Document Type



A body of new farm leaders emerged during the mid-1980s in response to the farm crisis in the Upper Midwest. This paper explores the influence of these leaders in shaping the direction of their groups. It does so through examining the farm leaders' socio-demographic characteristics, their use of power, and the way they confront problems. The leaders of two groups, the Farm Crisis Committee (FCC) and Groundswell (GS), are studied. The data for this paper were collected through use of a nonrandom-purposive sampling method. They were gathered through administration of a survey questionnaire in 1986 and intensive interviews during 1986-87. All eight of the FCC's and seven of nine of GS's founding leaders participated. These persons were identified as leaders because they held elected or appointed positions in their groups. The surveys and interviews for the leaders of the FCC were carried out at the group's office in Emerson, Nebraska, while those of GS, because the organization in its early days had no headquarters, were conducted at their individual homes or in restaurants throughout Minnesota. This paper's findings are further supported through use of documentary data from the farm groups and' supplementary secondary data, including scholarly publications, magazines, newspapers, and a television documentary.



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