The book,

Legacies: The Values, Principles and Purpose of Montana Farm Bureau , is now available for purchase. The book, written by agricultural journalist Laura Nelson, explores the founding of Montana Farm Bureau from 1919 to present day.


Nelson spent an incredible amount of time delving through old newspapers and records at the Montana Historical Society and local history museums, poring over past Montana Farm Bureau publications, visiting farms and ranches and talking to an incredible array of Farm Bureau leaders.

“From the beginning, Farm Bureau leaders were people who believed in empowerment through education, vitality in their rural communities and finding a unified voice through the democratic process,” Nelson said. “Those values still ring true today, I think that’s why the Farm Bureau is still going strong 101 years later.”

Legacies is primarily a history book, and there is much to tell in the 100 years of Montana Farm Bureau, Montana state and general agricultural history.

“The fascinating thing about studying history is that we can use it to help make sense of who we are today and where we might go in the future,” Nelson said. “As I researched and wrote these stories, I found comfort and inspiration in the seeing the struggles and successes of farmers and ranchers who came before us. It made me excited for the next generation of agricultural leaders who are making history right now.”

The book explores the values, principle and purpose of the Montana Farm Bureau through its historic and present farming and ranching leaders. These stories bounce from past to the present as Nelson weaves modern-day interviews linking to Farm Bureau leaders of the past. In the News sections share clips from newspapers highlighting Farm Bureau events from 1919 to present.

Details abound on the history of farming and ranching. Anyone with an interest in history—even if they’re not a Farm Bureau member—will enjoy reading Legacies, which explains what farmers and ranchers were struggling with through the Depression and the farm credit crisis of the 1980s as well as the prosperous times. The 218-page book’s design features beautiful photos and interesting sidebars.

Legacies is available from the Montana Farm Bureau for $40 plus $5 shipping. Click here or call 406-587-3153.