Paul lasley and david ostendorf were crucial participants in Iowa's response to the Farm Crisis of the 1980s. Paul Lasley had just finished his PhD and a postdoc in rural sociology at the University of Missouri when he came to Iowa State University. He worked on many projects that helped farmers cope with the decade's troubles, and often mediated between competing groups in his position with Iowa State Cooperative Extension. He was the founding editor of the Iowa Farm and Rural Life Poll, which gathered important evidence of the effects of the crisis at the ground level. Rev. David Ostendorf came to Iowa as part of the advocacy group Rural America. He arrived thinking he would be working on rural housing issues, but quickly found himself working with embattled farmers. When Rural America dissolved, he founded and headed PrairieFire, one of the decade's most important activist agricultural organizations, which...

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