Document Type


Journal/Book Title/Conference

Utah Historical Quarterly






Utah State Historical Society

Publication Date

Fall 2011

First Page


Last Page



As Utah continues to move further and further away from its agricultural base, it is useful to look back on the state’s agricultural heritage and how an earlier generation of farmers sought to maximize its economic security through cooperation, government support, and adoption of new methods and tools made available through the nation’s land-grant colleges. Following World War II, two competing organizations, the Utah Farm Bureau and the Utah Farmer’s Union, emerged as champions of Utah farmers. Where Utah farmers and their organization had given strong support to Franklin Roosevelt and the Democratic Party’s New Deal during the 1930s, in the late 1940s the Farm Bureau took another course opening the door for the Farmers Union to establish its first local in Utah in Emery County in 1948 and spread quickly to other parts of the state. Political repercussions followed during J. Bracken Lee’s tenure as Governor of Utah (1949-56), the U.S. Senate and House elections of 1950, and unsubstantiated charges that the Utah Farmers Union was a Communist-dominated organization.


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Published by the Utah State Historical Society in Utah Historical Quarterly.



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