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
  2. NAFA (North American Farm Alliance)
  3. NAFA – Hare, Jim
  4. NAFA– Natural Rural Crisis Action
  5. SDFU – Opsahl
  6. Farm Publications
  7. The American Religious Communities and Federal Farm Policy – An Overview – March, 1987
  8. Ayres, Homer (Writings)
  9. Progressive Party

Box 2

  1. LaRouche
  2. Writings (Merle Hansen)
  3. MVA
  4. Farming Publications
  5. Random Publications
  6. Farm Gate Defense
  7. AVC – Omaha Chapter
  8. AVC – OPA
  9. AVC Publications
  10. AVC – WJAG Radio
  11. AVC – Voting Records
  12. AVC – Press Releases
  13. AVC – Veterans Organizations

Box 3

  1. AVC – Clips
  2. AVC – Constitution & Bylaws
  3. AVC – Convention
  4. AVC – Conference of Progressives
  5. AVC – Constitution, Omaha Chapter
  6. AVC – Correspondence In
  7. AVC – Correspondence Out
  8. AVC – DNC Women
  9. AVC – Housing
  10. AVC – Literature
  11. AVC – Meetings, Minutes
  12. AVC – Membership
  13. Must AVC Die?
  14. AVC – Nebraska Farmers Union
  15. Loose Materials
  16. AVC – Administrative
  17. AVC – Buffet, Howard
  18. Loose Materials
  19. Wherry
  20. Humane Society
  21. A Plan for the Proper Development of Your Natural Resources
  22. P and H Farm Equipment
  23. Harlan Fertilizer Equipment
  24. Ram Industries Folder
  25. Loose Materials
  26. Hydraulics Company 1976
  27. Tote Fertilizer Equipment
  28. Hydraulics Company 1977
  29. Fairbank Equipment, Inc
  30. Kelly Supply Co.
  31. Westheffer 1977

Box 4

  1. Dultmeier Sales
  2. Breeding
  3. Phillips 66/Fertilizer
  4. Publications on Problem Plants
  5. Charolais
  6. Articles
  7. N.A.F.A.
  8. Hare, Jim
  9. Farm Holiday
  10. Opsahl
  11. Farmers Union C. 1950
  12. US Farmers Association
  13. Miscellaneous
  14. Weaving New Ways: Farm Women Organizing
  15. The United Farmer & Rancher Congress – 1986: “Strengthening the Spirit of America”
  16. Farmers’ Guide to FMHA – Third Edition Jan, 1986
  17. Farmers’ Guide to FDIC
  18. Plowing Up a Storm: The History of Midwestern Farm Activism
  19. The Legislative Extended Assistance Group: Iowa Legislative Research – The Farm Credit Crisis in Iowa

Box 5

  1. The Pesticide Syndrome
  2. “With A Grain of Salt…”
  3. Charolais/Breeding
  4. Clipboard
  5. Carnation
  6. Breeding – Horses

Box 6

  1. NFP
  2. NFP Rallies and Such
  3. Rural NFP in Vietnam
  4. NFP – Minutes & Meetings
  5. NFP Misc.
  6. NFP MX Missile
  7. NFP News Clips
  8. NFP Norfolk Chapter
  9. NFP Press Releases
  10. NFP – Norfolk Peace Group – Peace Essay Contest
  11. Nebraskans for Peace in Vietnam
  12. NFP Memos
  13. NFP Literature
  14. NFP International
  15. NFP Financial
  16. NFP Farm Crisis
  17. NFP Early Newsletters
  18. NFP Election
  19. NFP Constitution
  20. NFP Citizen’s Watch
  21. 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

Become a History Nebraska Member Today

Learn More