Woman's Land Army of America

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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 1919, organized in 42 states, and employing more than 20,000 women.[3][4] It was inspired by the women of Great Britain who had organized as the Women's Land Army, also known as the Land Girls or Land Lassies.[5] Many of the women of the WLAA were college educated, and units were associated with colleges.[6][7] Most of them had never worked on farms before.[4] They were paid equally with male farm laborers and had an eight-hour workday.[4] The WLAA workers eventually became wartime icons, much as Rosie the Riveter would in World War Two.[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 Pennsylvania School of Horticulture for Women, 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.[7]

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.[8][9][10] It recruited more than one million women workers; almost 135,000 women were placed in Oregon alone.[11][12] Most of the workers received 25 to 40 cents per hour, which was an unskilled worker's wage at the time.[12] They had to pay for their own uniforms and meals.[12]

Other emergency farm worker programs in the U.S. included the Bracero Program (1942–1947), an agreement with Mexico.

See also

External Links

The Women's Land Army in 1918 - Pamphlets


  1. http://www.radcliffe.edu/schles/schlesnews_lostarmy.aspx
  2. Elaine F. Weiss (May 29, 2009). "Before Rosie the Riveter, Farmerettes Went to Work". Smithsonian.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> From the preface to the article: "Inspired by the women of Great Britain, organized as the Land Lassies, the Woman's Land Army of America was established by a consortium of women's organizations—including gardening clubs, suffrage societies, women's colleges, civic groups, and the YWCA."
  3. Weiss, Elaine F. Fruits of Victory: The Woman's Land Army of America in the Great War. ISBN 9781612343990.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 "Before Rosie the Riveter, Farmerettes Went to Work". Smithsonian.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "History, Travel, Arts, Science, People, Places - Smithsonian". smithsonianmag.com.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. http://groups.ucanr.org/victorygrower/Historical_Models/Womans_Land_Army_of_America,_ca_WWI.htm
  7. 7.0 7.1 http://groups.ucanr.org/victorygrower/files/52140.ppt
  8. "Oregon Secretary of State". state.or.us.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "Fruit From Washington - Fruit Harvest and Patriotic Posters from Depression Era and War Years". fruitfromwashington.com.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "World War II - Crop Corps". nebraskahistory.org.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "Women's Land Army". Oregon State Archives. Archived from the original on 2010-11-04.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 "Women's Land Army (WLA) - United States federal organization". Encyclopedia Britannica.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

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.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> (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.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • "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