0.39m of textual records - 1 cartographic material - 2 photographs (rolled)
Scope and Content
Accession consists of documents, reports, correspondence, newspaper clippings, and handwritten notes related to the Farmers’ Union of Alberta, Farm Women's Union of Alberta, and Junior Farmers' Union of Alberta; FUA Annual Convention programmes, reports and minutes, constitution and bylaws; convention materials for FUA District 12; FWUA cook books; as well as materials related to Camp Gold Eye; and government publications related to farming, farm workers, children, and health.
The Farmers’ Union of Alberta was established on January 14, 1949 when the United Farmers of Alberta and the Alberta Farmers’ Union amalgamated. It ceased to exist in January 1970 when it amalgamated with the Alberta Federation of Agriculture; the new organization was known as Unifarm.
Members of the United Farmers of Alberta and the Alberta Farmers’ Union held a joint meeting in January 1949 to finalize the details of the new organization they were about to form. The new organization, the Farmers’ Union of Alberta (FUA), was to be non-partisan, and the constitution proposed their objectives as being: to advance the interests of farmers and farmers’ co-operative organizations; to coordinate the efforts of the various branches of agriculture to promote their common interests through collective action; to promote and secure necessary and just legislation; to achieve a relationship of price which would ensure agriculture its fair share of national income; to contribute to a high standard of living for all citizens by promoting the highest production over a long period commensurate with sound agricultural practices; to promote social interaction, a higher standard of community life and the study of economic and social questions relating to agriculture and democratic citizenship; and to promote the fullest possible use of credit unions.
The Farmers’ Union of Alberta was incorporated under the Societies Act (R.S.A. 1942, chapter 245) on July 6, 1949, with the objective of advancing the interests of farmers and farmers’ co-operative organizations. Plans to amalgamate with the Alberta Federation of Agriculture had been proposed as early as 1952.
In 1964, members of the FUA resolved to enter into plans and negotiations aimed at achieving a more efficient and unified farm organization. Two possible options were to amalgamate either with the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) or with the Alberta Federation of Agriculture (AFA). In 1968 under the new leadership of Roy Atkinson, the NFU’s objectives and direction changed, and many FUA members were uncomfortable with the refocused organization. When the restructured National Farmers’ Union held its founding convention in Winnipeg, Manitoba in July 1969, the FUA did not pass the necessary resolution to join, the only provincial organization to do so. Subsequently, the FUA and the AFA drafted a constitution in 1969. At the December 9, 1969 meeting of the FUA, delegates were presented with two options: to dissolve and accept the NFU constitution, or to amalgamate with the AFA; of the 11,178 registered delegates, 946 voted against the NFU proposal, and 947 in favour of amalgamation with AFA.
The Farmers’ Union of Alberta was created on January 14, 1949 when the United Farmers of Alberta and the Alberta Farmers’ Union amalgamated. These two groups had attempted to amalgamate for a number of years. The United Farmers of Alberta had also considered amalgamation with the Alberta Federation of Agriculture; an amalgamation with the AFA finally occurred in 1970 when it merged with the Farmers’ Union of Alberta. The Farmers’ Union of Alberta amalgamated in January 1970 with Alberta Federation of Agriculture. The new organization that resulted was Unifarm. Unifarm was reorganized as the Wild Rose Agricultural Producers in 1996.
Farm Women’s Union of Alberta worked in parallel to the FUA. The FWUA had a certain degree of autonomy, and had its own executive. Also working in parallel was the Junior FUA. Like the United Farmers of Alberta and the Alberta Farmers’ Union, the FUA was comprised of a number of locals throughout the province. Many of these locals were a continuation of those from the previous farm organizations. Unlike the UFA locals, a large component of which had been its social activities, the FUA locals were more concerned with policy development at the larger district and regional organizations.
Presidents of the Farmers’ Union of Alberta: Carl Stimpfle, 1949-1950; Henry Young, 1950-1955; Arnold Platt, 1955-1958; Ed Nelson, 1958-1963; Paul Babey, 1963-1970
(Information obtained from the Provincial Archives of Alberta (FUA fonds administrative history) and from the following books that can be found in the UFHS reference library - Furrow, Faith and Fellowship and Unifarm: A Story of Conflict & Change.)
Several records are inscribed with the name Margaret House or Mrs. F.H. House. Many records relate to FUA District 12. New Fonds was created for FUA records, and new records from various donors will be added to the collection.
Farmers’ Union of Alberta
The Provincial Archives of Alberta has a Farmers’ Union of Alberta fonds.
See also the Milt Ward fonds in the UFHS archives.
The fonds consists of the 1928 Certificate of Incorporation, Memorandum of Association, quarterly and annual financial statements, minutes of annual meetings (1926-1949) with lists of shareholders, share certificates issued to shareholders, agreements, and instructions to mailing room staff.
The official newspaper of the United Farmers of Alberta, The U.F.A., began publication in March 1922. W. Norman Smith was its editor. Initially publication was supervised by a committee of the United Farmers of Alberta, but in 1928 "The U.F.A." Limited was incorporated under the Companies Act of Alberta to allow the newspaper to operate with legal independence. The U.F.A. was renamed The United Farmer in 1934 and ceased publication in 1936. A subsequent publication of the United Farmers of Alberta Co-operative Association, 1962-1985, was also titled The United Farmer. The officers of the United Farmers of Alberta generally were concurrently officers of The U.F.A. Limited. The company apparently wound up its affairs in 1949.