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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