Merle E. Hansen [RG5509.AM]


RG5509.AM:  Merle E. Hansen, 1919-2009

Papers:  1932-1999

Madison County, Nebraska:  Farmer, rancher, agricultural activist

Size:  6 boxes


Merle E. Hansen, son of Carl and Ruth Hansen, was born at Newman Grove, Madison County, Nebraska on November 26, 1919.  He served during World War II on transport carriers including the U.S.S. Fuller in the Pacific and North African theaters.  Hansen received six battle stars, attained the rank of chief yeoman and was honorably discharged in 1945.  In the late 1940s Hansen worked as a field organizer for the National Farmers Union in South Dakota and Iowa.  While organizing a farmer and labor picnic in northeast Iowa, he met his future wife, Lucinda Kramer.  They were married on February 18, 1950, and moved back to a farm eleven miles northwest of Newman Grove where they raised their seven children.

Hansen served as a Madison County Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor, earned county and regional soil conservation awards, and made many presentations to elementary schools on the importance of soil and water conservation.  Hansen formed Hansen Charolais in 1960, a nationally recognized purebred cattle business that sold breeding stock to commercial cattlemen and purebred breeders across the country for twenty-four years.  He also built and owned a fertilizer business with his family, raised and sold a wide range of certified seeds and ran a corn, soybean, oat and alfalfa farming operation.

Hansen was an advocate for family farm agriculture, conservation and environmental issues, civil rights and world peace.  He was active in numerous organizations including the Nebraska Farmers Union, the National Farmers Organization, the U.S. Farm Association, the North American Farm Alliance, the National Family Farm Coalition and Farm Aid.  Hansen was active in the Democratic Party at the county, state and national levels and became Jesse Jackson’s agricultural advisor during Jackson’s 1984 and 1988 presidential campaigns.  Hansen was also one of the founding members of Rural Nebraskans for Peace in May of 1967, which later was integrated into Nebraskans for Peace.  Merle E. Hansen died on March 27, 2009.  He is buried in McCoy Cemetery at Meadow Grove, Nebraska.


The collection consists of six boxes of papers relating to the life, work and activities of Merle E. Hansen.  The papers include materials documenting his work with various organizations such as the Nebraska Charolais cattle industry, American Veterans Committee, the North American Farm Alliance, Nebraskans for Peace and the Jessie Jackson for President campaign.  The materials date from 1932 to 1999.  The collection is unprocessed but an inventory is available.

Note:  See the moving image and sound recording components for related items.  Additional Merle Hansen papers are held by Iowa State University.

Box 1


    1. Biography – Merle Elwin

    1. NAFA (North American Farm Alliance)

    1. NAFA – Hare, Jim

    1. NAFA– Natural Rural Crisis Action

    1. SDFU – Opsahl

    1. Farm Publications

    1. The American Religious Communities and Federal Farm Policy – An Overview – March, 1987

    1. Ayres, Homer (Writings)

    1. Progressive Party

Box 2


    1. LaRouche

    1. Writings (Merle Hansen)

    1. MVA

    1. Farming Publications

    1. Random Publications

    1. Farm Gate Defense

    1. AVC – Omaha Chapter

    1. AVC – OPA

    1. AVC Publications

    1. AVC – WJAG Radio

    1. AVC – Voting Records

    1. AVC – Press Releases

    1. AVC – Veterans Organizations

Box 3


    1. AVC – Clips

    1. AVC – Constitution & Bylaws

    1. AVC – Convention

    1. AVC – Conference of Progressives

    1. AVC – Constitution, Omaha Chapter

    1. AVC – Correspondence In

    1. AVC – Correspondence Out

    1. AVC – DNC Women

    1. AVC – Housing

    1. AVC – Literature

    1. AVC – Meetings, Minutes

    1. AVC – Membership

    1. Must AVC Die?

    1. AVC – Nebraska Farmers Union

    1. Loose Materials

    1. AVC – Administrative

    1. AVC – Buffet, Howard

    1. Loose Materials

    1. Wherry

    1. Humane Society

    1. A Plan for the Proper Development of Your Natural Resources

    1. P and H Farm Equipment

    1. Harlan Fertilizer Equipment

    1. Ram Industries Folder

    1. Loose Materials

    1. Hydraulics Company 1976

    1. Tote Fertilizer Equipment

    1. Hydraulics Company 1977

    1. Fairbank Equipment, Inc

    1. Kelly Supply Co.

    1. Westheffer 1977

Box 4


    1. Dultmeier Sales

    1. Breeding

    1. Phillips 66/Fertilizer

    1. Publications on Problem Plants

    1. Charolais

    1. Articles

    1. N.A.F.A.

    1. Hare, Jim

    1. Farm Holiday

    1. Opsahl

    1. Farmers Union C. 1950

    1. US Farmers Association

    1. Miscellaneous

    1. Weaving New Ways: Farm Women Organizing

    1. The United Farmer & Rancher Congress – 1986: “Strengthening the Spirit of America”

    1. Farmers’ Guide to FMHA – Third Edition Jan, 1986

    1. Farmers’ Guide to FDIC

    1. Plowing Up a Storm: The History of Midwestern Farm Activism

    1. The Legislative Extended Assistance Group: Iowa Legislative Research – The Farm Credit Crisis in Iowa

Box 5


    1. The Pesticide Syndrome

    1. “With A Grain of Salt…”

    1. Charolais/Breeding

    1. Clipboard

    1. Carnation

    1. Breeding – Horses

Box 6


    1. NFP

    1. NFP Rallies and Such

    1. Rural NFP in Vietnam

    1. NFP – Minutes & Meetings

    1. NFP Misc.

    1. NFP MX Missile

    1. NFP News Clips

    1. NFP Norfolk Chapter

    1. NFP Press Releases

    1. NFP – Norfolk Peace Group – Peace Essay Contest

    1. Nebraskans for Peace in Vietnam

    1. NFP Memos

    1. NFP Literature

    1. NFP International

    1. NFP Financial

    1. NFP Farm Crisis

    1. NFP Early Newsletters

    1. NFP Election

    1. NFP Constitution

    1. NFP Citizen’s Watch

    1. NFP Annual Conferences


Subject headings:

Agriculture — Nebraska

American Veterans Committee

Charolais cattle

Hansen, Merle E., 1919-2009

Jackson, Jesse, 1941-

Nebraskans for Peace

North American Farm Alliance


TMM               11-20-2018

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