Color image of a National Farmers Organization sign on Highway 23, near St. Cloud. Photographed on January 24, 2016, by Therese Cain.

National Farmers Organization sign near St. Cloud

National Farmers Organization sign on Highway 23, near St. Cloud. Photographed on January 24, 2016, by Therese Cain.

Black and white photograph of a National Farmers Organization checkpoint in Clontarf,1964.

NFO checkpoint in Clontarf

Photograph of a a National Farmers Organization checkpoint in Clontarf printed in the Benson Swift County News on August 25, 1964. The original caption included with the photograph reads, “A photo of an NFO checkpoint at the highway 9 curve in Clontarf. Checkpoints and picketing posts are spotted along major highways in this area and wherever the NFO meat withholding action is in force. Manning the checkpoint were Wesley Benham (left) and Walter Gades.” Image is from the Benson Swift County News (vol. LXXI), August 25, 1964.

NFO representatives at a press conference held on October 16, 1963.

NFO press conference in Melrose

At a press conference held on October 16, 1963, at Melrose High School, Oren Lee Staley, NFO president; Msgr. E.W. O’Rourke, director of Catholic Rural Life Conference; Rev.Arnold Salchert, Mankato; and Andrew Francis Julig, pastor of St. Mary’s parish, Melrose (left to right) answered questions before a rally supporting organizing farmers in order to compete in the marketplace.

Black and white photograph of NFO farmers and creamery employees ride a bulk truck out to milk dumping site on the Martin Lampi farm near Annandale on March 7, 1963.

NFO farmers and creamery employees

NFO farmers and creamery employees ride a bulk truck to a milk dumping site on the Martin Lampi farm near Annandale on March 7, 1963.

Black and white photograph of milk is dumped ankle deep from a 1,500-gallon bulk NFO truck on the Martin Lampi farm field near Annandale, March 7, 1963.

NFO milk-dumping action in Annandale

Milk is dumped ankle deep from a 1,500-gallon bulk NFO truck on the Martin Lampi farm field near Annandale, March 7, 1963.

Black and white photograph of a crowd of more than a thousand people gathered on March 7, 1963, in front of the Albion French Lake Creamery.

NFO meeting

A crowd of more than a thousand people gathered on March 7, 1963, in front of the Albion French Lake Creamery, five miles southwest of Annandale, to listen to National NFO president Oren Lee Staley express gratitude to supporters and warn of a fight against those who did not support the NFO.

NFO Holding Actions in Minnesota

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.

Black and white photograph of Governor Elmer Benson (center right) at a conference with American Gas Machine Company strike representatives in Albert Lea, 1937.

Elmer Benson with strike representatives

Governor Elmer Benson (center right) at a conference with American Gas Machine Company strike representatives in Albert Lea, 1937.

Black and white photograph of the St. Paul Athletic Club barbershop, c.1925. Photograph by Charles P. Gibson.

St. Paul Athletic Club barbershop

St. Paul Athletic Club barbershop, c.1925. Photograph by Charles P. Gibson.

Black and white photograph of Northwest pilots on strike, 1978.

Northwest pilots on strike

Northwest pilots on strike, 1978.

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