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Herbert Plambeck papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: RS 21/7/42

Scope and Content

This collection (1920-2001) contains correspondence, addresses and speeches to various farming organizations, newspaper clippings, printed materials, photographs, slides, programs, reports, slide shows, international slides, audiotapes, and several radio, T.V., and film scripts, public safety announcements. It also contains records documenting Plambeck’s USDA appointment, the National Farm Institute, the Iowa Farm Safety Council, and “Spotlight on Agriculture” newspaper series.

Plambeck’s correspondents include federal officials and members of the United States Department of Agriculture. The subjects documented in this collection include agricultural issues, Living History Farms, the environment, farm prices, Vietnam, public safety, and the National and World Plowing Matches.


  • 1920-2001, undated

Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

Open for research. This collection is stored offsite. Please contact the department at least 3 working days in advance.

Use/Re-use Restrictions

Consult Special Collections and University Archives


Herbert Plambeck (1908-2001) was born February 29, 1908 and raised in Scott County, Iowa. He graduated from Iowa State University with a major in agriculture (1936). He began his professional career as a USDA College (University) County Extension employee, but in 1935 he became Farm Editor for the Davenport (Iowa) Times-Democrat. In 1936, he was named Farm Director for WHO-Radio in Des Moines, a position he held until 1970. Plambeck was then appointed assistant to the U.S. Secretary for Agriculture where he focused on public affairs.

Plambeck was a member of the U.S. Agricultural Delegation to the Soviet Union in 1955, where he made the first farm broadcast report from Russia. He repeated this feat when he delivered the first farm broadcast from China in 1976. He founded the National Plowing Matches and was member of the Board of Directors of the National Agricultural Hall of Fame.

Plambeck held offices in a number of organizations, such as the National Association of Radio and Television Farm Broadcasters, District and Local Kiwanis, and the Iowa Easter Seal Society. He also received over eighty international, national, and state honors, including the Herbert Hoover Citizenship Award, the National Soil Conservation Award, and the Dupont Foundation Radio Award.

Plambeck is the author of over ten books and booklets, including “Heritage of Community Service,” “Iowa Farm Safety in the 20th Century,” “Iowa’s Heritage of Pioneer Family Farms,” “This is Herb” with Never a Dull Moment, and The Way It Was. He died January 15, 2001.


58.71 Linear Feet (40 records center cartons, 1 half-document box, 5 cassette boxes, 4 card file boxes, and 1 oversized box)

Physical Location

This collection is stored offsite. Please contact the Special Collections and University Archives at least 3 working days in advance.

Processing Information

Released on 2018-11-01.

RS 21/7/42. Herbert Plambeck papers, 1920-2001, undated
July 1, 2020
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