Gertrude Dieken


"Gertrude Dieken is a pioneering consumer economist, gifted journalist, and a woman who authentically and most successfully dedicated her life’s work to advancing the status of women."
—Coe College President John E. Brown, 1995

Gertrude Dieken, born in Grundy County, Iowa in 1910, graduated with her B.A. from Coe College and following graduate studies in consumer economics and journalism at Iowa State University, launched her career as an editor and businesswoman. As an editor, Dieken garnered first the resources of the United States Department of Agriculture Extension Service in Ames, Iowa and then of the most influential farm magazine of the world, the Farm Journal. As a longtime editor of the family magazine within Farm Journal, she championed farm women as vital partners in farm production, as effective community leaders, and as intelligent and strong nurturers. The differences she made in the lives of farm families during an era of great change in agriculture reached far beyond her readers of the 1940s-70s, into the lives of the next generations. Dieken established the book publishing division of Farm Journal, Inc., and within the first decade, over ten million books were distributed. During this period, she became vice president and a member of the board of directors of Farm Journal, Inc. She was the first woman recipient of the Reuben Brigham Award for outstanding service to agriculture and rural living through mass communication media. Dieken is listed in Who’s Who of American Women. Dieken was inducted into the Iowa Women's Hall of Fame in 1995.

UPDATE: Dieken was selected Woman of the Yearby Women in Communications in 1947. She received the Coe College Alumni Award of Merit in 1957. She died August 31, 2002.