"The paradox of food being plowed under and livestock being destroyed while people went hungry caused the Federal government to act. The Commodity Credit Corporation was established in 1933, primarily to get loans to farmers and help them store non-perishable commodities until prices rose. Farmers were eventually allowed to forfeit their crops to the federal government to repay loans, which in turn forced the government to hold commodities and sell or distribute them to domestic and international food programs and to promote export markets in order to prevent waste and spoilage." http://www.fns.usda.gov/fdd/aboutfd/fd_history.pdf
National Archives Identifier: 5709998
Local Identifier: 16-G-307-2-6054
Creator(s): Department of Agriculture. Office of the Secretary. Office of Information. (1925 - ca. 1981) (Most Recent)
From: Series : Historical File of the Office of Information, Department of Agriculture, compiled 1900 - 1959
Record Group 16: Records of the Office of the Secretary of Agriculture, 1794 - ca. 2003
"Modern Farmer was one of the only serial publications published in the Depression-era United States that was aimed at African-American farmers. It was published between 1929-1949 by the National Federation of Colored Farmers (NFCF), an organization which formed local chapters of buying and selling distribution cooperatives for African-American farmers and their goods at a time when prevailing Jim Crow laws made such efforts dangerous. Editor James P. Davis was the president of the NFCF, Head Field Officer the Agricultural Adjustment Administration and was also a member of President Roosevelt’s “Black Cabinet.”"
"The National Agricultural Library (NAL) was created with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in 1862 and designated a national library in 1962. Located in Beltsville, Maryland, on the grounds of the USDA's Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, NAL is home to one of the world's largest collections devoted to agriculture and related sciences. Since the library has a dual role to serve the public and the USDA, it is committed to expanding online access to its collections. Many of the library's resources and treasures can also be accessed through the NAL Digital Collections. "
Department of Agriculture. Farm Security Administration. Information Division. (ca. 1937 - ca. 1942)
ARC Identifier 13595 / Local Identifier 96.2 1937
The Plow That Broke the Plains
The film presents the social and economic history of the Great Plains -- from the time of the settlement of the prairies, through the World War I boom, to the years of depression and drought. The first part of the film shows cattle as they grazed on grasslands, and homesteaders who hurried onto the plains and grew large wheat crops. The second part depicts the postwar decline of the wheat market, which resulted in overproduction. Footage shows farm equipment used, then abandoned. The third part shows a dust storm as it rendered a farm useless. Subsequent scenes show farmers as they left their homes and headed west. - Description from site
"...an interactive website and online archive about food in the Great Depression, funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities." Contains materials from the "America Eats Project" as well as community cookbooks and food advertising from the 1930s.
"Some may think of farmers as conservative, but that view ignores a long tradition of rural radicalism in the United States. In the early years of the Great Depression, that radicalism found powerful expression in the subverting of farm foreclosures and tax sales. The technique was simple—when a farm was foreclosed for overdue taxes or failure to meet mortgage payments, neighbors would show up at the auction and intimidate any potential buyers. Then the farm and equipment would be purchased at a token price and returned to the original owner. Nation magazine reporter Ferner Nuhn witnessed such an auction sale in Iowa and described this practice in March 1933. These efforts saved the livelihood of many South Dakota and Iowa farmers who were devastated by the depression, but they were not enough. Between 1930 and 1935, about 750,000 farms were lost through foreclosure and bankruptcy sales."
United States. Department of Agriculture. Radio Service.