How Can You Celebrate Both International Women’s Day and National Agriculture Day? Come On Over to the Special Collections Department!

Today is both International Women’s Day and National Agriculture Day!  Since two of our main collecting areas are related to both agriculture and women, we just had to write up a quick post.  Interested in taking a look at our agricultural collections?  Then take a look at our Agricultural Collections Guide.  Interested in looking at our collections related to women?  We have a selection of these collections listed here, including links to other guides related to women.  This includes a link to the listing of our Archives of Women In Science and Engineering.

Wondering how to celebrate National Agriculture Day (March 8, 2012) or National Ag Week (March 4-10, 2012)?  If you’re interested in finding out more about the history of the day and how it was celebrated in the past, the Special Collections Department holds the National Agriculture Day Records, which contains records documenting the beginning of the celebration through the early 1980s.  More on this collection can be found in an earlier blog post.

Governor Anderson signing the 1974 proclamation for Minnesota Agriculture Day (photograph can be found in MS-66, Box 1, Folder 17).  Other items found in this folder include clippings, newsletters and photographs related to the 1973-1974 Agriculture Day activities of the North Central Chapter of the National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA).

In addition to National Agriculture Day, today is also International Women’s Day.  Women played vital roles in the history of agriculture, and the Special Collections Department has collections documenting this history.  This includes family collections, such as the Wayne O. and Gayle Carns Burchett Papers which contains diaries, 4-H record books and other items documenting the women and their contributions to the family’s century farm (an earlier blog post on this collection can be found here).  The Iva Verona Horton Papers includes Iva’s diary entries briefly noting activities on her family’s farm.  Interested other collections?  A selection of our manuscript collections related to women involved in agriculture can be found here.

The Iowa Master Farm Homemaker’s Guild Records contains a variety of records including scrapbooks documenting the activities of the women in this organization.  The Guild gives out the Master Farm Homemaker Award, which is meant to recognize the contribution that farm women make to the nation as homemakers and as voluntary community leaders. Pictured above is a scrapbook from the collections.  The page to the left contains clippings about Vera Shivvers, who was named Iowa Master Farm Homemaker in 1953.  She was the third woman elected to the Iowa Senate (1963).  The scrapbooks include clippings, programs, obituaries, correspondence and other materials about the Guild and the women awarded the Master Farm Homemaker Award (arranged by the year the women received the award).

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