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Papers of Andrew J. Mair

Identifier: AAJM

Scope and Contents

The Papers of Andrew J. Mair consists of materials dated from 1931-2006, with the bulk falling between 1960 and 1977. Rural farm life, American participation in world food production and distribution, and the experiences of Americans traveling abroad are the major subjects covered. Mair's letters, speeches, and memoirs provide interesting stories and context from the perspective of a farm boy who became a diplomat. Very little documentation from government sources regarding U.S. policies and procedures is included in this collection. Materials include autobiographical writings, speeches and presentations given by Mair and other individuals, correspondence, documents collected from his travels, awards, newspaper clippings, photographs, and a CD.


  • Creation: 1931-2006
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1960-1977


Restrictions on Access

There are no access restrictions on this collection.

Restrictions on Use

Not all of the material in the collection is in the public domain. Researchers are responsible for addressing copyright issues.


Andrew J. "Andy" Mair (1913-2011), a former sugar beet farmer from Wellington, Colorado, progressed from working on a farm to employment with the United States Department of Agriculture and the Department of State. Filling numerous positions at local, state, and federal levels of government, Mair influenced agriculture policy, implementation, and relations in the United States and around the world.

Andrew Mair was born in South Dakota on May 28, 1913, the first son and third child of Robert and Marie Mair. The family had a long history of working in agriculture, and after moving to Colorado his father purchased a farm in the Wellington area. Growing up in this small agricultural community, Mair worked the fields with his relatives and neighbors. Spending summers topping beets with his friends (including future Supreme Court Justice Byron White) taught Mair the importance of the farm and the benefits of hard work.

After graduating from Wellington High School and working two years as a farm laborer, Mair joined the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and was stationed at a camp near Boulder. In 1935 he married Norma Asmus from La Porte, Colorado, whom he had met at a gathering of young men and women from Wellington, La Porte, and Timnath. Mair began his career as a farmer in 1936, first as a tenant and later as owner and operator of a farm east of Fort Collins. While working on his farm Mair developed an interest in community service and public office. He served as a member of the local school board, hospital service board, and president of the Larimer County Farm Bureau.

After eleven years of farming, Andrew Mair moved his family to Denver and enrolled at the University of Denver, graduating in 1949 with a degree in Economics and Political Science. Following his graduation he accepted the position of State Organization Director for the Colorado Farm Bureau. In 1954, the United States Department of Agriculture invited Mair to serve as Administrative Officer for the Commodity Stabilization Service in Colorado. He then moved to Washington, D.C., where he held numerous positions within the Department of Agriculture, including Deputy Administrator for Management and Vice President of the Commodity Credit Corporation.

Andrew Mair transferred from the Department of Agriculture to the Department of State in 1961. He filled the position of Administrative Officer in the American Embassies in Rome, Italy; Kabul, Afghanistan; and Ankara, Turkey. While serving in this capacity, Mair traveled to more than fifty countries on five continents. He oversaw the construction of the embassy in Kabul and headed U.S. delegations to international meetings in Europe, South America, and Asia. In 1968, Mair was awarded the Meritorious Honor Award by the Department of State, and he later received the Department of Agriculture's Distinguished Service Award in 1971.

Between 1969 and 1973, Mair worked as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Agriculture, and in 1974 and 1975, he served with the Agency for International Development as the Coordinator of Food for Peace. He was appointed Consultant of International Trade Negotiations for the American Farm Bureau Federation in 1975. During his time with the American Farm Bureau Federation, he assisted U.S. trade negotiators in gaining greater access to world-wide markets and ensuring that international trade was conducted on the basis of fair market competition. He retired from the American Farm Bureau Federation in 1977.

Following retirement Andrew Mair remained active in his community as a regular contributor and writer for local newspapers. He also traveled extensively, visiting the former Soviet Union four times, China twice, and Africa three times, and circumnavigating the world with over 600 college students on the Semester at Sea program sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh. Mair died in Wellington, Colorado, in 2011 and was survived by two daughters who live in California.


3.5 linear feet (2 record cartons, 1 document case, 1 oversize folder)

Language of Materials



Andrew J. Mair served in numerous capacities at local, state and federal levels of government, influencing agricultural policy, implementation and relations in the United States and around the world. Growing up on a farm in rural Colorado, Mair moved from working as a sugar beet farmer to service in the United States Department of Agriculture and the Department of State. His overseas assignments included Kabul, Afghanistan; Rome, Italy; and Ankara, Turkey. The collection consists of personal biographical information, correspondence, speeches and reports, documents collected from his travels, newspaper clippings and photographs.


The collection consists of 7 series in 2 record cartons, 1 document case, and 1 oversize folder:

Series 1: Biographical information, 1931-2006 and undated

Series 2: Speeches and writings, 1955-2002 and undated

Series 3: Correspondence, 1946-2003 and undated

Series 4: Travel, 1959-2001 and undated

Series 5: Work activities, 1963-1997

Series 6: Clippings, 1954-2004 and undated

Series 7: Photographs, 1953-1999 and undated


The Papers of Andrew J. Mair was acquired by the Colorado Agricultural Archive of Colorado State University Libraries from Andrew J. Mair on April 21, 2005. Mair donated additional items on March 21, 2007.

Related Collections

The Records of the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union, housed at the Colorado Agriculture Archive, also contains materials relating to rural agricultural life in the United States and the role of Americans in world food programs during the 1960s and 1970s.


The collection arrived without a discernible order, and the materials were arranged by material type and date. Folder titles were supplied by the archivist. Documents were re-housed in acid-free folders and boxes. Photographic prints were placed in protective sleeves and separated into a photograph series. Metal paper clips and staples were replaced with archival clips, and newspaper clippings were interleaved with acid-free paper. Duplicates beyond two copies and materials unrelated to Mr. Mair's life and work were removed.

Inventory Note

Note: All folder title information supplied by the archivist.

Guide to the Papers of Andrew J. Mair
Edited Full Draft
Prepared by Ryan Graham
Copyright 2008
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the CSU Libraries Archives & Special Collections Repository

Fort Collins Colorado 80523-1019 USA