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Rural Coalition records

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MS-0368

Scope and Content

The collection (1943-1990, undated) documents the concerns and activities of the Rural Coalition through its organizational records and subject files which include correspondence, task force records and reports, committee materials (agendas, plans, reports), studies, annual meeting materials and minutes, board meeting materials and minutes, testimonies and statements before congressional committees, grant applications, newsletters and publications.

The organizational records include records of the different task forces: jobs, natural resources, Native American issues, rural economy and development, and rural military issues. Files often contain correspondence to legislators advocating for policies in favor of small farmers and rural communities, and reports, publications, copies of legislation and other materials Coalition members used to influence public policy. Some of the files contain summary materials documenting the Rural Coalition as whole. Materials relating to the annual meeting/assembly, which is the one time during the year when all groups within the Coalition come together, document the organization's yearly activities and goals. The Executive and Working Committees make decisions impacting the organization as a whole, and the minutes and correspondence in the collection document these decisions. The Rural Coalition's newsletters, Update and Report, inform its members on the activities of the organization and policies that could impact its members.

The collection also contains subject files which include articles, brochures, reports, and various publications by organizations other than the Rural Coalition on topics of interest to the organization. Subjects include the 1985 Farm Bill, Farmers Home Administration, the Farm Crisis, agricultural issues, military topics, rural issues, legislation and Native American concerns.


  • 1943-1990, undated


Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

Open for research.

Use/Re-use Restrictions

Consult Special Collections and University Archives


The Rural Coalition, a national alliance of regionally and culturally diverse organizations concerned with rural issues, was formed by about two dozen non-profit organizations in 1978 to provide a national, unified voice for rural people and their communities. One of the major goals of the Rural Coalition has been to influence public policy to create fair legislation and returns for rural communities and minority and small farmers. The principles of the Rural Coalition include: justice and equal opportunity for all regardless of race, sex and place of residence; entitlement to goods and services essential for a decent quality of life including education, health and employment; effective control and use of resources for the long-term viability of rural areas; and the importance of community-based organizations to the development of rural communities. Finally, the Rural Coalition believes the federal government must ensure and maintain these rights for all peoples and endeavors to make this happen. In pursuit of these principles, the Rural Coalition works to influence public policy, increase the effectiveness of rural community organizations, helps organizations to identify issues and work together toward common goals, and serves as an information resource and provider of technical assistance to its member organizations.

Throughout the years, the Rural Coalition has worked on a wide variety of issues to improve the lives of rural people. During its early years, the Coalition developed task forces based on identified concerns such as agriculture, natural resources, rural military issues, Native American issues, rural economy and development, community development, and jobs. As of 2009, the Rural Coalition had created a number of different programs to support its goals, including The SuperMarket, Food 'N Justice Campaign, Community Responsive Partnerships for Environmental Justice, Equal Access to Agriculture Programs and Opportunities, and Women in Agriculture: A Needs Assessment. The number of organizations in the Coalition has ranged from about two dozen when it was first organized to over one hundred and fifty member organizations.


35.1 Linear Feet (27 records center cartons)


The collection is organized into two series:

Series 1, Organizational Records, 1977-1990, undated (alphabetical)

Series 2, Subject Files, 1943-1990, undated (alphabetical)

Items in related collections

MS-0548. National Family Farm Coalition records, 1974-1985, undated MS-0501. North American Farm Alliance records, 1982-1988, undated MS-0444. National Farmers Union and National Council of Farmers Cooperatives collection, 1940-1973, undated MS-0419. Rural America records, 1970-1982, undated

Related collection materials

These related collections were created by organizations that belonged to the Rural Coalition at one time.

Processing Information

Released on 2018-11-01.

MS-0368. Rural Coalition records, 1943-1990, undated
January 11, 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