The Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation Collection comprises approximately thirty cubic feet of material from the Public Affairs Office of Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF) divided into series. The collection documents changes in Mississippi farm practices and land use from the late nineteenth through the early twenty-first centuries, as well as the institutional history of MFBF from its inception during the Great Depression. The collection also shows the effects of natural disasters on agriculture; health and safety issues (lifesaving and fire prevention techniques); visiting politicians, including several U.S. Presidents; and the evolving roles of women in society. Images can be accessed through keyword search or by browsing within each series, as they become available online.
Series I: Photographic Archives
Series I consists of photographs documenting Mississippi farms and the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation from the 1850s through 2003 mounted on 1,456 boards with captions. The photographs are grouped into subject categories assigned by MFBF staff and include: beauty pageants, boards of directors, county agents, crops, conventions, farmers, meetings (county, state, local), natural disasters, politicians, staff, social functions, talent shows, women’s activities within the organization, and Southern Farm Bureau in its formative years. Reproductions of famous artworks depicting farms and farming were not scanned by MDAH but are available for access in the Winter Building archival reading room. Images of the 1,432 cards that were scanned are available for browsing below.
Series II: County Photograph Files
Series II of the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF) office consists of 2,032 photographs collected by the Public Affairs Office during the 1950s through the early 1960s, arranged in folders by county. Two duplicate prints were not scanned. The majority of the photographs are black and white and were taken by MFBF Public Affairs Office staff. Some were submitted to the home office by county bureaus. The images are of farms, farmers, farming activities, 4-H club activities, local MFBF directors and staff, and sponsored social events such as barbecues, beauty and talent contests, and festivals promoting farm products. Of special interest are images of the Mississippi Farmer’s Market in Jackson, William Faulkner making a rare public speaking appearance, and noted politicians such as Governor J. P. Coleman, Senator John Stennis and Representative Sonny Montgomery.
Series III: Subject Photograph Files
Series III consists of photograph files of people, meetings, and organizations. It was not scanned but may be accessed in the Archival Reading Room at the William F. Winter Archives and History Building.
Series IV: General Photographs
Series IV: General Photographs has been arranged alphabetically into broad subject categories by the MDAH curatorial staff, and 2,881 of the approximately 3,300 photographs, spanning several decades, were scanned. The categories include: civic and social activities; crops, farms, and farm enterprises; local, state, and national politicians; and safety training initiatives. Memorable images in this series are of fire ant bites on an adolescent boy; the tobacco spitting contest in Smith County; actress Glenn Close performing with Up With People; comedian Jerry Clower; and promotional events for agricultural products such as catfish, chicken, cotton, and crawfish.
Series V: Slides. Organizational Activities
Series V consists of slides of meetings, national and local politicians, Mississippi industries, safety education campaigns, quilting, and square dancing. This series was not scanned but may be accessed in the Archival Reading Room at the William F. Winter Archives and History Building.
Series VI: Mississippi Farm Bureau Staff and County Activities
Series VI consists of 3,117 black and white negatives, black and white slides, color negatives, and color slides of Mississippi Farm Bureau activities. Duplicates were not scanned. Taken by Austin McMurchy and Ed Blake, the images date from the early 1950s through the 1980s. The images document farms, farming, and Mississippi community and cultural activities across the state in addition to the work of Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation at both the local and state levels. Truck crops, livestock industry, holiday parties, and buildings, including the Mississippi Farmer’s market in Jackson are all represented.