Minnesota Farm Advocate Oral History Project: Interview with Harold Hutchinson

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Titles Minnesota Farm Advocate Oral History Project: Interview with Harold Hutchinson
Description BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION: Harold Hutchinson was born in Iowa, but moved to the Lamberton, Minnesota area when he was 6 (in 1949). His wife, Marie, was originally from the Lamberton, area. Harold's father still owns a farm in Iowa. Harold served in the Army 1965-67, and in 1970 he, his father and his brother became partners in farming 900 acres, including 160 acres of the father's farm and rented land. Harold and Marie were married in 1971; she has a son from a previous marriage (now 21) and they have a son (now 16). They began renting their present farm in 1972. SUBJECTS DISCUSSED: The drought of 1975-76 forced them to take out disaster loans and they were in financial difficulty from 1979 until 1987. They are now in good financial condition, assuming that 1988 is a favorable year. Harold describes a complex series of financial transactions relative to the Hutchinson farming operations between 1982 and 1987 in Iowa and Minnesota and involving FmHA, the Federal Land Bank, FDIC, Farm Credit Services, Conservation Reserve Program, and local banks in Lamberton and Mankato, Minnesota. In March 1985, Paul Sobocinski of Groundswell and Lou Anne Kling of Farm Advocates arranged for Harold and Dave Hesse (both of whom were seeking loans from FmHA) to be interviewed in Lamberton by TV crews from the Twin Cities. After the interviews they all moved (unexpected and disruptively) into a meeting of the FmHA County Committee in which their loans were being considered where they explained their situations to the Committee. All of this was embarrassing to FmHA, which was proposing to deny Harold's eligibility for the loan, and resulted in its approval instead. He became involved in Groundswell and then in Farm Advocates, both in 1985. He is still active in both organizations, making use of the information and experience he has gained in dealing with farm credit organizations - and also because he believes that without the help he recieved from both, he would not "have made it". He identifies large agribusinesses (such as Cargill) as farmers' enemies, getting rich from storage, the reserve program and foreign sales while farmers are going broke.
Quantity 3 hours sound cassette
32 pages transcript
Format Content Category: sound recordings
Content Category: text
Creation Interviewee: Hutchinson, Harold
Interviewer: Hunter, Dianna
Interviewer: Meter, Ken
Made in [vicinity]: Revere, Redwood County, Minnesota, United States
Dates Creation: 06/16/1988
Holding Type Oral History - Interview
Identifiers OH 37 (Library Call Number)
AV1991.158.18 (Accession Number)
More Info MNHS Library Catalog
Related Collections Oral History - Project, MHS Collection, project: 'Minnesota Farm Advocate Oral History Project'


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