The following people generously contributed interviews to this project: Ray Casper, Keith Chada, Travis Drake, Andrew Ehlers, Lance Elmquist, Steve Goodner, Wyndi Gray, Gwen Hope, Jacob Lane, Daniel Lankford, Justin Limke, Raymond Lumley, Marlin Mahr, Dana Nappier, Joe Nizzi, Joshua Overton, Casey Presnall, Curt Rosener, Jill Scott, Randolph Scott, Frank Steinbach Jr., Andrew Thomas, Neely Turner, and Charlie Wishman

All project interviews have been included within the Iowa Labor History Oral Project (ILHOP), an over forty-year-old oral history collaboration initiated by the Iowa Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO. With the exception of those interviews for which narrators have chosen to restrict access for a specified period of time, interview materials and related files and other historical documents are available through the University of Iowa Digital Library and/or at the State Historical Society of Iowa in Iowa City.

Further Reading: While historians have written a lot about the United Auto Workers, they have spent much less time exploring the history of the union’s Agricultural Implement Council or union farm equipment workers more generally. A few recommended readings include:

Ashby, Steven K., and C. J. Hawking. Staley: The Fight for a New American Labor Movement. University of Illinois Press, 2009. [A history of labor struggles in and around Decatur, Illinois, during the 1990s, including those involving UAW Local 751 at Caterpillar.]

Gilpin, Toni. The Long Deep Grudge: A Story of Big Capital, Radical Labor, and Class War in the American Heartland. Haymarket, 2020. [A history of the Farm Equipment Workers union, with an emphasis on International Harvester. Particularly useful for understanding the struggle between FE and the UAW in the context of Cold War.]

Mettler, Matthew M. “A Workers’ Cold War in the Quad Cities: The Fate of Labor Militancy in the Farm Equipment Industry, 1949-1955,” Annals of Iowa, 3rd series, vol. 68, no. 4 (Fall 2009): 359-394. [The struggle between the FE and the UAW in the Quad Cities during the Cold War.]

Stromquist, Shelton. Solidarity and Survival: An Oral History of Iowa Labor in the Twentieth Century. University of Iowa Press, 1993. [An oral history of the Iowa labor movement based on ILHOP interviews. Particularly good coverage of the 1950 Deere strike but also places farm equipment workers in comparative community contexts across time.]

Growing Solidarity Staff: Project Lead: John McKerley, oral historian, UI Labor Center (2013-23), and Project Intern, John Jepsen, Humanities for the Public Good-Obermann Center Fellow (2023).

Acknowledgments: First and foremost, thanks to all the members of UAW Local 450, whose courage and solidarity made this project possible. Thanks especially to Local 450 presidents Travis Drake and Justin Limke for coordinating interviews and welcoming us into the life of the local. Thanks also to Prairie Meadows’ Community Betterment Program, the Iowa Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, our colleagues at the UI Labor Center, the UI College of Law, Will Thomson at Armadillo Arts Exhibit Design, UAW archivist Gavin Strassel at the Walter P. Reuther Library at Wayne State University, the UI’s Oberman Center for Advanced Studies, the Iowa Women’s Archives, the State Historical Society of Iowa, the Iowa Labor History Society, and the staff of the UI’s Digital Scholarship and Publishing Studio, especially Ethan DeGross, our expert web developer.