Minnesota Farm Economy Oral History Project: Interview with William J. Nelson
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Description BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION: William Nelson was born into a Brainerd, Minnesota farm family in 1951. Active in agriculture in his early years, but not wanting to farm, Nelson enrolled at the University of Minnesota Morris in 1969, majoring in political science. He worked afterwards as a community educator in Minneapolis, where he developed an interest in cooperatives. After obtaining a degree in studies of the future from the University of Houston, Nelson became a teacher at Wasceca Technical College, specializing in cooperatives. He served in that capacity for four years, then becoming the division director for programs in agriculture, business, food industry, and family services. SUBJECTS DISCUSSED: Memories of growing up on his parent's farm. High school activities and interests; work in the cooperatives; how he became a professor at Waseca. Causes of the farm crisis. Definition of a family farm and the future of such farms. His belief of what the role of the university ought to be—helping people prepare adequately for agricultural jobs, career guidance, and education.
Quantity 2.5 hours sound cassette
49 pages transcript
Format Content Category: sound recordings
Content Category: text
Measurements 150 minutes length
Creation Interviewee: Nelson, William J.
Interviewer: Robertson, Margaret A.
Made in Waseca, Waseca County, Minnesota, United States
Subjects Made in Waseca, Waseca County, Minnesota, United States
Dates Creation: 06/02/1989
Holding Type Oral History - Interview
Identifiers OH 76
Accession Number AV1988.167.8
More Info MHS Library Catalog
Related Collections Oral History - Project, MHS Collection, project: 'Minnesota Farm Economy Oral History Project'

User Comments

  • Tom Pierson on January 25, 2016 01:49:39 PM

    Additional biographical information: Nelson later went on to become Vice President of Corporate Citizenship at CHS, Inc. and President of CHS Foundation (http://www.chsinc.com/our-company/news-and-media/news/2016/01/21/chs-inc-corporate-citizenship-foundation-head-to-retire). He has been awarded the FFA's Honorary American Farmer Degree, and in 2015 he was inducted into the Cooperative Hall of Fame (http://heroes.coop/archive/william-j-nelson/) in Washington, DC.

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