United Farmers of Alberta (UFA) began as a farmers’ advocacy organization in Edmonton, Alberta in 1909. It campaigned for better prices for grain, improved rural education and better rural health care. It successfully lobbied the provincial government to create the Alberta Farmers’ Co-operative Elevator Company in 1913, and organized the United Farm Women of Alberta in 1915 to lobby for women’s suffrage.
Ultimately, UFA became a powerful provincial party, forming its first government in 1921 and remaining in office until 1935. While in office, UFA improved health care for Albertans by reviewing existing services, improving training for doctors, increasing access to hospital care for rural Albertans through the union hospital program and attempting to introduce health insurance. Once out of office in 1935, UFA abandoned politics and returned to its earlier mission of advocating for the needs of farmers and rural communities and supporting rural cooperatives. UFA’s political successes demonstrated that Albertans supported the provincial government’s delivery of social services, especially rural health care.