|Image: Kevsphotos from Pixabay|
In 1940, the population of the United States was approximately 132 million people. Across the country there were nearly six million farms that provided food for the nation. However, by 1942 over two million men had left agricultural jobs. By 1943 another four million men were gone from the farms, and the U.S. was now feeding other countries. Combined with gas and rubber rationing that put an end to the use of migrant workers, the agriculture industry was suffering. Badly.
Across the country, there were major concerns about widespread crop loss. As a result, many states and private organizations created programs that trained high schoolers, conscientious objectors, prisoners of war, and interned Japanese-Americans. But these workers were still not enough.
|Florence Hall (archives.gov)|
Women were not expected to have farming experience, but applicants had to be physically fit and possess manual dexterity, patience, curiosity, and patriotism. They also had to be at least eighteen years old. Upon completion of their training, the women were assigned to a farm. Some recruits lived at home and participated in day-haul programs, referred to as the “Housewives Specials.” Recruits from distant cities lived in housing provided by the farmer, or in government camps if there were enough workers to qualify for defense housing to be built or requisitioned. In the late spring each year, posters, brochures, and radio advertisements encouraged teachers to work the farms during their summer vacations, and women in other industries to use their two week vacation time to work on the farms.
When all was said and done, the Women’s Land Army program was considered a great success. Women with little or no agricultural experience saved countless crops from rotting in the fields and provided food to a world at war.
How are your gardening skills?
A Love Not Forgotten: Allison White should be thrilled about her upcoming wedding. The problem? She’s still in love with her fiancé, Chaz, who was declared dead after being shot down over Germany in 1944. Can she put the past behind her and settle down to married life with the kindhearted man who loves her?
Linda Shenton Matchett writes about ordinary people who did extraordinary things in days gone by. A volunteer docent and archivist for the Wright Museum of WWII, Linda is also a trustee for her local public library. She is a native of Baltimore and was born a stone's throw fro Fort McHenry. Linda has lived in historic places all her life, and is now located in central New Hampshire where her favorite activities include exploring historic sites and immersing herself in the imaginary worlds created by other authors. Connect with her: Website, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Goodreads, or BookBub.