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Puttmann, Sally, 1936-



  • Existence: 1936-


Farm woman Sally Puttmann was born and raised on a farm near Kingsley in western Iowa, graduating from Kingsley High School in 1952. She met Dwight Puttmann while she was in high school and married him after his graduation from Iowa State University in 1954. They moved to a farm in Plymouth County where they raised two daughters and had a successful, mixed livestock and row crop farm. In 1995, the Puttmanns had 850 acres in crops and marketed 2,500 hogs annually.

Both Dwight and Sally Puttmann were active in the Woodbury County Farm Bureau from 1976. In 1979, neighboring farmers asked her to run for vice president of the Woodbury County Farm Bureau board of directors with the expectation that she would run for county president the following term. With the encouragement of her husband, she agreed, and, in 1981, she progressed from that position to become the first woman president of a county Farm Bureau board. From 1983 to 1986 she served as the voting delegate to the Iowa Farm Bureau board for Plymouth County. She chaired the Iowa Farm Bureau Environmental Resource Committee and the Women´s Involvement Task Force that studied integrating the Iowa Farm Bureau Women´s Committee into the main organization.

In 1985, Iowa Governor Terry Branstad appointed Puttmann to the State Soil Conservation Commission where she served eight years. She was appointed to the advisory board of the Leopold Center at Iowa State University in 1995. In 1996, she became the first woman on the Iowa Farm Bureau board of directors as a district representative. During this period, she was also active in her church and synod, filling requests to preach and serving as president of her congregation.

Since neither of the Puttmanns´ two daughters chose to farm, Dwight and Sally Puttmann became advocates for farm succession plans by which retiring farmers help young farmers enter their operation. They developed a plan to turn over their farming operation to a young farmer, Joe Hlas. Dwight and Sally Puttmann spoke at numerous conferences designed to draw attention to and overcome the difficulty young farmers had in entering farming. When Dwight Puttmann died in 1995, Sally assumed responsibilities for the farm oversight, conference appearances, and other church and community activities.

Found in 2 Collections and/or Records:

Sally Puttmann papers

Identifier: IWA0396

Farmer, speaker, and first woman on the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation Board of Directors.

Dates: 1994-1998

Voices from the Land: An Oral History Project in Iowa

Identifier: IWA0825

Oral histories with Iowa farm women conducted as part of the Rural Women's Project of the Iowa Women's Archives.

Dates: 2000-2001

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