Like many other agribusinesses, Pioneer Hi-Bred sought to widen its control over the food and fiber industry after World War II. With the company’s expansion in the 1950s and 1960s, Pioneer’s interactions with rural people showcased a negotiated exchange of information and service. But even as it grew in size, the company was often confounded not by its competitors but rather its unruly dealers, unhappy farmers, and pesky academics. This paper explores the interaction between Pioneer, local dealers, and rural organizations during this period of economic growth. It investigates the reorganization of the agricultural power structure and how this corn company attempted to circulate their singular vision of agriculture. To do this, Pioneer pursued an overall marketing strategy that sought to infiltrate every layer of the rural community, from the individual farmer to the wider web of academic experts, with the ultimate goal of solidifying their institutional control over the agricultural process.

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