programs since its inception, the association provided farmers with the opportunity to strengthen both their marketing and bargaining powers. The initial focus of this sector was the hog market, however, markets for dairy products, broiler hens, and a variety of fruits and vegetables have also enjoyed success as a result of this program.

The 1970s proved to be another decade of growth for the Farm Bureau. The organization outgrew its initial Raleigh headquarters, and in 1971, moved to its current location on Glenwood Avenue. Later construction in 1980 and 1992 would even further expand this location. By 1974, membership had expanded to over 100,000 members.

Because of the organization's great involvement in legal and legislative matters, a Legal Foundation for the North Carolina Farm Bureau was created in 1983. In 1987, a Political Action Committee was also added. Recently, the Farm Bureau has established several programs that serve the educational needs of young people interested in a career in agriculture. Since 1958, the Farm Bureau has provided financial assistance to agriculture students through the R. Flake Shaw Memorial Scholarship Fund. In 1984, the North Carolina Farm Bureau, in conjunction with North Carolina State University, launched the Institute for Future Agricultural Leaders, which offers high school students the opportunity to attend a summer seminar on the prospects of a career in agriculture. The organization also soon added an "Agriculture in the Classroom" program that integrates ag-related curriculum into traditional courses of study.

Scope/content

The bulk of these papers document the corporate activities of the North Carolina Farm Bureau between 1936 and 1999. The North Carolina Farm Bureau Federation, North Carolina Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company, North Carolina Farm Bureau Service Company, and North Carolina Farm Bureau Marketing Association are all represented in the documents of this collection. Also, a substantial amount of material testifies to the activities of the North Carolina Farm Bureau Women's Committee. Formats include correspondence, corporate documents, publications, financial ledgers, legal documents and transcripts, scrapbooks, photographs, film reels, audio recordings, and miscellaneous artifacts.

Physical description

86 archival boxes, 2 flatboxes, and 7 cartons

Arrangement

The collection is divided into twelve series:

  • Correspondence provides information on the Farm Bureau's relationship with county chapters of the organization, individual members, other state Farm Bureaus, and the American Farm Bureau Federation;
  • Speeches and Statements made by Farm Bureau administrators;
  • Organizational Documents for all of the five major divisions of the North Carolina Farm Bureau;
  • Printed materials circulated by the North Carolina Farm Bureau and its major divisions, including handbooks, policies, reports, and pamphlets;
  • Annual Meetings and Conferences contains materials relating to and collected at the organization's yearly conferences;
  • Legal and Legislative Papers;
  • Financial Materials;
  • Reference Materials and Reports contains the various federal, state, corporate and non-profit resources used by the Farm Bureau for corporate research and political action research;
  • Photograph series contains black and white prints of various people and buildings tied to the North Carolina Farm Bureau as well as two scrapbooks compiled by the organization for the years 1958 through 1960;
  • Audiovisual series is comprised of film reels and recordings made by the Farm Bureau and utilized to present the organization's viewpoint on a certain agricultural issue;
  • Artifacts collected by the North Carolina Farm Bureau;
  • Additions.

Use of these materials

North Carolina State University does not own copyright to this collection. Individuals obtaining materials from the NCSU Libraries' Special Collections Research Center are responsible for using the works in conformance with United States copyright law as well as any donor restrictions accompanying the materials.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], North Carolina Farm Bureau Records, MC 00313, Special Collections Research Center, North Carolina State University Libraries, Raleigh, NC

Source of acquisition

Gifts from the Farm Bureau, May 2001 and June 2002.

Gifts from the North Carolina Farm Bureau, May, 2001 and June 2002.

The entire collection, including materials not available online, may be viewed in the Special Collections reading room in D.H. Hill Library.

Access to the collection

This collection is open for research; access requires at least 48 hours advance notice.

For more information contact us via mail, phone, or our web form.

Mailing address:
Special Collections Research Center
Box 7111
Raleigh, NC, 27695-7111

Phone: (919) 515-2273

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], North Carolina Farm Bureau Records, MC 00313, Special Collections Research Center, North Carolina State University Libraries, Raleigh, NC

Use of these materials

North Carolina State University does not own copyright to this collection. Individuals obtaining materials from the NCSU Libraries' Special Collections Research Center are responsible for using the works in conformance with United States copyright law as well as any donor restrictions accompanying the materials.