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George Andrew Heikens papers

Identifier: RS 21/7/15

Scope and Content

This collection contains materials related to Heikens’ employment by the State Hog Farms Corporation (or Svinovod) in Moscow, U.S.S.R., in 1930 and 1931. Materials include an employment contract, correspondence, reports written by Heikens, news clippings in English and Russian, photographs, and negatives.


  • Creation: 1902-1976

Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

Open for research.

Use/Re-use Restrictions

Consult Special Collections and University Archives


George Andrew Heikens was born on February 9, 1902, in Grundy County, near the town of Spencer, Iowa. He attended rural schools and graduated from Spencer High School (1919) in Spencer, Iowa. Heikens received a two-year certificate in Agriculture (1921) and a BS in Agricultural Economics (1927) from Iowa State College (University). During the 1920s, he farmed and raised hogs with his father, Isaac George Heikens, Sr., on a farm near Spencer, Iowa.

In 1930 and 1931, Heikens was employed by the by the State Hog Farms Corporation, or Svinovod, in the Soviet Union. He assisted in a hog breeding program designed to produce purebred swine for distribution to farms throughout the Soviet Union. He also oversaw projects in the construction of swine housing and nutrition. While living near Moscow, he wrote frequent letters home that were occasionally published in the local newspapers. After his one-year contract expired, Heikens returned home by way of Siberia, traveling on the Trans-Siberian Railway, and he made stops in Japan, the Philippines, Honolulu, and San Francisco.

Upon his return, Heikens resumed farming with his father and also worked as an administrator for federal agricultural programs in Iowa. He initially served as a district supervisor for the Rural Resettlement Administration. Then, in 1939, Heikens became the Iowa State Tenant Purchase Specialist, and in 1941, became the director of the Iowa Farm Security Administration (later the Farm Home Administration). He continued to farm near Spencer throughout his life.

Heikens married Vivian Gordon in 1940. They had three children, George, Mary, and Barbara. Heikens died on April 20, 1976.


0.84 Linear Feet (1 document box and one shoe box)


The collection is organized Alphabetically.

Processing Information

Released on 2018-11-01.

RS 21/7/15. George Andrew Heikens papers, 1902-1976
January 15, 2019
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives Repository

403 Parks Library
701 Morrill Road
Iowa State University
Ames Iowa 50011-2102 United States
(515) 294-6672