Farm and Fraternal Organizations
The Grange or Order of Patrons in Husbandry was the first major farm organization and was begun in 1867. The original purpose of this organization was to raise the occupational level of agriculture to those of other industries. During the depression of 1873, this group became an agency for political change. By 1875 the Grange boasted of over 800,000 members and 20,000 local lodges; claiming chapters in almost every state, being the strongest in the South and Midwest. The local records may generally be found in manuscript collections. National Grange Website
The earliest organizations of farmers began to develop in the late 1800s. Those groups organized under a variety of names and philosophies, including The Grange, The Farmer’s Alliance, The Agricultural Wheel, The Ancient Order of Gleaners and the Equity.
The origin of the Farm Bureau followed a different path and didn’t occur until shortly after the turn of the century. Farm Bureau grew out of the Extension education movement occurring at land grant colleges across the nation.
Farm Bureau Website: www.fb.org/
National Farmers Organization (NFO)