Ground Swell

Ground Swell Office, Wanda MN

I grew up in the 80’s when the farm crunch was in full swing.  A lot of farmers were losing their land and livlihood.   Farms that had been in the family for generations were lost.  It was a sad time.

I was in my early teens and don’t remember all the details anymore, I remember hearing about the “penny sales” in which farmers would show up to the foreclosure auction of a fellow farmer and bid pennies for the equipment and land to get back at the banks for foreclosing.

I remember bits and pieces of Groundswell, which as I recall was a grass roots organization begun by farmers to promote the family farm and try to help farmers keep their land.  I don’t remember a lot else about it.

Anyway, the picture is from the Groundswell office in Wanda, MN.  I’m not sure if that was the only office, or just one of several.    If anyone has more information, I’d be interested to know.

I did find some more information on Groundswell.  The Minnesota Historical Society has some records and other materials covering roughly the decade the organization existed

http://www.mnhs.org/library/findaids/00534.xml

The local newspaper has a blog of archived articles that include some articles on one of the founders of Groundswell.

http://reprint.areavoices.com/tag/groundswell/

An article giving a summary of what was going on in the 80’s farm crisis.  It looks fairly thorough, though I can’t vouch for accuracy.

http://eightiesclub.tripod.com/id395.htm

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6 Responses to Ground Swell

  1. I forgot all about Groundswell. And I can’t recall details either.

  2. Pingback: More on Groundswell | Fleeting Farms

  3. nyfarmer says:

    Great site, try.to tweet it, use hashtag.#farmjustice

  4. Brad Wilson says:

    I’ve been looking all over the place for Groundswell online, for where Groundswell went. We’re still fighting the fight, only now we have a huge consumer side food movement against cheap corn, etc., only they don’t really know how to achieve it. Please check out my YouTube channel of online videos and my Farm Bill Primer, etc., at ZSpace, all linked through my name here. I found this through twitter, through wordpress. Thanks for the links. I just got back from NYC telling food advocates about the history of all of this and showing video of the women of farm justice. Check out my historical blogs at La Vida Locavore.

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