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Charles Walters papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MS-0588

Scope and Content

The Charles Walters Papers (1937-2003, undated) contain correspondence and printed matter related to Walters’ research, as well as copies of some of Walters’ publications. Material related to the NFO includes correspondence, legal documents, printed matter, and includes both paper records and microfilm.

Over half of the collection is devoted to photographs documenting the activities of the NFO throughout the 1960s and 1970s. The photographs include images of members of the NFO leadership, conventions, holding actions and other activities sponsored by the NFO. The majority of the photographs were taken by Walters.


  • Creation: 1937-2003, undated

Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

Open for research.

Use/Re-use Restrictions

Consult Special Collections and University Archives


Charles Walters, Jr., was born in Ness County, Kansas in 1926. He received his undergraduate degree from Creighton University and his graduate degree from Denver University. He is an economist and journalist with a number of books to his credit. His main professional focus is on raw materials economics. Walters was greatly influenced by the works of Carl H. Wilken, Charles B. Ray, and John Lee Coulter.

During the 1960s, Walters became associated with the National Farmers Organization (NFO) and edited the organization’s news publication, NFO Reporter. He also supplied numerous articles on farm economics for the publication. Walters observed and documented many of the activities of the NFO and one of his books, Holding Action, discusses the events surrounding the milk holding actions of 1967.

Walters is a member of several professional organizations including past president of the National Organization for Raw Materials. In 1970, he founded Acres USA, a monthly magazine that promotes the family farm and organic farming. He is now the publication’s editor emeritus while his son, Fred Walters, publishes the magazine from his home in Austin, Texas.

Charles Walters Jr. currently resides in Kansas City, Missouri.


8.1 Linear Feet (5 document boxes, 6 oversize boxes)


The collection is organized into five series:

Series 1: Correspondence, 1941-1971 (alphabetical)

Series 2: Printed materials and publications, 1937-2004, undated (chronological)

Series 3: National Farmers Organization, 1964-1994, undated (chronological)

Series 4: Audio and visual materials, 1959-1979, undated (unarranged)

Series 5: Photographs, 1959-1979, undated (original order)


Digital reproductions of a selection of materials from the Charles Walters papers are available electronically. Please see the Electronic Resources section for a link. Also included in this digital collection are materials from the Merle Hansen papers, the George J. Ormsby papers, the National Farmers Organization records, the Sam J. Newlson Collection of United Farmers of Story County (Iowa) records, the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation records, and the Wayne Darrow papers. Please see Related Materials for links to these collections.

Items in related collections

MS-0595. Merle Hansen papers, 1932-1999, undated MS-0109. George J. Ormsby papers, 1911-1965, undated MS-0481. National Farmers Organization records, 1955-2001 MS-0204. Sam J. Nelson Collection of United Farmers of Story County (Iowa) records, 1932, undated MS-0105. Iowa Farm Bureau Federation records, 1914-2008 MS-0021. Wayne Darrow papers, 1930-1972, undated

Collection Files

Processing Information

Released on 2018-11-01.

MS-0588. Charles Walters papers, 1937-2003, undated
May 29, 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