Dakota Farmer Collection

Identity elements

Reference code

MA 038

Name and location of repository

Level of description



Dakota Farmer Collection


  • 1906-1946 (Accumulation)


4.79 linear feet (4 boxes)

Name of creator


Administrative history

The Dakota Farmer first began as a newspaper in 1881, eight years before North Dakota and South Dakota were granted statehood. / It was first published in Alexandria in what is now Hanson County, S.D. The first owner, James Baynes, sold it within the first year of existence to Augustine Davis, and the publication moved to Huron, S.D. Davis sold a half-interest in Dakota Farmer to William Bushnell in 1883. Bushnell became sole owner of Dakota Farmer in 1885. / As editor and manager, Bushnell led Dakota Farmer into its early prominence. The publication, moved to Aberdeen, S.D. in 1893, supported all sorts of agricultural organizations and promoted the development of quality livestock and crops for the Dakotas. Bushnell himself was active in politics and eventually became state statistician for South Dakota. / Over the next century, Dakota Farmer survived and thrived with farmers through good times and bad, and became a well-respected source of information. / Webb Publishing, which published The Farmer, saw Dakota Farmer as a natural fit and purchased the magazine in 1979. / Today, Dakota Farmer is part of Farm Progress Companies. Farm Progress publishes 18 state farm magazines similar to Dakota Farmer. It owns and operates eight farm shows across the nation, including the largest in the nation, The Farm Progress Show.

Content and structure elements

Scope and content

This collection is composed mainly of plates, publications, reports, a small amount of correspondence, and photographs. The plates consist of frames, cover mast-heads, article mast-heads, frames for photographs, and other artwork used for the publication. A more detailed description of these plates is found in the container list. The publications are mainly specialty publications aimed at advertisers and marketers. The reports are surveys conducted on farmers, bankers, merchants.

An item of note is the contracting for a new cover file. This material contains several examples of other publication covers with critiques of what works and what does not. Also included in this material is three sample covers for the Dakota Farmer and correspondence between the contractor and the Dakota Farmer staff.

System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use elements

Conditions governing access

Open. Items in this collection do not circulate and may be used in-house only. Researchers conducting extensive research are asked to make an advance appointment to access archival material. Please call or e-mail prior to visiting the collection and indicate as much detail as possible about a particular topic and intended use.

Physical access

Technical access

Conditions governing reproduction

South Dakota State University supports access to the materials, published and unpublished, in its collections. Nonetheless, access to some items may be restricted as a result of their fragile condition or by contractual agreements with donors.

Languages of the material

  • English

Scripts of the material

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Finding aids

Acquisition and appraisal elements

Custodial history

Immediate source of acquisition

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information


Related materials elements

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Existence and location of copies

Related archival materials

The Dakota farmer
Aberdeen, South Dakota [Dakota-North Plains Corp.], 1881-1979
Call Number: Periodical/Lower Level: 630.5 D149; also in microfilm 1884-1979.

The Dakota farmer
St. Paul, Minn.: Webb Company, 1980-1992
Call Number: Periodicals/Lower Level: 630.5 F2291, also in microfilm 1980-1989.

Dear friends--: from the pages of The Dakota Farmer, Jennie's letters from the plains, Hutton, Jennie Senrud
Aberdeen, S.D., Dakota Farmer, c.1965.
Call Number: SD Collection: S521.H87 1965

Related descriptions

Notes element

Specialized notes

Alternative identifier(s)




MA 38

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