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World War II - Crop Corps

In the summer of 1943 the United States was in the midst of World War II. The Sunday World-Herald Magazine on July 4 of that year, in a special "Nebraska at War" edition, reported the state's contribution to the war effort. The publication included an appeal for Nebraska city dwellers to join the "Crop Corps." According to the World-Herald Magazine:

"Harvest brings the big opportunity for Nebraska's town and city people to lend a helping hand. Farmers and their families and what steady hired help they have usually manage to get the crops planted and tended and keep up reasonably well the chores of caring for cattle, horses, sheep, hogs and chickens, repairing machinery and making gardens. But when it comes to the harvest, they must have outside help.

"Elaborate machinery has been set up this year to organize a 'Crop Corps,' the ranks of which will include all nonfarm men who can give some time to work on the farm, nonfarm boys and girls 14 to 18 who will work under the banner of the 'Victory Farm Volunteers' and nonfarm women who will serve in a 'Women's Land Army.'

"In every town some person serves as the volunteer representative of the agricultural extension service and United States employment service, sponsoring agencies, in registering the names of town people who will help and farmers who need help. County agricultural agents have the responsibility for farm labor in their counties, and when their local supply won't meet the demand they appeal to state headquarters, which will then dispatch workers from some other area, if available.

"How completely farmers make known in advance their needs and how willingly the townspeople turn out to help will in large measure determine Nebraska's food contribution in this vital war year. This system of mutual cooperation must work successfully in the wheat and spring grain harvest all the way across the state, in the stacking of alfalfa and wild hay, in the harvesting this fall of beans, potatoes and sugar beets, and finally in husking the corn next winter."

(July 2000)



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