Natural Farmer's Cooperative/Rural Life Association Records

Natural Farmer's Cooperative/Rural Life Association Records

Collection Number: 
171
Collection Length: 
0.40ft
Geographic Coverage: 
St. Lawrence Valley area, Northern New York
Period: 
1979 to 1990
Finding Aid: 

The Natural Farmers Association (later, Co-operative) of the St. Lawrence Valley formed in late 1977 as the result of a number of organizational meetings among small farmers, gardeners and homesteaders in St. Lawrence County. The group’s aims were to foster and promote natural, organic and alternative farming, to promote a local food economy and act as a support system to small rural farmers and homesteaders. Almost immediately it became apparent that a major focus of the group would be direct marketing of local produce. In the early 1980’s the co-operative hired, with the help of outside funding, marketing coordinators to assist this effort.

With the increasing emphasis on marketing, a split developed between the growers and those more interested in the concept of homesteading, resulting in the creation of the Rural Life Association in 1983. The Natural Farmers Co-operative essentially disbanded and the cooperative marketing of local produce was taken over by Green Growers Co-op. After several years of dormancy, the Rural Life Association has been resurrected as an information sharing organization promoting development of sustainable agriculture, preservation of small family farms and rural lifestyles in St. Lawrence County.

The collection is divided into three series.
Series 1: Natural Farmers Cooperative
Series 2: Rural Life Association
Series 3: Miscellaneous material