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Thesis (M.A.)—University of Nebraska—Lincoln, 1954. Department of Agricultural Economics.


Copyright 1954, the author. Used by permission.


The problem, then, to which this study is directed has two parts: (1) Has the National Farmers Union accurately reflected the interests of family-type and low-income farmers since 1941? (2) Can specific allegations of “leftism” directed at the National Farmers Union be justified?

In order to determine if the purposes of the Farmers Union have changed since 1941, it is necessary to define the purposes prior to that year.Chapter II is devoted to that end and comprises a brief history of the Farmers Union prior to 1941.Because the major portion of this study is devoted to an analysis of the legislative record of the National Farmers Union since 1941, emphasis is placed on legislation advocated or supported by the organization prior to 1941.

Chapters III through VI consider the positions taken by the National Farmers Union on various legislative issues—agricultural credit, support prices, medical care facilities, and cooperative taxation.The issues were selected for two reasons:(1) they were important to the American farmer, and (2) they provide a limited but fairly representative coverage of agricultural policy.Chapters II through VI also include an analysis of the positions taken by the Farm Bureau and the Grange on the legislative issues, to ascertain whether the Farmers Union has represented family-type and low-income famers more accurately.

Chapter VII constitutes a description of a long-range agricultural program proposed by the National Farmers Union.The purpose of Chapter VII is to clearly show the basic philosophy of the organization.

Chapter VIII presents specific allegations of “leftism” directed at the National Farmers Union.It also includes some of the evidence that was used in justifying the allegations.

Material presented to refute the allegations constitutes Chapter IX.

Conclusions regarding the extent to which the National Farmers Union has been representative of family-type and low-income farmers and the justification for the allegations are stated in Chapter X.

Advisor: C. Clyde Mitchell