Senator John F. Kennedy, Democratic presidential nominee, today announced formation of the Farmers for Kennedy-Johnson Committee. This organization will reach into every State and county to enlist the support of farmers for the Kennedy-Johnson ticket.
Representatives of Farmers for Kennedy-Johnson will personally go from farm gate to farm gate, visiting farmers throughout the Nation. The organization will also work with existing farm organizations, farm-youth groups, and farm cooperatives.
Senator Kennedy said:
We have been extremely fortunate in bringing into the Kennedy-Johnson organization the most outstanding group of farm authorities ever assembled for a national campaign. Under the leadership of Governor Herschel Loveless of Iowa we have men of the highest quality helping us in this vitally important field, Robert Lewis of Wisconsin, Claude Wickard of Indiana, Norman Kraeft of Illinois, Edwin Jaenke of Missouri, Murray D. Lincoln of Ohio, Stephen Pace of Georgia, and Willard W. Cochrane of Minnesota. These are only some of the men already with us and others will be added in the near future. Mr. Lewis will head the national headquarters. He is assistant on agricultural matters to Gov. Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin. Before joining Governor Nelson's staff, he headed Senator Proxmire's Washington office as his principal policy adviser.
Ralph Bradley, president of the Illinois Farmers' Union, will head field operations working from headquarters at Springfield, Ill.
James Ralph, deputy director of agriculture for the State of California and the foremost authority on marketing procedure in the Far West, will head the special commodities group which will deal with unique problems of agriculture. Alex Nunn, editor of the Progressive Farmer magazine, Birmingham, Ala., a national farm journal of 1,397,000 circulation, will head a unit concerned with developing plans and programs for agriculture.
Claude Wickard of Indiana, former Secretary of Agriculture, will be chairman of the executive committee, and Stephen Pace, former Congressman from Georgia, will serve as vice chairman.
Willard W. Cochrane, assistant to Senator Kennedy, will be liaison between the Farmers for Kennedy-Johnson and the Senator. Mr. Cochrane is professor of agricultural economics at the University of Minnesota, and is currently on leave from the university.
Murray D. Lincoln, president of several nationwide insurance companies and former executive secretary of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, will head a "dirt" farmers advisory council which will keep the Farmers for Kennedy-Johnson organization informed as to farmers' needs and goals.
Norman Kraeft, who is one of the best-known radio and TV farm directors in the Nation and who has been honored with many awards for his programs on WGN and WGN-TV, Chicago, will be director of agricultural public relations. His wife, who until 2 years ago operated a 240-acre dairy farm in McHenry County, Ill., will head the women's division. Her herd of 32 Holstein cows regularly produced over 15,000 pounds of milk and over 600 pounds of butterfat per cow per year.
Edwin Jaenke, assistant to Senator Stuart Symington, will head the work with the farm organizations.
There will be seven regional directors. Those who have been named are: John Vance of Virginia, president of the Virginia Farmers Union; Lloyd Godley of Arkansas, chairman of the Osceola Production Credit Association; L. C. Carpenter, livestock marketing specialist for the Missouri Farmers' Association and former director of agriculture for the State of Missouri; Al Johnson of South Dakota, field representative for the largest grain cooperative in the world; and Emory Jacobs of Oklahoma, formerly professor of agriculture at Oklahoma A. & M. and now a prominent farmer and one of Senator Robert Kerr's administrative aides.
Ken Kendrick, vice president of the Texas Wheat Growers Association, will be in charge of work on the vitally important food for peace program, at the national headquarters in Washington.
The executive committee has not been fully completed, but among those who have consented to serve with Chairman Wickard and Vice Chairman Pace are Leif Ericson of Montana, Ersel Walley of Indiana, Hilton Bracey of Missouri, Clyde Zahner of Pennsylvania, Joe Russell of Illinois, Dan Carey of New York, Pearle Finnegan of Nebraska, and Lionel Steinberg of California.
A nationwide committee for agricultural progress will be announced later.