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The Woman's Land Army of America (WLAA), later the Women's Land Army (WLA), was a civilian organization created during the First and Second World Wars to work in agriculture replacing men called up to the military. Women who worked for the WLAA were sometimes known as farmerettes.[1] The WLAA was modeled on the British Women's Land Army.[2]

First World War

The Woman's Land Army of America (WLAA) operated from 1917 to 1921, employing 15,000 - 20,000 urban women. Many were college educated, and units were associated with colleges.[3][4] The WLAA was supported by Progressives like Theodore Roosevelt, and was strongest in the West and Northeast, where it was associated with the suffrage movement. Other groups helping to organize the WLAA included the Woman's National Farm and Garden Association (WNFGA), the Temple University Ambler staff, the State Council of Defense of some states, the Garden Club of America, and the YMCA. In addition to the WLAA, the U.S. government sponsored the U.S School Garden Army and the National War Garden Commission. Opposition came from Nativists, opponents of President Woodrow Wilson, and those who questioned the women's strength and the effect on their health.[4]

World War II

The Women's Land Army (WLA) was formed as part of the United States Crop Corps, alongside the Victory Farm Volunteers (for teenage boys and girls), and lasted from 1943 to 1947.[5][6][7] Almost 135,000 women were placed in Oregon alone.[8] Other emergency farm worker programs in the U.S. included the Bracero Program (1942–1947), an agreement with Mexico.

See also


Further reading

  • Elaine F. Weiss (2008). Fruits of Victory: The Woman's Land Army of America in the Great War. ISBN 978-1-59797-273-4.  (excerpts in Smithsonian; NPR interview.)
  • Stephanie A. Carpenter (2003). On the Farm Front: The Women's Land Army in World War II. ISBN 978-0-87580-314-2. 
  • "Agriculture" in The Great Plains During World War II, ed. by R. Douglas Hurt. The Plains Humanities Alliance and the Center for Digital Research in the Humanities, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, 2008.

External links

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