Fonds PR1131 - Alberta Farmers’ Union fonds

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Alberta Farmers’ Union fonds

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    • Source of title proper: Title based on the content of the records.

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    Fonds

    Reference code

    PR1131

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    • 1944-1949 (Creation)

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    Physical description

    64 audio discs. – 1 scrapbook. – 0.02 m of textual records

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    Administrative history

    The Alberta Farmers' Union was formed in 1942. It ceased to exist on January 14, 1949 when it amalgamated with the United Farmers of Alberta; the new organization was known as the Farmers' Union of Alberta.

    Established in 1926, the Saskatchewan-based United Farmers of Canada was a militant farmers' organization that adopted direct action practices such as non-delivery farm strikes, as opposed to more reformist processes. The Alberta Section of this organization was created on September 4, 1938 in Willingdon, Alberta by radical members of the declining United Farmers of Alberta. They promoted the delivery of grain through the Alberta Wheat Pool and the United Grain Growers, a farmer-owned organization. In 1940, there were 146 locals, comprised of about 2400 members, concentrated in the area between Edmonton and the Saskatchewan border.

    Attempts to amalgamate with the United Farmers of Alberta were made, but failed as the two organizations were unable to agree upon a new name, United Farmers of Alberta wanting to retain their name while the Alberta Section refused to consider this name because of its political associations.

    On January 31,1942, the United Farmers of Canada, Alberta Section closed its books. It changed its name to the Alberta Farmers' Union, in the hopes of gaining wider support. The Alberta Farmers' Union was incorporated on January 31,1942 under the Societies Act, 1924, with the objective of promoting all branches of agriculture. Its position was more militant than the United Farmers of Alberta. They held as their purpose to provide a militant challenge to a system in which agriculture had been in a position of disadvantage, and to try, by union methods, to restore farming to a dignified, remunerative occupation. The Union was headed by a board of five (a chairman, and four vice-chairman) along with twelve directors. The provincial administration was divided into twelve districts; districts were divided into five subdivisions. Under the subdivisions were the locals. Incorporated as the Alberta Farmers Union, it is most often referred to as the Alberta Farmers' Union

    From September 6th until October 6th, 1946, almost 50,000 farmers in Alberta and Saskatchewan went on strike, which resulted in the non-delivery of all farm produce with the exception of milk for hospitals and children.

    At a joint convention held in December 1948, delegates from the United Farmers of Alberta and the Alberta Farmers' Union met, and set up a constitution and by-laws for a new organization of farmers to be known as the Farmers' Union of Alberta. The Alberta Farmers' Union amalgamated on January 14, 1949 with the United Farmers of Alberta. The new organization that resulted was the Farmers' Union of Alberta. .

    The Farmers' Union of Alberta amalgamated with the Alberta Federation of Agriculture to become Unifarm in 1970. Unifarm became the Wild Rose Agricultural Producers in 1996.

    Presidents of the United Farmers of Canada, Alberta Section: Alex Huculak, 1938-1939; William Yusep, 1939-1941; Chester O. McGowan, 1941-1942

    Presidents of the Alberta Farmers' Union: Chester O. McGowan, 1942-1943; James Jackson, 1943-1945; Carl Stimpfle, 1946-1949

    Custodial history

    Scope and content

    The fonds consists of the records of the Alberta Farmers’ Union, and includes a copy of “The Alberta Farmers’ Union Non-Delivery Strike, September 6 to October 5, 1946” by Helen Foster; audio discs, specifically transcription discs and 78 R.P.M. discs of speeches and musical recordings; a scrapbook containing correspondence, newspaper clippings, newsletters, briefs, press statements and printed material about the 1946 Alberta Farm Strike, compiled by the Publicity Department of the Alberta Livestock Co-operative Limited; and newspaper clippings, minutes and other miscellaneous material.

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    Physical condition

    Immediate source of acquisition

    Mr. C.J. Stimpfle, past president of the Alberta Farmers’ Union and the Farmers’ Union of Alberta (PR1970.0330), W.J. Plosz, former executive secretary of Unifarm, (PR1988.0185) and Willow Webb, former secretary of Unifarm and niece of R.J. Boutillier, secretary-treasurer of the Alberta Farmers’ Union, (PR1997.0326) deposited the records in the Provincial Archives of Alberta in 1970, 1985 and 1997.

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        The material is in English.

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        Restrictions on access

        Access Conditions: None

        Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

        Use Conditions: Permission for use required. Subject to the Copyright Act.

        Finding aids

        Some file lists are available.

        Associated materials

        Also see the United Farmers of Alberta fonds, the Farmers’ Union of Alberta fonds and the Wild Rose Agricultural Producers fonds at the Provincial Archives of Alberta.

        Accruals

        Further accruals are not expected.

        General note

        Information for the administrative history is from the records, the Canadian Encyclopedia, http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/index.cfm?PgNm=TCE&Params=A1ARTA0008227, accessed September 2, 2004, and Furrow, Faith and Fellowship, which can be located in the Provincial Archives of Alberta Reference Library, 630.6 P933.

        General note

        Includes accessions PR1970.0330, PR1997.0326, and PR1988.0185.

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