Minnesota farmers were active in building the National Farmers Organization (NFO), a populist farm group dedicated to strengthening family farmers’ economic well-being. Unlike other farm groups on both the right (the Farm Bureau) and the left (the Farmers’ Union), the NFO during the 1960s focused on direct economic action.
Minnesota State Grange picnic held on the Sletton Farm in Aitkin on June 13, 2015. Shown are members of Sunbeam Grange #2, Oak Leaf Grange #569, Clear Lake Grange #692, Lake Hubert Grange #735, and Oliver Hudson Kelley Grange #834. Photographed by Alan Champion.
For almost 150 years, the State Grange of Minnesota as an organization has thrived, faded, and regrouped in its efforts to provide farmers and their families with a unified voice. As the number of people directly engaged in farming has declined, the State Grange has shifted its focus toward recruiting a new type of member—often younger—interested in safe, healthy, and sustainable food sources.