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Full text of "National defense migration. Hearings before the Select Committee Investigating National Defense Migration, House of Representatives, Seventy-seventh Congress, first[-second] session, pursuant to H. Res. 113, a resolution to inquire further into the interstate migration of citizens, emphasizing the present and potential consequences of the migraion caused by the national defense program. pt. 11-[34]"

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H. Res. 113 


PART 22 

NOVEMBER 25. 1941 

Printed for the use of the Select Committee Investigating 
National Defense Migration 









H. Res. 113 



PART 22 

NOVEMBER 25, 1941 

Printed for the use of the Select Committee Iiivestigatinio; 
National Defense Migration 



WASIIIX(;T0X : 1942 


JOHN H. TOLAN, California, Chairman 

LAURENCE F. ARNOLD, Illinois FRANK C. OSMERS, Jr., New Jersey 

Robert K. Lamb, Staff Director 



List of witnesses , v 

List of authors vn 

Tuesday. November 25, 1941, moi'ning session 8361 

Testimony of Dan B. Butler 8361,8376 

Statement by Harry Trustin 8361 

Statement by John J. Larkin 8364 

Statement by Division of Defense Housing Coordination 8364 

Statement by Omaha Real Estate Board 8366 

Statement by Hobart M. Corning 8367 

Statement by A. S. Pinto 8370 

Statement by Frank E. Fogarty 8372 

Statement by J. O. Hertzler 8384 

Statement by W. H. Andresen 8399 

Statement by Arthur Anderson, V. H. Peterson, and George E. 

Hendrix 8400 

Statement by W. H. Brokaw 8402 

Testimony of William Donnelly "_ 8404 

Testimony of L. R. Scafe 8410,8411 

Statement by L. R. Scafe 8411 

Testimony of W. C. Fraser 8415 

Testimony of Cal A. Ward 8418,8456 

Statement by Cal A. Ward 8418 

Testimony of Walter T. Meissner 8461 

Testimony of O. H. Person 8462, 8470 

Statement by O. H. Person 8463 

Statement by George Hendrix. G. W. Hunter, L. R. Leonard, Fred S. 

Wallace, L. A. White, and Arthur Anderson 8467 

Letters bearing on the Wahoo bomb-loading plant 8473; 

Tuesday, November 25, 1941, afternoon session 8483 

Testimony of Fred Forgette 8483 

Testimony of Lewis Rogers 8483, 8491 

Testimony of Blair Fogel ' 8488 

Form of crop-insurance contract 8489 

Testimony of Herman Hanke 8494 

Testimony of Edward A. Kimball 8494, S.'.OO 

Statement by Don Hise 8498, 8499 

Statement by Edward A. Kimball ' 8500 

Testimony of T. W. Schultz 8504, 8510 

Statement by T. W. Schultz 8504 

Statement by Walter W. Wilcox 8518 

Statement by Raymond Schickele 8521 

Statement by John A. Hopkins 8524 

Statement by Donald R. Muiphy 8530 

Statement by Calvin Schnucker 8532 

Statement by Ray F. Anderson 8542 

Statement by Homer H. Hush 8543 

Testimony of Fred Hawley 854ft 

Testimony of .Tay J. Newlin 8552, 8569 

Repi)rt of l»olk County (Iowa) Farm Bureau 8553 

TestiuKiny of Milo Stall 8562,8564 

Statement by Milo Stall 8563 

Statement by Ankeny State Bank 8563 

Statement by Harry J. Bode 8564 

Testimony of M. O. Ryan 8567 



'riit'sil;iy. Xovciiilit'i- 'J.',. I!i41 — ('out iiiiifil. I'aife 

Si.iiciii.Mii l.v M. O. Kyim 8568 

r;in<'l (pf fdilors 8r»70, 8580 

SlMiciiit'iit l).v J. S. KusscU 8ri70 

SljilciiuMit by Cailylc Ilod^kiii 8573 

St.iti'iiKMit liy Kihvai-tl S. Uoelnfs 8576 

StaliMiuMil liy .1. (\ Hanunoud -- 8577 

StaU'iiKMii l.y Ralph O. Hillgi-Hii 8578 

FAliil)ils introduced 8590 

]-;xliil)ils: . 

Exliiltit 1. Statoiiieiit by National Yniitb Administration 8591 

Exhibit 2. StalenuMit by Donald (1. Ihiy. rural sociologist, I'liited 

States DepartuKMit of Agriculture, Lincoln, Nebr 8598 

I]xhibi( 8. Statement by Farm Loan Division, Metropolitan Life 

Insurance Co SfiOl 

Exhibit 4. Statement by Charles Mcl'umsey. president. Federal Land 

Hank of Omaha _" 8603 

Exhibit 4a. Statement by I'l-airie States Forestry Project. United 

States Department of AVi'iculture, Lincoln, Nebr 8609 

Exhibit 5. Statement by Soil ( "ons(>rvation Service, United States 

Department of Ai-i'iculture, Lincoln, Nebr 8616 

Exhibit t). Defense dislocations and migration in selected <-ommuni- 

ties. research staff of the committee S"623 

Exhibit 7. Dislocations due to material shortages, by Bureau of 

Employment Security, Social Security Board 8642 

Exhibit 8. Effects of material shortages on individual companies. 

by Bureau of Employment Security, Social Security Board. S6r)4 

Exhibit 9. Analysis of labor displacement during Novembei- 1941. 

by the Reixirts and Analysis Division, Bureau of Farm Emi)loy- 

ment Security, Social Security Bo.ard 8667 

Exhibit 10. I'rioriti(>s miemployment by Division of Research. Work 

Projects Administration 8675 

Exhibit 11. Potential dislocations in employment due to stoppage of 

rubber shipments, by Rubber Mamifacturers Association 8680 

Exhibit 12. Reabsorption opportiuiities for workers in rubber industry 

communities bv Bureau of Employment Security, Social Security 

Board 8682 

Index 8685 


Omaha He-\rings. Novembek 2^>. 1942 


T'.utlei-. Hon. Dan B.. mayor of Omaha, Nebr 8361,8376 

Donnelly, William, lathe operator, 4043 Fainam St.. Omaha, Nebr 8404 

Fogel, Blair, farmer, Mead, Nebr 8488 

Forgette, Fred, farmer. Mead, Nebr 848S 

Fraser, W. C. attorney, former vice president, chamber of commerce, 

Omaha, Nebr 8415 

Griswold, Hon. Dwight, Governor of Nebra.ska, Lincoln, Nebr 8379 

Hanke, Herman, farmer, Ithaca, Nebr 8494 

Hawley, Fred K.. farmer and chairman of 1938 Iowa Farm Tenancy Com- 
mittee, Laurens. Iowa 8546 

Hodgkin. Carlyle. farm editor, Omaha World-Herald, Lincoln, Nebr___ 8570,8582 
Kimball, Edward A., chairman, Iowa Industrial and Defense Commission, 

Dc's Moines, Iowa, representing Gov. George A. Wilson of Iowa 8494,8500 

Meissner. Walter T.. laborer, Sydney, Nebr 8461 

Newlin, Jay .1., grower of hybrid corn and former director Farm Bureau 

Federation. Johnston, Iowa 8552,8560 

Person, Dr. O. H.. mayor of Wahoo. Nebr 8462,8470 

Roelops, Edward E., editor, Sicmx Center News. Sioux Center. Iowa 8570, 8582 

Rogers, Lewis, farmer. Mead, Nebr 8483,8491 

Russell. J. S.. farm news editor. Des Moines Register. Des Moines, 

Iowa 8570,8582 

Ryan, M. O., secretai-y. Republican Valley Conservation Association, 

McCook. Nebr 8567 

Scafe, Lincoln R.. vice president, Glenn L. Martin Co., Omaha. Nebr 8410 

Schultz, Dr. T. W.. head of department of economics and sociology. Iowa 

State College. Ames. Iowa 8504,8510 

Stall. Milo. tenant farmer, Ankeny. Iowa 8563,8564 

Ward. Cal A., regional director. Farm Security Administration, United 

States Department of Agriculture. Lincoln, Nebr 8418,8456 



Omaha He.\.ri>sGs, November 25, 1941 

Anderson, Arthur, Bureau of Agricultural Economics, United States De- 
partment of Agriculture, Lincoln, Nebr 8400 

Andresen, W. H., acting supervisor, Nebraska Farm Placement Service, 

Lincoln, Nebr 8399 

Brokaw, W. H., director, Nebraska Agricultural Extension Service, Lin- 
coln, Nebr 8402 

Bureau of Employment Security, Social Security Board, Washington, D. G- 8646, 

8654, 8667, 8682 
Christy, Arthur W., chairman. Story County Agricultural Conservation 

Committee, Nevada, Iowa 8529 

Corning, Hobart M., superintendent of schools, Omaha, Nebr 8367 

Division of Defense Housing Coordination, Executive Oflice of the Presi- 
dent, Washington, D. C 8364 

Farmers' Committee, Polk County Farm Bureau, Des Moines, Iowa 8553 

Fogarty, Frank P., commissioner, Omaha Chamber of Commerce, Omaha, 

Nebr 8372 

Hammond, J. C, editor, Decorah Journal, Decorah, Iowa 8577 

Hay, Donald G., rural sociologist, Bureau of Agricviltural Economics, 

United States Department of Agriculture, Washington, D. C 8598 

Hendrix, George E., Agricultural Extension Service, University of Ne- 
braska, Lincoln, Nebr 8400, 8467 

Hertzler, J. O., professor of sociology, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, 

Nebr 8384 

Hillgren, Ralph O., State editor, Sioux Falls Argus-Leader, Sioux Falls, 

S. Dak 8578 

Hodgkiu, Carlyle, farm editor, Omaha World-Herald, Omaha, Nebr 8573 

Hopkins, John A., associate professor of agricultural economics, Iowa 

State College, Ames, Iowa 8524 

Hust, Homer H., defense relocation supervisor. Farm Security Adminis- 
tration, Algona, Iowa 8543 

McCumsey, Charles, president, Federal Land Bank of Omaha, Omaha, 

Nebr • 8603 

Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., farm-loan division, New York, N. Y 8601 

Murphy, Donald R., editor, Wallace's Farmer and Iowa Homestead, Des 

Moines, Iowa 8530 

National Youth Administration, Federal Security Agency, Washington, 

D. C 8591 

Person, Dr. O. H., major, Wahoo, Nebr 8463 

Peterson,, V. H., Agricultural Extension Service, University of Nebraska, 

Lincoln, Nebr 8400 

Pinto, Dr. A. S., commissioner, department of health, Omaha, Nebr 8370 

Prairie States forestry project. Forest Service, Lincoln, Nebr 8609 

Research staff, House Committee Investigating National Defense Migra- 
tion, Washington, D. C 8623 

Roelofs, Edward E., editor, Sioux Center News, Sioux Center, Iowa 8576 

Rubber Manufacturers Association, Inc.. New York, N. Y 8680 

Russell, J. S., farm news editor, Des Moines Register and Tribune, Des 

Moines, Iowa 8570 

Ryan, M. O., secretary, Republican Valley Conservation Association, 

McCook, Nebr 8568 

Scafe, Lincoln R., vice president, Glenn L. Martin Co., Omaha, Nebr 8410 

Schickle, Rainer, Iowa State College, Ames, Iowa 8521 

Schnucker, Rev. Calvin, pastor, Ramsey Reformed Church, Titouka, Iowa — 8532 
Schultz, T. W., head of department of economics and sociology, Iowa State 

College, Ames, Iowa ^ 8504 


VIII LIST OK AUTHitUS A M > KXI 1 1 1'.ll S Conservation S»tv1i-c', Tuitrd Stall's 1 »ciiartnicnt of Agi-icultun', Lin- I'^'B'^' 

coin, Nchr- 


Stall, Milo. tenant farmer, Ankeny, Iowa 856:3 

Trustin. Harry, superintendent, department of public improvements, 

Onialia, Nebr. 


Ward, Cal A., director, region "VII. Farm Security Administration, Depart- 
ment of Agriculture, Linc(.ln, Nebr 8418 

Wilcox, Walter W., Iowa State College, Ames, Iowa »ol8 

Work Project.^ Administration, Division of Research, Washington. D. C 867o 



morning session 

House of Representatives, 
Select Comimittee In\tstigating 

National Defense Migration, 

Washington^ D. C. 

The comniitte<i met at 9 : 30 a. m., in the Post Office Building, 
Omaha, Nebr., Hon. John J. Sparkman (acting chairman) presid- 
ing, in the absence of Hon, John H. Tolan, chairman of the 

Present : Representatives Laurence F. Arnold, of Illinois ; Carl T. 
Curtis, of Nebraska; Frank C. Osmers, Jr., of New Jersey; and John 
J. Sparkman, of Alabama. 

Also present: Dr. Robert K. Lamb, staff director; Harold G. Tip- 
ton, and Evelyn Weinberg, field investigators; Irene M. Hageman, 
field secretary. 

The Chairman. The committee will please come to order. In the 
absence of Mr. Tolan, our chairman, who has been detained in 
Washington on legislative business, I have been asked to preside at 
the hearings here in Omaha. 

On my left is Congressman Carl T. Curtis, of Nebraska ; and on 
my right. Congressman Laurence F. Arnold, of Illinois, At the end 
of the table is Dr. Robert K. Lamb, our staff director. Congressman 
Frank C. Osmers, Jr., of New Jersey, is expected to arrive shortly. 

Mayor Butler is our first witness. 


The Chairman. Mayor, we are happy to have you with us this 
morning. Your staff has submitted a group of prepared statements, 
which will be inserted in the record at this point, together with 
certain other material dealing with related subjects. 

(The material referred to above is as follows:) 



Gkneral Statistical Outline, City of Omaha, Nebk. 

report by hakry tru8tin, superintendent, department of public impkovkments, 

omaha, nebr. 

1. Area, including annexed area to May 6, 1941 square miles— 41, 289 

2. Population as of 1940 223,844 

Gain over 1930 census percent— 4.6 

Families, 1940 census 54,600 

Dwellings. 1940 census 47,567 

3. GoA'ernnient. 




Coininission plan adoptf><l April I'.lTJ: 

I'rovidcs for elect ion at larfje of seven <<)iineilineii for a t(M-iii of 3 years. At 
the lirst uieetiiifj, the counciliiH'ii eh>ct, by a majority vote, one of their number 
as president of the council, known as the mayor of the city. 

The executive and a<lininistrat ive jjowers, authorities, and duties are dis- 
tributed amonj; the dei)artnients as follows: 

1. Department of public afT;iirs. 

2. Department of accounts and tinances. 

3. Department of i)olice, sanitation, and public safety. 

4. Department of tire protection and water supply. 

5. Department of stn>et cleaning:? and maintenance. 

6. Department of public improvements. 

7. Department of parks and public property. 

City budget revenue, 1938 to lO'/l, inclusive 

1938, actual 

1939, actual 

1940, actual 

1941, actual 

Tax (percent) 





$1, 626, 270. 86 







3, 256. 09 



From tax levy, interest 

From tax, miscellaneous 

806, 640 

Grand total— taxes, miscellaneous 




2, 443, 150 

General bonded debt as of Dec. 31, 1941, $7,015,100. 


Amount allotted to this department in 1941 $85,200 

Credits to department permits (1940) 3,098 

From this department are paid all salaries in the department including — 

( a ) Office force. 

(6) Field engineering and engineering field parties. 

(c) Sewer maintenance department: 

1. Personnel salaries. 

2. Equipment including 27 trucks. 

3. Ri'pair plant. 

4. Machine shop. 

5. Construction plant for miscellaneous sewer specials. 

(d) All costs of office supplies, maintenance of all equipment. 
The commissioner must stay within his budget for the "year. 


The sewer system in the city of Omaha is a combination of a separate sewer 
system and a combined system. It consists of approximately 625 miles of main 
sewers with drainage into the ^lissouri River on tlie east and into Papillion 
Creek and its tributaries on the west. The flow is entirely by gravity. 

The city, extending along the Missouri River for a distance of 30 miles and 
westward for ai)i)roximately 4 to 5 miles, is divided by an irregular ridge extend- 
ing in a southeasterly to a northwesterly direction from Thirty-eighth Street at 
the south city limits to Fifty-second Street near the north city limits. This ridge 
cros.^es the center of tlie city at Fortieth and Farnam Streets and follows Military 
Avenue to Fifty-.second and Maple Streets and is commonly known as the 
Fortieth Street Ridge. 

The sewer system serving that portion of the city east of the Fortieth Street 
Ridge drains by gravity through approximately 20 outlets into the Missouri 
River without any treatment and serves approximately 75 percent of the popula- 
tion and practically all of the industries. 

In this area al)out 75 percent of the original Waring main sanitary sewer 
system, construcl^ed in 1S7S-82, is still in o])eration and is the sanitary outlet 
for a large portion of the downtown area. This system is becoming inadequate 
find will be a problem for the near future. 


Portions of the existing storm and combined sewers constructed in the early 
eighties of brick are in need of repair and replacement. 

The entire system is in good shape. New sewers have been constructed since 
1910 and a large sewer program has already been completed under Work Projects 
Administration since 1935. 

In building storm sewers. 1910-31, the city of Omaha issued sewer bonds in 
amounts varying from $50,000 to $500,000 per year, which were a general obliga- 
tion of the entire city, and only storm sewers were constructed from these funds. 

Sanitary sewers are constructed in the sewer districts and the entire cost of 
same is levied against abutting property owners and becomes a lien against the 
property if not paid. 

Private sanitary sewers are permitted to be constructed by resolution of the 
city council granting such permit with provision that construction be done 
according to city specifications and inspection to be made by the city and charged 
to or paid directly by the builder. 

The sewer system drainage into the Missouri River is adequate to provide for 
an additional 100.000 population. Tliis would involve the extension of main 
lines and laterals into present potential population areas within the city limits. 


The present population of the city west of the divide is approximately 35,000 
with 95 percent connected to the sewer system and approximately 10,000 in Douglas 
County, adjacent to the city, which are potential users and can connect. 

To take care of this vast area, that is developing rapidly and is in line for 
immediate future development, tlie city has just completed a sewage treatment 
plant designed ultimately for 100,000 population. With an intercepting sewer 
constructed the entire length of the city into the disposal plant, laterals can be 
constructed to take care of any possible expansion. 

The intercepting sewer, approximately 11 miles long, was constructed at a 
cost of approximately $1,000,000 with Work Projects Administration participa- 
tion, and the disposal plant added another $1,000,000 outlay, also with Work 
Projects Administration participation. 

In order to construct the intercepting sewer and the sewage treatment plant, the 
State legislature authorized the city to make a 1%-mill levy, a general obligation 
against the city of Omaha. This amounted to approximately $325,000, and this 
money was used as sponsor's contribution to construct : First, the intercepting 
sewer and then the treatment plant. As the contract for the plant calls for an 
expenditure of $620,000, without the Work Projects Administration labor, which 
is furnished free to the contractor, it became necessary to raise additional funds. 

A 1-mill levy was authorized by the State legislature for each year to pay 
for the plant and its operation and then % mill levy for building and opera- 
tion until repealed. 

It is anticipated that adjacent communities like Ralston will take advantage 
of the disposal plant and apply for connecting their sewer systems to the 
intercepting sewer. 

As raw sewage is emptied into the Missouri River without treatment, the 
city may be faced with the construction of a treatment plant to serve the 
eastern part of the city. It is contemplated then to construct an intercepting 
sewer along the Missouri River from some point near the south city limits to 
Florence, the north city limits, separate the sanitary or normal flow from the 
storm water in the combined sewers and rebuild the downtown sanitary 
sewer system as may be necessary. 

-A 5-year program for sewers is being worked up. which contemplates the 
expenditure of approximately fifteen to twenty million dollars, with Work 
Projects Administration participation. Ways and means to provide the city's 
share of sponsorsliip for this project are problematical. 

The sponsors' contribution for .sewer construction work in the city hns 
been obtained from the 1-mill levy for relief which also supplied the funds 
for all street paving, boulevards, building construction, and other work done 
with Work Projects Administration participation and sponsored by the various 

One-mill levy per year amounts to approximately $230,000. In years 1987 to 
1938 the levy for relief was Vj mill : in years 19.39 to 1941, the levy for relief 
was 1 mill ; in the year 1942, the levy for relief was 0.8 mill. 

About 20 percent of the annual relief levy is allotted to the department of 
public improvements for sponsorship of sewer projects. 


IM'iti.u' lIousiN(; IN Omaha 


Tho IIousiiiK Authority of the City of Oniiiha is a liocly forporalc and pfiiitic 
orpaiii/.cd in pursiianco to chaptor 34. Article 14 of tlic i;t3!) Suiiplciiiciit to tlie 
Compilfd Stalulc's of Nei>rasl<a. Tlie coinmissionors of ilic aiiliinrity are live 
in imiulnn- and are appointed Ity the Mayor of tlie ("ity of Omalia. Tiic ofH- 
oers of the Onialia lh>usinfi Authority are Joiui J. Larlvin, chairman; Grant 
Beusou, vice chairman; Mace Brown, treasurer, and Sam Beher, secretary. 
The manager is Edward M. Ouren. The territory over wliicli the authority has 
jurisdiction includes the city of Omaha and the area within 5 miles of the 
territorial houndaries of Omaha. 

It has control of three projects, one of which, known as Logan Fontenelle 
Homes, contains 284 units and is under lease from the United States Housing 
Authority. The other two projects, known ;is South Side Terrace Homes 
and Logan Fontenelle Homes Addition, were constructed by this au- 
thority and contain 794 units. Tlie number of units which have been demolished 
both on the site of these projects and elsewhere in the city under the cooperation 
agreement between our authority and the city of Omaha total 724. 

No additional construction is planned for the future but it hits gone on 
record as being ready, willing and able to undertake such additional con- 
struction as the oflice of the Defense Housing Coordinator ma.v find necessary 
to properly house defense workers in this area. The Federal Government has 
<N)ntacted this authority with respect to the need for further housing, but it 
has t;'k(>n no formal action in this connection other than to participate un- 
olticially in conferences in which this subject has been discussed. 

Prerequisites for admission to the housing projects operated by the Housing 
Authority of the City of Omaha are that the earnings of the family applying for 
admission do not exceed from as low as $725 as a maximum where tlie family 
consists of two persons, to a inaxiinum of $1,330 where the family consists of six 
of more persons. It is also necessary that the applicant be a citizen of the United 
States and that those who are to live in the project consist of a cohesive family 
group. In other words, two or more persons who are not members of the same 
family or who have not been living together are not permitted to come into the 
project as tenants. Another prerecpiisite is that only those tenants are eligible 
who have been living in a substandard house or a house which has been occupied 
by more than one family and is not adequate for that purpose. 

It has lieen the experience of the Housing Authority that wlien tenants are 
evicted from the projects they find it difiicult to locate dwelling quarters within 
their price reach. There is a waiting list of between 300 to 4(K) applicants wlio 
have been approved for admission into the projects. 

In the personal opinion of the writer of this report, a sliortage of housing units 
that will sell for not more than $3.;")()0 and will not rent for more than $35 a month 
exists in Omaha at the present time. There is no accurate information available as 
to the number of emplo.vees who are expected to find employment in the Omaha 
ax'ea within the near future, but the writer of this report would place the figure 
at at least o.OCO although it should be understood that this is merely a guess on 
the part of the writer. A recent survey made b.v the Omaha Real Estate Board 
disclosed approximately 2,700 living units aside from rooms in private homes and 
hotel rooms. These vacancies included ever.v type of dwelling unit in every section 
of the city without reference to whether such unit was halii table. In order to 
determine how many of these vacancies are available for the average worker at 
the bomber plant, one should deduct from this number all uninhabitable uHits, 
all units renting for more than $35 per month (that being the figure which you 
apparently consider as the maximum which the average worker can pay) and all 
units north of Leavenworth Street, or perhaps a few blocks to the south of 
Leavenworth. These eliminations would leave very few living units which one 
could say would be availaiile to the average worker at the l)oml)er plant. 

DeteXvSK Housing 

report by division of housing coordination, exkcitivf office of the 
president, washington, d. c. 

The primary defense activity in the Omaha locality is at Fort Crook, about 
8 miles south of the city. Included in the Omaha metropolitan district are 


Council Bluffs, Ralston, Carter Lake, and unincorporated areas in Douglas, 
Sarpy, and Pottawattamie Counties. Workers from Council Bluffs are within 
easy commuting distance of Fort (.'rook over a bridge crossing the Missotiri 
River. The Coordinator of Defense Housing has obtained as nuich information 
as is available regarding the following factors : 

1. Amount and type of prospective additions to the labor force. 

2. The supply of suitable labor already resident in the area. 

3. In the case of Army establishments the War Department has provided 
information on the number of enlisted personnel who will be brought into the- 
area and who will require d^veliiijgs for their families. 

4. The supply of vacant dwellings. 

5. The ability of private enterprise to provide dwellings. 

A study of the defense-housing situation by the Coordinator has indicated no 
immediate need for public defense housing during 1941. The extent of the 
program which will be undertaken in 1942 depends on the rapidity with which 
the Glenn L. Martin Co. builds up its staff. It should become evident by Janu- 
ary or February 1942 just what the needs of Omaha are to be. In the mean- 
time, the financing provisions of title VI of the National Housing Act are avail- 
able in Omaha and will assist private builders in their effort to meet a large 
part of the defense housing need. I*rovision has been made for the granting 
of priorities for the private construction of dwellings for defense workers. 

The principal defense activity in the Omaha locality is a bomber-assembly 
plant for the Glenn L. Martin Co., now in process of construction at Fort Crook. 
The Government is financing the total cost of this $8,000,C0O plant, and the 
Army has already given contracts to it amounting to $166,000,000. The only- 
other major defense contractor in Omaha is the Omaha Steel Works, which has 
contracts for the production of ammunition components. Omaha is the head- 
quarters of the Seventh Corps Area, United States Army, and has Fort Croolc 
and Fort Omaha within the locality. 

The employment situation in Omaha is dominated by the needs of the Glenn 
L. Martin Co.. which will hire about 8,000 workers between January 1942 and 
January 1943. The needs of other employers in the locality are estimated at 
about 1,200 for the period July 1941 to July 1942. The labor supply available 
within the commuting range of Omaha has been estimated by the Bureau of 
Employment Security at 21,000 workers in July 1941. However, not more than 
500 of these were available for admini.strative, professional, and skilled occupa- 
tions. Thus, all demands can be met locally except for a maximum of 1.500 
higher-paid administrative and skilled workers, who will have to be imported. 
There is some unverified discussion that the Martin plant may hire 17,000' 
workers instead of 8,000. In such a situation it would be necessary to increase 
the estimate of in-migration. 

In the Omaha housing market area, which has been defined by the Federal 
Housing Administration to include the entire metropolitan district and Bellevue 
and La Platte precincts in Sarpy County and Plattsmouth precinct and city in 
Cass County, there were 89,200 dwelling units. Of these, 67,000 were within the 
corporate limits of Omaha and 12,000 in Council Bluffs. Of the current inventory 
of 89,200 dwelling units, approximately 3,350 were vacant during August and 
September 1941. according to figures compiled by the Work Projects Administra- 
tion and the Federal Housing Administration. This compares with 4,300 vacant 
dwelling units reported by the April 1940 housing census. In addition to the 
vacant dwelling units, there were about 5,000 rooms available in occupied 
dwellings for unattached persons. 

A local homes registration oflice has been established in Omaha. It reports 
that on October 20, 1941, 638 dwelling units and 810 rooms were listed for rent. 
On the .same date it had 14 applicants f(U' dwellings and no applicants for rooms. 

Omaha has three public housing projects with a total of 1,077 dwelling units — 
all occupied. During the first 10 months of 1941 the Bureau of Labor Statistics- 
reports that permits were granted for the construction of 781 private dwelling 
units within the corporate limits of Omaha, compared with 548 during the first 
10 months of 1940. During the comparable period of 1941, 78 dwelling units were 
permitted in Council Bluffs, compared to 26 in 1940. A large part of the building 
in the Omaha area has been concentrated in the $3,000 to $4,000 price class. Since 
the development of the defense housing pi-iority system, certificates of pi'iority 
have been obtained for the construction of about 2.~>0 dwelling uints in the Omaha 
locality for the half year ending with February 1942. It is estimated that private 
enterprise can provide 1,200 dwelling units per year in this locality. 



In the Omaha area, as clscwlicrc IlirouKimut the courilry, tlio dcfciiso h<msiii>; 
profjrain is necessarily llexible ami siil»jecl to change in accordance with changes 
in the nature and direction of tlie defense program. Further expansion of 
defense activities heyond tliat now anticipated or more rapid exhaustion of the 
local lahor supply than now appears likely would necessitate ii revision of our 
estimates for the Omaha locality, ("out inning reinvestigation of all defense areas, 
and esptH-ially of Omaha, is, therefore, regularly carried on so that changes in 
local housing recpiirements may be met by corresixjiiding changes in the programs 
for housing. 

Vacant Hoi/sinc ix thk Defk.nsk Arh\ oi' Omaha and Vicinity, as of 

OCTORKR 10. 1941 





Flats above 











District, Omaha City proper: 

North of Road St ... 






























Read-Ames, E. 30 


Read-\mcs, W. 30 

Ames-Lalce, E. 30 . ... 


Ames-Lake, 30-52 



Lake-Curaing, 16-30 . 

Lake-Dodge, E.30 

Lake-Dodge, 30-52 

Lake-Dodge, 52-72 




Lake-Dodge, W. 72 

Dodge-Center, E. 30. .- 

Dodge-Center, 30-52 

Dodge-Center, 52-72 

Dodge-Center, \V. 72 











Ceater-"L," E. 30 

Center-" L," 30-60 

Center-"L," 60 W 








"L"-South limits, E. 30 

"L"-South limits, 30-60 


1 198 



' 1 




"L"-South limits, 60 W 












Reported by Hotel Men's Asso- 


Council Bluffs 























' Approximately 180 additional houses in Upland Homes are not yet started, and are not included in 

this survey. 


Family units 2, 863 

Private rooms 1, 752 

Hotel rooms 930 

This survey was made at the request of the Defense Housing Committee by the 
Omaha Real Estate Board and Building Owners' and Managers' Association, of 
Omaha, with the assistance of employees of public service (companies and other of Omaha and with the assistance of citizens of neighboring cities 
included in the survey. 


Personnel:. Problems Brought On by the Defense Program 
report by hobart m. corning, supekintendent of schools, omaha, nebe. 

Throughout the Nation there has developed a remarkable shortage of well- 
trained teachers. Immediately prior to the inception of the national-defense 
program there was a noticeable oversupply of teachers in many fields and no 
acute shortage even in fields requiring a liigh degree of specialization. Teachers 
and teachers-in-training are, however, now leaving the teaching profession for 
more remunerative vocations. 

The Omaha school system ranks at the very bottom for cities of Omaha's size 
class in the United States in the matter of salaries paid to its employees. In fact, 
in this respect it ranks far below a great many small communities and rural dis- 
tricts. Along with the salary factor, and as an added aggravation to personnel 
problems of the district, there is the matter of increased living costs due to the 
effects of the defense program. 

Whereas, therefore, some school districts are able to retain or attract much- 
needed personnel by offering a reasonably high wage, the Omaha schools must 
continue to lose valuable teachers and other employees to industry and to more 
adequately financed school districts. 

The inauguration of a program for the training of defense industry employees 
in the Omaha area has further aggravated the personnel problem of the local 
school district. Frequently the demands of this training program make it neces- 
sary to pay special teachers, sometimes individuals with little or no professional 
training, salaries which are considerably higher than those paid other highly 
valuable and professionally trained employees on the staff. Obviously this 
situation affects in a very extensive way the personnel and employee-morale 
problems of the district. 

Finally, the ever-growing pupil population coming in with the growing defense 
industries in and around Omaha will place a heavy additional load on the 
already depleted budget of the district. The many new enrollees, most of whom 
it is certain will find their way into already overcrowded buildings, will demand 
an expansion of the teaching corps of the district. This demand cannot be met 
without some new source of additional revenue unless the already vniderpaid 
employees of the district assume a further heavy cut in salaries. 


The Omaha public schools are carrying on a program of training workers for 
defense industries. Its first objective is a general one of providing workers to 
the capacity of our training facilities for any industry engaged in defense produc- 
tion. A secondary and more specific objective is to provide workers for the aircraft 
assembly plant to be operated by the Glenn L. Martin Co. adjacent to Omaha. This 
last objective derives importance from the fact that this will be the largest defense 
industry in the immediate area from the standpoint of workers necessary, and 
also from the fact that there are no workers with the experience and training 
required in this immediate area. 

In attempting to fulfill the major objective of providing workers for all defense 
industries in this area, Omaha public schools have set up training programs in 
machine-tool operation, pattern making, foundry work and arc and acetylene 
welding. These classes are carried on 24 hours per day, with approximately 160 
enrollees at any one time. The instruction is given 7 hours per day 5 days per 
week and the length of the course is 12 weeks. Very satisfactory placement has 
resulted from these courses, although a number of trainees have accepted 
employment in locations other than Omaha. 

Close contact has been maintained with the Glenn L. Martin Co. in order to 
build a program of training for their specific needs. They will use a number of 
workers who are being trained in courses outlined in the preceding paragraph. 
In addition specific training programs in aircraft riveting, aircraft bench metal 
work, aircraft welding, production-control workers, and assembly men have been 
or are being set up. Seven classes totaling 150 men are being operated at present. 
Additional classes will be started at such times as necessary to meet the employ- 
ment schedule of the plant. These courses are being condutced at both Technical 
and South High Schools on a 24-hour-per-day basis. 



It remains to be seen just liow far-roacliinii will be Ibe effects of recent changes 
in employment conditions upon fhe curriculuni of the school. It is now evident 
that curriculum plans are being weighed more carefully by parents and teachers 
to determine the oui-of-schonl value of the various subjects offered. This has 
resulted, especially in Uie high schools, in a demand for ilie expansion of facilities 
for suet subjects as home economics, bookkeeping, typing, shorthand, auto 
mechanics, printing, and many other vocational or semi vocational subjects. This 
trend does mean an additional tinnncial burden to the district, because these 
subjects naturally cost more i)er pupil for instruction, equipment, and supplies. 

Defense conditions have a tendency to make some students and some parents 
want to go "all out"' for specific skill training. There is, however, no indication 
oven on the part of the iust^uctors who are directly involved in skills-training 
programs that the schools will swing into a greatly unbalanced vocational- 
education program. 


It is conservatively estimated that new defense industries in and around Omaha 
will bring an additional 6,500 school-age children to Omaha. It is thought tliat 
rural districts, private, and parochial schools will take care of 1,800 of these new 
pupils. The school district of Omaha must provide educational facilities for 
approximately 700 new liigh-school enrollees and some 4,000 elementary school 

Location of the new industries, location of the huge new home and housing 
projects, and the general topographical relationship of the various areas of the 
city together determine with more or less certainty the areas of the city where 
the school district must anticipate increased school enrollments. The South 
Omaha area will thus receive a very large share of this new pupil personnel. 

It is possible that many grade-school enrollments will be absorbed in South 
Omaha by school buildings now operating under capacity. There will, however, 
be great overcrowding in other building in this area if additional new rooms are 
not provided. 

Also, in this area the already badly overcrowded high-school plant will be 
called upon to absorb some 600 new enrollees. 

Federal aid asked 

Federal assistance has been asked in the task of providing the necessary facili- 
ties to take care of this expanded pupil population. The specific requests for such 
aid were as follows : 

1. A building addition to South High School providing for 23 shop stations and 
26 classroom stations to cost approximately $1,095,000. 

2. Essential equipment for addition to South High School at a cost of approxi- 
mately $73,950. 

3. A building and equipment addition to Corrigan Elementary School at an 
approximate cost of $53,590. 

4. A building and equipment addition to Highland Elementary School at an 
approximate cost of $99,553. 

5. Playground and recreational facilities for the South Omaha area at an 
approximate cost of $117,400. 



[Taken from the official statement of the Board of Education for the fiscal years of 

1940-41 and 1941-42] 

/. Revenue 

(a) Actual revenue (1940-41): 

Tax collections $3, 037, 432. 12 

Licenses, fines, permits 176, 848. 75 

Interest and sale of bonds 63, 425. 04 

Insurance, rentals, sales, etc 13. 323. 25 

Tuition 76, 772. 47 

State apportionment 110, 4.j3. 69 

Federal funds for vocational education 49, 257. 99 

National-defense training, etc 28, 475. 51 

Miscellaneous 5, 292. 22 

Subtotal, 1940-41 8, 561, 281. 04 

(ft) Estimated revenue (1941-42) : 

Tax collections 3, 118, 826. 00 

Total all other sources 465, 000. 00 

Subtotal, 1941-42 3, 583. 826. 00 

Total (estimated revemie, 1940-42) 7, 145, 107. 04 

2. Expenditures 

(a) Actual expenditures (1940-41) : 

General control 83, 084. 75 

Instruction 2, 038, 401. 57 

Coordinate and auxiliary agencies 67, 329. 72 

Operation and maintenance 424, 163. 00 

Fixed charges _- 179.05.5. 93 

Capital outlay 20,303. 80 

Debt service 865, 950. 23 

Tax-collectoin fees 28, 642. 30 

Undistributed supplies 298. 11 

Subtotal, 1940-41 3, 707, 229. 47 

(b) Estimated expenditures (1941^2) : 

General control 81. 100. 00 

Instruction 2, 033, 540. 50 

Coordinate and auxiliary agencies 69, IfiO. 00 

Operation and maintenance 411, 900. 00 

Fixed charges 192, 600. 00 

Capital outlay 10. 000. OJ 

Debt service 915. 684. 00 

Tax collection fees 30, 500. 00 

Subtotal, 1941-42 3, 744,493. 50 

Total (estimated expenditures, 1940^2) 7, 451, 722. 97 

3. Probable deficit for 2 fiscal years 19.'tO-42 

Estimated total expenditures 7, 451, 722. 97 

Estimated total revenue 7. 145. 107. 04 

Total balance in general fund at beginning of 2-year period 260. 798. 90 

Estimated deficit 45, 817. 03 

60.196— 42— pt. 22 2 



Coniixiratiic statcvietit of rerviptft and rxprnditurrs for the lO-ycnr period 
hcfihm'nuf iritli Uir fiscal yciir 





1931-32 - 

3, 682. 598. 25 
3, 526. 455. 10 
3, 379. 656. 39 
3, 060, 909. 56 

$4, 253, 803. 47 
3, 61 7, 851., 54 
3, 4.56. 233. 73 
3, 707, 229. 47 




1933-34 - - 






1936-37 -- 

1 936-37 



1938-39 - 






Note. — During period the general fund deficits have been absorbed by the drawing upon the balance in 
a self-insurance fund to the extent of $589,480.78. This fund is now completely exhausted. 

5. Total bonded indebtedness 
November 6, 1041 $8, 075, 000 

6. Statement of amounts to be provided of bonds and interest (based on present 





Total payment 


1941-42 - .-- -- 

$560, 369. 97 
534. 692. 24 

440. 684. 65 
425, 217. 97 
333, 333. 34 
333, 333. 34 

166. 666. 66 
166, 666. 66 
166, 666. 66 

66, 666. 66 

378, 976. 86 
372, 948. 74 
365, 107. 50 
304, 460. 00 
297, 372. 50 
243, 750. 00 
243, 750. 00 
243, 750. 00 
106, 250. 00 
100, 250. 00 
42, 500. 00 

926. 807. 96 
907, 640. 98 
885. 277. 01 
754, 289. 65 
729, 677. 97 
577, 083. 34 
272, 916. 66 
109, 166. 66 


1942-43 -- 


1943-44 - 


1944-45 . 




1946-47 - 




1948-49 . 




1950-51 - - 


1951-52 - 






1954-55 -- 


1955-56 --- 


Total -- 


3, 615, 978. 08 


Health Conditions in Omaha 
report by a. s. pinto, m. d., commissioner, department of health, omaha, nebb. 

According to the city of Omaha budget, tlie sum of $73,000 has been allotted 
and spent for the health department, plus $5,000 for the Visiting Associa- 
tion ; of this amount to expemliture, 31.6 cents per capita. This budjret made no 
allowances for additional expenditures in the health department, made necessary 
(1) to establish a more satisfactory health department, (2) because of 
increased work due to the defense program. 

This does not include expenditures made by Douglas County for four county 
physicians responsible for the treatment of indigent sick, nor the Douglas County 

Budget completed with the cooperation of the Federal Government, the State 
department of health, and the city health department for tlu' hscal year of 1942, 
for the Omaha-Douglas County healtii unit. The aniouiit iiudgetcd for 12 months 
is $178,1'.>7 of whlcli $22,410 is title VI, and $13,i)20 is venereal disease control, 
and $11,712 children's bureau. If any demands should be made for the imme- 
diate future, they may possibly l)e p.iid through the State department of health 
by unexpended Federal funds, or througli the Omaha budget. 

The health department operates In a single health unit, located on the third 
floor of the city hall. A city lal)oratory on the first floor of this building 


handles all necessary examinations for the city of Omaha, inchidinji food, water, 
and milk. Blood serologies are sent to the State laboratory in Lincoln, Nebr., 
The city also operates two venereal disease clinics, one located at the Emer- 
gency Hospital toward the center of town, open six evenings and tliree after- 
noons a week ; another clinic in South Omaha opened five evenings a week. 
Another clinic to be located in the nortli side of town is planned, to be opened 
in the near future. 


There has been considerable difficulty in obtaining adequately trained public 
health engineers to join the health department for the expanded health program. 
A well-trained public health engineer was obtained through the United States 
Public Health Service assignment to the State of Nebraska ; a public health 
sanitarian, well-trained but inexperienced, was obtained shortly after the comple- 
tion of his school training. 


The following hospital beds are available in Omaha : 1,959 ; general, 1,702 ; 
maternity, 217 ; contagious, 40. 

Hospital .space for general and maternal care is quite adequate. The Emer- 
gency Ho.spital for contagious diseases does not have adequate bed space, equip- 
ment, or staff. There are, however, no immediate plans in view for establishing 
another contagious disease hospital. 

There has been considerable difficulty in obtaining materials for the city 
laboratory despite the priority rating of 2 A. An order for a darkfield micro- 
scope made 3 months ago has not yet been completed. An appreciable delay In 
obtaining materials for reconstruction of the north side clinic is anticipated 
on the basis of other experiences. 


Total for the months of January 1941, to October 1941, inclusive. Population 
of Omaha : 223,844. 

Deaths, total 1, 932 

Nonresident deaths 441 

Births 3,206 

Stillbirths 91 

Nonresident births 838 

Reported communicable diseases: 

Scarlet fever 113 

Smallpox 5 

Diphtheria 16 

There has been no significant change in the death and birth statistics since 
the establishment of the defense program. 

As to date, we note no significant change in the incidence of communicable 
disease, consistent with the defense program activity. There is, however, an 
increasing number of unvaccinated and unimmunized younger, as well as older 
children, the exact number is yet undetermined, who have moved into the com- 
munity as a I'esult of increased employment in the defense area. This, of course, 
is potentially dangerous. An educational program urging immunization and 
vaccination is carried on. 

One hundred and seven draftees have to date been rejected in Omaha because 
of positive blood tests. An intensive follow-up program has been made to insure 
adequate diagnosis and treatment for each case. With the exception of two or 
three, everyone to date is under treatment of a private physician, city clinic, 
has already been drafted into the Army, or has moved outside of the city. 
Follow-up letters have been sent to the Army, or the new addresses of those 


There has been an influx of people in the community as a result of the defense 
program, exact number of which has not yet been establLshcHl. This number 
is definitely being increased; and housing, as well as a trailer camj) problem is 
anticipated. A city ordinance regulating trailer camps in Omaha is being 




Omaha is an important raili-dad contt'r. It is headquarters of the TniiDn Pacific 
Railroad Co., which maintains its general (idiccs, shoi)s, and hirjic ojiorating forces 
in the city. It is western division hea<i(iuarters of the linriinfiton «.Vc North- 
western Lines, and is served hy 10 railroads. Railroads employ iJ.SOO in Omaha. 

Omaha is also an industrial center, parliculai'ly aloiif^ the lini's of food process- 
ing. The stockyards are among tlie country's hirgest, and there are 12 packing 
plants. It is estimated that the livestock and meat-packing industries employ 
7,850 in Omaha. 

The industrial complexion of the city is well reflected in the following figures 
from the liST Census of INIanufacturers census on the munher of wage earners 
employed in various lines of manufacturing in Omaha. 



Beverages, nonalcoholic 

Bookbinding and blankbook making 

Concrete products - -- 

Creameries ... - 

Drugs and medicines 

Flour and grain milling-. 

Ice cream - 

Ice, manufacturing -- 

Machine shop products 

Meat packing -. 

(^ut stone. - 

Planing mill, wood products 

Book, music, job printing 

Metal work 


Total manufacturing 

of plants 








4, 828 




38, 324 


69, 884 

234, 494 

53, 962 

223, 047 

66, 089 

41, 920 

106, 752 

6, 363, 420 

46, 481 

90, 834 

607, 950 

544, 364 

4, 366, 479 

14. 262, 800 

Value of 

$6, 406, 440 

504, 051 

31, 573 

537, 056 

7, 528, 655 

855, 945 

9, 774, 633 

773, 996 

357, 420 

363, 883 


226, 223 

305, 012 

2, 462, 1,53 


5«, 8.4, J 62 

201, 874. 459 

From the above table, it can be seen that the principal industries of Omaha 
are those which process food. Food processors account for 20 percent in inunber 
of Omaha industries, 55 percent of manufacturing employment, and (56 percent of 
the value of the products. Outside of the food industries, about 2."> Omaha firms 
employing about 1,200 persons are engaged in defense work. 'I'his constitutes 
about 7 percent of the number of Omaha manufacturers, and about 8 percent of 
the present Omaha manufacturers' employment. 


The Martin bomber assembly plant is located at Fort Ci'ook, 9 miles from the 
center of Omaha. Con.struction of the main buildings is completed, and machinery 
is now being installed. Production of bombers is scheduled for the si)ring of 
1942. Peak employment will be 8,000. This figure will be reached in compara- 
tively easy stages, but it should be noted that it exceeds, the largest present pay 
roll in Omaha. 

The ;f30,000,000 Firestone bomb loading plant will be located 35 miles from 
Omaha. Construction is scheduled to start in the spring of 1942, employing 
7.000 to S,0<X) men at peak. When the plant gets into operation, it is anticipated 
that 4 000 will be employed. Lincoln, a city of 82,000, is about the same distance 
from the plant site. 

The Omaha Steel Works has a $3,000,000 contract for manufacturing shell 
casings, an operation which now employs 500 men. A $483,875 plant expansion 
has been .-luthorizcd l)y l>efense Plaiits Corporation, 't^he Jerpe Commission Co. 
is constructing a .$:i4()(lOO plant for egg drying. 

The Omaha packing hoiises are feeling the effects of increa-^^ed demands for 
meat. The (.'udahy Packing Co. comjileted a meat-canning plant in the fall of 
1940 which is now employing about 600. Armour & Co. will complete a meat- 
canning factory January 1, 1942, to employ ."lOO. 

There are numerous miscellaneous contract.s. Scott Manufacturing Co. has 
received several contracts for tents and other canvas products, and is giving 


\\ork to 30<X There are several small manufacturers of pants, caps, etc., employ- 
ing an estimated 535. 

Seventh Corps Area Headquarters are located in Omaha. More than 025 officers, 
cnli.^ted men. and civilians are employed there as compared with 200 a year ago. 

The zone constructing quartermaster's office is employing 325 in Omaha. This 
office was not in existence here a year ago. 


As a preliminary to any discussion of this problem, it should be pointed out that 
Nebraska, in common with most of the Great Plains States, lost population be- 
tween the 1930 and 1940 censuses. The loss was 62,129, or 414 percent, in contrast 
with a gain of 7^/4 percent for the country as a whole. Causes of tliis loss were 
drought and depression. The population decrease has already created serious 
probh'ins for existing businesses and for tax-supported institutions. 

This drought-depression population loss was followed in late 1940 and in 1941 
by an exodus, particularly of young men, to centers of defense production. No 
official figures are available on the numbers involved, but the loss is known to be 
.serious. Follo\Aing is a statement incorporated in a letter from the Omaha office 
of the Nebraska State Employment Service to the Omaha Chamber of Commerce, 
under date of October 11, 1941. A photostatic copy of the letter has been supplied 
to your committee. 

(The letter referred to above is as follows:) 

Mr. Ernest Zschau, 

Manager, Industrial Department, Chamber of Commerce, 

OniaJia, Nebr. 

Dear Mr. Zschau : I am enclosing a statement of the unemployed in Douglas, 
Sarpy, and Saunders Counties as indicated by our files as of O'tober 1, 1941, and 
a summary of expected lay-offs by November 1. I stress the word "unemployed" 
because these individuals have been in our office seeking employment within the 
last 30 days. This figure is, therefore, a fraction of the total labor, skilled or 
otherwise, that will be available in this vicinity for construction or industrial 
purposes at any given time in the future. 

We know there are thousands of Nebraska workers employed in other States 
because we have thousands of letters on file here from such persons wanting to 
come home as soon as there are work opportunities. 

We know that other areas and industries concentrate recruiting efforts in 
Nebraska and that in many instances individual firms have found hundreds of 
workers in Nebraska for their plants located on the various seacoasts. 

We know the Nebraska State Employmervt Service has clearance orders from 
employers in other States and that we are continually sending our unemployed 
to these jobs because there are no work opportunities at home. 

It is a fact that last week one young man from an eastern defense plant was in 
our office stating that he was representing 1,500 midwestern young men who 
were employed in that one plant who wanted to come to Omaha to work in the 
aircraft assembling plant when it starts production. 

It is a fact that scarcely a day goes by in which several individuals who have 
been working thousands of miles from their homes in Nebraska, come into our 
office begging for work nearer at home. 

It is a fact that the construction of the Martin bomber plant at Omaha, which 
will be completed as of October 25, has employed as many as 3,900 workers, and 
that except for a few structural steel workers, practically every man, skilled or 
ini.skilled, was supplied fi-om the immediate vicinity of the job. This project 
did not cause a ripple in the normal employment conditions in Omaha, and the 
job has been completed without interruption of any kind for want of workers or 
from labor disputes. 

It is a fact that as of today there are 2.G49 men, approximately half of whom 
represent all the various construction skills, employed at this plant. Large lay- 
offs will start October 25. 

It is a fact that some men are voluntarily quitting their employment at this 
plant and leaving the State for other areas where they feel they stand a good 
chance of getting employment for a longer period of time. We do believe, liow- 
ever, most of tliese men will return to Omaha at the first indication of employment 


OMAHA iii;akings 

It is n f;ict lliat our (•iirrcnt tile df uiu'iiiiiloycd is larger today than in January 
of 1!I41, and that our inonlhly tolal of new applications is approximately 75 per- 
cent jireater than in SeptonilHT of l!t4(). 

It is a fact that conii)k'te training programs of workers for local defense indus- 
tries have been established and are in operation by the department of vocational 
education. This dei)artnu'nt would now be free to orpmize (ttlu'r training pro- 
grams for similar or other industri(>s, if necessary. 

We would approach the jjrobh'ni of supplying labor for an additional defen.«e 
industry in this area with absolute contidcnce and assurance. The necessary 
labor of the higlu'st type could readily he provided. This would apply even though 
the labor demands were two or three times greater than labor necessary for 
present defense plants in the Omaha area. 

Yours very truly, M. E. Sawtei.l, 

MdniKjcr, Omaha Office. 
By AuRKO B. P.vRKS, 

Assi.'itanf Manager. 

Since the above letter was written the Government has announced plans to 
construct the new $30,WK),()0(J bomb-loading plant near Waboo. :V2 miles west of 

It should be noted that general factory employment in Omaha is uy) in com- 
parison with 1940. The Omaha Chamber of Commerce makes a monthly survey 
of employment in 43 selected and tyjiical factories. In October it showed a gain 
of 24 percent over October 1940. The August and September gains were 22 
and 20 percent, respectively. Since Omaha is by far the most important 
maimfacturing center in the State, these gains may not be expected in other 
Nebraska cities. Railroad employment is also up sharply in Omaha. 


The Martin bomber plant is located south of the city. As a result, many of the 
employees who come to Omaha from outside the city may be expected to reside on 
the south side. In the judgment of Omaha school authorities. Omalia's South 
High School and several south-side grade schools are already congested. The 
situation at South Iligli School will be relieved by a $o8-'>,0(l0 addition, to be con- 
structed by the Federal Works Agency. To date, however, Federal Works 
Agency has made no provision for relieving the prospective overcrowded condi- 
tions in the south-side grade schools. The Omaha Board of Education has no 
funds for additions, because it is levying the maximum tax permitted by law and exceptionally large bond issues are maturing during the next few years. 

Fort Crook and most of the intervening territory are served with water by the 
metropolitan Utilities District of Omaha, a municipal body. lIow(>ver, the lire 
to Fort Crook is not sufficiently large to serve the Mni-tin-bomher iilant at peak 
operation and at the same time to serve the many houses sjiringiiig up between 
Omaha and the plant site. If these needs are to be m(>t. a larger line and a 
water-storage tank will be needed. The district has applied for Federal Works 
Agency aid. to date without success. 

The Firestone bomb-loading plant is so located that it will tend further to 
attract population to Omaha's south side and to aggravate the problems above 


On October 10 the Omaha Real Estate Board and other organizations mi\de a 
vacancy survey of the city and of surrounding conununities (Council Bluffs, 
Ralston, Fort Crook, Bellevue, Papillion, and Plattsmouth). It showed the 

Detached houses 


flats, and 






Omaha . - . . 







Other nearby communities 










Since the survey was made, plans have been made for 210 additional units 
in two housing projects outside the Omaha city limits. Other housing projects 
are rumi>red. 

The Work Projects Administration made a vacancy survey of Omaha during 
the second week of August 1941, by the sampling method. It indicated a vacancy 
rate of 4 percent in the city's 65,000 dwelling units. 

The following table shows the trend of residential building in Omaha during 
1941. The table does not include building for residential units outside the city 
limits. There has been considerable activity in the rural area between Omaha 
and the Martin bomber plant. 

Omaha building permits — 1-family dweUings 







1932 - 


$617, 840 

583, 700 

326, 725 

601, 180 

1, 080, 060 



$1, 055, 820 







1, 743, 070 



1936 .-- 

1941 (10 months) 

3, 068, 350 


Changes in the Federal social-security laws are frequently rumored, liartly as 
an anti-inflation measure, partly to help linance defense. One effect of the 
rumored changes would be federalization of unemployment-compensation plans, 
now State administered. Apparently this would abolish the experience-rating 
plan, which has operated successfully in Nebraska. Under this plan an employer 
maintains a reserve and is given a reduced rate of taxation if his employment is 
stabilized and claims against his reserve are few. It is estimated that Nebraska 
employers are saving $l,60O,000i a year in unemployment-compensation taxes 
because of the experience-rating plan. At the same time the plan protects the 
employee, because it gives the employer incentive for keeping employment con- 
stant or for finding other jobs for employees severed from the pay roll. A Federal 
plan which abolishes merit rating would mean greatly increased taxes for Ne- 
braska employers at a time when they are already faced with almost insuperable 
problems because of priorities, inability to secure defense work, taxes, and gen- 
erally rising costs. 


The Martin bomber plant is on United States Highway 75, which was formerly 
a winding two-land road. Anticipating the large increases in traffic, the Nebraska 
State Highway Department is now completing a straight, modern, four-lane high- 
way to the plant. It is hoping to recover part of the cost from the defense high- 
ways fund of the Federal Government. 

The Firestone plant near Wahoo is reached from Omaha by U S 30A (also num- 
bered Nebraska 92). An access road about a mile long will also be needed. U S 
30 A is a four-lane highway for 11 of the 32 miles. Beyond that point it is a 
two-lane concrete highway. Since it is reasonable to expect that a large number 
of the employees will reside in Omaha, consideration should be given to widening 
the two-lane portion of the highway. 


In the opinion of the officers and executive committee of the Omaha Chamber 
of Commerce, the city of Omaha may be expected to gain rather than lose popu- 
lation during the period of national defense. However, there will probably be 
f.hifts of population within the city and the metropolitan area which will create 
problems. To dale no serious influx of population is in evidence. 

Also, in the opinion of the chamber, many businesses will suffer, and some will 
be liquidated because of priorities and shortages of merchandise, machinery, and 
equipment. This trend will probably be accelerated by rising costs and narrowing 
margins of profit. 

The Omaha Chamber of Commerce views with deep concern the outward move- 
ment of population from other Nebraska cities and from the villages and farms. 

^^37() O.MAI I A iii;aim.\(;s 

We have r('i)»'ali'ill.\ iictiiioiicd Wasliiii^itoii (ni lu'liall" <>f {Icrt'iist- ino.jccts in out- 
State Nebraska, and tlii()iij;li your eouunittec we wish to renew the aijpeal. We 
believe that it is soiuid national policy to jirovide jieople with econoniie <i])p(jr- 
tunity close to lioin«'. \\hen they an- transplanted they raise problems both in 
their new homes: and in their old ones. 


The CiiAiitMAN. Mf. l)iitlof, tlieri' afe a few qiiostions wliidi we 
should like (o ask yoii in order that the record may be completed. 

A\'hat is the present and j)rosi)ective defense employment in Omaha? 

Mayor IJutlio}. Accordin<i' to the industrial bureau of the Chamber 
of Commerce, and some other authorities, it is estimated that the 
number of defense workers will be 1.200. This number inchides ap- 
proximately 500 in the Omaha Steel Works, manufacturina' shells, and 
smaller numbers in factories devoted to the maiuifacture of tents. ca])s, 
trousers, and similar articles. There are also various metal-trades 
fjictories. The chief ])roject, however, is the Glenn Martin bomber 
l)lant at Fort Cook, which will oi)en, I understand, in the first part of 

The Chairman. Is that still under construction? 

Mayor Butler. It is finished. 

The Chairman. What is the status of the Wahoo project ? 

Mayor Butler. The Wahoo project hasn't started yet. 

The Chairman. Are there any other ])rojects planned in the near 

]Mayor Butli:r. I have no definite information of any. 

The Chairman. About how many workers will the Martin bomber 
plant require? 

Mayor Butler. About 7,000 or 8,000 to start. 

The Chairman. And the Wahoo plant ? 

Mayor Butler. I couldn't answer that. 

The Chairman. How near is Wahoo? 

Mayor Butlek. About 80 miles from here. 

The Chairman. And Fort Cook? 

Mayor Butler. Eiaht or ten miles from the southern city limits of 
Omaha. About 14 miles from the center. 

The Chairman. How many of the needed workers will be available 
in Omaha? 

JNIayor Butler. That is hard to tell ri^ht noAv. During the last 
year or 18 months the lar<re majority of skilled laborers have left 
Omaha to ofo to other industrial centers. ]\Iany of those, however, who 
have their homes established here in Omaha would like to come back, 
and I have received a jrood many ai)plications from such people, which 
1 have submitted to Mr. Scafe.^ 


The Cflvirman. Do you think i)refereuce will be given to those 
former Nebraska residents? 

IVIayor Bitler. I don't thiidc there is any (luestion about that. The 
Martin })eople are bringing quite a few of their keymen in to get the 
plants in o])eration. 

The Chairman. I presume that is necessary. 

' Sec p. 8410. 


Mayor Butlek. Bui tlie^e men who luive left Omaha have had a 
good deal of experience in other plants, and they will be in a posi- 
tion to go right in and start work without verj^ much training. The 
plant, I understand, will have a training school of its own. That is 
in Baltimore, It will tiain quite a few of these 5'oung men and lead 
them up to practical work. 

The Chairman, What facilities has the city for housing those 
coming from outside the city? Have you a housing shortage now? 

Mayor Butler. Xo. I don't think we have. In a survey made in 
Omaha recently by the real-estate board, there were listed a total of 
5,545 vacancies, and of these. 2,600 are "flat" buildings — apartments 
and houses — 1,750 rooms in private homes, and 080 hotel rooms. Of 
course, some of these buildings may require remodeling, which will be 
done. The foregoing figures do not include 180 houses built in the 
Upland Homes district in South Omaha, adjacent to the bomber 

Of the employees of this bomber plant, probably 75 percent will be 
single men. The company expects yotmg men, between the ages of 
18 and 25, and they will require rooms rather than houses or apart- 
ments. I am just basing that on an answer Mr. Martin gave me when 
he was here some time ago. I think there will be housing facilities to 
take care of the employees of that plant. 

The Chairman. The Walioo plant is to be a powder ])lant? 

Mayor Butler. I understand it is to be a shell plant. I am not 

The Chairman. Do you know how many workers will be required? 

Mayor Butler. I know very little about it. 

The Chairman. Your inA'estigation has been concerned only with 
the Martin bomber plant? 

Mayor Butler. Yes. 


The Chairman. Will your community require other facilities, such 
as schools, water supply, and sewage disposal? Have you requested 
any money for such facilities? 

Mayor Butler. I don't quite understand what you mean by com- 
munity facilities. 

The Chairman. The Lanham Act makes money available, whereby 
the Federal (iovernment can assist comnnmities that have had im- 
posed on them an undue burden by reason of the impact of the defense 

Mayor Butler. Just how would that money, when ap])ropriated, be 
spent, and by whom ? 

The Chairman. On a|:)plications which are favorably received, the 
Federal Government makes grants of whatever percentage its agency 
thinks ought to be made. In some instances it makes loans, and in 
nearly all instances it re(juires the municipality to ))ut up i)art of the 
funds. There is no set schedule by which tliose various amounts will 
be advanced. 

Mayor Butler. I might say in answer to part of your question that 
the Omaha School Board has been granted $400 000 for an addition 
to the South Omaha High School, which has been congested. This 
school is in the south part of Omaha, adjacent to the Fort Cook plant. 
Unless there is a large influx of workers from the south side, the jirade 



scliools down there will ])r()l>iil)ly be able to take care of the children 
of the defense workei's, altliouiih there is a need of additional fnndsi 
for orade school iin))rovenieiits. 

Tlie Chairman. You say the high school has been "rranted $400,000. 
By whom ? 
Mayor Butijek. By the Federal Government. 

The CiiAiRMAx. Is that recent? 

Mayor Butlf.r. Yes. Our other facilities seem adequate. We have 
an amjile sui)i)ly of watx^r. We own our own w^ater plant. As far as 
the seweraire system is concerned, we have just recently finished a 
laroje sewaae-dis])osal plant in the west side of the city, and hundreds 
of thousands of dollars have been spent in the construction of sanitary 
sewers. At Bellevue, which is a village close to the Fort Cook bomber 
plant, I understand they are constructing sanitary sewers. 


The Chairman. In your opinion, will unemployment in nondefenso 
industries in Omaha become a serious problem? 

Mayor Butler. I have always felt and feel now that we have indus- 
tries here that could take over a lot of this Government work if the 
hirge contracts were sublet. I think that is true in every part of the 
country. There is too much awarding of large contracts which should 
be broken down and sublet in larger cities with industries that could 
take over a h)t of that work. As far as our unemployment is concerned, 
in the last year or 18 months the certified workers on W. P. A. have 
been greatly reduced. A good many of them have gone to private 
plants over the country and others into private industry. 

The Chairman. Are your local W. P. A. load and local relief load 
lighter today than in the past ? 

Mayoi- Yes; very much so. There are at the present time 
about' 3.200 men and about 600 women on W. P. A. rolls. Of these 
possibly 95 percent are unskilled workers. 

The direct relief load at the present time is approximately 1,000. 
This doesn't include old-age-assistance cases, which number about 

W. P. A. rolls a year ago numbered about 7,000. There has been a 
steady decline in the number listed since that time, and, of course, 
many of the men on W. P. A. now w'ould not be able to qualify for 
skilled work on defense projects. They are older men. 

The Chairman. I believe you said that a great many of your people 
had gone aAvay from here to work in other defense industries. 

Mayor Butler. A very large number have gone to other plants. 
When the Martin bomber plant was started, the company had difliculty 
in getting skilled labor. About 75 percent of the skilled labor used in 
the construction of the Martin bomber plant came from the outside — 
men like electi-icians, construction iron workers, glaziers. 

The Chairman. That was due to the fact that they were not available 
here ? 

Mayor Butler. That is correct. Close to 100 percent of the common 
labor was available here in Omaha and Council Bluffs. 

Mr. Curtis. By "outside," do you mean that some of those skilled 
men were out-State Nebraskans? 

Mayor Butler. No. Only a very few. 

Mr. Curtis. How do you account for that? Was there a scarcity of 
skilled workmen in this State? 


Mayor Butler. That was brought about by the fact that we didn't 
get any industry here. If we had a year or 18 months or 2 years ago, we 
woukl have retained our skilled labor here. 

Mr. Curtis. The most highly skilled were the ones who left early? 

Mayor Butler. That is correct. 

Mr. Curtis. Do you feel that the people lost by the State during that 
time, and whom the State is continuing to lose, are skilled people and 
some of its best producers ? 

Mayor Butler. That is correct. 

Mr! Arnold. Did the construction of the Martin bomber plant take 
some of your W. P. A. men oif ? 

Mayor Butler. Some of them. I talked with Mr. Knudsen, the gen- 
eral superintendent of the plant, recently, and he stated that many of 
those who had been sent down there weren't really able to take on the 
work. They are older men, and, while it is true that the W. P. A. was 
very happy to be able to send men down there, many of the younger 
and more able-bodied men were satisfied because they were working 
here on the streets and boulevards and on sewer work in the city of 
Omaha and dichi't care to change their ])ositions at that time. But 
quite a few went down there from the W. P. A. rolls. 

Mr. Arnold. Of the 3.200 men now on W. P. A., not many are em- 
ployable in defense projects? 

INIayor Butler. That is correct. 

Mr. Curtis. Mr. Mayor, we thank you very much for your appear- 
ance here. 

The Chairman. Our next witness is Governor Griswold. 


Mr. Curtis. Governor, this committee came to Xebraska over a year 
ago, when we were investigating the interstate migration of destitute 
citizens, and Governor Cochran a])peared as one of our witnesses.^ We 
had a 2-day hearing at Lincoln which dealt with Nebraska's problems, 
due to loss of population by reason of the long period of drouth and 
its accompanying depression. 

Upon the completion of that investigation, this committee was as- 
signed by the Congress a new job, dealing with dislocations in industry 
and poi^ulation, brought about by reason of the defense program. 

We are very happy that you could find time from your duties at the 
statehouse to come clown here. The committee is well aware of your 
interest in the defense program, and in the welfare of Nebraska. Our 
record will be held open for about 10 days after this hearing, and if it 
develops that any of the departments of the State — your department of 
labor, or your department of agriculture, or your defense set-up — has 
something to submit, we will be very happy to receive it. 

Governor, I have a few questions to ask you, but if you would like 
to say something first, you may proceed in your own way. 

Governor Griswold. I took occasion chiring the last week to read 
the statements that were made a year ago by Governor Cochran and 
Mr. Cal A. Ward, of the Farm Security Administration, which related 
largely to the dislocation resulting from migration of people for agri- 

' Lincoln hearings, pp. 1348-1353. 


K.MAiiA iii;akin(;s 

cultural j)uri)()S(>s. I believe your heiU'iu<r< faii'ly well covered the sit- 
uati<»n as it theu existed. 

STATE LOST t.'..0(>(t I'KOl'LE IN lit-YKAH I'KlilOl) 

AVe have lost 65,000 people between 1930 and 1940. 1 think, so far 
as a<jriculture is concerned, it is a permanent reduction. Today it 
takes fewer people to raise a crop than it did in years fjone by, due to 
machinery, to improved seed, and better feed crops; and unless irriga- 
tion is established in certain sections of the State, the agricultui-al pop- 
ulation will not come back. In fact, we may lose additional people. 

This loss of emi)loyment in a<»i"iculture is related to defense indus- 
tries. Today, with the youn<r men leavino; the farms to take jobs in 
industry, a laboi- shorta^je in a<;i"iculture can easily be created. The 
natural result will be that the farmer will chancre his operations, per- 
haps get some improved machinery, and arrange to carry on his busi- with fewer men working foi- him. That is going on on tlie farms 
and on the ranches of Nebraska. It went on this year and will probably 
continue to a greater degree next year. 

Mr. Curtis. Perhaps a specific illustration of that is the sale of 
mechanical corn pickei's in areas that are really beyond the better 
Corn Belt. 


Governor Griswold. That is light. I was reared in the cattle 
country of tlie State. I remember, when I was 12 or 13 years old, I 
was living in town, but all the boys in my class used to work on the 
hay fields in the summer, and they used horses entirely. 

Today, in many of the larger ranches, they have a tractor-mower, 
with a 10-foot cut in the rear and an 8-foot cut on the side. They 
will put lights on this tractor and run it 24 hours a day. They will 
change drivers, maybe have two or three sliifts; but the tractor-mower 
will be kei)t running. It is able to do, with two men working it, the 
work that five or six men did in years gone by. 

Now, with the young men leaving the farms and ranches to take 
jobs in industry, the operator of this farm or ranch rearranges his 
own operations to fit that condition, and it will be a permanent rear- 
rangement. When the boys leave the factory and want to get back 
on the farm, there will be no jobs for them. 

Of course, the liigher wages brought about for agricultural help 
also cause a man to consider the ])urchase of improved machinery and 
do away with the help he formerly required. 

So agriculture and defense are tied up, and it is going to tiffect 
our agricultural ])opulation permanently. Men are going to farm 
larger acreages, and do it with more machinery and fewer men. Of 
course, in those sections of the State where irrigation has been estab- 
lished, and where we hope irrigation will be established in the future, 
there will be increases in the farm population. 

Mr. Curtis. Yesterday at Hastings, in addition to some of the 
small out-State manufacturers, one of oui- witnesses was Dr. Christ- 
ensen, who is heli)ing this State with the farm chemurgy plan, and 
the thought was rei)eatedly brought out that if Nebraska could make 
a contribution to the defense program in the development of plastics 
or commercial alcohol industries, it would fit in with our agricultural 
scheme, and have a great value in converting to peacetime uses after 
the defense period is over. Woidd you tell the committee a little 
about what the legislature did to start this program that Dr. Chi-is- 
tensen heads? 



Governor Griswold. There wtis a total of about $83,000 appropri- 
ated for this chemurgic investigation, and it was placed in the hands 
of the board of regents of the State university, who chose Dr. 
Christensen to carr}' on the work. The thought was that all Ne- 
braska was vitally interested in seeing a better use made of our agri- 
cultural products, because it had been proved that agricultural prod- 
ucts can be used for industrial purposes. War conditions in Europe 
have caused tremendous improvements along that line. What they 
are learning can well be applied here. But Nebraska wants to pay 
some attention to the subject in this State. 

The Federal Government has set up laboratories — I think there is 
one at Peoria — where they are experimenting along this same line. 
But those laboratory experiment stations are not particularly inter- 
ested in the problems of an individual State. This money is avail- 
able and Dr. Christensen was instructed to pay particular attention 
to how Nebraska can fit into those changes in industry,^ 

It has been proved that corn stalks and wet straw and almost every- 
thing else can be used for industrial purposes. 

Mr. Curtis. Is the State highway program being adjusted with 
particular reference to those areas that will need additional highways 
such as the Fort Cook area? 

Governor Griswold. That is all taken care of. 
Mr. Curtis. What about the Wahoo plant? 

Governor Griswold. We don't know what highway construction 
will be required. Nothing is being done until we know what those in 
charge say. 

Mr. Curtis. Nebraska has cooperated with the civilian defense plan 
of the Government, has it not ? 
Governor Griswold. Yes, sir. 
Mr. Curtis. Who is the State director^ 

(jovernor Griswold. I am ex officio chairman of the Nebraska Ad- 
visory Defense Committee. Mr. Sid R. Martin is executive advisory 
chairman, and has carried on a good deal of the work. He is also the 
director of our banking department. Mr. R. F. Weller is the secretary 
of the committee. 

Mr, Curtis. The organization has been carried down to regional 
and county groups, has it not ? 

Governor Griswold. Yes, sir; not ev^ry county, but those where it 
is necessary at this time. 

Mr. Curtis. And you find that Nebraskans are ready and anxious to 
do their part? 

Governor Griswold. Yes. 

Mv. Curtis. Governor, there have been some references to changes 
brought about by the defense program, and to Nebraska as an "old 
folks home." Do you think that is an accurate description of develop- 
ments that are now going on? 


Governor Griswold. Nebraska has been largely an agricultural 
State, and due to the drought that we have had, there has l)een a loss 
of interest in agriculture. Ambitious young men have not been will- 
ing to stay in it. There was no reason why they should stick it out 
at a loss. They looked for other locations. Then defense industrv 

See Hastings hearings, pp. SS^.S-S.?:)"). 


started a year or so afro, and yoiin<r men cominjr from the farms of the 
Middle West— not just Ne])iaska, but Iowa, Illuiois, Indiana, Minne- 
sota, Wisfonsin, Kansas, Missouri, the two Dakot as— those yovui^ men 
are accustomed to haiidlin<r macliinery and also accustomed to makin<r 
decisions. With a very little tiainin<>-, those youn«;- men make excel- 
lent mechanics in defen'se industry, and I have thai report direct from 
a <rreat many factory owners and o[)erators. They can take these 
younjr fellow's from farms in Nebraska and the surround inj; States, 
and with a few months trainin": they make excellent workers, although 
their whole life may have been spent in farming. 

Most of these b()ys are high-school graduates. They liave enough 
educational background to i)ick up something new, and on a farm you 
have to learn to apply yourself to changes and new developments. 
They are accustomed to doing things with their hands and with their 
heads. There has been a demand on the part of industry for that type 
of young men, and in the big plants in the East you find a large num- 
ber of the young men working there in industry, who just a year or so 
ago had been working on farms in the Middle West. Farming didn't 
pay out there; wages were high in the industrial centers; and so these 
young men moved. You can't blame the young men. They probably 
did what any normal man would do. 

Mr. Curtis. This committee, in its interim report given to the Con- 
gress in October, recommended further decentralization of defense 
activities and also further subcontracting in order to reach the interior 
of the United States. Do you feel that is a good thing ? 

Governor Griswold. I do. I am not so interested in just building 
up the population of Nebraska. Merely having additional population 
doesn't do a State any good. I would like to see the income of Ne- 
braska built up so the people are more prosperous. 


But I do think it is a good thing for the Nation to scatter out its 
industry and not keep it concentrated in a few areas. This concen- 
tration, in large cities and certain industrial areas has created some 
of the problems that the Nation is facing today. 

Mr. Curtis. The decentralization would tend to spread both the as- 
sets and the liabilities that accompany the program to the various com- 
munities, would it not? 

Governor Griswold. Yes, sir. 

JSIr. Curtis. Governor, is it too early to tell whether there will be any 
great problems involved in Saunders County in connection with taxa- 
tion of the land tliat will be taken out ? ^ 

Governor Griswold. It won't be a problem to the State, but it will be 
to the county, decidedly. 

Mr. Cuims. The lower units also? 

Governor Griswold. Yes; the school districts, the municipal units 
of Government, will be seriously affected. We had the same problem 
arise in Nebraska in connection with the public power districts. How- 
ever, they have taken the attitude that they would pay certain sums of 
money in lieu of taxes and that has been done, so that numicipalities 
and counties and the State itself receive some money from the public 
power districts in lieu of the taxes formerly paid by that same i^-o))- 
erty when in private ownershi]). If that policy is adopted in this 
case, it might change the local situation. 

' Soc pp. S4(;7^S4(iO. 


There is no liability on the Government to do that. It is to be 
voluntary. That situation does not arise in Fort Cook, because the 
plant there is being built on a military reservation, already tax free. 


Mr. Curtis. Tax collections in Nebraska have picked up because of 
this year's crops, have they not? 

Governor Griswold. Yes ; they have. 

Mr. Curtis. The record in spite of the drought has been very good ? 

Governor Griswold. Very good. 

Mr. Curtis. Governor, I emphatically agree with you that mere 
loss or gain in population in itself is no great concern, but we are 
interested in the factors that cause such losses. When Nebraskans 
have to pull up and leave, it indicates that the going is rather tough 
for their neighbors, especially among the farmers. 
. Mr. Sparkman. I want to say to the Governor that I am in full 
agreement with his statement with reference to the further decentrali- 
zation of the defense program, not only from a strategic point of view, 
but for the purpose of alleviating the very conditions that Mr. Curtis 
has just mentioned. 

We have found it to be true that so long as our defense program is 
concentrated in great industrial areas, they serve as a syphon to draw 
population from the inland States to those areas, and, of course, when 
this thing is over, they are going to be stranded there, with a terrific 
relief load on those communities. I don't believe it is for the economic 
good of the country as a whole. I come from an inland area myself, 
and we have always argued for the decentralization of our war in- 
dustries to tlie end that needless shifting of population be avoided. 
These farm boys who have been looked upon in the past as being un- 
skilled, regardless of whether they come from the Midwest or the 
South or anywhere else, have been found to be potentially the very 
best of skilled labor, and I think that in itself is going to be a great 
advantage to our Nation as a result of this decentralization program 
which is at last getting under way. 


Mr. Arnold. Governor, with two large plants going in near Omaha 
and Lincoln, do you think it would be better if, instead of building 
one or two $25,000,000 or $40,000,000 shell-loading plants or bomber 
plants, we broke it down into 5 or 10 $1,000,000 plants, so as to reduce 
congestion ? 

Governor Griswold. ]\Iy answer to that is yes, but, even be^'ond 
that, I would prefer to see work given to plants already in existence, 
because in many of our smaller towns there are small plants with 
good machinery and equipment. 

I don't know just how practical such an effort would be, but I do 
know that all over Nebraska are fine little factories that are capable, 
without any new construction, of furnishing employment to a lot of 
people and of aiding the defense work, and I think it is much to be 
]:)referred that they receive contracts, rather than that new plants 
be constructed. 

You were out at Hastings, and you heard the story out there. 
Down in Beatrice, the Dempster Mill Manufacturing Co. shijis stuff 
all over the Nation, down through our State and Illinois and Ohio, 

g384 (t.MAIIA III'.AItlNCS 

and tlK\y arc doiiiii" very litllt* alonji' (lefciisi' liiio>.' Kiirlit hvve in 
Omaha are lunuhx'ds of small places that would be well (lualitietl, with 
just a few months, to ^et ready to do somethin*; constructive. 

Mr. CuHTis. Governor, I think we came out of Hastin^^s with two 
very -definite ideas to carry back to Washin<rton. 

One was that when these requests for bids are sent out to smaller 
(•oncerns, some of those concerns were asked to ^et the bids back to 
the east coast in H to 8 days, and they couldn't confei- with the ))eople 
who were to <>ive them the material.- 

Tlie othei" is that these concerns do not even <iet a chance to be 
considered for defense work because the Government is not aware of 
their facilities and what they can make. Consequently, tliere is a 
need for Government enfjineers to visit these })]ants, with full author- 
ity to ne<j:otiate contracts with them if they find that they can pro- 
duce certain parts which are needed in the defense })ro<iram. 

Governor, we are deliji'hted to have received your testimony. 

Governoi- Ghiswold. I am very haj)j)y to l)e here. 

Mr. Tii>TON. At this point I should like to introduce for the record 
several statements concernin<>" mi<iration conditions in Nebraska. ]ire- 
pared by persons familiar with these conditions. 

The Chairman. They may be placed in the record. 

Mr. Tipton. These statements are Nebraska Chanoes in Poi)ula- 
tion, 1930^0, by J. O. Hertzler; Defense Loss Survey, from data 
suj^plied by the Associated Industries of Nebraska; Farm Labor in 
Nebraska and the Outlook for 1942, by W. H. Andresen : Foired and 
Voluntary Mioration in Nebraska, by the Bureau of A ori cultural 
Economics, United States Department of Aiiriculture ; Farm Migra- 
tion, by W. H. Brokaw. 

(The statements mentioned appear in order following:) 

By .T. O. Hkrtzlek, Professor of Sociology, University of Nebraska 


The State of Nebraska has undergone some startling population changes dur- 
ing the last decade, as revealed b.v the advance announcements of the Sixteenth 
(1940) Census of the United States. Changes in the total luuuber of liunuui 
beings in a given area ; tlieir relative densities in different portiims of the area : 
their age and sex distribution; their urban or rural location; the rate, direction, 
and nature of their mobility; their birth rates, death rates, and net rates of 
reproduction; their marital status and size of their families; tlieir major 
occupational divisions and so on are related, directly or indirectly, to almost 
all other social occiurences, both as and effect. 

More or less unique changes have been taking place in the North'^rn Great 
Plains region of the United States. Particularly notable has been continu<>d 
uri)ani/.ation at tbe expense of the open conntrysid(> ;ind tlie siii;iU towns, the 
rapidly falling rural birth rale, the rapid relative decline of the lairal i)opula- 
tion, and out-migration, even to the extent of net i)oi)ulation lo.<ses by States. 
Some of these changes can be attributed in part to meteorological and biological 
cycles, especially drought and grasshopper plagues; in most cases, however, they 
reflect longer and more d<'ei)ly rooted trends bound up with tecluiological 

All of these demographic i»rocesses bave been strikingly demonstrated in 
Nebniska in n^cent decad<'s. p.-irtii-uliirly tbe perioil 1!t:!0 4(1. 

' Set" Mastiiifrs licariiiirs, p. s:i4!t. 

= See TIiiRtiuRs henriiiRs. pp. S270. 82S.-), S2!);"), etc. 





Tlie general growth of population in Nebraska since 1870, when the first 
Federal census after admission to statehood was taken, is indicated in the 
table below. 

Table 1. — Nebraska population, 1870-1940 * 



Increase over pre- 
ceding decade 

density of 



per square 


452, 402 
1, 062, 656 
1, 066, 300 
1, 192, 214 
1, 296, 372 
1, 377, 963 
1, 315, 834 

1880... -- . 

329, 409 
610, 254 
104, 158 
81, 591 
-62, 129 








5 9 


13 8 


13 9 

1910.. . - - --- 

15 5 


16 9 


17 9 

1940 - 

17 2 

1 Compiled from the reports of the Ninth to Sixteenth Censuses. 

While the density of population per square mile of the country as a whole was 
increasing from 41.1 in 1930 to 44.2 in 1940, Nebraska's population density per 
square mile of land area (76,653 square miles in 1940) was decreasing from 17.9 
to 17.2, making the State thirty-seventh in rank according to density among the 
48 States.^ 

The first and most obvious fact concerning Nebraska population is the net 
decrease of its population in the 1930-40 decade. The population in 1930 was 
1,377,963 ; in 1940, 1,315,834— a loss of 62,129, or 4.5 percent. The entire tier of 
north and south States, however, suffered similar losses as revealed in the table 

Table 2.— Population changes in tier of States, 1930-40 

1940 popu- 

1930 popu- 


age loss 

North Dakota 

641, 935 

642, 961 


1, 801, 028 

2, 336, 434 

680, 845 

692, 849 

1, 377, 963 

1, 880, 999 


38, 910 
49, 888 
62, 129 
79, 971 
59, 606 

5 7 

South Dakota 

7 2 

Nebraska _. 

4 5 

Kansas .. 

4 3 

Oklahoma . 

2 5 

These same States had all had relatively small increases in population in the 
1920-30 decade, except Oklahoma, which enjoyed the main impact of its oil boom 
during that period. These States increased as follows: North Dakota, 5.3 per- 
cent ; South Dakota, 8.8 percent ; Nebraska, 6.3 percent ; Kansas, 6.3 percent ; and 
Oklahoma, 18.1 percent. 


Of Nebraska's 93 counties, 16 gain a total of 24,565 persons while 77 lost 86,694. 
The county making the greatest numerical gain was Douglas with 14,580, Scotts- 
bluff County coming second with 5,273, and Keith County third with 1,612. In 
terms of percentage gains, however, Keith came first with 24 percent, Scottsbluff 
second with 18.4 percent, and Rock third with 18.2 percent." 

The greatest numerical losses were sustained by Custer County with 3,598, Clay 
with 3,126, Knox with 2,a32, Boone with 2,611, York with 2,365, and Saunders, 
2,275. Clay County sutTered the greatest percentage loss with 23 percent. 
Arthur County came next with 22.2 percent, Webster third with 21 percent, and 
Frontier fourth with 20.9 percent. 

^ Density of Population by States : 1940, Sixteenth Census, Washington. Release of 
May 21, 1941. 

2 These and all other figures in this section were obtained from or compiled from 
Population of the State of Nebraska — Final Figures, 1940, Sixteenth Census, Washington, 
release of .January 7, 1941. 

60396 — 42— pt. 22 3 



The griiwlh of Duuwlas and Surpy Counties must be attributed entirely to the 
growth of the city of Uuiaiia. ^ ,, c. . • 

Tlie fjniiis of Scoitsbluff County in the Sfuiiand iianbandle of llie State is 
due to tiie recent development of irrigatiou ou a large scale, which has made the 
fertile soil very productive. ^ « , , t^ „ x, ^ n i* 

The gains in Kock, with 18 percent, and T.rown, Garfield, Keya Paha, and Holt 
with their lesser gains, cannot hv. so easily accounted for. The increasing .sta- 
bility of the cattle industrv, which looms very large in these counties, may be a 
fictor The small trains made bv Hooker and Thomas Counties, respectively 73 
or 6'' percent and 48 or 2.8 percent, are thought to be due to the practice of 
soutliern Cherry County and northern McPherson and I^)gan County ranchers to 
move into the Loup Valley towns at least during the school year (the census was 
as of \pril 1) to enable their children to attend the schools.' The gains, or only 
small losses in the Platte Vallev counties other than Scottsbluff and Keith, such 
as Lincoln, Dawson, Buffalo, and Hall, probably are attributable to irrigation or 
irrigation projects. . „ • i 

Most of the counties with larger cities in them or near them actually increased 
in population or were held to small h.sses. Thus Dakota ("(.unty's 3-percent gain 
is l-u-'ely due to Sioux City's poimlation and activity spilling over the State line 
into the adjoining portions of Nebraska directly across the Missouri River. Lan- 
caster with Lincoln, Gage with Beatrice, Platte with Columbus, Hall with Grand 
Island and Lincoln with North Platte, either made small gains, or suffered only 
slight 'losses. In each case the increase in population of the city offset in whole 
or in larce part the drastic losses in the countr outside the citv. 

Of the five counties losing more than 20 percent of their population— Arthur, 
Frontier Harlan, Webster, and Clay— the last four are of the double tier along 
the Kansas border where the effects of the drought were most pronounced. 
Haves Furnas, Kearney, Franklin, and Nuckolls Counties with losses of 15 to 
20 percent and Hitchcock, Red Willow, and Gosper in the 10-15 percent loss 
classification are also in this tier. The other hard-hit counties such as Greeley, 
Boone Sherman, Howard, and Hamilton are either in a state of transition from 
corn country back to grass country, or their condition is due to drought plus 
cultivation of much marginal land. Arthur County with a 22.2 percent loss 
and Banner and Kimball Counties with losses of 16.3 percent each are m the 
areas where a marked consolidation of farms and consequent increase in size 
of single farms has been taking place.* ^ ^ ^, . ..i. 

Those interested in public administration will be struck by the fact that there 
are nine counties in the State that are trying to maintain a complete county 
governmental organization by means of and f"r P<]P" ^'t'^-^s of les.s than 2.000^ 
These counties are Arthur (1.045), Banner (1.403), Blaine (1,538) Grant 
(1327) Hooker (1,253), Logan (1,742), Loup (1,777), McPherson (1.175). and 
Thomas (1,553). Furthermore, with the exception of Banner, are ad- 
joining counties. 


When Nebraska population changes are examined from the rural-urban angle 
another interesting array of facts presents itself. The population of 1.31;^834 
in 1940 consisted of 514,148 persons or 30.1 percent classified fis "rban, that 
is nersons living in incorporated cities of 2.500 or more, while 801 .686 or 60.9 
percent were classified as "rural." The rural population is further subdivided 
into "rural farm" ; that is. all persons living ou farms without regard to occu- 
oation and "rural nonfarm," or persons living in a wide variety of locations 
ranging from isolated nonfarm homes in the open couutry. through unincorpo- 
rated and incorporated isolated villages and towns, to the incorporated and 
unincorporated suburban areas surrounding larger cities (with less than 2 500 
nopulation) The rural farm population of the State amounted to 49o.8..8 m 
1940, or 37.7 percent of the whole ; the rural nonfarm to 305,828, or 23.2 percent 
of the whole. 

» Opinions of H. C. Filley. professor of rural economics. University of Nebraska. Lincoln 
Sunday Journal and Star, "July 21, 1940. 
*H. C. Filley (ibid.). 



The accompanyiug table shows the changes iu these population classifica- 
tions by decades since 1910. 

Table 3. — Nebraska urban and rural population, 1910-40 * 



Rural farm 

Rural nonfarm 










1, 192, 214 
1, 296, 372 
1, 377, 963 
1, 315, 834 


310, 852 
405, 306 
486, 107 
514, 148 


631, 467 
584, 172 
582, 981 
495, 858 


249, 895 
306, 894 
308, 875 
305, 828 


1920 . 

23 7 


22 4 


23 2 

I Figures obtained from or compiled from Nebraska's Population, Nebraslra State Planning Board, 
Lincoln, 1937, pp. 8, 12; Urban and Rural Population of the United States: 1940, Sixteenth Census, Wash- 
ington. Released Jan. 18, 1941: Rural-Farm and Rural-Nonfarm Population (preliminary) : 1940, the United 
States, by States, Sixteenth Census, Washington, released Mar. 10, 1941. 

From the above table it will be noted that the urban population of the State 
has consistently increased, from 26.1 percent of the whole population in 1910 to 
39.1 percent in 1940. The rural farm population, on the other hand, i)ersistently 
declined both in number and proportion of the whole (631,467, or 52.9 percent, in 
1910 to 495,856, or 87.7 percent, in 1940). Moreover, in 1940, for the first time, 
the actual population on the farms was less than that of the cities. Viewed from 
another angle, it may be noted that since 1910 the Nebraska farm population has 
decreased a total of 135,609, or 21.4 percent. During the same time the city 
population increased 203,296, or 65.4 percent. The rural nonfarm population has 
not varied widely in its proportionate significance in the State, by decades having 
been 21 percent, 23.5 percent, 22.4 percent, and 23.2 percent of the whole. 

During the last decade the urban population of the State increased by 28,041, 
or 5.8 percent. At the same time the farm population decreased by 87,123, or 
14.9 percent, and the rural nonfarm by 3,047, or 1 percent. This was really the 
continuation of established trends, however. During the decade 1920-30, the 
population of the State increased .81,591, or 6.3 percent. But the population of 
the ui'ban places during this decade increased 80,814, or 19.9 percent, while the 
population of the rural territory, both rural farm and rural nonfarm, barely held 
its own with an increase of 777, or 0.1 percent." It is apparent that the State's 
great loss of population during the decade just past must be accounted for pri- 
marily in the loss of population on the farms and secondarily in the hamlets, 
villages, and towns. 

Of the 36 places of "city" rank (2,500 or more) , 8, or 22.2 i)ercent, lost population. 
Of the larger towns (over 1,000), 33.3 percent lost population, and 66 percent of 
the small towns and villages (below 1,000). This bears but the findings above, 
namely, that the big losses were in the oi)en country and the small towns and 

In general, the larger towns and cities, pretty well spaced along the highways, 
held their own during the past decade. This is partly due to the fact that they 
are service centers for the surrounding countryside. During the last decade the 
larger towns and cities also attracted a considerable number of candidates for 
relief — people forced to leave farms or tiny villages because of foreclosure, or 
absorption of a tenant farm into a larger holding. 

The small villages, on the other hand, render .such limited services as they are 
capable of directly to the immediately surrounding agricultural area. When the 
farms of the State lose approximately 15 percent of their population it can be 
readily seen that many small towns and villages will lose some of their reasons 
for existence. This is reflected in the fact that 66 percent of them lost population 
during the past decade. 


When the preponderance of births over deaths in the State of Nebraska is 
examined year by year for the past decade, alongside of the fact that the State 
lost a total of 62,129 persons during the same decade, one is confronted with a 
startling situation. The data is set forth in the following table : 

• Population, First Series, Number of Inhabitants, Nebraslra, Sixteenth Censxis, p. 1. 



Table 4.— Nebraska hirths and deaths, number and rates, per 1,000 of population, 

l'J30-.',0 ' 



net in- 
per year 



rate i)er 

1,000 pop- 





rale per 

1,000 pop- 



27, 004 
26, 009 
25, 159 
24, 185 
25, 085 
23, 327 
23, 798 
22, 270 
22, 401 
22, 338 
22, 163 



13, 292 
13, 372 
13, 181 
13, 752 
13, 199 
12, 194 
12, 592 





13, 701 








10, 146 






10, 437 






237, 325 



Note.— Exclusive of 1930. 

» Compiled from Live Births United States, 1915-1939, Bureau of the Census, issued Nov. 12, 1940; 
Deaths and Death Kates: United States, 1915-39, Bureau of the Census, issued Jan. 13, 1941; Provisional 
Natality Statistics, United Slates: 1940, Bureau of the Census, issued July 2, 1941; Provisional Mortality 
Statistics, United States: 1940, Bureau of the Census, issued June 18, 1941. j 

Two striking facts stand out in the preceding table. The one has to do 
with the comparison of birth and death rates of Nebraska with the United 
States as a whole. Through 1936 the Nebraska birth rate was greater than 
that for the registration area of the United States as a wliole, while from 
1937 to 1940 it was lower; the Nebraska death rate was lower for every 
year of the decade. The second notable occurrence is the greater preponder- 
ance of births over deaths. In the 10 years beginning with January 1, 1931, 
there were 237,335 births and 129,008 deaths, giving a total natural increase 
for the State of 108,327 during the period. 

As noted in the preceding section, the reduction in the rural population is 
one of the critical of Nebraska population changes. Further light is 
thrown on the problem by census data relative to the changes in rural births 
and deaths, and rural birth rates and death rates as compared with urban 
rates. These are facts that must also be kept in mind in connection with 
the discussion below of the decrease in the number of Nebraska farms. 

TABLE 5. — Total population compared tvith numbers and rates of urban and rural 
births and deaths for Nebraska for the years 1920, 1930, and 19^0 ^ 







Birth rates: 




1, 301, 


1, 016, 





1, 380, 000 

369, 100 

1, 010, 900 

19, 160 



1, 315, 834 
397, 424 

13, 438 


1 Birth and death figures were compiled from the same sources as the preceding table. In addition the 
census reports on mortality statistics for 1920 and 1930, birth statistics: 1920, and hirths, stillbirths, and infant 
mortality statistics: 1930 were used. Lest the reader be confused, it sliould be pointed out that the censu- 
in the fiimres given in this table interpreted cities as places of 10,000 and over, and all the rest of tlie populal 
tion as rural. Attention should also be called to the fact that the poi)ulation figures for 1920 and 1930 m 
this present table are given by the Census as estimates for July 1, and not for Jan. lit sliould also be noted 
that the crude birth rate is based on births per 1,001) of estimated population. While tlie rural birth rate 
above seems to be very low. it does not necessarily indicate that rural wives arc less fertile than urban wives. 
Actually as we will note, there is a marked disproportion of the sexes in the rural areas of the State— some 
110 men to 100 women. Ordinarily where we have a disproportion of either sex, the birth rate, and the rate 
of increase will be lower than where there is more equal division between the se.xes in the same popu 



Table 5. — Total population compared with numl)ers and rates of urban and rural 
hirths and deaths for Nebraska for the years 1920, 1930, and 19/fO — Continued 






12, 976 


13, 292 



12, 592 




Death rates: 




On July 1, 1920, when the Nebraska rural population was estimated at 1,016,198, 
there were 24,105 rural births and 8,914 rural deaths. Twenty years later, on 
January 1, 1940, when the rural population amounted to 918,410, the number of 
rural births stood at 13,438 and the deaths at 7,539. If the situation is stated in 
terms of percentages, we note that while the rural population fell off approxi- 
mately 9.6 percent, the number of rural deaths fell off 15.4 percent, but the rural 
births diminished by 44.2 percent. 

The large city changes take the form of expected increases in each case. The 
large city population, as noted above, increased from 285,539 in 1920 to 397,424 in 
1940, or 39.1 percent. During that time the large city births increased from 6,806 
in 1920 to 8,725 in 1940, or 28.2 percent. The large city deaths increased from 4,062 
in 1920 to 5,053, or 24.4 percent. 

In terms of crude rates (the number of births or deaths per 1,000 of estimated 
population) the rural birthrate dropped from 23.7 in 1920 to 14.6 in 1940, and the 
rural death rate dropped from 8.8 to 8.2. The large city birth rate decreased from 
23.8 in 1920 to 21.9 in 1940, while the large city death rate declined from 14.2 in 
1920 to 12.7 in 1940. 

The decline in the number and rate of births in the case of the rural population 
Is most strikingly significant ; conversely, it is worthy of note that the large city 
birth rate fell off only slightly. The situation actually may not be quite as extrem'e 
as it seems to be. Births are recorded where they take place. It is quite possible 
that with the improvements in rural transportation a greater proportion of farm 
mothers went to city hospitals in 1940 than in 1920 to bear their babies. There is 
also a possibility that rural births have not been reported as carefully as those in 
the cities. But these factors, if they exist, only partially reduce the significance 
of the drop in the number of rural births. 

The net reproduction rate (a rate of 100 is required to maintain a stationary 
population if birth and death rates remain unchanged) of Nebraska is still above 
that of the Nation as a whole. The net reproduction rate of the United States for 
the period 1935-39 was 96 as compared with 111 for 1925-29. For Nebraska as a 
whole the rate for the year 1940 was 101, and for 1930 it was 117. Nebraska's rate 
is above that of Its region.* 


The preliminary estimate of the Sixteenth (1940) Census indicates that between 
1930 and 1940 the number of persons migrating out of the west north central 
division exceeded the number of those migrating into the division by about 718,000.'' 
This estimate, as stated by the census report, is based on a comparison of the 
number of persons enumerated in the 1930 census who should have survived to 
1940 under existing mortality rates and the number of persons 10 years old or 
over actually enumerated in the 1940 census. Since the actual population 10 years 
old or over was about 718,000 less than the number expected to survive from 
1930 to 1940, the number of out-migrants during the decade must have exceeded 
the number of in-migrants by about that amount. 

The phenomenon of out-migration, however, is not a new one in the region of 
the Great Plains. From 1920 to 1930, in five States, North Dakota, South 
Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, and Montana, to the northwest, emigration definitely 
exceeded immigration. Throughout the history of western pioneering the oId(>r- 
settled regions have been sending population on to other sections. Kansas and 
Nebraska had ceased to attract migrants in large numbers even before 1900; 

"Taken from Not Roproduction Rates by Stages (preliminarv) : 1940, Sixteenth Census, 
Washington. Release of August 23, 1941. See also the Net Reproduction Rate, Bureau 
of the Census, release of May 9, 1941. 

''This division includes the States of Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, North Dalcota South 
r^.H?*^',.^'*'^'''*^^'^'^' ''^"^^ Kansas. Data from Population Characteristics (preliminary). 
1940. \\ est North Central Division. Release of May 19, 1941. 



actually during the docade of the nineties tiie people who left these two States 
outuunibored the new arrivals, although there was little resulting change of total 
populations, since the natural increase offset the loss. 

Since ItKK) the number of persons born in the Great Plains region and living 
elsewhere has been increasing steadily and was greater in 11)30 (before the recent 
drought depression) than at any other time. The data for Nebraska are depicted 

Migration to and from Nebraska, 1900 to 1940 ' 

Persons born in State and living elsewhere . 
Persons living in State and born elsewhere. 


145, 280 
424, 616 


244, 232 


402, 676 


453, 156 
375, 937 

Data not 
vet avail- 

1 The above statements and census compilations taken from C. Taueber and C. C. Taylor, the People 
of the Drought States, Works Progress Administration, Washington, 193<, pp. 39-41. 

Since the appropriate data enabling one to portray accurately the out-migration 
from the State during the last decade are not yet at hand, the best one can do 
is make rough estimates on the basis of such data as are available. We do know 
that the State as a whole lost 62,129 in the last 10 years. We also know, as set 
forth in the preceding section, that the excess of births over deaths from January 
1, 1931, to December 31, 1940, in the State was 108,327. In other words, if no 
other changes affecting numbers, such as in-migration or out-migration, had taken 
place the population on January 1, 1941, should have been 108,327 greater than 
10 years before. Those 108,327, however, had not been added to the State's total. 
In addition, the State's population was 62,129 less than it was in 1930. Therefore, 
when we accept the State's total loss of 62,129, and a total net increase of 108,327, 
it is likely that in the neighborhood of 170,000, or 12 to 13 percent of the popula- 
tion, left the State during the decade. 


The decrease in the number of farms and the increase in the size of farms in 
recent decades for the State as a whole gives fairly clear-cut evidence of both 
out-migration and the great decline in farm population. In 1910, when 78.6 per- 
cent of the State's land area was in farms, there were 129,678 farm units ; in 1940, 
with 96 5 percent of the land area in farms, the total number of farms had de- 
clined to 121,062. In 1930, with 91.0 percent of the area in farms, they numbered 
129 458. In the decade 1930-40 the farms in the State decreased 6.5 percent in 
number. In 1910 the average size of farm was 297.8 acres; in 1920, 339.4 acres; 
in 1930, 345.4 acres ; and in 1940, 391.1 acres.* 

The census figures show a decline in the number of farms of all classes under 
500 acres for the State between 1930 and 1940, except those 3 to 19 acres, and an 
increase in the number of farms over 500 acres. 

Table 7. — Number of farms by size, 1940 end 1930 

Under 3 acres 
3 to 9 acres . . . 
10 to 19 acres. 
20 to 49 acres. 
60 to 99 acres. 









3, 9.53 



10, 118 

100 to 499 acres 

500 to 999 acres 

1,000 to 4,999 acres.. 
5,000 acres and over 


83, 767 

10, 570 




92, 876 

10, 260 



Three interesting facts stand out in these figures: (1) The recent increase in 
the number of farms below 20 acres in size; (2) the increase in the number of 

» Federal Census Reports on Farms and Ranches, by Size, Sixteenth Census. Release of 
April 4 1941. The trend toward a decrease in the number of farms seems to be Nation- 
wide For the country as a whole the number of farms decreased 3.1 percent during the 
period 1930-40, despfte the Kreat but apparently temporary increase in subsistence 
farms during the first half of the decade. 


farms of 500 acres or more ; and (3) the marked decrease in the number of farms 
of intermediate size. 

Changes, more or less independent of either World War I, depression, or drought 
have also been operating either to drive people off the farms or reduce the number 
both on farms and in the State. One very important factor which began to be 
effective before World War I, but which has become especially significant in the 
last decade, is the increasing mechanization of farms. Technological changes in 
agriculture have almost kept pace with those in industry in many parts of the 
country. This increased mechanization has eliminated the need for large numbers 
of laborers, both members of the family and paid workers. By purchasing a 
tractor and the power equipment that goes with it, the farmer not only is able 
to get along with fewer laborers, but is able to work a larger farm. 

Findings of a study made recently by the Bureau of Agricultural Economics 
and a graduate student in the Department of Sociology are revealing.' Clay 
County, the county which lost 23 percent of its population during the decade 
1930-40, was the subject of the study. In this county it was found that larger 
and larger acreage seemed to be necessary for profitable farming. No one left 
Clay County because his place of living had become uninhabitable. No land was 
left vacant, very little was permitted to go back to pasture. A great increase in 
mechanized farms occurred, some being without either horses or cattle. In some 
cases a man owning two contiguous farms asked his tenant to leave, tore down 
the .second set of improvements, and worked all of the land himself with a tractor, 
putting much of the additional acreage into cash grain crops. According to a 
Future Farmer Survey made in the county, while the number of horses was de- 
creasing 55 percent, the number of tractors was increasing 92 percent ; 11.7 per- 
cent of the farms represented did not report a single horse. Of 43 sample farms, 
60 percent had tractors and 23.2 percent had both tractors and trucks. The 
farmers stated that they bought tractors for two reasons: First, because they 
thought they needed them ; if they wished to work 40. 80, or 120 acres more, they 
had either to employ a farm laborer and buy another team, or to purchase a 
tractor. Second, they wanted to lighten their own labor, shorten their day, and 
reduce their chores. 

In the county the farms have been gradually increasing in size. From 1920 to 
1930 the total number of farms decreased from 1,791 to 1,782, despite the increase 
of 8,063 acres (over 121/2 square miles) in total farm land during the period. 
From 1930 to 1935 the farms of 100 to 2.59 acres decreased 7 percent, while those 
from 260 to 499 acres increased 4 percent, and those from 500 to 999 acres increased 
33 percent.'" The special study shows, moreover, that the greatest increase in the 
size of farms came in 1935 to 1940. 

In general, in Clay County the extensiveness of a farmer's acres serves as a 
fairly accurate index of his prosperity and security relative to other farmers in 
the survey area. A special study was made of Sheridan Township of Clay 
County. During the survey period, 1930-40, only 1 farm over 240 acres was left 
by a migrant, and that was a 640-acre farm worked jointly by 4 mature men, and 
might have been considered as four 300-acre farms. During the same period there 
was a 115-percent turn-over on 160-acre farms. According to the county tax 
assessor's records, there were 148 tracts of land in Sheridan Township in 1935 ; 
only 4 years later this had been reduced to 132. 


During the settlement period of Nebraska, ending in 1890, the State's population 
was predominantly young. Since then the national trends have begun to be 
definitely perceptible in this State. The last decade shows some trends even 
more abnormal than the national trend, as may be noted from table 8. 

• John H. Burma, Jr., A Study of Migration from a Nebraska County During thf> DrouRht 
iJepression. Unpublished manuscript. Lincoln, 1941. Prepared under the supervision 
or the present writer. 

w Agriculture Bureau of the Cen.sus : Fifteenth Census, 1930, vol. Ill, U. S. .Census of 
Agriculture, 1935, vol. II, pp. 357-370. 



Table S.—^febraaka population by age groups, ISIO-IHO * 

Age group 

Under 5 

Percent - 
6 to 19 

20 to 44 

46 to 64 

Percent . 
65 and over.. 



19, 508 


38, 790 


52, 472 


10, 103 







153, 031 


175, 758 

38 6 

43, 904 






362, 272 




23, 294 


133, 747 



374. 386 

393, 436 

452, 935 

107, 883 

172, 057 

34, 754 

50, 771 


143, 240 


391, 740 


495, 979 

, 38.2 

200, 340 





130, 337 

9 5 

409, 926 


514, 420 


236, 330 


86, 194 





353, 361 

476, 092 

275, 816 


106, 263 


states by States. Sixteenth Census, Release of Apr. 23, 1941. 

It Will be noted that as recently as 1900, the children under 5 constituted 
12 5 percent of the State's population; in 1940 ^l-ey «,«.^ounled to only . 9 
percent. In actual numbers, they diminished from 143 240 ^"^^-^o 104.302 in 
1940. In 1900 those 5 to 19 years of age amounted to 34.b peicent of the 
population; in 1940 they were only 26.8 percent. From 1920 to 1940 they 
declS in number from 391,740 to 353,361. Those in the age group 20 to ^ 
have not fluctuated widely either in percentage or number since 1890. But 
thJse 45 to 65 have been consistently gaining both' n actual numbers and m 
percentage of the population. In 1900 they were 13.0 perc-ent of the popula- 
tionrS 1940, 21.0Vrcent. In 1920, they numbered 200,346 ; in 1940 2. .),816^ 
In 1900 those 65 and over were 3.2 percent of the popula ion ; m 1^ 0-3 
nercent in 1940, 8.1 percent-<;-onsiderably above the national hgure. In 1920. 
thev numbered 64,341; in 1930, 86,194; in 1940, 106.263. 

''^1^11940 there were 54,172 males in Nebraska 65 years o^ «f ^^'^^^ ^^ 
a-ainst 46 266 in 1930; 52,091 females in 1940 compared with 39,928 in 1J3U. 

While the 1940 figures are not yet available, the 1930 figures show the 
disTiibution of thfe ale groups among the urban, rural farm, and rural nonfarm 
population of the State. 

Table Q.— Nebraska age distributiorv— urban and rural, 














X Compiled from Nebraska's Population, State Planning Board, Lincoln, 1937. p. 43. 

Hore it will be seen definitely that the farms have the highest percentage of 
chndienanTadofescents while the cities have the smallest percentage. The cities 
Lafirneopirn the middle years of life, while the small towns have l^e fewest^ 
bS? theS nonfamrareas have the highest percentage in both the 4o-to-b4 group 

'"K"4'exSn1ne'oni;"iose under 15 years of age, we find that for the State as a 
whoir in S 29 7 percent of the population fell in that age group. This age 
Tioun constitutes only 25.6 percent of the urban population, and 27 percent of 
fhe haZt andvillage popiilation; but it was 34.4 percent of the rural faim 

''''geverarconclusions are obvious. First, the rural farm districts produce a 
Inreer croD of children than either the villages or cities. The faims ha^e 45 
perfent of ?h"Jr popul^A^ under 20 years of age, the villages 35.8 percent, and the 

u Population, 65 years old and over by sex by division, and States. 1940 and 1930. 
Sixteenth Census, Washington, release of April 23, 1J41. 


cities 34.3 percent. By the time some of these young folks born on farms reach 
their twenties they have left for the cities or have migrated out of the State. In 
general, the migrants leaving the farms for the cities or other States are compara- 
tively young. O. E. Baker found in a study of rural youth that "These migrants 
from the farms to the cities and villages were mostly young people. About a 
third were under 15 years of age, more than a third were 15 to 25 years of age, 
and nearly a tenth were 25 to 35 years old." ^ 

Other recent studies show that the greater proportion of the economic heads 
of migrant families are in their twenties and thirties, and over half of the 
families liave young children." 

Second, the rapid aging of the population is due partly to the decline in birth- 
rates which is being felt in Nebraska, as in the whole country. As the present 
generations grow older, there are fewer clilldren to take their place. Further- 
more, since emigration consists of younger persons, it tends to increase the pro- 
portion of aged persons in the population remaining in the area. 

The third fact which stands out clearly is that the old folks leave the farm 
to the management of their children, and retire in greater proportion to 
nearby villages and towns ; to a lesser extent, they go to the cities. In Nebraska 
both the cities and towns have a proportion of old folks greater than for the 
State as a whole. The movement of the old people from the farm is indicated 
in the figures. Whereas 23.5 percent of the population of the State as a whole 
is 45 or over, only 18.7 percent of the farm population is in this category. On 
the other hand, 24.9 percent of the city population and 29.6 percent of the village 
and town population is 45 or over. 

These trends have important economic implications. There is the likelihood of 
fewer customers in the future. Quite immediately there will be a shrinking 
demand for commodities consumed by children and young people such as food, 
shoes, clothing, many forms of family equipment, school buildings, and equipment. 
On the other hand there will be a somewhat increased demand for articles used 
by the aged — armchairs, electric warming pads, false teeth and other artificial 
supplements, and so on. An aging population also means an increasing death 
rate, and the consequent business and other effects of this. 

The trend also involves an aging labor supply. This means the development 
of economically useful occupations and industrial practices that will utilize the 
labor of persons above 45 to a much greater extent than the persons in the 
upper age group are now being used. This implies the modification or develop- 
ment of adult education and other measures for enhancing the usefulness and 
increasing the joys of living for an aging population. 

One may speculate regarding some of the general psychological consequences of 
the aging of the population. Since it is rather generally agreed that conservatism after middle life, can it be expected that the United States, and 
Nebraska, will become more conservative as the proportion of elders in the 
population increases? As they become more numerous will they also have the 
greatest influence in public opinion and in the determination of policies and 
procedures in the field of law, government, religious institutions, education, 
industry, commerce, and finance? Will political parties, legi-slative bodies, 
oflBcial boards, boards of education and regents, boards of directors, and so on, 
be dominated more by the traditional attitudes of oldsters? Has the vaunted 
progressivism of American business, government, and education in the past arisen 
from the youth of the persons in control? The next half century may be a time 
when the western world needs audacity as well as insight and constructiveness. 
Do the oldsters grasp the full significance of the stupendous changes which have 
been and are taking place? Will adult education, if it comes, have any appreci- 
able effort in reducing the conservatism and stagnation of the aged? 


Changes in the school-age population and school enrollment reflect several 
of the population changes that have been occurring in the State in the last two 
decades ; notably, the general decline in the population, the diminishing birth 
rate and the consequent shrinkage of the population in the lower age groups of 

" O. E. Baker. The Outlook for Rural Youth, Extension Service Circular, U. S. Depart- 
ment of Agriculture, Washington, 19.3.5. p. 4. 

" J. N. Webb. The Migratory Casual Worker, Research Monograph, VII, Washington, 
Works Progress Administration, 1937 ; J. N. Webb and M. Brown. Migrant Families, 
Research Monograph XVIII, Washington, Works Progress Administration, 1938 ; Carey 
McWilliams, Factories in the Field, Boston, Little-Brown, 1939. 



the population pyramid, and the dodine in mral population. An examination 
of these data serves in a measuro both as a partial summary of and cheek 
upon the ehauges involved; henee it is ineluded as the final factual presentation 
of this sttidy. 

A most revealing type of break-down of figures was begun for the year, 
1925-20, by the office of the superintendent of public instruction, and has 
continued to the present time, offering a consistent and consecutive record. 

Table 10. — Number of children of achool age and classified pttblic school 
enrollment for the years 1925-26 to 1939-40 ' 

School year 

Number of 

Total en- 

City and 


(1 teacher) 

Total pub- 
lic high 
and non- 

1925-26 - 

415, 053 
418, 747 
423, 602 
420, 132 
405, 508 
395, 354 
382, 601 
376, 909 
369, 154 

327, 472 
326, 271 
325, 204 
325, 216 
324, 874 
324, 421 
316, 756 
312, 355 
307, 975 
300, 041 
289, 916 
282, 102 
276, 188 

136, 864 
151, 366 
150, 447 
147, 484 
146, 941 
145, 975 
143, 856 
131, 086 
126, 130 
123, 677 

106, 767 
102, 125 
100, 539 
98, 701 
94, 862 
90, 103 
85, ,')67 
80, 409 
75, 693 



61, 457 


65. 081 








73, 255 




74, 953 


76, 277 


78, 552 




83, 137 

1938-39 . . 


1939-40 .. 


' Complied from Thirty-first Biennial Report of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction to the 
Governor (1931), pp. 258-264; Thirty-third Biennial Report (1935), pp. 286-391; Thirty-fifth Biennial Report 
(1939), pp. 35-41; Thirty-sixth Biennial Report (1941), pp. 53-59. 

The above figures do not include those for the parochial schools of the State. 
But, since in 1939-^0 the parochial high schools had an enrollment of only 4,113 
and the parochial grade schools had only 19,729 pupils, it can be seen that they 
would not greatly affect the general trends indicated. Moreover, there is no 
reason for believing that the trends of parochial-school enrollments are drasti- 
cally different from those of the public schools. 

Several striking confirmatory facts stand out in table 10. First to be noted Is 
the decline in the number of children of school age (5 to 21 years of age) from 
415,053 in the school census of the year 1925-26 to 369,154 for the year 1939-40, a 
decline of 45,899, or 11.0 percent. From the peak year of 1929-30, when the popu- 
lation of school age amounted to 423,602, the decline has been 54,448, or 12.8 
percent. During the 15-year period the actual total public-school enrollment 
dropped off from 327,472 to 276,188, or 15.6 percent. 

A second pertinent set of facts relates to the differences between the trends In 
the grade-school (city and village and one-teacher rural schools) enrollments on 
the one hand and those of all high schools on the other. In Nebraska, during the 
15-year period beginning with 1925-26, the total grade-school enrollments, con- 
sisting mostly of those bom after 1921 when the National and State decline in 
births set In, diminished from 207,366 to 191,910, or 28.2 percent. The high- 
school enrollment, consisting mainly of those born before 1921, increased from 
60,106 to 84,278, or 40.2 percent. The decline in grade-school enrollment reflects 
the decline both in general population and in the number of births. The increase 
in high-school enrollments during the period under consideration reflects, not 
population conditions, but the increasing vocational and cultural significance of 
high-school attendance. Assuming, however, that there will be no considerable 
appreciation of the latter factors in the near future, a persistent falling off of 
high-school enrollments can be expected to occur from now on, it now being 20 
years after the peak years of birth. The enrollments of several of the larger 
cities of the State show that this trend has already set in. 

The variation in the decline of city and village as contrasted with one-teacher 
rural schools illuminate.^ another set of facts. It will be remembered that dur- 
ing the 15 years represented in the enrollment figures given above, the cities of 
the State increased in population, though at a diminishing rate ; the villages in 


the main held their own; but the population of the rural areas decreased very 
rapidly. The school figures bear this out. While the city and village grade- 
school enrollments were falling from 144,9.50 to 123.677, or 14.6 percent (the gen- 
eral birth rate for the State fell 21.1 percent during this period, 1925-40), the 
one-teacher rural-school enrollments — distinctive rural reflector of conditions — 
was reduced from 122,416 to 68,233, or 44.2 percent. Here we have another bit 
of concrete evidence of the effect upon rural population of the drought-depression, 
the mechanization of farms, the increase in the average size of farms, the greatly 
reduced birth rate of the rural population, and of the out-migration, which we 
noticed has been mainly from the rural areas, plus the tendency toward consoli- 
dation of rural schools. 


Can Nebraska's population trends be reversed? Certain important questions 
arise. Can further reductions in the State's population be halted? Can out- 
migration be checked? Can the rural population trends be reversed? Can Ne- 
braska population be stabilized? Might population increases be restored? Might 
an in-migration of permanent residents be brought about? 

The answers to these questions involve physical, social, psychological, political, 
and economic factors, though economic considerations are of primary importance. 
First of all, people must be in a position to enjoy a reasonable degree of economic 
well-being and security for themselves and their families. They stay when they 
can make a fair living, or when no appreciably better living seems to be available 
elsewhere, all things considered. They move out of a State or region when better 
economic conditions or a higher standard of living seem more likely elsewhere. 
They move in when these conditions are more favorable than elsewhere." 

Social conditions, climate and the physical features, local attitudes toward 
political rights and civil and religious liberties, recreational and educational oi>- 
portunities, patriotism, and sentimental attachments, lethargy, and so on, may 
partly offset the importance of the economic factors in determining the decision 
of persons to stay or leave. But they seldom nullify them. The economic oppor- 
tunities in Nebraska apparently have not been rated as favorably as those out- 
of-State by the thousands of migrants who have left the State. 

To be sure, population conditions the country over are stabilizing. This will 
have its effects on Nebraska also. But economic variations will continue to 
exist. State by State and region by region. 

Therefore, in reply to the questions raised above, the following further chal- 
lenging questions must be posited : Can Nebraska agriculture be made more labor- 
absorbing and wealth-producing? Can the existing industries be expanded and 
new industries be developed? Can the number of dollars to be had in the rural 
and urban areas of the State be increased? Can the standard of living of the 
population be raised? 

If we can find cogent answers to these questions, there is a definite likelihood 
of halting out-migration, of stabilizing the population, and even of producing an 
in-migration of permanent residents. A few ideas along this line will be offered 
below, no so much as solutions or even as recommended blueprints for action, 
but rather as stimuli to a type of necessary tliinking and planning. The suc- 
cessive studies of this series will continue this question. 

Irrigation. — The development of irrigation offers possibilities of holding in 
the State at agricultural tasks a portion of the agricultural population which 
has been or will be converted into surplus population by the mechanization 
of farms and the consequent increase in size of and reduction in number of 
farms, and the return to range use of some land which has been cultivated. 
From the limited information available, one can assume that irrigation does 
not reduce the size of the farms in the area irrigated. The average farm In 
Scottsbluff County in 1930 was 211.2 acres. In 1940 after a decade of rapid 
development of irrigation the average farm comprised 246.3 acres. On the 
basis of this slender evidence irrigation in an area thus would not seem to 
multiply the number of farms available." Its effect rather seems to be to 
diversify and intensify the types of agriculture carried on. Such agriculture 

^ Cf. Population Trends in Minnesota and What They Mean. St. Paul, Minn., Institute 
of Governmental Research, 1938, pp. 23-24 ; R. W. Roskelley, Population Trends in Colorado, 
Fort (Collins, Colo., Agricultural Experiment Station, 10-10, p. 2. 

"As a possible qualification. Dr. Arthur Anderson, land use specialist. Colleire or Agri- 
culture, University of Nebraska, states : "Since confusion exists relative to the size of farms 
In irrigated areas. In total there are many more farms in Irrigated areas than would 
be possible without irrigation, although irrigated farms in themselves may be increasinjr 
8omewhat in size." 


of necessity requires much more labor. Ilenee such an area, as is apparently 
demonstrated in the case of Scottsblufl' Coimty (with an increase of some 
13.(X)0 during the hist 20 years), will absorb many perscms pushed out else- 
where. In fact in the next decade, with the rapid development of irrigation- 
power projects we will likely see a considerable resettlement of rural iwpulation 
elements iu the newly developed irrigated areas. Urban population elements 
will also be drawn into such areas though probably in lesser degree. This will 
forestall or prevent a considerable amount of out-migration. There will be 
some rearrangement of population, but the people will remain in the State. 

Manufactures.— i^'mcc there are definite limits to the number of persons that 
might be employed in rendering typically urban "services" to the people of the 
State, and since there are limits to the absorption of population by multiplying 
the irrigated areas of the State, though neither of these are anywhere near 
their peaks, the cpiestion arises regarding the possibility of increasing the 
amount of manufacturing carried on in the State. Manufacturing, it is obvious, 
is labor absorbing, and hence would be an important aid to population 
retention. , ^, ^ 

Industry now is rather highly concentrated. It is believed by many that 
the tendency of the near future will be toward decentralization. Industry 
will be more widely and more evenly distributed over the country with corre- 
sponding effects on the distribution of population. Some even look toward a 
sort of ruralization of manufactures, with many smaller industrial plants 
located in the towns and villages." The increasing availability of cheap elec- 
tricity due to the development of public power and almost State-wide rural 
electrification makes both trends a distinct possibility in Nebraska. 

There are various feasible forms of manufacturing that might be developed 
in our State. Especially significant is the processing of various agricultural 
products which now are sent out of the State as raw materials or after having 
undergone only the first stage of processing. By processing, the bulk of the 
products would be considerably reduced in most cases— an important factor from 
the point of view of transportation costs— and their dollar value immeasurably 
increased. There would be a much greater dollar flow into the State, and wages 
would be paid to people, and spent here by people, who might otherwise leave 
the State. Various possibilities come to mind. 

Most poultry leaves the State dressed and chilled. Each chicken thus sent 
out brings into the State perhaps 60 cents. But if it were cooked and canned, 
ready to be served cold or with some heating it would bring into the State $1.50 
and absorb twice as much labor in preparing it for the market. A dressed turkey 
brings into the State $2.75 but if it were converted into a cooked and canned 
turkey it would mean $5, and if prepared as smoked turkey, for which a 
market is rapidly developing in the East, it would be worth $7.50. Hogs 
instead of leaving the State as freshly dressed or smoked meat, could be sent 
out as canned hams, and as specially trade-marked sausage, in the latter case 
using some special skills present but fast disappearing from some of the German 
and Czech communities of the State. Instead of having corn shipped from the 
State entirely in bulk or in the form of fattened livestock, some of it, m view 
of the cheap power now available, might leave as table oil, corn sugar or 
sirup, breakfast foods, grain alcohol, and chemurgics of various kinds. In view 
of the increased consumption of vitamin-carrying vegetables, the irrigated areas 
could develop diversified truck gardening, instead of holding so largely to 
grains, potatoes, and sugar beets. Canning factories could then produce canned 
goods for the State market as well as the out-of-State market, and transport 
the articles by truck. The shelves of Nebraska grocers might be stocked with 
Nebraska produced tomato juice instead of that from Colorado or sauerkraut 
juice from Nebraska instead of Minnesota. By developing markets why should 
not the same be true of Nebraska grains, sugar, livestock, poultry, vegetables, 
soybeans, and so on? Nebraskans seem to assume that the State is fitted only for 
extractive industry. There is no element of inescapable determinism that forces 
this conclusion upon us. Labor-consuming processing industries are also possible 

10 Cf. The Problems of a Changing Population, National Resources Commission, Wash- 

°" Prof F.'e.' iMussehl, of the department of poultry husbandry, University of Nebraska. 
is of the opinion that smoked turkey is a fad, and hence of transitory market signiflcanoe. 


with abundant raw materials, a waiting labor supply, plenty of available home 
capital, and Government-subsidized power directly at hand. What seems to be 
surplus population may merely be an unused population. 

"/w our hands." — Progressively minded Nebraskans face the future with 
hope and courage. They do not believe that any great proportion of their 
problems, including those related to population, will be solved by an "act of 
God," or some accidental combination of favorable circumstances, or by merely 
wishful thinking and fond hoping. They know that these problems require 
calm and objective analysis, careful planning, and the persistent discovery and 
Ingenius utilization of the many human and material resources — the "acres of 
diamonds" — at hand. 



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Due to drought conditions in tlie State of Nebraska from 1933 to 1940 inclusive, 
we liave not had much opportunity to estimate the amount of labor needed in a 
so-called normal year, such as 1941. 

At the beginning of the year 1941, after conducting sample surveys through 
the Nebraska State Employment Service, the Farm Security Administration, 
the Agricultural Extension Service, and the Agricultural Marketing Service, 
we felt that the supply of labor would be adequate to harvest our crop in 1941. 

There were reports from various sections of the State of a distinct shortage 
of labor, but upon checking in those areas, we discovered the shortage was 
caused by the fact that the farmers did not want to pay the going wage rather 
than by the fact that the men were not available. 

The first crop harvested in 1941 was the potato crop in Buffalo County, and 
while there was no surplus of workers, the Employment Service was able to 
supply a sufficient number so that the entire crop was harvested without loss. 

The wheat harvest in the eastern third of the State was handled without 
much difiiculty because of the facts that fields are small and numerous small 
combines are used. 

The central section of Nebraska has not had a crop for 8 years, but this year 
had a tremendous acreage of barley. Everyone was concerned over the supply 
of harvest hands, but that crop was handled without loss. 

The wheat-growing area in the southwestern section of Nebraska had an 
exceptionally good ci-op this year and we anticipated the need of considerable 
transient laborers. The Nebraska State Employment Service, through the clear- 
ance division, arranged with oflices of the Kansas State Employment Service in 
the central and west sections of that State to direct laborers to our offices located 
in that particular area of Nebraska. We believe that there were more typical 
harvest hands on the move in that section at that time than there has been in 
the past 7 or 8 years. As a matter of fact, we had an oversupply in some sections, 
and those men were, in turn, directed to jobs in South and North Dakota. 
Some of these men were from Texas, a considerable number from Arkansas, Okla- 
homa, and Kansas. There were also more men with commercial combines than 
has been the case for several years. 

Tlie number of placements made by the Nebraska State Employment Service 
from January to October 1941 was 3,778, compared to 2,625 for the same 
period in 1940. The actual placements recorded do not reflect the entire 
activity, as our employment oflices serve counties other than the ones in 
which they are located. Where there is no employment ofiice in a county, 
usually the county agent acts as volunteer representative for the farm place- 
ment division. A lot of farm or harvest hands are referred by these agents 
and no record kept of the referral. Therefore, the employment service does 
not take the credit. 

The average wage paid for harvest hands this year was about $4 per day 
plus hoard and room. The average for the year-round worker is very close 
to $3.5 per month, compared to $25 per month in 1940. Farm couples as a 
rule were offered $50 per month, a separate house in which to live, garden 
space, milk, and probably a few chickens. This is also approximately $10 
higher per month than in 1940 and previous years. 

At the present time the corn crop is being harvested and we are receiving 
complaints of shortages of corn shuckers. Some of our employment oflices 
have orders which they have not been able to fill. However, due to the fact 
that corn can be harvested over a 2- or 3-month period, we do not anticipate 
an acute shortage so that any of the crop will be lost. 

Since about the 1st of September 1941 the employment service has been 
recruiting laborers for the Lockheed Aircraft Corporation at Burbank, Calif., 
and up to the present time close to 700 young men have been referred. The 
greater share of this number were farm boys. On top of this migration, others 
have left Nebraska for either the East or West coasts on their own hook and 
most of them have found jobs and have not returned to Nebraska. If the 
present rate of migration to defense industries continues, it seems to be the 
consensus of opinion of those who have been working with the farm-labor 
problem, we will have a distinct shortage next year. This will be particu- 
larly true if our crop acreages are increased, as has been suggested, unless 


we use one source of farm-liibor supply which has not been tapped — that 
of the married nun willi families who would take farm work if adequate 
housing facilities were provided. This group is available now and will be 
nest year. 

There has been a trend the last few years toward increased meciiaiiization 
which does materially cut down the nw'd for farm labor. In discussiui: this 
situation with farnuMs throughout dilTerent sections of the State, they have 
intimated they would atti'mpt to buy harvesinsi machinery which would allow 
them to pet their own crops out without hirinir additional farm labor. 

The Farm Labor Subcommittee, composed of representatives of the Farm 
Security Administration. Extension Service, A. A. A., Bureau of Agricultural 
Economics, and Farm Placement Service, is now conducting a sample survey 
in Perkins County, Nebr., to attempt to determine the available supply of 
farm labor and the demand which may appear in 1M2. If the results of 
this sample survey gives us detailed information we expect to conduct the 
same type of survey in every county in the State. 

Before the 1942 harvest season arrives, the Glenn L. Martin Co. will have 
opened their plant in Omaha and will have taken quite a nund)er of our farm 
boys ; and the proposed bombshell-loading plant at Wahoo, Nebr., will be 
under construction, which will probaly take a considerable number more. 

In summing up this report we believe if we have a sufficient number of 
defense contracts here in Nebraska our labor supply will not migrate to other 
States and a great number of boys who have left the State already, will 
return ; and that if adequate housing facilities are made available for men 
with families on farms, there will be no acute shortage of farm labor in 
Nebraska in 1942. 



"In order to obtain representative opinion on farm migration, the following 
questionnaire was submitted to the farm men and women members of the 
Nebraska Agricultural Advisory Council by the chairman and secretary. Prac- 
tically all questionnaires were completed and returned. In reporting the answers 
received, a general statement expressing the concensus of opinion regarding each 
question is made, followed by direct quotations from the statements submitted by 
the members. 

Effect of War and Defense Program on Farm Migration 

Name County 

(Use reverse side if needed) 

During the drought and depression many Nebraska farm families, because of 
depleted resources, discouragement, and other causes, were forced to leave the 
State to seek opportunities elsewhere, but in many instances did not improve 
their situation. The following questions are asked to determine the pi'esent or 
probable effects that the war, defense program, better crops, and better prices are 
having on this problem in your locality. 

I. Is this type of forced migration continuing? (Give extent of displacement, 
factors causing people to leave, age, qualifications, resources, and other 
characteristics of such operators, their ability to secure jobs locally, where 
they are going, and other information.) 
II. To what extent are farm families or members of farm families leaving farms 
voluntarily? (Give same type of information as for above question.) 

III. What effect has this migration had upon farm families remaining in the 

community? (Family labor, ability to get satisfactory hired labor, size of 
farm.s, use of machinery, and other.) 

IV. What is your opinion of the possibility or desirability of these people or equiv- 

alent numbers returning to your community as farmers when the war and 
defense program has ended? 



Forced migration has been, during the past several years, a very serious problem 
in the major portion of the State. Apparently it veas less pronounced or even 
absent in the sandhills and in the extreme eastern part of the State. The drought 
and its attendant difliculties vpere the most important, and in most instances 
the sole cause of migration. This type of migration, however, has slackened off 
and is now practically nonexistent throughout the State. 

George Beitel : "The forced migration is not continuing in the same way as it 
has been during the past several years * * *." 

Mrs. L. W. Harse : "There is no forced migration of operators in the range area 
at present." 

C. S. Reece : "In my section of Cherry County (sandhills) there has been very 
little change. In the farming section quite a number of families have gone 
away * * *." 

Dan Rush : "This type of forced migration never existed to any great extent in 
this locality * * *." 


Many people are leaving the farm to go into defense industries. This includes 
very few farm operators, but is made up almost entirely of young unmarried 
people, largely boys. Few local jobs are available and those are at a salary con- 
siderably lower than offered in defense plants. Because of the high cost of living 
in congested defense areas, the real wages received in terms of goods and services 
are not high. This is especially true of men with families. Consequently a few 
defense workers have already returned and others have expressed a desire to 
return if an opportunity exists. 

George Beitel ;'<*** Because there are so few local jobs the younger 
people are being drawn into the cities, usually out of the State, and for the time 
being into the defense plants." 

Mrs. Paul G. Jones: "Almost all the young men of the community have left. 
Some have been drafted, enlisted, a great many to California to work in defense 
industries, and a very great many to Washington, D. C, to work * * *." 

Cassius Kennedy : "There are a good many young men and women from 18 to 
25 years entering other lines of work because the higher salaries are attractive to 
them. In the main, it is the better type of young people leaving the farm." 

Mrs. Hubert Skucius : "The temptation of high wages in the West is taking 
some of our farmers. One good farmer left this fall, has a good job now, but 
only making- a good living. He's coming back in the spring. His farm is being 
held for him by relatives. Another farmer sold out everything * * * and 
went West. He wants to come back if he can find a farm to rent." 


This migration, whether forced or voluntary, has resulted in a sharp increase 
in size of farm during the past decade. Along with increased operations has 
come more and larger machinery in many instances and a greater dependence 
upon hired labor in some instances. The results of the defense effort have been 
added to this situation culminating in an even greater reliance upon machinery 
owing to the reduced labor supply. Some difHculty is being experienced in 
obtaining satisfactory hired labor at reasonable rates. There has not been, how- 
ever, a general shortage of farm labor, but such a condition has existed in some 
instances. A greater utilization of family labor has become necessary on many 
of the farms Sufficient time has not elapsed to enable an accurate measurement 
of farm operations, but there is some indication that they will be reduced next 

Ray Hall : "Greatly curtailed labor has made satisfactory labor very hard to 
get. More machinery and farms increased in size, but I believe there will be a 
slight reduction in operations next year." 

Cassius Kennedy: "* * * The right sort (of hired labor) is hard to find. 
More tractors are being used * * *." 

Mrs. Howard Mercer: "Women doing farm work. All members doing more. 
May cut farm operations as the machinery that might take up the slack is 
unobtainable * * *." 

Charles Scott : "It has made it harder to get farm labor, caused the use of 
machinery to replace this labor, and demanded that more of the farming program 
he built around the permanent family labor available." 
60396 — 42— pt. 22 4 




It is doubtful if the rural people who have gone into defense industries will 
desire to return as farmers. Likewise, there is considerable doubt as to 
whether it would be possible and desirable to have them return. In many in- 
stances, it would not be feasible to subdivide the larger farms resulting from 
tiie absorption of the vacated land. A possible exception to this is the farm that 
has grown excessively large. A few sections of the State may be able to pro- 
vide a livelihood for additional farmers following the defense effort. Many of 
the defense workers will not want to settle on farms nor will they make the 
best farmers or hired help. 

George Beitel: "I believe that it will be impossible and undesirable for more 
than a few to return as farmers * * ♦." 

Mrs. Paul Jones : "After these people have had jobs in town, they won't want 
to return to the farm. And after farmers have invested money in machinery 
they won't want to hire men * * *." 

Mrs. Howard Mercer : '"There will be dissatisfaction after high industrial and 
defense wages — to return to less glamorous living. In spite of the fact that 
living could be as good * * *." 

Dan H. Rush : "If the average farm is forced to rely on machinery to carry 
on I wonder if there ever will be a place for this army of defense workers when 
they come back to the land as they always do. * * * Perhai)S conditions 
will be so bad, modern farm methods will go out the back door." 

Farmer members, Nebraska Agricultural Advisory Council submitting state- 
ments : George Beitel, Franklin County ; Ray E. Hall, Boone County ; Mrs. L. W. 
Harse, Cherry County ; Mrs. Paul G. Jones, Washington County ; Cassius Ken- 
nedy, Nemaha County ; Mrs. Howard Mercer, Buffalo County ; C. S. Reece, 
Cherry County; Dan H. Rush. Dakota County; Charles H. Scott, Scotts BlufC 
County ; Mrs. Hubert Skucius, Thayer County. 



During the last week in August 1941, a request was mailed to the agricultural 
extension agents and chairmen of county agricultural planning committees in 
Nebraska for information on the annual farm and ranch tenure survey. This sur- 
vey was conducted in cooperation with the Bureau of Agricultural Economics and 
the Extension Service of the United States Department of Agriculture. 

Three questions in this survey deal rather directly with the migration problem. 
They are: (1) How many farms in your county have been lost since July 1940 
by combination with other farms or by not being farmed this year? (2) How 
many new farms have been created since July 1940 in your county? (3) Of those 
families who were tenants last year, how many were unable to find a farm to rent 
this year? Replies were received from 84 counties in the State. Because of the 
nature of this survey, these figures can only be considered as estimates. In most 
Instances, however, they were made by men well acquainted with the farm 
conditions in the counties involved. 

It was estimated for the 84 counties that 1,700 farms were lost in com- 
bination with other farms, and 243 new or idle farms were brought into produc- 
tion. It was also estimated for these .same counties that approximately 943 farm 
tenants were unable to secure farms. These were men who were operating farms 
in 1940 and desired to continue in 1941. The difference between the first two 
figures gives a net loss of 1,457 farms. The difference between the 1,457 farms 
lost and the 943 tenants unable to secure farms can no doubt be accounted for by 
voluntary retirement from agriculture. 

The estimates given indicate that in spite of somewhat better crop conditions 
in 1940, the forced migration off the farm is continuing, although not as rapidly 
as during the period from January 1. 1935, to April 1, 1940. when the State lost 
12.554 farms, according to the United States census. 

The survey indicated also that the loss since July 1940 occurred primarily 
in the more favored sections of the State, where crop conditiens were compara- 


tively good. For example, 9 couuties in southeast Nebraska showed the greatest 
number of tenants unable to secure farms, or 272 tenants, which is almost one-third 
of the entire State loss. 

Central Nebraska, where the forced migration prior to 1940 had been highest 
because of the prolonged drought condition, reported very few tenants unable 
to secure farms. In fact some counties had some idle farms available. These 
farms, however, are undesirable because of size, soil type, or some other reason 
and under present conditions are not economic units. 

The county agents in those counties reporting the greatest migration were 
asked to supply additional information as to the ability, present location, and 
present occupation of the tenants involved. These reports Indicated that a ma- 
jority of the tenants unable to secure farms were below average in ability. Much 
of this was due, however, to poor farm management, poor equipment, and lack 
of finances. In eastern Nebraska and counties where crop conditions have been 
more favorable, the proportion of tenants unable to secure farms who were classi- 
fied as good farmers was considei-ably higher than in other sections of the State. 
For example. Gage County reported that 20 of the 35 tenants unable to secure 
farms were good farmers. Dundy County reported only 2 of the 8 tenants unable 
to secure farms were lacking in ability and with the right kind of help all could 
have made a living on the farm. Sarpy County reported 10 tenants unable to 
secure farms, all were reported capable farmers and lost their farms merely be- 
cause the farms they occupied were purchased by neighbors who expected to 
expand their operations. 

Approximately one-fourth of the tenants were able to secure farms in Iowa, 
Colorado, and on the west coast. Of the remainder, about one-fourth have been 
able to get into defense work. A high proportion of those left are either work- 
ing as day laborers or are employed on Work Projects Administration projects. 
A few have been able to locate private employment in the towns. 

The survey indicated that there is a definite trend to increase the size of farm 
units. Tracts operated by small operators lacking sufficient capital and in some 
instances managerial ability are being purchased by larger operators or rented 
by them. Landlords are anxious to have their farms operated by someone with 
sufficient capital so that they will not be involved in signing crop-loan waivers. 

The following statements sent in by agricultural agents were selected as sui>- 
portiug evidence because they represent the thinking of several leaders in each 
county and not necessarily the opinion of the agricultural agent. 

The first statement cames from Lewis F. Boyden, agricultural agent in Johnson 
County, where 25 tenants were unable to secure farms. 

"We have made another short survey among bankers, county officials, A. C. P. 
committeemen, relief directors, and insurance agents in compliance with your 
request of November 1, and have found 25 or more farmers in the county still 
without farms. Seven of these are on Work Projects Administration projects but 
have stated they would like to find a farm. About 8 are very good farmers and 
will probably succeed in getting a farm away from someone now farming. Three 
have stated that they want to rent good farms as they feel that the poorer farms 
are not profitable to operate. The rest are working in partnership or are living 
in a set of farm buildings and working by the month. 

"At a recent land sale in Johnson County 11 farms consisting of 1,100 acres 
were sold, and all the land was added to farms now established. As near as 
we can find out, there have not been any new homes established on this land, 
and several of the tracts sold consisted of IGO acres. 

"It seems that our most serious migration problem has been the young men 
moving out to take up work in sheet-metal factories, bomber plants, aiiplane 
factories, etc., connected with national defense. Some of these men were pros- 
pective good farmers. Of cours-e, some were carpenters, plumbers, or someone 
who knew a trade." 

The second statement comes from Arnold W. Petersen, agricultural agent in 
Kearney County. 

"Several tenants were unable to secure good enough farms for themselves and 
consequently went into other occupations. Good farms in Kearney County are 
very difficult to secure. Farmsteads are badly run down and many landlords 
are not fixing up the improvements. Whenever the farms get too badly run 
down they remove buildings and rent the land out to neighbors. Many of tlie 
landlords take the attitude that keeping up the farm buihlings in Kearney 
County is just an added expense and that they can make more profit without tli'e 



"Our loss (if population at tbe present tinio has l)een duo to the defense indus- 
try more than to the Army. Tiiere are, liowever. a numlier of farm boys being 
taken out of this coninmnity into the Army. We have a definite shortage of 
corn piclvers in the county at the present time, and it is impossU)!e to secure very 
many corn-imskinR machines. It is almost impossible to use them this year, as 
a great deal of our corn lias gone down and machines would leave considerable 
corn in the fiehls. Some defense Industry located either in Kearney County or 
In nearby counties would help keep our people in this area. It would be much 
easier to get tlie people back to the land after the emei-gency is over if we could 
keep them from going to distant concentrated areas. For the good of the Nation 
when the emergency is over it would seem advisable to distribute more of the 
defense jobs into rural areas. This was the thought of a board which met Mon- 
dav evening, November 10." 

The third and last statement comes from Wilbur C. Mackey, agricultural agent 
in Adams County, where 25 tenants were unable to secure farm.s. 

"The information I am sending to you was secured from farm leaders familiar 
with the conditions here. 

"The farming ability of most of men was somewhat below the average 
of the county. Much of this was due to poor farm management. Some of it 
was due to poor ecpiipnient and lack of finances. It was necessary for many of 
them to finance their seed and operating expenses through the F. C. A., and many 
of the landlords refused to sign a waiver on their sliare of the crop. For this 
rea.son thev rented to someone who was able to finance their own operations. 

"A very "few of these people moved to the Pacific coast, and the rest moved to 
the towns and cities to get on Work Projects Administration projects." 

The Chairman. We shall now hear the testimony of William 


Mr. Arnold. Will you state your name and address for the record? 

Mr. Donnelly. William Donnelly, 4643 Farnam, Omaha, Nebr. 

Mr. Arnold. Please speak as loud as you can. Everybody is inter- 
ested in what you have to say because you are an example of a boy who 
left the farm to go into industry. How old are you ? 

Mr. Donnelly. I am 21. Will be 22 the 30th of November. 

Mr. Arnold. What is your occupation ? 

Mr. Donnelly. At the present time I am employed at the Omaha 
Steel Works, who hold a contract for shell production, and I am oper- 
ating a turning lathe. 

Mr. Arnold. Where were you born ? 

Mr. Donnelly. At Neligh, Nebr. 

Mr. Arnold. Where is that? 

Mr. Donnelly. One hundred and eighty miles northwest of here. 

Mr. Arnold. Have you ever lived on a farm ? 

Mr. Donnelly. I was born and reared on a farm and lived there up 
until I was 19 years old. 

Mr. Arnold. Does your family live on a farm ? 

Mr. DoNNEixY. ISIy family was farming on a large scale, renting 
320 acres, up until 1939. Then they moved to Creston, Nebr., and 
are living on a small acreage doing more intensive farming at the 
present time. 

Mr. Arnold. Then they have moved to town ? 

Mr. Donnelly. They are living on a small acreage right in Cres- 
ton, a 13-acre tract, raising poultry and livestock for their source of 

Mr. Arnold. Did they at one time own their farm? 

Mr. Donnelly. Yes. 


Mr. Arnold. When did they lose it? 

Mr. DoNELLT. They owned their farm at Neligh and lived there for 
21 years and lost it in 1934. 

Mr. Arnold. Because of the depression ? 

Mr. Donnelly. Because of the drought and depression. 

Mr. Arnold. How long have you worked for your present employer ? 

Mr. Donnelly. Approximately 8 months. 

Mr. Arnold. How did you get the job? 

Mr. Donnelly. I received a job through the fact that I was working 
with the Soil Conservation Service at the time. I had a 2-year service 
record and the personnel man from the Omaha Steel Works was out 
hiring men, and he got the superintendent there at the company to pick 
out 40 of his men with the best records, and those 40 men were inter- 
viewed and among those 40 men who were interviewed, those he 
wanted were selected. I was one who was selected. 

Mr. Arnold. Wliere were you working on the Soil Conservation ? 

Mr. Donnelly. At Madison, Nebr. 

Mr. Arnold. How far is that from Omaha ? 

Mr. Donnelly. Approximately 120 miles northwest. 

Mr. Arnold. Then they were recruiting farm boys out of Omaha 
quite a distance away ? 

Mr. Donnelly. That is correct. 

Mr. Arnold. Are you married ? 

Mr. Donnelly. Yes. I was married June 28 this year. 

Mr. Arnold. That was soon after you got your job? 

Mr. Donnelly. Yes. My wdfe and I started going together in our 
junior year in high school, and we had planned on being married 
shortly after graduation, but I didn't have the backing in order to get 
started in agricultural work. My father had lost everything he had 
made in agriculture. I couldn't borrow money because I didn't have 
any backing, and I couldn't borrow on my reputation of what I knew 
of farming or what I had done on my father's farm, so I was forced to 
work out. Wa^^es were small, so we couldn't consider getting married 
then. Then I joined the Soil Conservation Service and worked there 
2 years. Their wages were rather low and the living conditions were 
undesirable, too, so this is the first opportunity I had of getting 
married where wages were high enough so we could live. 

Mr. Arnold. You have a high-school education ? 

Mr. Donnelly. That is correct. 

Mr. Arnold. Your training in high school and for 2 years after high 
school has been along agricultural lines? 

Mr. Donnelly. For 2 years after graduating I w^as employed by the 
Soil Conservation. There we did the soil-conservation work in the 
day and in the evenings took night courses. Those who wanted to did. 
I took soil conservation, animal husbandry, and various courses along 
agricultural lines. 

Mr. Arnold. Then you left agriculture to go into industry because 
of the poor pay ? 

Mr. Donnelly. That is right; because I couldn't get a loan of any 
kind to set me up in my own business. 

Mr. Arnold. Do you prefer to be in agriculture or in industry? 

Mr. Donnelly. I would much prefer to be in agriculture but I 
wouldn't care to farm the way the average farmer does. Wliat I 
want to do is diversified farming, particularly livestock, the feeding 


aiul biiyinor and selling of livestock, and later to work in purebred 
breeding livestock. 

Mr. Arnold. Did you live on a "dry" farm? 

Mr, DoNNEULY, Yes ; that is the type. 

Mr. Arnold. Do you intend to stay in industry or do you some day 
day expect to go back to farming? 


Mr. Donnelly. If I ever can save up the capital or get the capital 
in some way, I do intend to go back to agriculture because that is 
where all my training and background is at the present time. 

Mr. Arnold. How much do you estimate will be required to start 
you in the type of farming you wish ? 

Mr. Donnelly. Something between $3,000 and $5,000. 

Mr. Arnold. Have you ever tried to get a loan to start on ? 

Mr. Donnelly. Yes. My agriculture instructor looked into it for 
me but he could find no place that I could get a loan without having 
security. My father lost everything he had made in good years, and 
couldnV back me. After I graduated from high school I had the 
assistance of two different county agents who were going to look into 
it for me. The first thing was I had to be married. I didn't have a 
job that I felt I could be married on. And in the next place I would 
have to have a farm rented before they would consider loaning me 
money. Without any prospects to finance carrying on that farm I 
didn't think I should take the chance of renting one. 

Mr. Arnold. You know, no doubt, many young men with farm 
backgrounds such as yours. Are many of them farming now or are 
they going into industry ? 

Mr. Donnelly. In my agriculture graduating class from high 
school I would say that the biggest share of those young men are not 
employed in agriculture at the present time. They are employed in 
defense industries and other industries. 

Mr. Arnold. Do you account for that partially because of the de- 
pression and drought, and do you think if we hadn't had a depression 
and severe drought in Nebraska, a good share, perhaps half of them, 
would be farming today? 

Mr. Donnelly. Possibly; yes. About 50 percent of those who are 
not farming are not farming because of the low wages and the small 
income the farmer receives. I would say that the other 50 percent 
would be farming if they could get the capital to get started. 

Mr. Arnold. Do the ones in industry want to go back to farming? 

Mr. Donnelly. I think the large share of them do at the present 
time, providing they can save u]) the capital. But after they once get 
into industry and have worked there 3 or 4 years, no doubt they will be 
unable to save up $3,000 to $5,000. But eventually I think that agricul- 
tural background will decrease and their desire for it will decrease as 
they have been away from it longer, and the interest in industry will 
increase. The chances are they will — most of them — stay in industry. 

Mr. Arnold. This committee feels that after this war effort is over 
many young men will be forced to go back to the farms, and it would 
be greatly to their advantage if they can have something saved up for 
that purpose. The Government might not at that time have money 
to pump out into the rural areas as it has been doing for the past 8 or 9 
years. Are you thinking along that line? 


Mr. Donnelly. That is what I am trying to do now — save enough 
money during the time I am working in industry to go back into agri- 
cultural work when the industry boom is over. 

Mr. Arnold. Do you find many other young people thinking along 
that line and saving money? 


Mr. Donnelly. Out here at the Omaha Steel Works, which holds 
a small contract with the Government, I would say about half of those 
boys are from the rural districts and have agi'icultural background. 
I have talked to a good many of them, and I would say that 50 percent 
of those boys from the farms don't have any particular desire to go 
back; and the other 50 percent, I would say, if they could get the capi- 
tal and could get started, would i-ather be back on the farm today than 
be employed at their present place. 

Mr. Arnold. Are any of them trying to save money ? 

Mr. Donnelly. Yes; I think they are. 

Mr. Arnold. Do those who have in mind going back to the farm 
have any different ideas about savmg money than those who think they 
will stay in industrial life? 

Mr. Donnelly. I think that is perhaps true. Those who are plan- 
ning to go back to the farm have a goal before them that they want 
to save for. Those employed in industry, and planning to stay there, 
don't have the same goal. 

Mr. Arnold. Have any of your friends gone into defense work out- 
side of Nebraska? 

Mr. Donnelly. A great many of them have. Several of the boys 
who graduated from my agriculture class are working along the west 
coast, in the Lockheed aircraft plant and other defense plants, and my 
very close friend who was working at the Omaha Steel Works at the 
same time I was, about 3 months ago, left and went to the west coast. 

He was a boy born and reared on a farm, and he started farming 
with his father. The first year he farmed they raised a fair crop and 
he made a little money ; then the next year, his second year of farming, 
which was last year, the drought struck them and he lost everything he 
had made the year before. He was very much discouraged because 
he had lost everything he had made, so he decided to go into defense 
work. He w^ent out to the university and took training in several 
courses — lathe operating, sheet-metal working, and a course in aero- 
nautics. He received his job there at the Omaha Steel Works through 
his course in lathe operating, and later he had the opportunity to get a 
job with Lockheed on the west coast. 

Mr. Arnold. More salary? 

Mr. Donnelly. Yes ; more salary ; so he left, and he is at the present 
time at the Lockheed aircraft plant, and I'd say that many of the boys 
that have started at the Omaha Steel Works have left and are now 
working on the west coast. 

Mr. Arnold. This committee feels that it will be harder for those 
boys who go farther from home to get back after the defense boom is 
over, so we are interested in seeing the defense contracts dispersed 
throughout the country, and plants built where it is more convenient 
for the young men to come to work and easier for them to get back onto 
the soil later. 

Mr. Curtis. William, you graduated from a Smith-Hughes school, 
didn't you ? 


Mr. Donnelly. That is correct, 

Mr. CuKTis. Where was tliat scliool? 

Mr. Donnelly. At Neligh. 

Mr. Curtis. In your effort to get starti'd at farming, if you could 
luive secured the money for livestock and equipment, could you have 
got a farm ? 

Mr. DoNNKLLY. Yes; I think I could have rented a farm very easily, 
because of my father's reputation in farming and my agriculture grades 
in high school. 

Mr. Curtis. Is that generally true? Can young men get farms 
if they get the equipment? 

Mr. Donnelly. I think most of these young boys graduating from 
high school will find it quite easy to get a farm but during tlie de- 
pression many of the farmers have had to sell off their livestock and 
buy feed for the driest of years, and the livestock is running rather 
low. They sometimes kept machinery and in order to make tlie 
largest amount of income on the amount of capital invested they 
rented more land. In place of farming one farm and having the 
other stocked with livestock, they farmed two farms, and they haven't 
the livestock to feed. They are farming more acres than they were. 

Mr. Curtis. Is the picture very bright for a young man who buys 
a farm and hopes to be able to pay for it from what the farm 
produces ? 

Mr. Donnelly. I wouldn't say that it was. 

Mr. Curtis. Is the price of land too high, from the young man's 
standpoint, or too low ? 

Mr. Donnelly. The price of land is perhaps higher now than it 
will be after the war boom is over. 

Mr. Curtis. And the individuals who have spent years of toil on 
land that is heavily mortgaged want the price to stay up? 

Mr. Donnelly. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Curtis. But do you think present prices are too high from the 
standpoint of what the young men could pay from their earnings 
on the farm in years to come ? 

Mr. Donnelly. I feel that a young man who has been born and 
reared on a farm and has taken vocational agriculture in high school 
and has learned the modern methods of feeding, and animal hus- 
bandry, and soil conservation, and various things that would allow 
him to use the most modern methods of farming, could perhaps 
make out very well. 


Mr. Curtis. Do you think that the lack of a start, a financial start, 
is what is keeping a great many of them away? 

Mr. Donnelly. Yes ; I do. I feel that is the big factor with these 
young boys graduating from vocational agriculture high schools. 

Mr. Curtis. Does the lack of modern conveniences and better houses 
on the farms enter into it? Do you think it is true that many young 
men are refusing to farm because life on the farm isn't quite as good 
as what they feel it is somewhere else? 

Mr. Donnelly. No; I don't believe that is the reason; because 
these young men, if they had the capital, most of them could improve 

Mr. Curtis. I am glad to hear you say that, because I think it is 
very true. The Nebraska boys are still willing to w^ork hard and 


sacrifice and improve as they go along. Now, this work you have at 
the present time is defense work ? 

Mr. Donnelly. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Curtis. How many people work there ? 

Mr. Donnelly. Approximately 400. 

Mr. Curtis. And a good share of them are young men ? 

Mr. Donnelly. I would say 90 percent are between 18 and 26 

Mr. Curtis. As you visit around with those young men, going and 
coming, and at lunchtime, do you feel that they realize that this is 
a sort of temporary thing ? 

Mr. Donnelly. Yes; all of them realize that. 

Mr. Curtis. And you think most of them are doing their best to 
plan to protect themselves when that work stops ? 

Mr. Donnelly. I think they all realize that wages are higher now 
than after the boom is over, and most of them are trying to save and 
prepare themselves. 

Mr. Curtis. Are most of them married ? 

Mr. Donnelly. Most of them are single. 

Mr. Curtis. Is the rent that you have to pay high ? 

Mr. Donnelly. The rent for the apartment, you mean ? 

Mr. Curtis. Yes. 

Mr. Donnelly. I think it is higher than it has been in the past, 
although not tremendously high. 

Mr. Curtis. But with more activities, it is going up some ? 

Mr. Donnelly. Yes. 

Mr. Curtis. But you haven't noticed any unreasonable rise? 

Mr. Donnelly. No, sir. 

The Chairman. I don't have any questions to ask, but I do want 
to say he has made a very interesting and helpful statement. 

Dr. Lamb. What are the average wages at that plant ? 

Mr. Donnelly. The average lathe operator — and perhaps 40 per- 
cent of the work is lathe operating work — starts at 50 cents an hour, 
and after 1 month is increased to 55 cents. 

Dr. Lamb. That is for a 40-hour week ? 

Mr. Donnelly. Yes ; and time and a half for anything over 40 hours. 

Dr. Lamb. Are they working overtime at the present ? 

Mr. Donnelly. Yes. 

Dr. Lamb. How many hours ? 

Mr. Donnelly. About 5 hours a week. 

Dr. Lamb. So you are making about $25 ? 

Mr. Donnelly. About $25 a week. 

Dr. Lamb. And you think you are going to be able to make some 
savings ? 

Mr. Donnelly, Of course, I am a married man, where many of them 
aren't, and I find that I make a living and not a great deal more than 

Mr. Curtis. Mr. Donnelly, not only was your statement interesting 
but I think it is a very good statement as an example of the kind of 
the fine young men we have in Nebraska. We thank you for your 
appearance here. 

The Chairman. We shall now hear Mr. Scafe. 




Mr. Curtis. The committee is very happy to have you here as a rep- 
resentative of the Glenn L. Martin Co. It was our privilege to have 
Mr. Martin as a witness when we held hearings in Baltimore, and since 
that time I have talked with him about ihe Nebraska situation, and 
we know of his fine attitude toward the problems out here. Will you 
give your full name, please ? 

Mr. ScAFE. Lincoln Robert Scafe. 

Mr. Curtis. What position do you hold? 

Mr. Scafe. I am vice president and general manager of the Nebraska 

Mr. Curtis. That is a separate company ? 

Mr. ScAFB. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Curtis. The statement submitted by you will appear in full in 
our record. 

(The statement referred to follows:) 



Peesonnex Problems of the Glenn L. Maktin-Nebraska Co. 

Under its agreement with the Government, the Glenn L. Martin-Nebraska Co. 
will begin actual production operations at the New Fort Crook plant, 6 miles from 
Omaha, Nebr., some time after January 1, 1942. The date is as yet indefinite, 
although the construction of the plant will have been completed in the near future. 

Prior to productive activity the operations will consist of tooling, installation 
of machinery and equipment, and the final integration of the company's program. 
This program will concern not only the operations at Omaha but those of the com- 
pany's subcontractors, principal among whom are the Chrysler Corporation, the 
Hudson Motor Car Co., and the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. Under present com- 
mitments, the Martin-Nebraska Co. will technically perform 40 percent and its 
subcontractors 60 percent of the work of manufacturing INIartin B-26 bombers for 
the United States Army Air Corps. The 40 percent charged to Glenn L. Martin Co. 
will in turn be subcontracted in large measure. 

It is estimated that the total number of employees of the Martin-Nebraska Co. 
will approximate 8,500. It will take 10 or 11 months to reach this total of 

The problem of obtaining the necessary working force for the Omaha plant will 
be met in several ways : 

The large proportion of the supervisory force will be transferred from the 
Baltimore plants of the parent company, the Glenn L. Martin Co. In addition, 
the parent company will give consideration to the requests of former residents 
of Nebraska and neighboring States among its personnel for transfer to the 
Omaha plant. There are several thousand of such eligible, many of whom 
joined the Baltimore company especially to prepare themselves for work at 
Omalia. These two forces will provide a nucleus of trained personnel in the 
production system. 

Training programs are tinder way in Omaha and throughout the State of 
Nebraska on vocational levels and on college training levels. These are under 
direction of the Nebraska State director of vocational education and the 
University of Nebraska, respectively. The capacity of this State-wide pro- 
gram is unknown as yet, although examination of the training centers has 
indicated that they are satisfactory and will meet Martin standards for 
related subject training and up-grading. 

The National Youth Administration is conducting training activities in 
connection with the vocational schools of Nebraska looking toward supplying 
thp Martin-Nebraska plant. 

The in-plant training procedures perfected in the Martin plants at Balti- 
more will be followed at the Nebra.«;ka plant. 


The operations at the Omaha plant will be largely aircraft assembly. 
These occupations lend themselves well to the national-defense training pro- 
gram. The Martin-Nebraska Co. will need trained mechanical workers for 
practically all skills having to do with a complete manufacturing plant. How- 
ever, the Omaha plant will be largely devoted to assembly, and necessary 
skilled help will be in smaller proportions than that needed by complete 
manufacturing units at the present time. 

Following the long-time policy of the Glenn L. Martin Co. of utilizing local 
labor sources to the fullest possible extent, the Martin-Nebraska Co. will give 
first consideration to qualified applicants from Nebraska, and from preliminary 
surveys it appears that adequate labor will be available in the lower skills and for 
training purposes. 

A factor which enters here is that numerous residents of Nebraska, many of 
Omaha, migrated dui'ing the first year of the emergency to east- and west-coast 
national-defense industries. It seems certain that there will be an ingress of 
these former residents anxious to obtain industrial employment with the Martin- 
Nebraska Co. Consideration will be given these applicants in line with Office of 
Production Management policies on migration of employees from one defense 
indu.strial plant to another. A Martin survey definitely indicates that there will 
be a considerable number of Nebraska citizens who will return to seek employ- 
ment at the Omaha plant. 

At this date, in advance of the company's employment program, the problem 
of inmigration does not appear large. However, a survey of housing facilities in 
Omaha and its environs indicates strongly that there will be a housing shortage, 
even for those relatively few employees who will, of necessity, be transferred from 
Baltimore to the Omaha plant. This will especially affect single men and married 
men who arrive in Omaha for starting operations without their families. The 
company has no plans for housing developments of its own. 

It is considered important that a careful check be made of health conditions in 
the community, especially as they will be affected by inmigration of additional 

The problem of roads serving the Omaha plant has already been studied by the 
State and. it appears, traflBc arteries will be provided to fit the needs of the 
expected flows. 


Mr. Curtis. How far is your new plant from downtown Omaha? 

Mr, ScAFE. Approximately 11 miles. 

Mr. Ctjrtis. When are yon expectino; to start operations? 

Mr. ScAFE. Shortly after the first of the year. 

Mr. Curtis. How many people do you expect to employ? 

Mr. ScAFE. Eventually we will employ in the neighborhood of 

Mr. Curtis. When do you expect to reach your peak employment ? 

Mr. ScAFE. Not before the summer or early fall of 1942. 

Mr. Curtis. Do you hire through the State employment service, 
or are you building up your own list? 

Mr. ScAFE. We are getting up our own list. 

Mr. Curtis. How does an applicant get on that list, by mail or 
by applying in person ? 

Mr. ScAFE. Both ways. Applicants write in or come to town and 
appear in person at our employment department. 

Mr. Curtis. What arrangements do you have with the various 
training programs for providing qualified workers?' 

Mr. ScAFE. We have been working for the past several months with 
the University of Nebraska, Omaha University, the national-defense 
training school, and the Omaha public-school system. From the de- 
fense training school we have received a proposal prepared by their 
director, stating that it would be possible to graduate from their 


vo(>:i<ion:il training; course 2,500 potential employees a year. The 
Oiualia University will train necessary production personnel, and 
the University of Nebraska will train engineers and inspectors as 

Mr. Curtis. The Milford school has not started to turn out any 
people yet? 

Mr. ScAFE. Not yet, I understand. 

Mr. Curtis. We note in your statement that former Midwest 
residents working in your Baltimore plant who request transfer 
to Omaha will be given consideration. Can you tell us how many 
such requests you have received and how many employees you, 
expect to bring from Baltimore? 

Mr. ScAFE. We have received about 1,700 such requests to date. 

Mr. Curtis. The term, "Middle West," I find, means different 
things to different people. What States do you include? What 
would be the western boundary? 

Mr. ScAFE. We take in Nebraska, Iowa, the Dakotas, possibly 
Indiana, Kansas. 

Mr. Curtis. The committee would be interested in a tabulation of 
your hiring by place of previous residence, if we could secure that 
from you. 

Mr. ScAFE. A tabulation of that kind would require several weeks. 

Mr. Curtis. That would make it too late for inclusion in our 
present hearing, but we would be glad to publish it in a subsequent 
volume if we could receive it in January or February. Would you 
be able to provide it? 

Mr. ScAFE. Yes, sir. 


Mr. Curtis. What would be the average wage for workers hired 
here as compared with the wages for those in Baltimore? 

]\Ir. ScAFE. We haven't established as yet any rates here. We hope 
to be good neighbors and not upset the general situation that exists, 
but we will have to be governed somewhat by the structure of rates 
paid throughout the airplane industry and somewhat by those appli- 
cable to this territory. 

Mr. Curtis. Will your wage scale also take into account the local 
cost of living? 

Mr. ScAFE. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Curtis. Have you made any estimate of what the average 
married worker may have to pay here for rent ? 

Mr. ScAFE. No, sir. 

Mr. Curtis. We know that you have made a survey of the housing 
facilities available in Omaha to care for your workers, and this 
survey indicates that there will be a housing shortage. Can you 
give us figures on that? 

Mr. ScAFE. The figures we have are gathered from several sources, 
such as the chamber of commerce and the Omaha Eeal Estate' Board, 
and through the Federal Housing Administration. We have been 
advised that there are houses for rent, including Council Bluffs and 
other suburbs, to the number of 995 to 1,000. There arc about 760 
houses for rent in Omaha proper; in the neighborhood of 1,000 
vacant apartments; and approximately 100 duplexes; or a total of 
about 3,000 vacancies. We have not checked those figures, but they 
are compilations that have come in to us. 


Mr. Curtis. What has been your experience in the past with the 
boys from the farm States employed in the company plants? 

Mr. ScAFE. We have found them very good employees. 

Mr. Curtis. Do they have an aptitude for training ? 

Mr. ScAFE. They do; and we find quite frequently that those boys 
have had good experience, having been obliged to repair their own 
machinery and to Imow how to do things of that kind. They are 
slightly prepared when they arrive, because of their own experiences. 

Mr. Curtis. By the very nature of the work, and the danger of 
sabotage, you have to impress upon them certain rules and exercise 
a certain degree of discipline, do you not ? 

Mr. ScAFE. Yes. 

Mr. Curtis. How do the rural boys respond to and cooperate under 
that policy ? 

Mr. ScAFE. Very willingly. 

Mr. Curtis. How much of your work would be subcontracted to 
firms in this region? 

Mr. ScAFE. Not a great deal to firms in this region, but there will 
be some w^herever we can find firms that are in position to take on 
small manufacturing. 

Mr. Curtis. Is the Chrysler Corporation the subcontracting agent 
for the Martin Co. ? 

Mr. ScAFE. We have three — Chrysler; Goodyear, in Akron; and 
Hudson, in Detroit. They handle about 60 percent of our produc- 

Mr. Curtis. Do you expect the Omaha plant to operate after the 
defense period ? 

Mr. ScAFE. I don't loiow, sir. It is a wholly Government-owned 

Mr. Curtis. But from your knowledge of the type of machinery 
there, would you say that there are possibilities of conversion to peace- 
time aviation uses? 

Mr. ScAFE. Yes, sir ; I think so. 

Mr. Curtis. And is the plant desigTied to meet that eventuality if 


Mr. ScAFE. It could be so designed. 

Mr. Curtis. In case it is used after the war, would it maintain the 
same level of employment as now ? 

Mr. ScAFE. I couldn't say. It would depend upon the type of 


Mr. Curtis. We have been discussing your labor policy here in 
Nebraska. We farmers out here aren't very familiar with terms 
such as "labor piracy" and the like. We have been told that a great 
many mid western boys who are employees of other aviation concerns 
would like to return to this region and work for the Martin Co., but 
that you are not in a position to take them. Would you tell us about 

Mr. ScAFE. We are not in a position to take them, or encourage them, 
not yet having started production. We have been fearful that mis- 
leading publicity might cause some of those boys to come back before 
we were ready to employ anyone, and there would be an excess of labor 
on the market. It is not our policy to be pirates in the industry. 



Mr. CuRTiH. Would the encouragement of S)ich a regional change 
be considered labor piracy? , 

Mr. ScAFK. I don't know just exactly what definition to put on labor 
piracy. We frown on the practice of raiding other plants or factories 

for help. , . 1 XI 

The Chairman. When we were out on the west coast several months 
ago, the personnel manager of one of the large airplane companies 
out there testified that they had recruited most of their labor from 
back here in the Midwest, and he very frankly told us that they invited 
and desired people who had advanced from a stage of semiskilled to 
skilled labor in factories and plants operating here. He said it was 
absolutely necessary for the aviation industry to recruit its labor in 
that way.^ 

Mr. Curtis. Mr. Scafe, I think you are quite sound in your disap- 
proval of the circulation of stories that would build up false hopes 
and induce people to quit their jobs or sell their belongings and travel 
long distances merely to be disa])pointed. I believe the people of 
Nebraska and elsewhere will appreciate your attitude. At this time, 
has no conclusion been reached as to what might be done with applica- 
tions of boys employed by companies elsewhere? 
Mr. ScvjFE. Not yet, sir. 


Mr. OsMERS. I would like to ask Mr. Scafe about subcontracting 
policy. We were in central Nebraska yesterday, and we found that a 
large number of small machine shops and equipment factories through- 
out'^that area are now starting to feel the pinch of priorities and the 
lack of defense orders,^ and it occurred to everyone on the committee 
that if a plant like your own in this area could subcontract for small 
parts which these factories could make, it would aid the economy of 
Nebraska and all the surrounding States. 

What parts do you have made outside your plants? 

Mr. Scafe. We do have small parts made — some castings and parts 
of that type — and if these small industries are equipped so that they 
can take' care of orders like that, we will be very glad to hear from 
them and give them every consideration. 

Mr. Curtis. You say "equipped." Do you mean they must have 
precision equipment and machines with fine tolerances? 

Mr. Scafe. Not in every instance. There are such things as braces 
and many other parts in an airplane that could be made in lots of 

Mr. OsMERS. How do you work it, Mr. Scafe, at your Middle Kiver 

plant? ^ 

Mr. S^CAFE. I am not familiar with that. I am not of that company. 

Mr. OsMERS. I was wondering what sort of policy they had adopted. 

Mr. Scafe. I am a newcomer in this industry. I am an automobile 

Mr. OsMERS. The possibility of Nebraska boys comino^ back home 
from California to work in your plant has been mentioned. It is 
pretty liard, of course, to define ''labor piracy," as you say. ^ As far 
as you know, is there any oversupply of industrial labor in California? 

Mr. Scafe. Not so far as I know. 

1 See tpstimony of Ma.1. Edpar N. Gott, San Diego hearings, pp. 4848-4850. 

'Tl'ie phrnT referred to is the Glenn Martin Co.'s works at Baltimore. See Baltimore 


Mr. OsMEKS. I just want to make it clear that for every young man 
who returns from California to Nebraska someone else must go to 
California to take his place. 

Mr. SavTE. That would be the assumption. 

Mr. OsMERS. So from the standpoint of .migration, I think that to 
encourage a general return movement of that kind would be very un- 
wise, and I was glad to hear you say that your company is deliberately 
not encouraging such movement. 

Mr. ScAEE. AYe would much prefer to hire as many people as we 
can right here in the local market. 

Mr. OsMERs. Do you feel that you are going to have difficulty in 
getting the skills you require? 

Mr. ScAFE. I don't think so. 

Mr. OsMERS. I know the company has handled the problem very 
well in Middle River. 

The Chairman. This Omaha plant is Government built and Gov- 
ernment owned? 

Mr. Scafe. Yes, sir. 

The Chairman. And your company is hired to operate it? And, 
of course, you have nothing to say as to its future operations ? 

Mr. Scafe. Nothing whatever. 

The Chairman. That is all. Thank you very much. We will take 
a 5-minute recess. 


The Chairman. Mr. Fraser, will you take the witness stand, please? 
Mr. Curtis will interrogate you. 

ISIr. ( uRTis. Will you give your full name for the record ? 

Mr. Fraser. W. C. Fraser, Omaha, Nebr., attorney. 

ISIr. Curtis. You have been coimected with the Omaha Chamber of 
Commerce, have you not? 

Mr. Frjvser. I was vice president from July 1, 1939, to July 1, 1940, 
and president from July 1, 1940, to July 1, 1941. 

Mr. Curtis. At that time did you represent the chamber of com- 
merce in certain efforts to gain a greater participation in the defense 
program for Omaha and surrounding territory? 

Mr. Fraser. Quite actively ; yes, sir. 

Mr. Curtis. What regional office in connection with defense do you 
now hold? 

Mr. Fraser. I am a member of the Governor's State defense com- 
mittee and chairman of Regional Committee No. 1, which embraces 
Washington, Douglas, Sarpy, and Burt Counties. 

Mr. Curtis. In other words, Omaha, with one county to the south 
and two to the north? 

Mr. Fraser. That is right. 

Mr. Curtis. Mr. Fraser, I am sure that in your work along this line 
you have arrived at some conclusions and suggestions in reference to 
the defense progi-am in the Middle West that this connnittee would 
like to have. 

defense program in OMAHA 

Mr. Fraser. In Omaha we were confronted early with the problem 
of complaints that hundreds of skilled workers, particularly crafts- 
men, were being attracted away from Omaha by defense projects 


located in other portions of the country— on the west coast or in the 
eastern section. Accompanied by other officials of the chamber of 
commerce, I attended two meetings in Kansas City where we analyzed 
the condition of nine States in the Middle West and what was prob- 
ably happening? to lis. After makinjr a trip to Washin^rton, I antici- 
pated that before long, with all these defense contracts being let and 
new plants being built, priorities in materials were bound to Jol ow; 
and in that event, Omaha and other Nebraska manufacturing establish- 
ments would not be able to carry on their business So we got busy 
tryincr to get some defense plants located in Nebraska for the purpose 
of retTiinino- our skilled workmen and other employees. 

We also attempted to get in touch with the defense program m Wash- 
ino-ton for the purpose of getting contracts m the hands of Nebraska 
manufacturers whom we thought were qualified to take either prime 
or subcontracts. We found that problem very difficult, because the 
larcre manufacturers didn't want to bother with subcontracts, and the 
Government agencies themselves didn't want to bother with subcon- 
tracting either. ^ . ^ ^ T ^ <! 11 ^ IT 1 

We c^ompiled a vast amount of material and a list of all establish- 
ments in Omaha, and other chambers of commerce throughout the State 
did the same thing, listing every machine tool that we had m our plants. 
We secured lists of the larger contractors, and many times communi- 
cated with them. 


In the becrinning we found that we were handicapped from the fact 
that a great many quotations were asked f. o. b. some eastern point, 
such as Baltimore or Philadelphia. We took action on that a^id had 
some things straightened out, particularly in the bidding by tent 
and awning and clothing manufacturers, and we got a number of bids 
from the Government f. o. b. Omaha, and as a result quite a lew con- 
tracts have come to Omaha. . ^ 1 P 1,-J rrl 

We also found trouble, however, in the time requested tor bids, ilie 
notices that we got from Washington, on which we thought some of our 
manufacturers might submit quotations, required bids m Washington 
or some other procurement office in too short a time for the Nebraska 
manufacturer to acquire all the information that he needed m order to 
submit an intelligent bid. I think with the vast quantities of materials 
beino- ordered, where repeat orders are inevitable, more time could be 
given, so that the Nebraska manufacturer, for example, could secure 
adequate information and bid on these items, perhaps not for the 
original purchase, but for some subsequent reorders. 

Mr. Curtis. This committee has gone on record some 6 weeks ago as 
recommending a decentralization of the defense effort and further sub- 
contracting.^ Do you feel that is sound national policy as well as of 
definite heTp to the Middle West? , _. ,^ 

Mr. Fr.\sfji. I do. I feel that the history of the United States dem- 
onstrates that the location of industries during wartime has settled the 
industries in those localities for 25 or 50 years afterward. And if 
industries are concentrated in any part of the country now by reason 
of the war— manufacturing establishments built or enlarged— that is 
where those industries are going to be for 25 or 50 years. So I think 
that in order to have industries distributed throughout the United 

' See first interim report, pp. 20-22. 


States it is necessary to decentralize as many of the defense contracts 
as possible and spread the work over the Nation, 

Mr. Curtis. How about our own protection in case of actual 
warfare ? 

Mr. Fraser. One of the points that we tried to make in Washington 
was in accordance with a statement of the President a year and a half 
ago, in which he said that many of these defense industries should be 
located between the Alleghanies and the Rockies. We followed that 
up in our meetings at Kansas City. I was on the resolutions com- 
mittee, and the points that we drafted were selected with a view to the 
economic future and present defense of the country. We felt that 
many of the plants should be located in the Middle West. 

Mr. Curtis. If present reports are true, the defense spending has 
only started. Before it ends, it may reach a figure far beyoncl any 
present expectations. If that is true, do you think that the Federal 
Government should adopt means and methods, insofar as possible, to 
render all aid to the smaller concerns to get them started in defense 

Mr. Feaser. I think it should, even though the placing of some origi- 
nal orders might be a little more expensive. I think the ultimate eco- 
nomic benefits would more than offset the initial increased expense. 

Mr. Curtis. Many cities and towns and villages could absorb a little 
additional employment without creating other important costs, such 
as new houses, added sewers and highways ; could they not ? 

Mr. Fraser. That is right. Our regional committee has made 
studies of that. We have committees on education, recreation, exten- 
sion of the water supply, schools, and a million-dollar highway pro- 
gram leading to the bomber-assembling plant, and on other problems 
created by the increasingly concentrated population. 

I should like to make one suggestion. I understand that when a big 
tract of land is taken for a plant, such as the project at Wahoo, that 
tract is usually cleared. It occurs to me that in order to build a shell- 
loading or a powder plant, we need not destroy all the buildings in 
an area of 10 to 20 miles; we can leave most of them standing, so that 
when the emergency is over, those buildings are still there for farm 
usage. They may interfere, or they may not, but it occurs to me that 
in many instances they wouldn't. 

Mr. Curtis. From your knowledge of Nebraska, would you say 
it is possible to find locations that have all the advantages of trans- 
portation and other requirements and still get marginal and sub- 
marginal land for these plants? 

Mr. Fraser. Yes. The Omaha Chamber of Commerce and other 
chambers have offered five or six sites for big projects, filling the 
requirements you mention. 

Mr. Curtis. Are the dislocations of population less serious when 
submarginal, sand, or dry lands that can never be irrigated are 
used for this purpose, instead of choice farm lands? 

Mr. Fraser. I would think so; yes. 

The Chairman. We thank you very much. We shall now hear 
from Mr. Ward. 

60396—42 — pt. 22 5 



The Chairman. Mr. Waid. Mr. Osmei-s Avill interrojiate you. 

Mr. OsMERS. Will you kindly state your full nunie? 

Mr. Ward. Cal xV. "Ward, Lincoln, Nebr. . 

Mr Os!MKRs. Mr. Ward, I have read some very interesting testi- 
mony that you gave last year before this committee when it was at 
Lincoln.^ It was my misfortune not to have been there at that time, 
but we are glad to have you back again. 

Mr. Ward. Thank you. , 

Mr. OsiMERs. I haven't had an opportunity to digest your statement 
prepared for this hearing. I have got far enough into it. however, 
to see that it is an extremely imi)ortant document, dealing with the 
agriculture of this area. It will be entered in full m the record. 
(The statement referred to above is as follows:) 




Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota, Due to Defense Actiyities 


Agriculture today is faced with conditions and problems which could not have 
been imagined 25 to 35 years ago. Rising prices, competition between big land- 
owners and little farmers, defense relocation activities, and other pressure tactors, 
following closely on the heels of periods of depressed prices and curtailed yields 
due to droughts, have brought about a territic land pressure. The principal 
victims of this pressure are the farm families who lack security of tenure. 

Before today's situation can be appraised accurately, it is necessary to have 
in mind a correlation of events and developments which have affected American 
agriculture during the past few decades. Agricultural practices and activities 
during the period from 1906 to 1915, for instance, fitted in with general conditions 
of that period. Farmers, as well as the whole of society, formed habits m the 
way of doing things which were in keeping with that period. 

Agriculture and general conditions have changed constantly since that period, 
as indeed they changed before thein. It may be that conditions change more 
readily than do people or people's practices. That is why, perhaps, it is advisable 
to review, sketchilv, what has taken place. 

Throughout tlie 19()&-15 period, fairly even yields were experienced year in 
and year out. There was very littU> price fluctuation. Luxuries now considered 
more or less necessary to the ordinary American family were virtually unknown, 
vet the people had a verv good living and, on the whole, were satisfied. 

Progress up the agricultural ladder, from farm laborer to tenant farmer to 
owner was fairly constant. Fre(iuently a girl or boy of one family was sent 
to work as a hired hand or hired girl for a neighbor in the hoi)e that one or both 
might marry into the employer's family, thus to set up a new farm home. 

Considerable land in this region in that period was still open for .settlement; 
so it was not extremely dilHcult for a dissatisfied tenant farmer to find a desir- 
able homestead and set up for himself on his own place. 

1 See Lincoln hearings, p. 1444 et seq. 


Then, the World War 

Following that period came World War No. 1, and with it exti'emely rapid changes 
in America's agricultural and economic picture. The good yields continued ; prices 
doubled and trebled. Millions of acres of new land that should have been left la 
grass were broken and planted to wheat. It was not uncommon for the first crop 
of wheat to pay a man for his farm. 

With these unprecedented high farm returns, farm-land prices skyrocketed. 
Every one was in a fever to buy land. A farmer owning his own place clear fre- 
quently bought an adjoining piece of land at a price far beyond its value, mort- 
gaging his clear property to provide the down payment. 

This often meant displacement of a family, but because farm wages were 
extremely high, providing a good living for a farm hand, and because free land 
was still available for homesteading, no particular concern was felt. 

Debts increased 

Along with this fervor for increasing debts through land purchase was an 
equal desire to buy manufactured goods of all types, and installment buying gave 
this a big boost. The general feeling was that this country had entered an era of 
unending prosperity with limitless incomes and possible spending. 

With these greatly increased debts, incurred at enormously inflated prices, 
came a general attitude that the old, homely practices of self-sufficiency were no 
longer necessary, and farmers and farmers' wives began buying many things they 
formerly produced for themselves, and even invented ways of spending the money 
that was coming in so easily. 

The ivar's aftermath 

When the war ended demand immediately began falling off, but production 
stayed at the peak that had been generated by the war. In the years of 1921 and 
1922, there was a rapid drop in prices, and farmers became concerned over the 
disparity between prices received for their commodities as compared with the 
prices that had prevailed when they had contracted their large indebtednesses. 

From 1923 to 1926 agricultural prices showed considerable improvement, and 
the tension was greatly eased. From 1926 to 1929, however, with continued high 
production and rapidly increasing surplus, prices again went into a .severe decline. 
In 1929 the Federal Farm Board came into the picture and temporarily eased the 
situation in wheat and cotton which were, at that time, the w-orst sufferers. 
Very soon it became apparent that price stabilization was impossible without 
production control. In a little more than a year the Farm Board withdrew 
support from the market and prices dropped to a level which made it impossible 
for farmers to operate and pay their debts. 

Wholesale foreclosures on land and chattels followed, and the dispirited farmer, 
seeing his years of hard labor coming to naught, became desperate and looked to 
drastic methods to stop this terrible loss. Farm strikes became common and 
reached their peak in the winter of 1932 and 1933. There was practically no 
market for farm goods, and farmers were actually in want even though they had 
an overabundance of raw materials on their farms. 

Ever-normal granary 

From this serious situation came the realization that the Federal Government 
must do something constructive and helpful, and in the fall of 1933 the wheat 
program providing for a control of acreage got under way. A short time later a 
hog-buying program was started. In spite of sharp remarks about the "slaughter 
of the little pigs," this program was a real help. Prior to this program, it was 
not uncommon for a farmer to take a wagon load of pigs to the sale barn and 
fail to get a bid on them. 

In January of 1934 came the first step toward the ever-normal granarv with 
the sealing of the 1933 corn crop. Farmers were not long in seeing the value of 
this program ; first, because they were able to sell their corn for 17 cents per 
bushel more than they could sell it for on the market; and second, because in 
the following winter the corn was in the area where it was needed and the 
farmer who had to buy made a substantial saving in freight, commissions and 
so on. Also in 1934 the corn-hog program was started for control of production 
of both corn and hogs. 


During the first year of this program came the horrible drought of 1934, 
and till' fonscqiu'iit necessity for tlic «:iltU'-hu,viiig program and the distribu- 
tion (if surplus grain as feed for subsistence livestock. 

The second drought 

In 1936 there was a second drought year as bad or worse than 1934, and 
from tlu'u until 11)40 yields were far below normal. Many farmers in this 
region Imd raised practically nothing for the past 8 or 10 years. It is dithcult 
for one who lias not actually seen and experienced this condition to picture 
the struggle farmers have gone through trying to hold enough stock and 
equipment together to feed their families. Such trying times have resulted in 
much loss of morale and much loss of actual property through foreclosure. 

Noio, ice mu^t gxiard against repetition 

From this picture of drought, low yields, low prices, and very meager incomes 
we have changed very suddenly, in 1941, to an almost direct opposite. Farmers 
in this region, generally, are experiencing the best yields of the last 15 years, 
and the best prices for their products that they liave realized in many years. 

Farmers are again feeling prosperous, and are expanding their operations with 
any credit available, and unless some checks are developed the present situation 
can lead to the same debacle, after the defense emergency, that we experienced in 
1920-33. This rapid upward trend in incomes at a time when all labor and indus- 
trial incomes are high can very easily result in a repetition of the period from 1917 
lo 1920. 

The Farm Security Administration can do a great deal for the lower income 
groups to les.sen the impacts of post-defense through keeping the farmer's 
operations well diversified, through holding down inventories and debts during 
the period of high prices, and through building maximum self-sufficiency in all 
farm families. 

It must be remembered that the effect of higher prices on farmers with lim- 
ited production is entirely different from their effect on large operators. Tiie 
small operator has a comparatively small amount to sell at any time, and 
as a consequence the increase in prices for his salable produce does not 
amount to a large number of dollars. At the same time, his operating expenses 
are increased because of the increased prices on anything he must purchase. 
The net income, therefore, of a large number of farm families will be less in 
this period of higher prices than it was formerly, unless the noncash income 
of the family is greatly increased. 

Farm Security Administration records show that in the past there were 
many applicants whom this agency was unable to assist. This was due to 
various causes, among them lack of funds, lack of time, and lack of personnel. 
In a great many instances subsistence grants were used as a stop-gap to tide 
these families over. Many of them are still on the ragged edge, and more 
in need of assistance than ever before. In most cases their resources are 
very limited, both as to land and chattels. These families require considerably 
more time and effort than those in more favorable circumstances in the 
development of their initial plan to substantiate a loan. More supervisory 
time will be required to get the plan into operation, and the family actually 
going under its own power. Regardless of this fact, these families must be 
helped and not left to slip further back and create a far more serious problem 
than we have today. 

In addition to the problems of these families, the Farm Security Administra- 
tion is faced with two new situations created or accentuated by national d<>fense. 
The first one of these is the displacement of farmers when defense industries 
buy good farm lands for the erection of plants. This creates primary displace- 
ment of the families living on the area depopulated. 

Owner-operators in these areas usually have sufficient fimds to go to new 
locations and purchase new homes. Tenants are less fortunate, and are faced 
•with a serious problem in finding other locations. 

Then there is the related second prol^lem — that of the people leaving the land 
in the defense project and either buying or renting farms from other families 
outside the defense area. These secondarily dislocated people are frequently 
much harder to locate and assist than those directly affected. 

The problem of primary defense dislocation is not as yet very large in this 
region ; but we do have a much larger and less dramatic problem arising from 


the displacement of families by economic forces which are felt in these periods 
of defense-generated artificial prosperity. 

The problem of relocation and readjustment of families directly or indirectly 
affected by Government acquisition of farming areas for defense industries is 
distinctly different from the problems brought about by general disruption of 
economic forces due to far-flung national defense activities. For this reason 
it seems best to give them separate attention. This statement, therefore, is 
offered in two different parts. 

First, imder "Findings of the Farm Security Administration Field Survey," 
the impacts of the defense program on American agriculture in general will be 
discussed. Then follows, under "Defense Relocation," a discussion of problems 
arising from Government acquisition of farm lands for defense. 


In order to determine as accurately as possible the number of farm families 
being affected by the various economic forces now being speeded up by defense 
activities, a questionnaire (exhibit 1) was developed and sent to the field. It 
was sent to each of the 296 counties in the region, and 276 were returned in time 
for tabulation in this report. 

In this questionnaire the most attention was given to families of Farm 
Security Administration borrowers for the reason that through county offices 
accurate information could be gathered on the borrowers whereas information 
on nonborrower families would be more or less estimate and hearsay. This is 
true because borrowers immediately come to the supervisor with their problems, 
and the matter of tenure is one of the most serious problems facing Farm 
Security Administration borrowers today. The farmer who is not a borrower 
has no one comparable to go to with this problem, and such families will only 
come to the attention of the Farm Security Administration if they realize that 
the supervisor may be of assistance to them. 

The information on borrower families was broken down into several categories. 
First consideration was given to those families whom the supervisor knew 
definitely would be displaced from their present location by the sale of a farm 
by March 1, 1942. Additional information was taken as to the type of seller 
and the type of buyer. 

Consideration was next given to those borrowers whom the supervisor knew 
would definitely be displaced by March 1, 1842, through having their farm rented 
away from them by some other tenant, and several major reasons were classified 
for this displacement. A final estimate was made on the lag in leasing to bor- 
rower-tenants, and an estimate was made of what would become of the families 
who were displaced following March 1 because of inability to rent a farm. 

An estimate was made by the supervisor, with considerable outside assistance, 
as to the total number of all farm families, including borrowers, who would be 
displaced by March 1, 1942. As has been previously stated, this estimate is not 
as accurate as the information on borrowers because of the lack of direct contacts. 

Finally an estimate was made as to the number of all farm families who had 
left the farms for defense employment. No family was listed here unless the 
entire family had gone to urban industrial activity. 

This survey shows that we now know that a total of 1,553 borrower families 
must leave their farms because the farm has been sold to another owner. This 
is 4 percent of all active standard borrowers in this region. The number varies 
by States from 307 in Nebraska, which is 3 percent of the active case load in that 
State, to 524 in South Dakota, which constitutes 6 percent of that State's active 
case load. 

Umcilling oxcners 

The type-of-seller break-down shows that nearly 60 percent of all farms being 
taken from Farm Security Administration borrower families have been sold by 
Government agencies to new owners. Throughout the region insurance companies 
are generally following the lead of Government agencies. The uptrend in agricul- 
tural commodity prices has created the first active market for land that these 
companies and agencies have experienced since acquiring their land. They are 
taking advantage of this condition. 

It shon'd be explained that these institutions and agencies are unwilling owners 
of their land. Mortgages were taken on this land with the expectation that the 
debts would be retired in an orderly manner. It became necessary, however, for 
the mortgage holders to take the land in lieu of the money. 


JicntrictionH on corporate oxmiers 

In addition to this, certain State laws prohibit insurance companies, and in 
some instances all corporate owners, from lioiding hind lor more than a given 
Iieriod of time. In North Dakota insurance companies ai-e not allowed to hold 
land for more than 2 years after they have acquired title, except through special 
{Mirmission of the insurance commissioner, but in no instance may this land be 
lield for more than 10 years. In .South Dakota and Kansas insurance conipanie.s 
may hold land for 5 years, and may have an extension K''i"ited by the connnissioner 
of insurance. In Nebraska insurance companies may hold land for f) years and 
the department of trade and commerce may extend such period a reasonable time, 
but not exceeding 7 years. 

It has been suggested that a solution to a part of this problem would be national 
legislation permitting insurance companies, and other investors of funds for large 
groups of individuals, to hold land as a permanent investment, with such legis- 
lation imposing definite control over size of operation and permanency of tenure. 
These compani(>s are now permitted to own bonds of the National Government, 
and of States and divisions of States. Tlie only final security back of such bonds 
is the country's land. Certaiidy it is not illogical to assume that the land is as 
satisfactory security for these investors as are bonds — which are actually mort- 
gages on this land. 

It certainly seems that legislation is necessary which will establish a uniform 
policy among Government agencies to permit stabilization of land prices and 
tenure. Such legislation would alleviate at least 50 percent of this particular 
problem in this region. 

Types of purchasers and vendors 

When we study the type of individuals purchasing this land we find that a large 
percentage of the farms are being purchased by other farmers ; almost one-third 
of these purchases are being made by tenants who are to become owners. This 
purchase by tenants is much more common in the Dakotas than it is in Kansas 
or Nebra.ska. This can probably be explained to some extent by the fact that 
corporate ownership is much more prevalent in the Dakotas than it is in the other 
two States, and that these corporate owners are exerting considerable pressure 
through refusal to lease, thus convincing the tenant that it is necessary for him to 
obligate himself to a sale contract in order to have a jjlace to live. 

Sales contracts 

Considerable concern is felt by many interested persons over land deals 
on sales contracts because of the fact that it appears that the price being paid 
for the land is based on 1941 yields and prices rather than on long-time experience. 
These contracts are drawn in such a manner that a very small down payment is 
made, with provision that after a certain period of regular payments, including 
taxes, insurance, and interest on the entire balance due, a deed will be executed 
and a mortgage drawn. contracts also provide that if these payments are 
not regularly met, up to the time of issuance of the deed, possession Immediately 
reverts to the vendor. There is a po.ssibility that these lands are being conveyed 
under contract, with the vendors knowing full well that in many instances the 
contract will not be fulfilled. In such instances corporate owners will have the 
land off their books for 1 or 2 years and can then return it to their books, with 
no expense of foreclosure, for another period permitted by the particular State's 

One county supervisor makes the remark tliat in his county most of the 
displacement results from present tenants making down payments on more satis- 
factory units. Since the carrying charge will probably prove to be beyond the 
normal ability of the land to carry, most of these places will revert to the original 
owner. Anothei' sujjervisor states that many of tlie sales are being made because 
of better than average yields and prices, and that by letting all oth(>r creditors go 
it is possible for the tenant to make a 2.")-percent down payment. With the return 
of normal yields and prices, it is doubtfid that the land can carry the charges 
and meet the costs of necessary repairs and impi'ovements for minimum housing 
of family and stock. Another statement is that land inirchases are being made 
mostly by tenants seeking homes. These people are not anxious to buy, but are 
being forced to in order to have places to live. Several supervisors stated that 


governmental agencies are the most aggressive of all land agencies in forcing sales 
of farms. 

In this survey consideration was given to the type of purchaser as well as to 
the type of seller, with particular stress laid on purchasers who were or would 
become owner-operators. 

Regardless of whether the purchaser was buying adjacent land or nonadjacent 
land, there was certain enlargement of the unit, and it is entirely possible that 
this enlargement meant either a change from family-type operation to commercial 
operation or enlargement of a commercial operation. In practically every in- 
stance such a purchase means the displacement of families from the farm and 
sending these families into! urban life and factory employment, for which they 
are not well adapted. 

It is also entirely possible that this enlargement of units will cause a serious 
problem after defense, when large numbersi of discharged factory workers will 
wish to return to the land and there will be a decided lack of units for them to 

The purchasers of nonadjacent lands are, on the whole, probably more insidious 
than the purchasers of adjacent land. In this class fall the so-called sidewalk or 
suitcase farmers, whose only interest is in mining the land and getting maximum 
cash returns for as long a time as such a type of farming will show a net return. 
When this is no longer possible they will abandon the land for some other family 
to repair. Some of these men own mobile units, moving their equipment over a 
territory of as much as two or three hundred miles in radius, and displacing a 
family from every piece of land they rent. 

Many business and professional people are purchasing farm lands with surplus 
funds as genuine investments. There are also some farmers in this class. This 
type of purchase, in most cases, does not mean the displacement of a farm family, 
because these people generally have other occupations and wish neither to reside 
on nor manage the farms. Such purchases, however, may mean a chance in 
occupancy due to friendships, relationships, or other reasons. 

The final type of purchaser is the speculator who is buying the land only with 
the hope of a further raise in land prices. Purchases by this type of individual 
may not cause any displacement of the present tenant, but they do lend to much 
insecurity and unrest and certainly cause an increase in laud prices. 

A return to 1917-20 trend 

This pressure for land and anxiety on the part of owners to sell, and of non- 
owners to buy, is a return to the early part of the trend from 1917 to 1920. Unless 
some rather definite steps are taken to avoid inflation in land prices and to 
prevent unnecessary transfers, we may see prices as badly out of line as they were 
in 1919 and 1920, and may again have to go through the same period of fore- 
closures that we went through in the twenties and thirties. 

A question that should be raised in the minds of all peoples interested in agri- 
culture is whether or not we have any right to expect land to pay for itself over 
and over again. From the standpoint of such a view, land can be considered aa 
a speculative commodity and people will be justified in buying land on a small 
down payment and expecting the income from that land to retire the mortgage 
on the land. On the other hand, if land is to be considered as a safe investment, 
returning interest in proportion to the security, the only soiu-ces of debt-retiring 
income for land, purchased at its agricultural value, must be found in either 
superior managerial ability or outside income. 

Secondary displacemen t 

The next part of the questionnaire dealt with the secondary displacement of 
Farm Security Administration borrowers. This referred to borrowers losing 
their farms from causes other than purchase of land on which they were residing. 
While this is an estimate, it is undoubtedly very accurate because of the close 
contact between borrowers and supervisors. 

This shows that 1,823 borrowers are being displaced due to such causes in the 
region, which is .5 percent of all borrowers in the region. This type of displace- 
ment is heaviest in the State of Kansas, where over 6 percent of the borrowers are 
being displaced by such methods, and is lightest in North Dakota, where only 4 
percent are being displaced for these reasons. Nebraska and South Dakota each 
show aboiit 5 jiercent. 


(From those two causes of displacement of borrower families from their farms 
we know now that nearly 1<> jK'rceiit of all active standard borrowers of the 
Farm Security Admiiiislratiou in tliis region will bo displaced from their farms by 
March 1, 1!)42", and a map showing i)ercentage displacement by counties is attached 
as exhibit 2.) 

Increased pressure for land 

This type of displacement has been due to three main causes. The lirst and 
major cause is the increased pressure for land, due to sale of farms that other 
tenants were occupying, and these displaced tenants having, in turn, been able to 
rent farms away from the present occupants. Another type of this same pressure 
for land is that which results from the large operator continually looking for 
more land and being able to overbid the present tenant. 

Farm Security held per.sonnel have considerable to say about this second point. 
The consensus is that the tenancy problem will become more acute with good 
prices and good crops ; that large farmers with equipment for large-scale opera- 
tions are going to push the small farmers out. Prevailing prices of farm produce 
encourage large operators to expand. During the long period of unfavorable 
weather conditions those with power equipment have been able to get their crops 
planted in less time and generally have received better yields and therefore paid 
better rent. Another reason given is that landlords are not interested in making 
improvements whereby farm families can establish a home on the average unit. 
The line of least resistance seems to be to rent to the large operators. 

The chief cause of displacement in many counties is the practice of large oper- 
ators continually looking for more land. Landlords prefer to rent to these opera- 
tors because they have good equipment and in many instances give cash rent in 
addition to the share. These landlords, after leasing to such operators, are then 
free to remove buildings and cross fences. A supervisor in the wheat area says 
that farms of 1,000 acres and over have increased 50 percent in nmnber and the 
family-sized farms have decreased; that many farmers are renting additional 
land, particularly where landlords will not spend money to repair improvements. 
This short-sighted policy will result in eventual deterioration of the land. This 
deterioration finally will necessitate returning to family-sized units and a long 
period of low returns while the land is being rebuilt. 

Landlord demand for new equipment 

A second reason given for such displacement is landlord demands for a differ- 
ent type of equipment than tliat possessed by present tenants. During the past 
drought years landowners were not severely critical of poor equipment and poor 
care of land and crops, but with the change in the agricultural picture landlords 
are selecting tenants more carefully. Many are insisting that farmers cannot 
properly do their work with horses, and have asked them either to purchase a 
tractor or move. Many tenants have not been able to rent certain units because 
they did not own a tractor and heavy equipment. 

Higher rents 

The third main cause for this secondary displacement is farmers competing for 
a certain farm and bidding up the rent, or landlords increasing the rent because 
they realize the demand has increased. 

A rather general opinion prevails in the field that insurance companies are 
raising their rents, and there is also quite a little comment on the fact that some 
insurance companies are insisting that this higher cash rent be paid in advance. 
The eastern side of the region in particular is being affected by families coming 
in from drier localities and offering higher rents. One such family bid up the 
cash rent from %~^^ to $150 for the buildings on an 80-acre farm which, in the 
supervisor's opinion, cannot possibly carry this higher rental. Rentals on grass- 
lands are also increasing to some extent. 

Rental rates prior to this increase were as high as tenants could pay and show 
any return for their labor. Increase in yield and prices has been largely offset 
by'increased cost of production, and these higher gross returns do not justify any 
further increase in rental rates. 

In the last few years the chief cause of many failures has been the attempt on 
the part of the tenant to pay too high a rent. Many sound-thinking agricultural 
people are of the opinion that entirely too much of the farm family's standard of 
living has been converted into too high a rental. 



Lease contract important 

The next part of the que^stionnaire deals with a bad situation in leasing which 
has caused much hardship and unrest. When a family is unable to secure a lease 
before January 1 or March 1, and has no assurance that it will be able to lease 
the farm at that time, necessary fall work in a great many instances is not done. 
This is due to the unwillingness of the present tenant to do work he feels will be 
done for some other person. With the individual who is willing to take his 
chances on staying on the farm and then is forced to move, this work is thrown 
away. In the majority of instances this also means an actual cash loss to the 
displaced tenant. 

When a move is necessary after March 1, spring work is necessarily very late, 
and usually results in a certain amount of loss to the tenant his first year on the 

This delayed leasing breeds restlessness and discontent in families, and brings 
a general feeling of insecurity and more or less of a "don't care" attitude. 

Long tenure is advantageous to both the landlord and the tenant in many 
ways. In the first place it permits long-time planning and allows both tenant 
and landlord to know such plans will be carried out. Such long-time planning 
is necessary to a satisfactory soil-building program, which certainly works to 
the advantage of the landlord as much as to the tenant, and will not be properly 
done unless the tenant knows that he has a sufficient length of tenure to permit 
him to realize the benefits of his labors. Long-time leasing encourages the 
family to keep up buildings and surroundings. It permits the families to develop 
a feeling of permanency and lets them realize the truth of what one poet so 
aptly stated : "It takes a heap o' livin' to make a house a home." 

Actually, ownership in itself is not so important as permanency. Its contri- 
bution to permanency is important. Large numbers of tenants realize that the 
net return to the landlord is not a very large percentage on the investment in 
the property. They feel they are probably better off paying the rental rate on 
the land and providing a satisfactory living for themselves than they would 
be as owners diverting a considerable part of the income, which now provides 
that standard of living, into payments on the land. They only feel this way, 
however, when they know that they can stay on this farm as long as they do a 
satisfactory job. When landlords and tenants can both be made to realize that 
permanency is one large factor in returns on land, much of our problem of 
tenant migration will be solved. 

Drive tOO\ families to relief 

A further study was made in connection with these borrowers who will be 
unable to secure leases for 1942 to ascertain the number who will stay in rural 
communities and need relief, and the number who will go to urban communities 
and, of these, the number who will need relief. This survey shows that the 
i-elief rolls in these foiir States will be increased by approximately 700 families 
due to displacement of tenant farmers who are now borrowers of the Farm 
Security Administration. 

The Farm Security Administration could take care of all of these families 
and assist them in becoming self-supporting if land were available for them. 
This would not only mean an actual dollars-and-cents saving to the coimtry in 
relief money, but would also mean the building of much better morale in the 
families, and particularly it would mean building in the children of these 
families a better outlook on life. 

Lack of housing is ohstacle 

Probably one of the biggest ob.stacles to the Farm Security Administration 
performing such a "task is the matter of rural housing. There would be ample 
farms available if they were provided with suitable housing for families and 
livestock. There is a very real necessity of a rural housing program which 
must come eventually and the sooner such action is possible the fewer families 
will have to go through a very trying time off the farm before they can be 
returned to the land. 

Such a program may necessitate the Government owning the buildings on the 
land and collecting rental for these buildings directly from the tenant in pay- 
ment for building occupancy. Such a program could immediately make many 


more farm units nvnilablo and could l:ir>xoly juiy for itself hy reduction in rural 
anil ui'ltaii relief loads. The Governnii'iit eo\ild require certain leasing conces- 
sions ■vNiiich would l(>iid themselves to permanency and would greatly alleviate 
tenant mijj;ration. A proKfam of this type would considerably accelerate the 
soil-con"servation program; and while we are (!onsiderinK soil conservation let 
us also consider th(> enormous amount of soul conservation that couM be 
accomplished in these families. 

Supervisors have a great deal to say in their remarks on the matter of housing. 
One general statement is that buildings have been torn down to reduce taxes and 
cost of upkeep: that housing is a seiious i)roblem on many farms and present 
owners are not in a tinancial position to repair or replace necessary housing 
facilities. During the drought and deijression years many abandoned farms 
were pilfered, which led landlords to sell buildings in order to avoid a total loss. 
These farms are now without headquarters, which is resulting in a lack of 
liome sites for available hand. If the Farm Security Administration could finance 
the construction of moderately priced farm buildings, much could be accomplished 
in holding down the cost of improved land : and the displacement of familie? 
desirous of continuing farming could be avoided. 

In considering all farmers in the region, including Farm Security Administra- 
tion borrower-families, it appears that there are over 10,500 fai'in families who 
will he displaced from agriculture in these 4 States by March 1, 1942. This 
is nearly 7 percent of all tenants in the region. The numbers of all families 
being displaced are higher in Kansas and Nebraska than in the other 2 States, 
but the percentage is about the same for all 4 States. A map showing this 
percentage distribution is attached to this testimony as exhibit 3. 

The reasons given for the displacement of borrowers are all applicable in the 
case of all farmers, and in all probability in a magnified degree because of poorer 
equipment and financing. 

Hovshig would facilitate rehabilitation 

It must be realized that if these people, who are not now borrowers of the Farm 
Security Administration, could have held their units regardless of how small, the 
Farm Security Administration could have assisted them in obtaining the equipment 
and livestock necessar.v for a good living. The supervision given by the Farm 
Securit.v Administration would have eventually assisted these people back on 
their feet, and made satisfied constructive citizenry of them. 

Present standard borrowers are not so severely affected by this pressure for 
land as are applicants for loans and young couples with farm background desir- 
ing to start farming. With these families gone from the land, and with the 
buildings torn down by the landlord because lie can show an immediately higher 
net retiu'n renting to the large operator who has no need of buildings, the problem 
of the Farm Security Administration is CAentually going to be much larger. This 
is true because these families are finally going to have to return to the land and 
be financed for complete equipment. The sooner some method of Government 
fina,ncing or subsidy of needed farm buildings can be put into effect, the more 
satisfactory our answer to this^ problem will be. 

Migration from farm to defense industry 

In many instances individuals from farm families are leaving for work, 
but the family itself is remaining on the farm. This munber is much more pro- 
nounced, of course, near factories than at greater distances. Our interest, how- 
ever, lies in the number of whole farm families that have left farming for work 
in the defense iiuhistries. Only those cases where the entire family has left the 
farm for defense work were listed in the questionnaire. 

There seem to be two general motives back of this movement. The most pre- 
dominant condition is that in which the family has been forced from the land 
and must find another means of existence. They do not care for factory work 
and would nujch rather stay on the land but they have no alternative. The 
second general cause is the lure of high wages afforded to the family that has no 
knowledge or realization of the money requirements they will have for com- 
modities formeily produced by them on the farm. They fail to realize that they 
will have little or no more net return from these high wages than they have 
previously experienced on the farm. Both of these motives undoubtedly affect 
the low-income group and the tenant more than they affect the high-income group 


and the owner. The immediate benefits to the family forced from the land are 
satisfactory, insofar as they provide a means of livelihood which has previously 
been taken from the family. Whether or not general results will be satisfactory 
to the second group or to the entire number, in the long run, depends largely on 
how high living costs go in relation to wages. 

One group that is realizing real benefits from this defense work is a small group 
farming near defense industries where one or more members of the family are 
able to work temporarily in the defense industry for relatively high wages, while 
the family still remains on the farm. 

Eventual return to the farm 

A large percentage of all farm families going to defense industries will return 
to agriculture sooner or later, because they are not accustomed to this sort of life. 
The older people in particular will be very dissatisfied. Numbers of the younger 
people will see that they have sacrificed most of their independence in going into 
industrial activities, and will desire to return to the farm where they can have 
their own businesses and be their own bosses. 

Eventually defense activities will cease, or at least greatly lessen. When this 
time comes, large numbers of workers will be dismissed from their jobs ; will 
have no other possibility of income in urban areas, and will look upon return 
to the farm as their only means of securing a livelihood. There will be large 
numbers of these people who will have been away from farms for a good many 
years. Because they will have been willing to stay in industry they obviously 
will have had no particular desire to continue in agriculture. The only source 
from which the vast majority of these people will be able to obtain help will be 
the Farm Security Administration. In addition to credit they will be very greatly 
in need of the supervision of the Farm Security Administration because of 
changes in methods and practices, and because of disappointment and loss of 

Farm Security Administration should he ready 

To place itself in the best possible position to meet these approaching condi- 
tions effectively, the United States Department of Agriculture, through the Farm 
Security Administration, should anticipate the emergencies that will arise. The 
Farm Security Administration should incorporate preparatory action in its pro- 
gram at once, in order to be absolutely ready for positive action when the return 
movement from defense industry to farm begins. Specific provisions should be 
made for acquisition of suitable land and homes, by long-term lease or purchase, 
to be made available for those returning to agriculture or to those who otherwise 
will be displaced by that mass retui'n. Farm Security can foster and develop 
means for this purpose in various ways, including establishment of cooperative 
leasing associations, land tenure improvement groups, surveys to find available 
farm homes, rural-housing programs, other kindred resettlement measures, and 
expansion of present resettlement facilities. 

National defense and the Farm Security Administration program 

Insofar as we are able to determine, the defense program has not, as yet, 
had any great effect upon liquidations of Farm Security Administration bor- 
rowers. Referring to exhibit 4, the comparison of the first 3 months of the fiscal 
year from July 1. 1940, to October 1, 1940, with July 1, 1941, to October 1, 1941, 
discloses a rapid rise in the number of liquidations that have paid in full. 
While this is an increase of nearly 600 percent in voluntary liquidations that have 
paid in fidl in this region during this 90-day period, actually it is less than 150 

This number could very easily be accounted for by liquidations of borrowers 
who are in fairly close proximity to defense factories. It should also be re- 
membered that quite a number of these liquidations could be accounted for by 
factors not under control of the borrowers, rather than a desire on the part of 
the borrowers to leave agriculture and go into industry. One such situation 
called to our attention is of a family operating a dairy farm, paying $600 annual 
cash rent for 120 acres. The landlord raised the rent from .$600 per year to 
$1,000 per year. He gave as his reason for this rental increase the fact that it 
was possible for him to rent the house for $75 per month because of the nearness 
of the place to a defense plant, and that in addition to this he could rent out the 


land for tlio usual share ront. Ho, thoroforo, did not feel that he was unreasonable 
to ask .$1,000 per year for the builditif^s and land. This family did not wish to give 
up its agricultural enterprise, but was forced to do so because of the high rent 

AVhile we have had the above-mentioned change in voluntary liquidations that 
have paid out in full, there has been no appreciable change in other types of 
liquidations; nlthough the average amount of repayment has shown some in- 
crease due to better agricultural prices. 

The total niunber of liciuidatinn-^ approved has also shown very little total 
change for the DO-day period. There has been, however, a rapid rise in this 
number during September, most of which is accounted for by the voluntary liqui- 
dations which have been paid in full. 

Referring to exhibit 5, and combining new loans approved with liquidations 
closed, we find a small net loss in case load from 1940 to 1941, in each month 
of this 3-month period. This is due to a small decrease in liquidations previ- 
ously mentioned and a net decrease of 305 cases is .shown for the entire region 
in the 3-month period. 

The question is immediately raised as to whether or not defense employment 
is causing this decrease. As this condition is so extremely limited to Kansas, 
and as all of the defense industries in this region are at present located in that 
State, we believe that there are some effects being felt in the neighborhoods of 
defense industries. 

Supervisors over the entire region are of the opinion that very few families 
are leaving farms to go into defense industry. However, some supervisors in 
Kansas express the opinion that 75 cents to $1.50 per hour is very attractive to 
persons accustomed to a dollar a day, and even that available only when they 
could find occasional jobs. Four Kansas supervisors report fairly large num- 
bers of farmers leaving agiMculture for defense industries, and these four super- 
visoi'S all have defense industries located in their own or adjoining counties. 

Reports in other Stales are largely to the effect that only farm boys and farm 
laborers are leaving rural communities for defense industries, and that in some 
localities this may cause a shortage of farm labor ; but the bulk of the opinions 
seem to be that there is no great amount of interest among farmers in defense 
jobs. Much greater interest is being shown in remaining on the farm to take 
advantage of higher prices for farm produce. 

Concerned with general defense impact rather than case load 

Rather than being concerned with the immediate measurable change in net 
case load, the Farm Security Administration is much more concerned with the 
broader aspect of the effects of defense on the great mass of low-income farm 

There are large numbers of farmers who are in need of more livestock if 
they are to be able to survive in agricidture through the defense period and to 
face the impacts following defense. This is particularly true because the 
rapid rise in cost of producing cash grain crops as compared w'ith the returns 
from such crops leaves the farmer little or no net return. On the other hand, 
if he has sufficient livestock to consume feed produced on most of his acreage, 
and in this way markets his crops through livestock and livestock products, 
prices on this type of production are such that he is able to show a net return. 
Large numbers of farmers who will find themselves with little livestock have 
no, other source of credit than the Farm Security Administration and must obtain 
necessary financing from this agency. In addition, large numbers of these people 
have had little or no experience in handling livestock or livestock produce, and if 
they are to make a success of such an, they will have much need for 
the supervision that is furnished by the Farm Security Administration. 

There is another group of individuals who, through ct)ntinued moves as ten- 
ants, or through being forced to purchase land in order to stay in agriculture, 
have so depleted their livestock and equipment to raise cash, that they must have 
this equipment and livestock replaced in order to continue farming. Many of 
these farmers are in such a credit situation that the Farm Security Administra- 
tion is their only credit source, and unless the Farm Security Administration 
is in a position to assist them, they will still be forced from agriculture after 
spending all their resources in an attempt to continue in this way of life. 


Emphasize rural housing 

May we call attention again to the extreme need for a rural bousing program 
and for the inception of that program at a very early date, if we are to keep 
large numbers of these families in agriculture rather than let them migrate to 
an urboan life for which they are so ill-suited. Unless such a program is insti- 
tuted without delay, there is danger of the "Food for freedom" program running 
Into serious difficulties. This is because large operators cannot possibly meet 
the demand for the foods needed, particularly milk and poultry products, as can 
the family type farmer. 

Direct dislocation 

There is another problem of the Farm Security Administration which has 
been generated by defense, and has not as yet proved so serious in this region. 
However, as time goes on this probably will become continually more serious 
because of location of defense Industries in this area. This problem is the dislo- 
cation of farmers from their land by defense industry and the consequent neces- 
eary relocation of these families. This problem presents many difficulties because 
of the rapidity with which people are evacuated from the defense area and the 
consequent necessity of extremely rapid relocation; this latter being greatly 
magnified by the enormous pressure for land. 

There is also necessity for developing small acreages in defense areas for food 
production for the families actually engaged in defense industries. If these 
families had plots of ground sufficient in size to produce at least their vegetables 
and poultry prducts, it would mean the release of a great deal more food for 
export and Army use, and would prove of great assistance in holding down prices. 

Possibilities of tenant purchase program 

There is also the possibility that the tenant purchase program should be greatly 
expanded to assist in the relocation of families, particularly tenants, moved from 
defense areas. This program is now on its fifth year, and up to this year there 
has been no difficulty in securing farms for which funds were available. Of 
course, the program is limited, inasmuch as a total of only about $8,000,000 has 
been used so far over that period of time, covering approximately 940 loans, or 
only one-third of 1 percent of all the farm units in this region. 

A summary of records indicates that the price per unit has not materially 
changed, as the average price per unit for 193.9, 1940, and 1941 is about $8,500 
each year. It should be said in this regard that it has been necessary to do 
considerable shopping, buying from estates that are forcing liquidation and 
finding individuals who are in need of ready cash in order to hold this price per 
unit in line during 1941. 

The number of applications has been fairly consistent from year to year, based 
upon the number of counties selected for the tenant purchase program. Although 
operation thus far in 1941 indicates a smaller number of applications per county 
than in the previous years, this can be explained by the fact that 29 new counties 
were added, which is the largest number of new counties in this region in any 
one year. It is apparent that there has been a fairly consistent relationship 
between the number of applications and the number of loans approved, and all 
the funds made available have been used. 

To what extent land prices in general are advancing cannot be determined 
before the 1941-42 program is completed, but it can be stated that indications 
are toward some increase in land prices. The field reports that it is now more 
difficult to obtain satisfactory units within the same price level than it was in 
previous years. There have been several instances where the vendors are willing 
to pay premiums for the cancelation of options taken, and vendors are more 
ready to revoke options at the lime of expiration than in pi'evious years. 

Rehabilitation loans, repayments 

Referring to exhibits 5 and 6. we see that new loans for rehabilitation purp<ises- 
have progressed at about the same rate through the 6-month period from April 1 
to October 1 for both 1940 and 1941. On the other hand we see that repayments 
have shown a very considerable increase. This increase in repayments has been 
due to several factors. In the first place it has been due to much higher yields 
of salable crops over the entire region than have been experienced in a good 
many years. Secondly, due to better crops, it has been possible for families to 


retain more livestock, to put tlnuu to liiglier weiglits before marketing, and as 
a further eonsequenee, this has nicMiil a considerable increase in tlie amount of 
livestock for sale. In the third place, much better prices have been 
received for both crops and livestock tiian have bi'cn exiierienced in a good many 
vears. Such a condition is to be expected and merely represents an average of 
the poor years with the good. li better prices are experienced for a time, it will 
mean that over a 15- or 20-year period these people will show an average return 
in both yields and prices. 

Most of the increase in repayments is from borrowers who have shown a n<jr- 
mal rate of increase in repayments proportionate to the increase in prices for 
commodities, as well as a normal increase in production of livestock and livestock 
products due to increased inventories and improvement in (luality plus better 
results from more feed, and possibly a small amount of siiri)lus grain for sale, 
There is another group of borrowers who have had a bonanza in tht; high grain 
yield plus a high price for this grain, and are paying their loans in full. The first 
type mentioned represents a vast majority of the borrowers who, in all proba- 
bility, will go ahead with some better-than-average and some poorer-tban-aver- 
age years, and eventually become rehabilitated. The second group, however, have 
made this rajiid rise on speculation and will sooner or lat<'r experience the oppo- 
site and lose their all on s])ecuhition, and be back to the Farm Security Admin- 
istration to give them another start. 

In this second group the supervisor has not corrected the errors in the methods 
of operations of the families. In general they are not capable managers, par- 
ticularly of money. Unless supervision is exercised until such time as these 
people realize how income must be handled, their increased incomes, particularly 
sudden large increases, ai-e only temporary aids to them, and will lead to the 
accumulation of debts wliich cannot be repaid under normal conditions. The 
Farm Security Administration has definitely proved its ability to train families 
to overcome this weakness, and these sudden large incomes merely mean a set- 
back to the rehabilitation of these families. 

Where sufficient supervision is given low-income families, so that debts are 
paid rather than incurred in periods of high prices, self-sufficiency is improved 
jind increased, even though cash income is showing an increase, and families are 
made to realize that periods of high yields and high prices are only peaks to be 
followed by valleys that make up the general average. This period of high 
prices, generated " by defense, can be of considerable benefit to low-income 
farmers, especially, through supervision, they realize that periods of low prices 
inevitably must follow. 

On the other hand, where supervision is lacking debts are incurred rather 
than paid. These debts are incurred through buying of land, obtaining more 
machinery than is definitely needed, purchasing livestock above subsistence and 
operative needs, and spending a great deal more on family living and nonessentials 
than would ordinarily be done. This practice of going into a general expansion 
in an inflation p(>riod. on credit which will eventually have to be repaid with cash 
obtained on much lower conunodity prices, can only result in final disaster for 

tlv^ family. 

Make tenure possible 

If the Farm Security Administration is to alleviate many of the difficulties 
being experienced in low-income farm families due to defense, there must be 
a program that will definitely prevent any family wishing to stay on the land from 
being forced out of agriculture. 

(Ynsus figures show that in the period from 1935 to 1940 there was a reduction 
of 11 percent in the number of farm families in these four States and with the 
increased pressure due to defense this reduction percentage will probably be 
considerablv increased unless some very definite checks are developed. 

Probably the first step in such a program would be the matter of rural housing. 
The lack "of farm l)uildings, the poor condition of a large number of sets of 
buildings remaining, and the financial inability of landlords to replace or repair 
these buildings has already been discussed in this report. The desirability of 
Federal action to replace or repair these buildings has also been discussed. 
Too much stress cannot be placed on the necessity of immediate action on such 
a program. 

A second equally important step is the necessity for limitation to be placed 
on the acreage that cm be operated by any one family in a given type of agri- 
culture. Such limitations could be made a part of the present agricultural 
programs. Federal legislation should be enacted to put a stop to the "land 
hog?" He is continually crowding families from land that would supply them 


■with a satisfactory living iuto a situation wliere tlieir sources of livelihood are 
very meager at best. 

The fact should be mentioned that moves are often forced upon farm families 
on short notice. When these moves are caused by location of defense industries 
in more or less thickly populated farming areas, they increase the hardships in 
proportion to the numbers of families involved. This same mass effect is also 
applicable to the task of the Farm Security Administration in the relocation of 
tliese families. 

Consideration must be given, too, to matters that will arise in the after-defense 
period. Closely related to these matters is the selection of locations for defense 
industries. If these pi-ojects can be located and built with a thought toward 
decentralization of industry after defense, it will be possible to work out a com- 
bination of industrial work and part-time subsistence farming for a large number 
of industrial workers. Otherwise, these workers with part-time employment will 
be concentrated in large urban centers, and their living level necessarily will be 
extremely low and unsatisfactory. 

de:fen8b eexocation 

Displacement of farm families as an immediate result of the defense program 
has only recently been felt in this region. 

First to be affected were 255 Kansas families who were farming the 50,000 
acres now being acquired by the Government for extension of Fort Riley and for 
a shell-loading plant near Parsons. It is understood that Government laud acqui- 
sition will also begin soon in connection with a bomb-loading plant near Wahoo, 

Worries of settlers 

Early in the relocation program, prior to the dates originally designated by the 
War Department as evacuation deadlines on the two Kansas areas, the settlers 
called meetings to discuss their various situations. At these meetings they col- 
lectively brought out and aired many of their relocation worries. A list of the 
things that troubled the settlers' minds is recorded here; although most of them 
are discussed at other points in this statement, not as worries but as actual prob- 
lems with which we are dealing. 

Settlers gave first emphasis to social readjustments that would be necessary. 
They felt utterly lost because they did not have much idea, then, where they 
would go. They thought of uprooting families and breaking neighb(n-hood ties, 
of school changes for their children, of church affiliations, and so on. 

The landowners were confused on the point of what they would get for their 
land. Tenant farmers wondered what they would salvage out of their past years 
of labor. They were concerned about saving and handling their crops and live- 

Farmers did not know when they would get the money from the sales of their 

The problem of livestock and feed loomed large. They didn't know whether 
they should sell their stock or keep it and take chances on finding temporary 
quarters for it. 

Landowners had a feeling that when the time came to reinvest in other farm 
land, after having sold theirs to the Government, they might have to pay more 
than they would receive. 

It was impossible to go ahead with proposed land deals when they did not 
know what their current equity would amount to. The loss of credit, built up 
through years of residence in their neighborhood, was a frightening possibility 
to be reckoned with when they moved to other places. They wondered if their 
banks, for instance, would insist on settlement of all debts when and if they left 
the neighborhood. 

Finally, they were confused because the Government's methods of acquiring 
land seemed to them to vary from time to time and from place to place. 

These were the worries of the settlers last summer. Now, this statement will 
go ahead with current facts and proposed activities. 

Ivitial steps 

The Farm Security Administration is taking an active part in resettling dis- 
placed farmers from both Kansas area.s, through the Kansas Defense Relocation 
Corporation. The initial step was the making of a survey in adjoining counties 



of farms available for rent on either a temporary or permanent basis ami of aU 
vacant farmsteads that could be occupied until March 1, l'J42. Every farm family 
in these two Kansas areas has been offered a temporary location, for the most 
part consisting only of buildings and pasture. 

Average price heing ixud by the Ciuvernment for the 50,000 acres in the two 
Kansas projects is slightly less than $-10. Price per acre for the anticipated 
23,000 acres the ordnance plant near Wahoo will require will probably be con-, 
siderably higher because of higher quality of the land. 

Land acquisition 

Insofar as possible the land is acquired after appraisal by direct by 
the War Department. Where, for various reasons, such as refusal of the owner 
to accept the price offered, or necessity of quieting titles, it is impossible to 
acquire the land by direct purchase, condemnation proceedings are instituted. 

Naturally, there has been some delay in payment due to the large volume of 
w^ork going through the finance otiice of the War Department, as well as all other 
defense agencies. This has caused difficulties due to farmers having to move from 
the area before they receive any payment on their land. Some owners, who had 
made a small down payment and had an option to purchase faruis elsewhere, 
have not received payment for their former farms at the time the options expired 
on the new farms, and in some instances have lost the down payments or have 
had the prices of the new farms raised. Farmers who were not sure of the amount 
of equity they would get, due to the condemnation proceedings, had difficulty in 
purchasing a farm because they could give no one definite assurance that they 
would be able to pay for the new farm. 

At Fort Riley there has been considerable dissatisfaction among the land- 
owners due to what appeared to the owners to be inconsistency in appraisal of 
the land. Appraisers worked separately and the owners thought they had dif- 
ferent ideas of land values in this area. This dissatisfaction is evidenced by 
the fact that approximately 65 percent of the land in the area is being acquired by 
condemnation proceedings. 

In the Parsons area approximately 70 percent of the eases were optioned : the 
other 30 percent represent families who were either not willing to option at the 
price offered or cases where it was necessary to condemn in order to clear title. 

Tracts and families involved 

In the Fort Riley extension IDS tracts comprising approximately 32,000 acres, 
are being acquired and in the Par.sons area 154 tracts, comprising 17,200 acres, 
are involved. All of the farms in both areas are of a general diversified type. 
In the Parsons area it is estimated that 75 percent of the total purchase price will 
go to owners of the farms and about 25 percent to mortgage holders. In the 
Fort Riley extension it is impossible to make an accurate estimate of what percent 
of the purchase price will go to owners, because such a large number of the 
farms are being acquired under condemnation and it is not j^et possible to deter- 
mine what the purchase price will be. 

One hundred and twenty-five families, comprising 417 individuals, are being 
displaced from the Fort Riley extension, and 130 families, comprising 318 indi- 
viduals, from the Parsons area. This means a total of 255 families, with 735 
members, are being displaced from their homes. It is interesting to note that 
the average size of these families is 2.9 persons, which is approximately 2 mem- 
bers per family less than the average size for Farm Security Administration 
rehabilitation borrower-families in this region. 

In the Fort Riley area 41 percent of the land was oi^erated by owners, 10 
percent by part owners, and 4!) percent by tenants. In the Parsons area 48 
percent of the land was operated by full owners, 8 percent by part owners, and 
44 percent by tenants. This represents about normal distribution l)etw(M>n owner 
and tenant "operations for this part of the State. There are more than 100 
families in these two areas that are in more or less serious trouble in finding 
new farms, since tenants are the type of operator having the greatest amount 
of diflBculty in relocating. 

Secondary dislocation 

Immediately upon evacuation of an area of this type, new problems develop 
in the matter of .secondary dislocation. That is, families going from the area 
into other sections of the country to find new locations will, in many instances. 


dislocate other families more or less distant from the area. This type of dis- 
location is continually passed on until some poorly equipped low-income farm 
family in forced from the land. 

Some of the farms purchased by dislocated owners were unoccupied and will 
result in no further dislocation. In a few cases farms purchased for defense 
in the area and farms purchased by families displaced from the area are pur- 
chased from older couples wishing to retire, so that no harmful displacement 

It is Impossible, at this time, to make an accurate estimate of the total number 
of farmers that will finally be displaced by this secondary dislocation. To date 
a quite accurate estimate would be approximately 60, of which 40 have been 
disjilaced by purchase and another 20 by leasing of the farm they now occupy. 
Final results of this secondary displacement will not be known until Marcia, 
which is the usual time farms change hands in this part of the country. 

New farms purchased 

Thus far, 18 former owners in the Fort Riley area have been able to purchase 
new farms, totaling 700 acres less than the farms they occupied in the area. This 
is an average of approximately 40 acres less per family and probably is not a 
serious reduction in size of farm. It must be remembered, however, that there 
are 37 former owners in this area still unable to find new locations of any type. 
Only 2 tenants in this area have been able to relocate and they are farming 100 
acres less per family than they had, which is a serious acreage reduction for 
these two families. These families represent only 4 percent of the tenants in 
this area who have been able to relocate as against 33 percent of the owners. 

In the Parsons area 32 former owners have been able to buy new farms with 
an average reduction in size of 50 acres per farm. As the owner families only 
average 2V2 persons per family, and the average size of the new farm is nearly 
a quarter section, these new farms are undoubtedly still family size farms. Only 
7 of the tenants have been able to relocate with an average reduction of 27 acres 
per farm. These tenant families average 3% members and were on less Ihan a 
quarter section per family in the old location. Hence, this acreage reduction is 
rather serious and may mean that these families are on less than family size 
farms. While nearly 50 percent of the farmer owners have been able to relocate 
from the Parsons area, only 13 percent of the tenants have, so far, been able to 
find new locations. It is very evident that tenants are having much greater 
difficulties in relocation than are former owners. 

Of the balance of the families displaced from the area, 29 families in the 
Fort Riley area and 25 families in the Parsons area are still looking for farms. 
Fourteen families have definitely decided to discontinue farming in the Fort 
Riley area and 27 families have given up farming in the Parsons area. 

There are 35 working heads in these families now employed, and 8 unemployed, 
and 6 additional members of families are employed. A large amount of this 
employment is in defense work of various types. Both corporate and private 
employment have absorbed a small number of these people, and there are a few 
woi'king as farm hands. The type of employment is about evenly divided as to 
temporary and permanent. 

Six of these families are receiving direct relief, 6 are receiving old-age benefits 
and 51 families have received grants from the Farm Security Administration. 

Adjustments in livestock 

A rather drastic culling of livestock on hand has been necessary in most cases, 
due to reduction in size of operations and in many instances to inadequate 
buildings on the new farm. In general, however, it has not been necessary for 
these people to change their type of farming. As a rule people who have relocated 
report getting somewhat better land than they had in their former location. 

Practically all of the families will be rather seriously handicapped in their 
new locations by lack of feed for the coming winter. This shortage is largely 
due to the time of moving, which gave operators no opportunity to raise and 
harvest forage crops or the more staple feed crops. 

Social adjustments 

Probably the greatest handicap to the people moving from the areas is social, 
due to the fact that many have lived on the same farms all their lives. These 
are very old communities in which there was a minimum of rural migration. 
60396 — 12 — pt. 22 6 


Many of the owiHT-oiMTjitor fiuuilics were the second or third generation on 
tlie same farm, and a larj^e percentage of the share renters liave been raised 
in the conuiiunit.v and were rcnliii^,' from relatives or friends wiiom lliey had 
known iiradically all of their lives. It is the itreakiiifi of these nei^jhhorhood 
ties which has caused tlie greatest aiiioimi of discontent among tlie families. 

Hoth of thes(> areas were rather thickly settled and the removal of ai)proxi- 
mately 5l»,(K)0 acres from agri( idtural uses means a greatly increased picssure 
for hind. Owners have decided to sell rather than continue to rent their 
larnis, and in cases where it is still possible to rent, the rent share has been 
increa.sed. This same pressure for hind is reacting against the former owners 
attempting to purchase in much tlie same way, in that vendors are increasing 
the prices considerably above the true agricultural value. 

The many families, who are unable to purchase or rent faruife, are being 
relocated in temiiorary quarters. These quarters for the most part, consist 
of vacant farmsteads on farms operated by large operators. 

Defense relocation corporation 

The Kansas Defense Relocation Corporation is an acquisition agency, en- 
deavoring at the present time to purchase family sized units for the purpose 
of resettling displaced families. These units may be either sold or leased 
to the displaced f.imily by the corporation. If sold the re))ayment schedules 
will be over a sufficient period to allow the fandly a satisfactory standard of 
living; if rented the rent will be on an equitable basis. 

Every effort has been made by the corporation to select farms at reasonable 
prices that will pny out satisfactory over a term of years. The corporation 
has guarded against the purchasing of farms that would displace other 
permanent tenants. 

Farm Security Administration grunts and loans 

In many instances it has been necessary for the Farm Security Administration 
to give grants to permit people to move from the defense area to their temporary 
locations. The general attitude of the community, however, has been against 
grants. Very few loans have been made up to the present, because of the 
impossibility of developing farm plans for loans on temjwrary locations. 
Doiibtless more grants will be needed in moving these people from temporary 
to permanent locations, and because of the complete lack of income and expense 
involved on temporary locations, subsistence grants maj' be needed during 
the winter. Large numbers of loans will be necessary to establish these people 
on their permanent locations. 

Land pressure and housing 

The necessity of moving these families from the defense area into new loca- 
tions magnifies all of the points developed in the previous section regarding 
pressure for land, and because of all these various obstacles great difficulty 
is being experienced in relocating these families moved from the defense area. 
These difficulties will in all i)robability increase instead of l)eing mitigated. 

There has been no demand for housing of workers in the Manhattan area, 
but in the Parsons area there has been a considerable shortage of housing 
for them, and the Farm Security Administration has been called on to alleviate 
this situation. 

Trailer camp 

Tentative plans have been made by the Farm Security Adnunistration to 
establish a trailer camp of sufficient size to accommodate a maximum of 500 
trailers. This camp is to be estalilished on a 40-acre tract on the outskirts 
of Parsons. Kans. It is planned to place 100 trailers on it at the outset, and 
increase the number as circumstances demand. It is necessary to construct 
a sewer line and water line to connect wi;h the city lines approximately one- 
half mile from the camp site. The site has entrances on two highways and 
roads will be built and graveled within the camp to facilitate the placing of 

According to present plans construction work for this camp will begin about 
December 1, 1041 and should be completed by January 1. 1942. 

The bureau of airricultnral economics jind the ♦extension service of the Kansas 
State ^\gricultural College were of great assistance in making the initial sur- 


veys of the areas and have continued to lend tlieir assistance in every way 
possible since evacuation of the area, hotli in hringinK farmers in contact with 
the Farm Security Administration and in assisting in finding permanent farms 
for dislocated families. 

Prohlenis icill develop 

The full effects of defense dislocations have not yet been felt by the Farm 
Security Administration offices in the counties in which the areas are located 
and in* surrounding counties. As permanent locations are found for dislo- 
cated families now in temporary quarters considerable work will be involved 
for the county Farm Security Administration ijersonnel both in assist- 
ing families to move to their new locations and in providing them with the 
livestock and equipment necessary to resume normal agricultural operations. 
Probably the most serious effect to be felt will be when present borrowers are 
affected' by secondary and following displacements. In any period of severe 
stress the" final blow" lands on the low-income families and undoubtedly many 
Farm Security Administration borrowers in counties quite a distance from 
these areas will be the families finally displaced. 

Another serious effect on the Farm Security Administration program is that 
extreme pressure for land is a very serious set-back to the present leasing 
program. The landlord has the commodity in the greatest demand and can 
pretty much dictate the terms on which he will lease his land. Farmers who 
are extremely anxious to settle will accept almost any lease terms in order to 
have a farm. 

The P^arm Security Administration probably has sufficient funds with which 
to meet this emergency, but considering the large number of families to be 
helped and the large amount of searching to be done to find locations for these 
families, personnel will probably be somewhat inadequate. 


Cavalier County, N. Dak. 

The family, with seven children, has farmed for 23 years and in 1930 lived on a 
280-acre farm in Pembina County, for which 100 acres were cultivated and the 
balance hay land and pasture. 

The family was displaced because the owner returned to his adjacent farm and 
his renter moved over to this family's farm, displacing the family to another farm 
of 160 acres of poor soil. 

They again moved to a 320-acre farm owned by the Farmers & Mechanics 
Savings Bank of Minneapolis, on which they resided for 5 years. In 1938 they 
moved to their present farm and in 1940 the owner decided to rent the cultivated 
land to hei' nephew who lives nearby. The family has lived in the buildings, 
for which they pay $35 cash rent per year. They have obtained another 100 
acres for pasture at a cash rental of $35. 

The family has very few resources left after a migration from farm to farm 
over the past 23 years and at the present time find themselves, due to turn of 
economic circumstances, unable to continue further. 

Divide Comitij, N. Dak. 

This man and wife, with their four sons and three daughters, farmed in Divide 
County for the 15 years as tenants. Their farm consisted of 400 acres and 
has been operated by this family for the past 3 years. The farm buildings were 
far from satisfactory, although he was able to keep things in fair repair. It 
is principally a cash crop farm. As crop conditions improved the rent shares 
were increased to the point where he felt he could no longer operate this farm. 
It will now be operated by the landlord with hired labor and equipment. 

The family has attempted for some time to secure another farm and when 
unable to do so ceased farming and went to the State of Washington, where he 
now works as a common laborer. This means seven children will grow up with 
an insufiicient diet and very meager opportunities, rather than a satisfactory 
living and a wholesome outlook on life. 


Emmons Voimty, N. Dak. 

This couple and infjint sun have resided on their present farm fur 1 year. The- 
farm ((insists uf 3l2U acres well diversified. 

'nwy have made considerable pro{,'ress; improved sanitary conditions and 
facilities and added productive units on the farm with the hope that eventually 
they would be in a position to purchase it for their own home. 

In September 1941 a brother-in-law of this man bought the farm and the 
family is now forced to move. To date they have no other farm in sight and 
their plans for the future are very indefinite. 

Grand Forks County, N. Dak. 

This family consists of a man and wife and four children. They have oper- 
ated a rente(i far muntil last spring when their farm was rented to a neighbor 
who was already operating a suitable unit. 

Tlie family had made satisfactory progress, having eliminated the necessity 
of receiving grants to balance tlieir farm and home operations— whicii were 
neces.sary during' the early period of their loan. The family lias established 
a high degree of self-sulficiency and were receptive to guidance and assistance 
that was available for them in their program of rehabilitation. 

However, because land resources are no longer available to the family 
they have lost the opportunity to continue their rehabilitation progress. The 
plans of the family are very indefinite and they have no pro.spects in sight 
for securing land. 

Grant Conniy, N. Dak. 

This family consists of father and mother, a daughter 2 years old and a 
baby 6 months old. They are farming 800 acres; 145 acres in crop, 154 acres 
idle! 500 acres in pasture. . . , ,. , ... 

The family has resided on this farm since 1940, having previously lived witb 
the wife's parents. Recently, he was notified by the Federal land bank, who 
had acquired the farm by foreclosure^ that this farm had been sold and that 
the family must vacate. ^ , u 

This farmer has attempted to locate a farm but has been unsuccessful. He 
lias contacted the countv Farm Security Administration office and asked per- 
mission to hold a public sale to liquidate the loan made by the Farm Security 

Mcintosh Comity, N. Dak. 

This '>n-year-old couple and four small children are farming 320 acres, princi- 
pally a grain farm; very little pasture. They have lived in the community 10 
years and on this farm for 3 years. The farm was owned by the Bank of 

The supervisor states that the selling price on this farm had once been 
placed at $1,800, was raised to $2,600 last year, and this year commanded a 
price of $4,000, being purchased by a well-to-do neighboring farmer with 
sons and sons-in-law. Incidentally this farmer has purcliased six farms (jver 
the past 5 or 6 years, and purchased this farm at a $4,000 cash price. The 
faniilV was apparently making fair progress and it appears that they will be 
forcetl to liquiilate their loan, inasmuch' as no farm can be found. It appears 
that this family's plans will be to move to town and secure day labor. 

McKenzie County, N. Dak. 

This family consists of husband, 60 ; wife, 58 ; sous, 20 and 18. The 20-year-()ld 
son is working for the Work Projects Administration in Watford City. The 18- 
year-old boy is interested in farming. The family is farming 840 acres owned by 

* The ^father olitained a loan from the Farm Security Administration for the 
Durchase of 8 milk cows, 140 ewes, work stock, and equipuKMit. The borrowers 
original land was purchased by the Land Use Division and. in the absence of being 
able to secure another farm, was forced to lease a farm from the banker, the 
farm which he now must relinquish because of sale. The present farm was sold 
bv the landlord, and the tenant was compelled to either lease another unit or 
liquidate Because of difficulty in obtaining a unit he has liquidated his loan. 


Rolette County, N. Dak. 

This farmer, with his wife and five children, has operated for himself since 
T.911. The first farm they rented 7 years, the second for 17 years, the third for 
4 years, and the fourth farm, from which he must now move, 1^2 years. The last 
farm is 160 acres. This farm has been sold to a local farmer-operator, who has 
Ijought it for a home. 

The family has no definite plans for the future. They are looking for vacant 
buildings in which to reside through the winter. It is pi'obable that this family 
will have no place to go and will ultimately be a public charge. 

Stutsman County, N. Dak. 

This couple and their four small children lived on the farm where the father 
was born, having been there for the last 5 years. Previous to that time they lived 
in town. The farm consists of 389 acres and was owned by the Federal land bank. 
It was sold to an investor and in the opinion of the supervisor, a speculator, for a 
consideration of $1,200. It was very difiicult for the family to leave this farm 
inasmuch as it was the borrower's original home and was the original home of 
his father. The family had made excellent progress operating the diversified 
unit in accordance with the rural-rehabilitation program, and contemplated mak- 
ing application for a tenant-purchase loan when they established themselves suf- 
ficiently to be in a position to carry the added debt. 

On October 7 this family was forced to hold a sale due to the fact that they 
TV^ere unable to secure any other farm. This sale retired their Farm Security 
Administration loan in full and left a balance of $1,000 for the family. 

They plan to go to Washington, where the father will seek employment in a 

Towner County, N. Dak. 

This family consists of man and wife and four small children. Prior to 
1940 he operated as a farm laborer and trucker. In 1938 the family received 
$100 direct relief from the Public Welfare Board, in 1939 they received $20 
relief, and in 1940 they received $90 in grants from the Farm Security Adminis- 
tration which carried them through until their farming operations were pro- 
ducing a living. 

Since 1940 the family has farmed a 320-acre unit owned by the Burlington 
Savings Bank, of Burlington, Vt. They have made suitable progress and 
"were making orderly repayments on their Farm Security Administration loan. 

In the fall of 1941 the farm was sold. The new landlord has had the pasture 
•on the place plowed up and has refused to rent the farm to this man. The 
family was unable to find a farm and held a sale on September 2.5, 1941. They 
are now living in two rooms in the city of Cando and have no prospects of 
obtaining better quartei"S. Not having any resources, it appears that this 
family will remain in town and will have to i-esort to Work Projects Adminis- 
tration or direct relief due to a lack of farm. 

Ward County, N. Dak. 

This man and wife and their seven sons, farm 370 acres that was a part of 
an 800-acre unit owned by the Federal land bank. The family moved to AVard 
County from McLean County because of an unsuitable unit in McLean County. 
They have operated this farm for 2 years. This man has farmed all his life. 

The family's rehabilitation loan was made in 1936 and total amount ad- 
vanced finally reached $3,122, of which over $900 has been repaid. The rela- 
tionship between this family and the Farm Security Administration and the 
Federal land bank was excellent and the family unity appeared to be con- 
ducive to rehabilitation of this family. ' 

They had made plans to operate for 1942 when they were contacted by a 
representative of the Federal land bank and advised that a purchaser who 
had been dispossessed in another area made an offer for the entire unit of 
800 acres and in all probability the deal will be completed. The borrower is 
making every effort to secure an adequate farm, but up to this time lias not 
been able to do so. Their plans are very indefinite and at the pre.sent time 
the family is using its meager resources in locating another farm. They are 
completely stranded with respect to next year's operations. 

04^28 OMAHA HKAlllNdS 

Clark County, ti. Dak. 

This luaii is a Kootl tooperator and a good worker. At tlic present tin-.ti he 
has .')() head of cattle, horses, and a tull line of horse machinery. He is living 
on a 320-acre farm on the northwestern part of Clark C^onnty. This farm has 
IGO acres of grass and rented for $200 cash rent in 1941. It is necessary for 
him to move hecause his landlord has demanded cash rent in the amount of 
$31'") for the year 1!)42. 

Clay County, S. Dak. 

This client had to leave the farm on which he was located in Union County, 
S. Dak., because at the last moment before the crop season started the land was 
sold. The moving expenses were over $140 and seriously handicapped him in 
this season's operations. Just after harvest this year the farm he now occupies 
in Clay County was sold and while he has assiduously searched the entire 
county he has been unable to secure another farm and has about decided to 
sell his chattels and retire from farming. He is a good farmer and has always 
lived on the farm. 

This farmer and his wife secured a standard loan and moved to a farm in 
Lincoln Countv in the spring of 1939. They are good farmers and he has fair 
equipment, including a new tractor. However, owing to unjust rental condi- 
tions, they were compelled to move to a farm in Clay County in 1940. Now 
the farm they occupy has been sold and they have been unable thus far to 
secure another in this or surrounding counties because of the numerous farmers 
moving in from the western counties who are willing to sign contracts to lease 
land at unreasonable figures. 

Hyde County, 8. Dak. 

A standard borrower of the Farm Security Administration, indebted to that 
organization in the amount of $2,498.71 as of July 15, 1941, has, from the incei>- 
tion of his loan in July of 1937, been a tenant farmer in Hyde County, S. Dak., 
residing on a Federal land bank owned farm. In March of 1941 the Federal 
land bank notified him that every effort would be made to sell the land that he 
resided on. The possibility of this borrower obtaining a lease on another farm 
unit of sufficient size to accommodate his livestock enteiTirise is highly im- 
probable in this community. His property consists of 71 head of cattle, IT 
head of horses, 12 hogs, 8.5 chickens, 23 turkeys, a full line of farm machinery, 
10 tons of corn fodder, 25 tons of cane, and 175 tons of hay. If a satisfactory 
unit could have been leased it woidd have necessitated a move of considerable 
distance at an approximate cost of $300. 

This instance is typical of a vast number of tenant farmers that are, at the 
present time or will be in the immediate future, confronted with a similar 
problem. In a great many instances these persons so affected will be unable 
to secure tenure for themselves and family. 

Lake County, S. Dak. 

This standard Farm Security Administration borrower has been renting a 
240-acre farm in the northwest part of Lake County. The farm had been owned 
by his mother, with a Federal land-bank loan against same. A year or two ago 
the Feder.Ml land bank took over the farm, and they have been renting from them. 
Recently the Federal land bank informed the borrower that he would have to 
purchase the farm or move. 

Most of the farms for rent in the county are owned by the Federal land bank 
and various insurance companies, and these agencies are all holding the farms for 
sale and not putting out any l^ase contracts until about January, and in some 
instances not before February or March 1942. 

There are seven members in this family. The oldest son is in United States 
service at present ; the other four children are at home. 

In 1938 this Farm Security Administration borrower moved to a 160-acre farm 
rented from the South Dakota Rural Credit Roard in the west central part of Lake 
County. This is a large family consisting of 13 nieinhers. Although the farm 


unit was somewhat small for this large family, they were able to maintain a fair 
standard of living. During the 3 years the family lived on this farm it was 
necessary occasionally to supplement their income with a subsistence grant. 
However, in 1940 no grants were received by the family. 

In the spring of 1941 the farm was purchased from the South Dakota Rural 
Credit by a local implement dealer. The family was unable to locate another 
farm for 1941 farm operating; it became necessary to liquidate the Farm Security 
Administration loan. The implement dealer who purchased the farm planted the 
crop, and the buildings are unoccupied. The purchaser lives in Madison and 
operates several hundred acres of farm land in various parts of the county. 

The family moved to an unoccupied house on a farm in the same community 
where the farm land is rented and operated by a neighboring farm operator. The 
sale of the personal property in the liquidation of the Farm Security Administra- 
tion loan was held in the forepart of May 1941, and the proceeds were about $80 
short of paying the loan in full. Since the sale the father has been working on 
Work Projects Administration with the exception of work he had during harvest 
and threshing. 

Lincoln County, 8. Dak. 

This farmer, age 41, is the head of a family of 6, consisting of his wife, age 36, 
4 sons, age 18, 16, 6, and 5. This family had operated a farm in Lincoln County 
for a number of years, always on a rental basis. In February 1941 the farm 
operated by this family was sold, the purchaser being one of the larger owner- 
operators in the county. As the purchaser intended to farm this unit, the family 
was forced to get off by March 1 and look for another unit. The borrower had 
always farmed with horses, and to the best of my judgment had always done a 
fair to good job of farming. His experience in trying to relocate was that if he 
had owned a tractor he could have rented a suitable farm or two that he was 
unable to get because of having horsepower. The result was that a liquidation 
sale was held paying off his loan and putting this family into town. 

This family's plight is one exnmple of the discriminations shown against horse 
operations in this section of the State and also that of the larger owner-operators, 
further expansion, crowding the smaller operator off the land. 

Spink County, S. Dak. 

This standard borrower was notified by his landlord that the place which he 
was on had been leased to another party and that he would have to give posses- 
sion October 1, 1941. on which date his lease expired. He is nearly 65 years of 
age and he and his wife had reared a family of three boys who had all married 
and left home, the youngest of whom has a loan through this office and lives a mile 
south of the farm on which the father operated last year. This borrower had 
spent a greater share of his adult years in the vicinity of Condo. He therefore 
tried to locate a suitable unit in that territory but could find' none. Due to his 
age and lack of help from the family he did not wish to start up in a new com- 
munity. He signified that he would rather liquidate than do so. We just com- 
pleted holding a public auction. 

Apparently there were no differences between the borrower and his landlord 
and the only reason for dispossession on the part of the insurance company was 
to lease this farm to a younger tenant who might possibly prove to be a 

Todd County, 8. Dak. 

This man came to Todd County in the spring of 1937, moving here from the 
neighboring county of Bennett. The reason for this move was the fact that 
a change of tenants was made on the farm he was leasing. Coming to Todd 
County he rented an Indian allotment on a cash basis. This place was small 
and inadequate and a year later the Indian owner desired it for his own use and 
consequently the family were again forced to move. 

The family moved next to a farm owned by an investment company. The 
family was able to acquire a suitable unit here and was beginning to get ahead 
with the aid of a Farm Security Administration loan. After, two seasons on this 
farm they were advised that it had been sold and on March 1 they would have to 
vacate. The family was fortunate in obtaining another farm in the same neigh- 
borhood owned by the Federal land bank. This location was suitable with respect 
to size, facilities, etc. They moved there with the expectation of remaining for 



at least 3 years. Tliev have rocenlly been advised that the farm has been sold 
and they are now (Midcavoriiig to find another farm. He estimates that each move 
has cost approximately $100. 

Tuntcr County, S. Dak. 

This family consists of father and mother, a son, who is '27 years old, and a 
daniKhter IS." This family resides on a farm 3 miles north of Marion. They 
had formerly owned this farm which was mortgaged to the Federal Land P.ank 
of Omaha, Nehr. Several years ago they became delincineut on the Federal land 
bank loan because of drought, grasshoppers, and depression prices for their 
produce. The familv had paid good hard cash toward the purchase of this farm 
in an amount more than equal to a rea.sonable valuation of the farm at this time. 
However, the Federal land bank was forced to foreclose their mortgage a few 
years ago and continued to lease the farm to the family until now. It is quite 
probable that this family will not be able to get a farm for next year and will be 
dislocated from the only occupation they know well. These people are honest and 
reliable and are good farm operators and there is little question but that they 
could make a success on the farm. 

This family has been notitied that the farm has been sold and that they 
will have to move off next March 1. 

Yankton County, S. Dak. 

This Farm Securitv Administration rehabilitation loan client was obliged to 
discontinue farming juid niove to town about March 1, 1941, due to his huxbility 
to secure a lease upon a suitable unit on which to continue his operations. The 
farm last occupied by this client was sold by a loan agency (South Dakota 
Rural Credits) to a local investor who had made a previous commitment to 
rent to another applicant. Our borrower was obliged to dispose of his chattels 
at public auction and is now living in the city of Yankton, employed as a day 
laborer, and without the time or resources to secure a farm upon which to re- 
sume operations. 

He is typical of a very substantial class of farm people who for generations 
have made their livelihood in agriculture, and whose qualitications and in- 
clinations are for a continuation of that occupation. This particular individual 
is at least of average intelligence and his progressive tendencies are evidenced 
by the effort he has made to provide educational opportunities for his family. 
He has been a victim of the existing tenancy situation in that he has operated 
under an annual lease without adequate renewal provision and under a contract 
containing a very unequitable sale clause. He eventually found himself without 
a farm unit too late in the season to secure another. 

Cass County, 'Ne'br. 

This man is a Farm Security Administration borrower and will be displaced 
from his farm as it has been sold to an owner-operator. He formerly farmed 
in western Nebraska. Drought conditions forced him to liquidate early in the 
thirties and move to the eastern part of the State, where he worked as a com- 
mon laborer and <m Work Projects Administration. In the spring of l!i40 he 
leased 120 acres with improvements, and 80 acres unimproved. The farm was 
not for sale at the time; however, later it was listed with an agent and the 
120 acres were sold, displacing him for the operating year of 1942. 

The original Farm Security Administration loan was for !?752. During the 
years he was off the farm, he accumulated unsecured obligations which were 
drawn into his plan. He raised a good crop of corn in 1940 and also had very 
good luck with his livestock, which made it possible for him to meet his pay- 
ments on his unsecured accounts and his payment to the Farm Security Ad- 
ministration. During 1941 he has had considerable livestock increase to sell 
and has made further payments on unsecured accounts, as well as his Farm 
Security Administration loan. He has exchanged and culled down his live- 
stock to where he has a good producing herd of cows. His corn crop is fair and 
if he is forced to liquidate, he will pay the Farm Security Administration in 
full and have a few hundred dollars for the family. He has made rapid 
progress the last 2 years and if he is forced to sell out and ever decided to go 
back to farming, it woidd take him at least 2 years to reach the point he has 
now attained. 


Cheyenne County, Nebr. 

This family of five came to this part of the county in 1930 from Hall County 
and moved to this 320-acre farm located in the Lodgepole Valley. He was a 
good farmer and was forced to come to this agency for a loan as he had not 
been able to repay his indebtedness to International Harvester Co. on the 
machinery and livestock which he owned. 

The farm which they occupied was sold and a large irrigation project set up 
to raise beets. A German-Russian family was brought in to farm the land. 

This family did not want to leave the farm and made every effort to find a 
suitable place to continue. Tliey were making a great deal of progress and 
would have been able to repay their loan within a 3-year period if they had been 
able to remain on the farm and continue under fairly normal conditions. 

The mother was active in the Extension Service and church work, and the 
oldest daughter had taken an active part in 4-H Club work. From farm income 
they were able to send the daughter to college for 1 year. Since that time she 
has taught in a rural school and repaid her family in addition to helping them 
with their expenses. The past 2 years the family has been employed as care- 
taker of the Country Club in Sidney, Nebr. They recently left this position since 
they were just able to exist with this income. 

Deuel County, Nehv. 

This fai'mer is a Federal Security Administration standard borrower in Deuel 
County who is 64 years old and his wife is 61. They had resided on a 160- 
acre unit for the past 3 years and were making progress, reducing their indebted- 
ness to the Federal Security Administration and making a satisfactory living. 
The farm belonged to an insurance company and was bought by a man who is 
renting it to his son. The farm is now operated in conjunction with several 
other farms by this purchaser and the buildings are unused. 

The borrower was forced to hold a public sale and retire from the farm. At 
his age his earnings are not sufficient to supply a living for himself and his wife 
and a son is forced to supplement this income. He is waiting until his 65th 
birthday in order to receive old-age assistance. 

Had he been able to continue on the farm, he would no doubt have been able 
to supply an adequate living for himself and his wife and to have eventually 
retired his indebtedness to the Federal Security Administration and remain self- 

This family consists of husband and wife and two children, 3 and 8 years of 
age. They had operated this particular farm for 4 years and were getting along 
quite well. 

During 1940 the residence on this place was destroyed by fire. The landlord 
received $1,200 insurance. Shortly after the fire the place was sold to a merchant 
who owns several farms. 

This family would have been able to rent empty buildings on an adjoining 
farm but the new owner favored the large-type operator and would not lease the 
farm to them. 

They have sold their livestock but have retained their machinery still hoping 
to be able to obtain a farm to operate. During the past year the man has been 
working by the day in the State of Washington. The family is very dissatisfied 
in town as they were born and reared on the farm and have nothing but an 
agricultural background. It appears extremely unlikely that this family will be 
able to rent another farm in this county. 

Lincoln County, Nebr. 

This family consists of father and mother and two children, age 14 and 16. 
They have had total advances of $1,0S9 from the Farm Security Administration, 
which indebtedness they have reduced to $233. 

They have resided on their present place for the past 8 years. The farm is 
suitable for the family, and with the aid of the Farm Security Administration 
loan they have been able to properly operate this farm and maintain a good 
living and retire their debts in an orderly manner. 

The only reason that the landlord will give for not leasing the farm to this 
family for another year is that he insists that this farm be operated with a 


tractor. Farm Security Administration fails to so»' where it would be of benefit 
to this borrower to eliange his melliod of operation when he has prov^'d his 
ability to operate siuressfnlly with horses. The farm has been leased to an 
adjoining operator, who has purchased additional power and will expand his 
operations by this amount. 

Due to the new tenant expanding his operations, this family will bt; displaced 
from farming as there is no opportunity of their tinding another farm in this 

This family consists of man and wife and six children ranghig in age from 12 
to 24. The family has been borrowers of the Farm Security Administration since 
1935. The advances made to this family have totaled $2,010, of which they hav9 
repaid over .$1,()(K). 

They have occupied the farm from which they have been forced to move fol 
the past 3V> years. Just recently it was sold to a man living in an adjoining 
county. The 'p(ucha.ser said the reason for buying this farm was that he wanted 
to obtain land in Lincoln County in order to receive a lai'ger Agricultural Con- 
servation Program payment by combining his other farms with the farm in thi.s 
county. Since purchasing this farm he has also purchased a new tractor and 
will operate this farm himself with no one living in the buildings. 

The family had developed a good herd of Holstein cows and has been very 
successful with both their dairy and poultry enterprise. They are unable to 
secure a lease for the coming year, and it is very evident they will have to hold 
a sale and dispose of livestock and equipment. 

Madison Count !J, Nebr. 

This two-member family received their first loan in August 1036. The R. A. C. C. 
held first mortgage on the livestock at that time. In December 1938 enough 
livestock and grain was released to pay the R. A. C. C. in full. 

This being an 80-acre farm with very poor improvements, the family was 
unable to raise enough feed to care for subsistence livestock and they received 
supplemental loans in 1038 and in 1940. He continually tried to locate more 
land but was unable to do so. In the fall of 1940 he rented a 120-acre farm 
from the Federal land bank which was very well improved and was good soil. 
A supplemental loan was made to purchase more livestock and equipment so 
that thev could handle this farm in a satisfactory manner. 

About" 2 months ago this farm was sold to a Rural Free Delivery carrier from 
a nearby town. This man expects to contiime with his mail route and put a 
hired man on the place. He expects to spend his afternoons working on the 
farm. This land sale has eliminated one good tenant farmer who was making 
a satisfactory living on the farm. 

This family spent a good deal of time and money painting, plastering, and 
papering parts of the house. They were getting to the place where they felt they 
were succeeding in their farming operations when the farm was sold. The extra 
work that they had put in to get this place in good order had been wasted to 
them. The improvements put on the place by them helped the sale. This 
family has not found a farm which will be satisfactory for their type of farming. 

Nance County, Neir. 

This family consists of man and wife and four children. They have resided 
on this farm for 17 years. They were formerly own(>rs of the place, but due to 
contiinied poor crops and low prices, lost title to the farm 2 years ago and since 
then have been tenants. They have just received notice that the farm has been 
sold and that thev will have to vacate by March 1, 1942. 

This family has gone through a very difficult period during the last 10 years 
and would liave been unable to continue farming had not the Farm Security 
Administration assisted them. They received their Farm Sec\irity Administra- 
tion loan in April 1041, and during the last year have been able to operate with 
less worry and concern for the future than they have for several years. The 
family's living standards have improved atid the borrower has been able to do a 
much better job of farming. 

To date th(\y are unable to find another farm and the borrower has thought of 
moying to town or trying to get a job on some defense work, but this does not 


solve their problem permanently. This family should remain on the farm and 
become rehabilitated in agriculture as this is the only occupation in which they 
have any skill. 

Sionw County, Ncbr. 

This family of three members — father 56, mother 53, girl 15 — lived on a Sioux 
County farm of 1,040 acres. This 1,040 acres was divided into 130 acres cropland 
and 910 acres pasture land. They moved onto this farm in 1936, and same was 
sold from under them in 1940, forcing them to pay out a small remaining balance 
of a loan of $1,035 that had been advanced the first 2 years of operation. 

This family operated a stock set-up, running about 30 head of cattle, 4 horses, 
and 4 brood sows, and producing feed for same. They cooperated in the com- 
munity affairs and were members of Extension Service. 

Since the family moved from the farm the father has died. The daughter is 
married and the mother has been doing private nursing for a living. 

Barber County, Kans. 

This case is very interesting, and typical of the many tenants who are being 
displaced in this territory. When we originally made the borrower's standard 
loan some 3 years ago he had 320 acres rented. This enterprise was well balanced 
as to farm and pasture land. He operated under this lease for approximately 
1 year, when one-quarter of this land was sold to a large ranch holder located 
near by. It was impossible for him to obtain additional land, so it was necessary 
for him to get along the best he could on the quarter upon which he lived. He 
was forced to pasture his livestock wherever pasture was available, and this 
was not large enough to support the livestock program that was set up for him. 

This farmer operated on this small acreage for approximately a year, until 
the 160 acres was sold to another landholder. He was forced to either move 
to town or secure a farm upon which there was undesirable tenure arrange- 
ments. The farm was good from every standpoint, but the cash rent was 
exorbitant, and two or three of the former tenants were forced to move off the 
farm because of their ability to meet the rent. This client operated this farm 
to the best of his ability, and, although the cash rent was very high, he made a 
considerable amount of progress, largely due to advanced prices. 

This farm was recently sold to another fanner, who had sold a poorer farm and 
was hunting a more productive piece of land. The borrower has no idea where 
he can get any property to rent and will have to dispose of his livestock that he has 
built up and move to town. 

Labette County, Kans. 

This borrower was operating a 120-acre farm, paying cash rent in the 
fimouut of $275. This rent, while high, for this size of farm, included very 
good buildings, also a very good silo. The operator was intending to continue 
operating on the same rental basis for the 1941 season. The lease contained a 
clause, however, "Subject to sale," and on February 15, 1941, the operator was 
notified that the farm was sold, and possession requested March 1, 1941. 

This family contacted real-estate agencies, county farm bureau, and indi- 
vidual owners of farms, but were unable to locate any desirable operating unit, 
and as the length of possession was short, it was decided that the only thing 
that could be done was liquidation, and this was accomplished. 

At the time the original loan was made to this family, they were operating 
mostly as farm laborers, with very little equipment, and were taking no part 
in community activities. At the time of forced liquidation, the family had a 
balanced farm enterprise, were members of the local farm bureau, were church 
members, and the children were attending school, with the boy intending to 
enter junior college. 

Marion County, Kans. 

This farm of 320 acres is located in the southeastern part of Marion County, 
Kans. It is a good farm for livestock and a good place for a home. 

The original owner lost the place to the mortgage holder. They sold it a 
few years ago on a sales contract to a farmer who hiter became a Farm Security 
borrower. He was unable to meet the payments and the mortgage holder again 
took it over. The borrower had to find another location as he could no longer 
rent the place. 



In the spring of 1941 it was rented to another Farm Security Administratiou. 
borrower who moved from Saline County. The owner tried to sell it to himi 
on a sales contract, hut llu' deal was not made. The rental terms were the 
usual om-third of tlie crops and .$125 cash rent, with sale clause. In the- 
sumuR'r of 1!)41 the owner sold the place to a dentist. The first demand by 
the new owner was for .^HO a year more cash rent. The next thing he Ivuew 
the place had been rented to another person who appears on the place intending: 
to sow wheat on ground already pn-paivd by the borrower. An agreement 
has not been reached as the new renter will not pay tlie cost of preparing 
the ground and the landlord backs him up and has served notice that the bor- 
rower must vacate. The result is the borrower is on an urgent hunt for a new 
location. There are thus two farm operators out in less than a year on a 
single place. 

Miami County, Kans. 

This farmer received his Farm Security Administration loan in February 1940. 
At that time he had leased 80 acres on which he was paying $200 cash rent. In 
March 1941 a relative of the landlord who had been living out of the county moved 
on the farm and took possession. This forced the borrower to camp on a 20-acre- 
farm with most of his livestock. He had purchased some purebred cattle and 
wanted to keep all of his livestock as he felt that he had a good start. In the 
spring of 1941 he put all his cattle out on pasture and tried to carry his herd 
through, hoping' that he might secure a farm he could move on in the fall or in 
the spring of 1942. 

The borrower did some outside work and at the present time is employed in 
a Federal project in the State of Missouri. He was unable to lease a farm so he 
billed a sale for October 7. 1941, for all livestock with the exception of one good- 
quality heifer and four horses. His indebtedness was paid in full and he had 
approximately $350 left and the heifer and four horses. He was very unhappy 
the day of the sale as he sincerely wanted to keep his livestock. This was good 
livestock and hard for anyone to dispose of who was trying to build up a sub- 
sistence unit. He had made considerable progress on his way to a livestock 
enterprise that would have been a definite asset to the community. However, due 
to the fact that a farm could not be found, he was forced to liquidate his chattel* 
and is now employed in defense work. 

Neosho Count}/, Kans. 

This family moved to Neosho County from Dickinson County and purchased 
a farm at an inflated price on a contract purchase plan from an insurance com- 
pany. After 2 years of operation and disposing of most of their foundation live- 
stock to meet their payments they found that it would be impossible to continue 
with the purchase of the farm. Under these conditions it was necessary for the 
family to apply for a Farm Security Administration loan to increase their live- 
stock enterprise. This family was approved for a standard rehabilitation loan in 
March 1941 and received their initial loan of $970 in April. 

This is an excellent farm family. They use good farm and home practices. 
The home, the farm buildings, and premises show better than average care. They 
keep an excellent account book, accept supervision, and cooperate with Farm 
Security Administration in every way possible. 

Due to the fact that this insnrance company has adopted a policy of 3-year 
tenure this family is forced to move and has not been able to rent a satisfactory 

Pottawatomie County, Kans. 

At the time this family applied for a loan they had .$259 of debts and $6.50 of 
chattel property. They had four horses and one cow, but no chickens or pigs. 
This family had no vegetables and were living on bread and potatoes mostly. 
They obtained all their clothing through the welfare office. They received 
a subsistence grant for some time. There are nine children, one of whom is a 
complete invalid. 

During the tinio they had their loan they were able to buy their own clothing 
and to have a better diet than they had had for some time. The family was able 
to produce their own subsistence needs in dairy products, poultry and poultry 
products, and pork. At the time of liquidation there was sufficient property to 
pay the loan in full. 


All the children went to high school and two children married well while they 
Ihad their Farm Security Administration loan. It is unlikely the family will be 
able to keep the children in high school under present circumstances. 

The farm this family was renting was sold to the lumber-yard operator, who 
rented to them for 2 years. The lumber yard closed and it was necessary for 
the owner to move on the farm. Tlie head of the family is now working as a 
■day laborer on Avhatever employment is available for him. It makes it very 
•difficult for him to support a family of nine members. 

Sedgmck County, Kans. 

This borrower lived on a small dairy farm when he first obtained a Farm 
Security Administration loan. There were six members in the family. 

After the loan was obtained the bori'ower moved to a 110-acre dairy farm, 
paying $600 a year cash rent. Shortly after the defense program became active 
in Wichita this year the borrower had his rent raised from $600 to $1,(K)0. This 
■was prohibitive rent and the borrower was forced to move on a .5-acre tract. 

The reason given by the landlord for increasing the rent was that other people 
were getting in on the high prices and felt that he should, as he could get $75 
a month for the house and rent the land in addition. 


Defense project, Parsons, Kans. 

Excellent relations with the owner of the 160-acre farm they rented the past 
10 years had made this family feel entirely secure in their tenure. The family 
included the man and wife and three children. They operated on a share-rent 
basis and obtained any needed financing from a local bank. 

When notified to vacate, they tried unsucessfully to lease within the county. 
Further attempts incurred additional expense. 

The bank financed equipment, taking a 90-day chattel mortgage. A small Gov- 
ernment crop payment was to pay the note. Not receiving it when the note fell 
due, it was extended 6 months and additional money loaned for z'elocation ex- 
pense. Having no place to go when they received their 10-days-to-vacate notice, 
they decided to rent a temporary location available, consisting of a house, small 
poultry house, dilapidated barn, and 6-acre pasture. Realizing their inability to 
care for their livestock through the winter there, they held a public sale, retaining 
less than subsistence stock and applied the proceeds on their chattel indebtedness. 
The two girls have reentered school, but the high-school boy and his father are 
trying to secure work and must shortly apiJly for assistance unless they are 
successful. They have never previously received any kind of relief. 

This family wants to continue farming, and the Farm Security Administration 
and Defense Relocation Corporation are trying to help them lease a farm for 1942. 
Though they succeed within a few months, they will have no fall-seeded crops 
and will have to go considerably into debt to replace their equipment and livestock. 
Relocation from the defense area has seriously jeopardized this farm family's 

This family of husband, wife, and infant daughter has spent their entire life 
on a farm and was operating a 120-acre place owned by his mother. Equipment 
and livestock was owned jointly and he paid his mother $75 privilege rent, one- 
third of the crops, and one-half of the livestock increase. His application for an 
Farm Security Administration standard loan was pending. 

The operators interest in crops was appraised at $75 but no payment has been 
received. Although they had never received Farm Security Administration grants, 
it became necessary for Federal Security Administration to assist when they 

The family had no equity in the farm and the mother did not have funds to 
purchase another farm, since the original farm was heavily mortgaged. She was 
forced to sell her interest in the equipment and livestock, leaving the tenant 
without equipment necessary to operate. Although his Farm Security Admin- 
istration loan provided for purchase of equipment, all these factors prevented him 
from finding a place to rent for 1942. 


Farm Security Adniiuistratidii helped secure a temporary location on the edge 
of a small town. They ki'pt two cows and two dozen chickens, sacrificing the 
rest of the livestock and eciuipment to finance the move. 

The wife, just released from the hospital, suffered a set-back from the exertion 
of moving in rainy weather and was forced to return. The husband secured odd 
jobs, including poorly paid farm labor, and is now trying for work at the ordnanc* 
plant. Tiiey piefer to continue farming, for they know no other occupation. 
Even thougli the relocation corporation secures a farm for tliem to operate in 
1(»42 they have sulTered a serious reverse and will go largely into debt for the 
equipment and livestock necessary. 

Six years ago this young family, which has always lived in this area, was 
"graduated" as farm laborers and began farming for itself. 

l-'or 6 years they have rented the same farm paying $70 privilege rent and 
one-third of the crops. They owed a local bank for $350 and $300 on a 
tractor and combine, purchased 2 years ago. Besides having built up a sub- 
stantial livestock enterprise, they were doing custom work for neighbors. 
The Government crop appraisal was satisfactory to lliem but no money has 
been received. Unable to find a suitable farm on whicli to relocate, they rented 
a tempornry location with only sufticient space for part of their livestock. 
The rest was sold and the money applied on their indebtedness, and re- 
borrowed. Their macliinery is kept on part of another farm rented from 

The family knows no other occupation than farming. They hope to relocate 
in a vicinity where they can secure custom work to pay for tractor and 
combine, but^ fear they will have to s«^ll both to pay off the mortgage. 

At present the husband has no work but is trying to secure a place at the 
ordnance plant. If he does, he will not be able to care for his livestock prop- 
erly and will sell the major portion. Because they must have income from 
some source and feel that outside employment is the only solution, they arc 
considering a public sale They hope to be able to reestablish tlieir farming 
operations in the future on some other farm. Sale of the farm this family 
was renting has jeopardized their entire future in farming. 

This man and wife and two children owned an 80-acre farm. Assessed value 
of the farm was .$2,800: the fnmily's equity over indebtedness was' $l,r)00. 
They had never had a Farm Security Administration loan or grant. They 
wanted $4,500 for the farm, but took the Government's offer of $3,500. as they 
needed the money to relocate. No payment has been received, and at th(> time 
they vacated they were forced to sacrifice pnrt of their livestock and equipment. 

The husband is in poor health and unable to do manual labor. A substan- 
tial portion of the family income is from cheese, butter, and other products 
the wife sells in Parsons. The Farm Security Administration tried to relocate 
them near Parsons so they could I'etain this market, but there were no farms 
available. They are renting temporarily, 15 miles from Parsons; paying $250 
rent up to IVIarch 1 for poor house and barn, pasture, and lots. 

They hoped to purchase a farm on which the wife could handle a large 
poultry enterprise and sell to a specialized market, bnt circumstances forced 
them to cull and sell three-fourths of the 200-hen laying flock. The hoy quit 
school and got a job to help the family. The girl missed three weeks of 
school, helping the family move. The father's age and poor health prevents 
him from getting defense employment. The family is much disturbed over 
their future. They have not been reimbursed for their crojis or land and have 
not found a place to rent and have sold so much of their livestock and 
poultry that it would be impossible to operate any fair-sized farm the coming 
year. They feel the ordnance plant has taken their home and has jeopardized 
their entire future. 

This six-member family consists of man, wife, thi'ee children, and a grand- 
mother. The wife is one of eight heirs to an estate from which they rent 160 
acres, paying $100 privilegt* rent and one-third of the crops. Farm buildings 
were adequate, including dairy im))rovements. 

Major farm enter])rise was their 12-cow registered Jersey herd from which 
they sold grade A milk in Parsons. Each cow produced over SHO pounds butter- 
fat. Not Farm Security Administration borrowers, they handled their financial 
needs through a local bank, owing about $500. 


Although the wife's equity in the estate, which the Government was purchasing 
for $5,0(X), was insufficient to finance purchase of another farm suital)le for dairy- 
ing, a brother was willing to help if they could locate an adequate place. In 
June, hearing that they would be forced to move, they began looking in their 
vicinity and found it hopeless. 

They rented a small farm temporarily, hoping soon to find a permanent location, 
but this failed, too, and they were forced to sell most of their dairy herd. The 
public .sale brought poor prices, considering this type of livestcok. They have 
retained their equipment and a small portion of their livestock and are hoping 
the Defense Relocation Corporation will lease them a farm by March 1, 1942. 
They want to reestablish their dairy enterprise, but if they are able to purchase 
the type of livestock they sold ; they will have to pay considerably more than 
they received from the sale. 

The husband and oldest son are trying to secure fall and winter work at the 
ordnance plant. 

Fort Riley extension, Fort Riley, Kans. 

This family has experienced little but misfortune since moving from the Fort 
Riley extension area August 1. In the family are the husband ; wife ; sons, 14 
and 12 ; and five daughters — 10, twins 8, and twins 4. 

They have been tenants on the same 160-acre farm since 1935, paying crop share 
and $50 cash rent. They had a six-room house in fair condition, and poor barn 
and outbuildings. 

They had repaid $162 on a standard Farm Security loan of $262, making good 
progress, borrowing as little as possible and repaying whenever possible. They 
are good workers and close managers. 

Knowing they would have to move, they did not plant feed this summer and 
are now without feed for their livestock, which they placed with relatives. They 
went to Colorado to woi'k as farm laborers in the hay fields but continuous rain 
forced them to return to Kansas and find temporary quarters in Junction City. 
Floods there drove them out and to very crowded quarters with relatives where 
they are now living. 

They received a $100 relocation grant from Farm Security and are looking to 
the Kansas Defense Relocation Corporation for help in locating a farm. They 
did not receive any damages from the Government for their forced move. As 
the landlord refused to accept the Government offer for the farm, condemnation 
has been instituted. It is doubtful that they will receive any compensation for 
their crops from the landlord. The attitude of this family has become more or 
less hopeless due to continuous hard luck. The seven children have a rather 
uncertain prospect as they face the future. 

Ten members of this family are living on their own 122-acre farm on which 
there is a real-estate mortgage of $1,000. At home with the father, 57, and 
mother, 46, are two sons, 13 and 9. and six daughters, 11, 8, twins of 6 and 
twins of 4. Three additional older children are earning their living away 
from home. 

They have borrowed a total of $1,860 from the Farm Security Administration 
and the unpaid balance is now $1,272. The family is honest, they are all good 
workers, but it is too large to have made much progress on so small a farm. 
The 5-room frame house is in poor condition and the barn and other buildings 
are inadequate. 

The owner asked $4,500 for the farm and rejected the land acquisitioner's 
offer of $3,350, which was approximately $27 per acre. It is alleged that the 
Government paid $30 per acre for the roughest pasture land in the same area. 
Condemnation proceedings are now in process but no notice of hearing has been 
received. The farm is in area V of the Fort Riley extension, in which farmers 
can retain possession until January 1, 1942. 

The head of this family, 53, has been a farmer since 1927. His wife is 47 and 
they have a son, 12 and two daughters, 11 and 8. He operated the 400-acre 
place he was renting as a livestock farm, with 131 acres in crops. They lived 
in a good 8-room stone house and other buildings were adequate. They obtained 
needed financing from a local bank. 



On Augu'^t 1 when they wore forced lo leave llicir farin, which is in the Fort 
Riley extension area, they had hccii unahh- to n-nt another farm. They are 
temporarily liviiiiLf on a fannsli-ad, waiting for help from the Kansas Defense 
Relocation Corporation in linding a place. They have received no damages from 
the Government or the landowner. Farm Security Administration made them 
a $100-relocation grant. Rent on their temporary location and t le cost of feed 
amounts to $."55 a month. The family is very dissatisfied. 

This husband, 44, and wife, 38, have nine children, all at home. The boys 
are 16, 10, 9, 6, 5, and 3 and the girls are 13, 12 and 1. 

They have share-rented the same KiU-acre farm since 1932. The 8-room stone 
house was in fairly good condition but the outbuildings were barely sufficient for 
their livestock, which includes 13 cattle, 4 hogs, and 340 poultry. Rental was on 
a one-third share-crop basis, with no cash. The family had repaid $297 on a 
standard loan totaling $834 from the Farm Security Administration. 

With the assistance of a $100-relocation grant from Farm St^curity, the family 
has been able to keep its livestock and equipment together on a temporary loca- 
tion and is looking to the Kansas Defense Relocation Corporation to help them 
get a farm to operate. Grant assistance will have to he continued until they 
are relocated and established well enough to develop a subsistence income. 

No reimbursement for the tenant was allowed by the Government in appraisal 
of the farm and the figure was so low that it is doubtful if the landlord will have 
enough equity to pay the tenant any damages. The family wants to remain in 
farming and is anxious to get a livestock set-up. Because of the family's large 
size and the amount of labor available within the family, a rather large farm 
ought to be located for them. 

This man and wife and two small children have lived on the same farm for 
the past 8 years. It was a 320-acre farm with very satisfactory buildings on 
which they paid a rather high-share rent and per-head pasture rent for their 

Their original Farm Security Administration loan was more than $1,500 which 
they have reduced to $667 indicating quite satisfactory progress. 

As the owner was offered less than the unpaid balance on the Federal land bank 
mortgage for the farm, he refused the offer and condemnation proceedings have 
been instituted. The family did not receive any damages from the Government 
for their crops and in view of the offer made for the farm it is quite doubtful 
if they will receive anything from the landlord. 

The family is at present living in a temporary location expecting to secure a 
farm from the Kansas Defense Relocation Corporation next spring. Even 
though they are relocated on a satisfactory unit next spring the loss of their 
feed crop and consequent expense of carrying their livestock through the winter 
means quite a serious set-back. 

This Farm Security Administration borrower-family is the owner of a 122-acre 
farm on which there was a $1,000 real-estate mortgage. It was a rather small 
farm for a 13-member family, and as a consequence they were not able to make 
a great deal of progress in retirement of their debts. They had been able to do 
a little more than hold their own and furnish this large family with a satis- 
factory living. 

The family did not feel that the appraisal price of the land is just and refused 
the Government's offer, making it necessary for condemnation proceedings to be 
instituted. They have no idea what they will receive for their equity in the 
farm, and as a consequence they are unable to make any progress toward getting 
a new location. 

This young couple and their baby daughter bad been living on a farm in which 
the husband owned an interest. The farm was of ample size, improved, and 
gave them a very good income. 

As the result of disagreement between the owners and the acquisition office 
as to the value of the farm, it has become necessary for the Government to 


acquire the land by condemnation proceedings. Because of the length of time 
involved in these proceedings, the family did not feel there was any hope of 
having funds with which to secure a farm by INIarch 1, 1942. They have sold 
all their stoclv and equipment and have moved into town, and the husband is 
working on t|!ie defense area. They do not care for urban life or this type of 
employment but can see no hope for continuing in agriculture. 

This man and wife and seven small children have been operating the same 
160-acre farm on a share basis since 1935. They have a small loan with the 
Farm Security Administration on which they have repaid more than one-half. 
They have made good progress, borrowed as little as possible, and repaid when- 
ever possible. 

Because it was necessary for them to move on August 1 from the Fort Riley 
defense area, they were unable to harvest any feed. Since moving they are 
living in a temporary location, inadequate for the children and in a very unsat- 
isfactory condition for winter. They have not received any damages for their 
displacement, and, according to the amount offered the landlord for the land, he 
will probably not be in a position to pay any damages to them. 

The Farm Security Administration has assisted this family with a $100-relo- 
cation grant and is attempting to find a permanent location for them, but to 
date their situation is precarious. 

A 400-acre stock farm with a good house and set of out buildings has been 
operated by this six-;member family since 1927. They were well satisfied with 
the farm and were making a good living. The fact that they had resided on 
the same farm 14 years shows that the landlord was well satisfied with the 
care they were giving the place. 

Because the farm land was in the Fort Riley extension area these people 
were forced to vacate the farm August 1. They were unable to rent a suitable 
farm and are living in vacant buildings on another farm, hoping that through 
assistance of the Farm Security Administration they will be able to find a 
satisfactory place for 1942 operations. 

Rent and feed purchases on the temporary location amount to $35 a month, 
and as they have received no damages from either the Government or the 
former landlord for their dislocation it has been necessary for the Farm 
Security Administration to give them a $100-relocation grant. 

Members of this family are very discouraged and dissatisfied with present 
conditions and it is urgent that a satisfactory new location be found where 
this family can continue their former operations. 

This family of 11 members has a standard loan from the Farm Security 
Administration. They have horrowed a total of $834 and repaid $297 to date. 

Since 1932 they have been operating the same quarter section farm on a one- 
third share, no-cash basis. The land was satisfactory but the house was in 
need of considerable inside repair and the outbuildings were barely sufficient 
for the livestock. 

This large family was forced to vacate when the farm was purchased for 
the defense area. No reimbursement was allowed by the Government, in their 
appraisal of the farm, for the tenant's crops, and it is doiibtful if the landlord 
will have enough equity to reimburse the tenant for any damages. 

The Farm Security Administration assisted with a $100-relocation grant and 
moved this family to a temporary location where, so far, it has been possible 
for them to keep' all of their livestock and equipment. The entire family Is 
anxious to continue farming but because of its size and the amount of available 
labor it is necessary to find them a rather large farm. 

The Kansas Defense Relocation Corporation has been unable to find a suitable 
farm to date. If this family is unable to relocate in agriculture it will mean 
a rather severe change in outlook on life for the nine children and probably a 
very meager living. 

60396— 42— pt. 22— — 7 


Exhibit I 


rstate) ' 

Questionnaire on displacement of farm families 

I. Number of active standard borrowers in your county who have been, or you 
definitely know, will be displaced between March 1, 1941, and March 1, 1942, 
by the sale of the farm on which they now reside 

A. The iiuniber of those farms which liave been or are being sold by the 

following are : 

(1) Federal Land Bank 

(2) Insurance Company 

(3) Individual 

(4) State or County Agency 

B. ( 1 ) The number of these purchasers who are farm operators and 

(a) Who own adjacent land is 

(6) Who own nonadjacent land is 

(c) Who were tenants but are now becoming owner-operators 

(2) Number of purchasers who will operate farm: 

(a) With hired help but will live on farm themselves 

(&) With hired equipment and machinery 

(c) With own labor and equipment, but who will reside else- 

(3) Number of purchasers who are investors 

(4) Number of purchasers who are speculators 

Remarks : 

31. What is your best estimate of the additional number of active standard 
BORROWFRS in yonr county, who will be displaced by March 1. 1942? 

A. Of these, how many will be displaced by other tenant farmers whose 

present farm has been sold? 

B. Of these, how many will be displaced because of landlord demands 

for more satisfactory labor and/or equipment? 

C. Of these, how many will be displaced because of increased rent on 


D. Other reasons for this type of displacement : 

Remarks : 

III. Number of active standard borrowers who will be able to rent farms prior 

to January 1, 1942 : March 1, 1942 

A. Number of these families who will remain in rural communi- 


1. Number who will be self-supporting 

2. Number who may need relief 

B. Number of these families who will migrate to urban communi- 


1. Number who will be self-supporting 

2. Number who may need relief 

Remarks : 

IV. What is your best estimate of the total number of all FARMEnjs, including 

borrowers, in your county who will be displaced by March 1, 1942 

V. Number of farm families who have left your county for employment which Is 
the result of defense activities 

Remarks : 

(Use additional sheets for any additional remarks you care to make.) 



Map Of 

North and South DAKor> 

Nebraska and Kansas 

Farm SecuRiTY 


o/m IS iiiillllll 1^ 

Pir~) CcN T Of 
DispLAc£.o e>y 



Exhibit IV. — Approved liquidations 



Paid in full 




















$6, 146. 65 


$24, 536. 61 
76, 507. 47 




$45 971 61 



55, 540. 24 











164, 576 03 


Exhibit V. — Initial loans, ApiHl to September lOJ/O and IBJ/l 

















268, 487 
317, 762 
165, 468 


140, 0S9 
244, 3S6 


65, 100 
150, 651 




147, 114 

South Dakota 

North Dakota 

197, 539 

Regional total. 


933, 933 






574, 341 




















$72, 591 



83, 273 


$75, 875 
157, 023 
120, 605 


$62, 524 
10, 296 
63, 867 




South Dakota 

North Dakota 


10, 874 

Regional total. 


182, 249 




210, 100 


27, 449 














$8, 505 
49, 061 
23, 763 






Nebraska . .. 





36, 292 

18, 603 


$35, 799 
24, 952 



$33, 417 
15, 220' 


North Dakota 

Regional total. 


76, 709 






130, 764 











$525, 095 
522, 294 
513, 523 


$374, 644 

363, 298 

724, 213 

North Dakota 

444, 902 

Regional total 


1, 977, 332 


1, 907, 057 

Exhibit VI. — Repayments 

Period of— 

July 1 to 15.. 
July 15 to 31. 
Aug. 1 to 15.. 
Aug. 15 to 31. 
Sept. 1 to 15. 
Sept. 15 to 30 

Total -- 

$136, 279. 68 
260, 993. 56 
263, 013. 63 

1, 373, 309. 18 

$198, 433. 33 
355, 004. 93 
385, 006. 53 
535. 686. 71 
629, 452. 78 
637, 060. 01 

2, 740, 644. 29 





:'■-■'■ B-S^^'i 'r-'y.::-. 

7/1-7/15 7/15-7/31 8/1-8/15 8/15-8/31 9/1-9/15 9/15-9/31 



Mr. OsMERS. I wonder if you would just outline this statement in 
bri(>f for us now, 

Mr. Ward. In the preparation of that statement, we tried to adhere 
as closely as possible to the problem at hand, namely, the impact of the 
defense projrram on the farmers. AVe gave a brief introduction of the 
liistory of agriculture in the past 10 or 15 years, and some of the clianges 
that have taken place. The remainder of the statement was based 
upon a questionnaire that was sent out to 298 county supervisors in the 
States of North and South Dakota. Nebraska, and Kansas. We re- 
ceived 270 statements in answer to that questionnaire. 

Mr. O^MERs. Thev are Farm Security supervisors? 

Mr. Ward. Yes ; 'county supervisors. One of the main questions 
was : How many of our borrowers are going to be displaced ? 

Mr. OsMERS. By defense activity? 

Mr. Ward. Yes ; and also because of the fact that they could not find 
farms, or hold farms they w^ere on. Then, breaking that down further, 
we wanted to know what was becoming of these farms. Were they 
being leased out from under the farmers or sold? And if they were, 
who was getting them ? And if the farmers— that is, our borrowers- 
were leaving these farms, where were they going? My written state- 
ment. I think, will give you the answer to those questions. 

Mr. OsMERS. The low-income farmer is your principal client? 

Mr. Ward. That is right. 


Mr. OsMERS. In general, has he been helped or harmed by the defense 
program ? 

Jklr. Ward. I would say that the 3,400 of our borrowers who are 
going to have to leave their farms, out of a total of 35,000. are hurt. 
Many of them don't know where they are going. The balance of our 
borrowers are helped. 

Mr. OsMERS. Those who remain in farming are helped. Tliose who 
are displaced are people of small resources, I presume, and are very 
hard put to find other farms? 

Mr. Ward. Those 3,400 will not be able, according to these reports, to 
find farms for the next cropping year, and they have got to go mto 
industry or defense or elsewhere. Some 700 of them, because of then- 
age, can't find jobs in industry, and will probably be on the relief rolls. 

Mr. OsMERS.' How large has the volume of applications for loans 
been over recent months? ^ , • i r 

Mr. Ward. Since July 1, the beginning of the fiscal year, it has been 
somewhat less than in previous years. 

Mr. O-MERS. Do you attribute that to a more prosperous condition m 

agriculture? « , , , i • •. 

Mr. Ward. Yes; and also to the attitude of the banks, which are 
taking some of these people on whom they had turned down hereto- 
fore, "because economic conditions are better and farm-commodity 

prices higher. • • j. j ^ 

Mr. OsMERS. They can now apply to private loan agencies instead ot 

the Government ? 

Mr. Ward. Yes; because of better prices and better crops in our 

Mr. OsMERS. In what areas are you having difficulty in finding 
farms ? 


Mr. Ward. Pretty generally over the four States, but there are cer- 
tain counties in each State where the condition is acute. I have in 
mind certain areas in central North Dakota, north-central South 
Dakota, seven or eight counties in eastern Kansas, and some parts 
of Nebraska. 

Mr. OsMEKS. Is that because the farms are not there, or because they 
are too valuable for these people to acquire ? 

Mr. Ward. You see, these people are tenants and they have to lease 
the farms, and as I said, the farms are being leased or sold out from 
under them to other operators. 

Mr. OsMERS. You mean to larger operators, corporate operators? 

Mr. Ward. I mean to say that ; yes. Because of the improvement 
in prices, larger operators are now al3le to offer the landlords a stronger 
inducement than our people; in addition to that, a good many land- 
lords look with favor on operators who use big-gage machinery. 

Mr. OsMERs. Which States in your territory have laws requiring 
insurance companies to dispose of farms after a certain period of time 'I 

Mr. Ward. I think all four of our States have such laws. They 
are not all quite the same, but in all four States they allow corporate 
owners to hold land only for so long, and then require them to resell it. 

Mr. OsMERS. Has that provision contributed toward the sale of these 
farms, which otherwise might have been rented out to tenants ? 

Mr. Ward. To some extent ; yes. 

Mr. OsMERS. What happens to a farm family when they are displaced 
in that way? 

Mr. Ward. If they can't find farms, the case is liquidated, so far 
as we are concerned, and they have to seek employment elsewhere. 
Some of them can't find employment. Most of them will be able to, 
except in cases where health or age is a factor. 


Mr. OsMERS. Are those laws leading to a wider degree of farm own- 
ership? That, I presume, was the purpose for which they were 

Mr. Ward. I don't know that that is true. In my own judgment, 
ownership of the land is becoming concentrated in the hands of fewer 
rather than more owners. 

Mr. Osmers. Fewer owners and larger farms and less tenancy? 

Mr. AVard. That is right. 

Mr. Osmers. So that the farmer who is at the bottom of the economic 
ladder is harmed? 

jSIr. Ward. He is greatly disadvantaged. 

Mr. Osmers. By the operation of these State laws ? 

Mr. Wafd. Tliat is right. 

Mr. Osmers. I wish you would describe briefly those areas in your 
region that have had large defense activities, and in which people have 
been displaced as a result. 

Mr. Ward. AVe have one at Fort Riley, Kans., and one at Parsons, 
Kans. Wahoo, Nebr., is also affected. 

Mr. Osmers. How big is the Government operation at Wahoo ? 

Mr. Ward. It is displacing 117 farm families, I understand. 

Mr. Osmers. Are you planning to help those people find other farms ? 

Mr. Ward. Yes; those who want our help. We have already gone 
ahead with other representatives of the Department of Agriculture. 
We have surveyed all those families and found out what their wishes 
are and their circumstances. 


Mr. OsMERS. Is the land involved at AVahoo good farm land or bad? 

Mr. Ward. Very good, most of it. 

Mr. OsMERS. And Avhat sort of operation is beinjr put in there ? 

Mr. Ward. I am not in a position to say what the Government is 
goino; to do, except that it plans to construct an ordnance plant. 

Mr. OsMERS. Is it proposed to destroy the buildings now on that 

Mr. Ward. I don't know what they are doing at Wahoo. At Parsons 
they are selling the buildings out. 

Mr. OsMERS. Salvage? 

Mr. Ward. That is right. 

INIr. OsMERS. Is there any other area within 40 miles of Omaha where 
that plant could have been located, where it would not have taken good 
farm land and still would have served the purpose as well? 

Mr. Ward. Within 40 miles? 

Mr. OsMERs. Within a similar radius. 

Mr. Ward. I am sure there are sections out in Nebraska where land 
is cheaper. 

Mr. OsMERS. It seems to me that the Government's aim should be to 
grade up the farmer constantly and abandon as much of the sub- 
marginal land as possible. Therefore, unless there are compelling 
reasons for building this plant at Wahoo it might have been wiser to 
locate it elsewhere. 

Mr. Ward. It seems to me they could have used a different type of 
land. But I assume the Army had specific reasons for locating at 

Mr. OsMERS. You mean, we hope they had. 

Mr. Ward. With reference to your statement about the submarginal 
land, I would say that a good national policy would be to build up the 
land, even where it is submarginal. 

Mr. OsMERs. I am in full accord with that idea. But you have 
already mentioned the scarcity of good farms, and it doesn't seem to 
me that we should start manufacturing on good farm land. 

Now, how many are affected in the other regions, at Fort Riley and 
Parsons ? 

Mr. Ward. At Fort Riley 125 families are being displaced, and 135 
families in the Parsons area. 

Am TO displaced farm families 

Mr. OsMERS. Were you able to help many of those people ? 

Mr. Ward. Yes. We are helping them very much. We set up offices 
immediately, and to those farmers who were displaced, and whose 
finances were exhausted, we have given grants to move, in the amount 
of $100, and also subsistence gi'ants for fuel, clothing, and so forth; 
we have made them emergency loans to get in possession of temporary 
quarters until they could find permanent quarters, and we have called 
them together in a body and told them what we were able to do, and 
followed through on it. We have contacted every individual family. 

Mr. OsMERs. Mr, Ward, what is the connection between the Kansas 
Relocation Defense Corporation and the Farm Security Administra- 
tion ? 

Mr. Ward. The Kansas Relocation Defense Corporation was spon- 
sored and financed by Farm Security. 

Mr. OsMERS. It is a creation of the Farm Security? 

Mr. Ward. That is right. 


Mr. OsMERs. Do you expect any difficulties in relocating the families 
in tlie Wahoo area ? 

Mr. Ward. We liaven't started that, but our survey shows that only 
70 of those families appear to need the services of Farm Security, out 
of 117. 

Mr. OsMERs. Have they applied to you for assistance ? 

Mr. W.'RD. The 70? No; they haven't. 

Mr. OsMERS. What are your experiences with regard to farm labor 
during the past year? 

Mr. Ward. It hasn't been a very grievous problem this year. There 
has been quite a sufficient supply of farm labor, generally speaking. 
But there have been some spots, and they are becoming more aggra- 
vated as time goes on. I look for quite a shortage of farm labor 
next year in certain sections of these four States. 

Mr. OsMERS. In our testimony yesterday we learned that about 
135,000 young men have gone out of these States to California, for 
industrial defense jobs,^ Do you think you are going to feel the effect 
of those removals? 

Mr. Ward. Before we go into that I would like to point out that 
in the survey that we have made of all our borrowers in these four 
States, about 10 percent will be unable to get farms next year. Of 
all the tenant farmers in all four States, we estimate 7 percent won't be 
able to get farms next year. 

Mr. OsMERs. Is it your understanding that these people are going 
to be displaced, or is it your belief that they are going to get jobs at 
the Martin plant and places like that? 

Mr. Ward. Some of them won't. I think they will have to get into 
other types of work in the defense program. 

Mr. OsMERS. Will you give me an example? 

Mr. Ward. They will be able to get work in some of the small fac- 
tories and plants, and more jobs with the small businesses in the towns 
and cities. 

Mr. OsMERS. Retail consumer goods and services? 

Mr. Ward. Yes. 

Mr. OsMERS. I want to switch away from these immediate problems 
and discuss some of the statements that you make in your paper con- 
cerning the long-range history and the long-range future of Ameri- 
can agriculture. This committee is vitally interested in that subject. 
We are interested in it for several reasons. It is our duty as meml3ers 
of this committee to suggest and propose measiu'es which are most 
likely to keep people wdiere they are, insofar as such policy conforms 
with the necessities of national defense. Needless migration, we be- 
lieve, should be curtailed as much as possible. 

Unless I misread the statement that you have made, we are now 
starting to make the same mistakes we made in 1916, 1917, and 1918. 
And we know what that did to American agriculture. American 
agriculture has never recovered from that. Many of the troubles of 
farmers are traceable to that period. I wonder if you would give us 
that picture of agriculture, starting before the World War and ending 
up to date ? 

1 See Hastings hearings, p. 8311. 


Mr. Ward. In this section of the country for many years we have 
been atllictcd with drought, as everybody knows, and it has been ter- 
rible. In 1936, in the 4 States that I have mentioned, we liad 150,000 
farm families on grants. And more and more farm people, month 
after month and year after year, have become stranded. I know 
that picture very well. I know what has happened to the 4--lU,0UU 
farm families in my 4 States. Their morale, generally, has been 
shattered by disappointment. They have worked hard and planned 
their crops and the farm's operation. As everybody knows, a farmer 
has «rot to do a certain amount of gambling. It is an expensive 
operation. These people have gone through all that, only to find their 
crops burned out in the summer, and themselves destitute. Year after 
year they have gone through those processes. 

The policy of the Farm Security is— and I am convinced perscmally 
that it is a wise one— to keep these families tied to the soil. I lirmly 
believe in the family type of farm, the typical unit that will provide 
a standard of living for these farm families to which they are enti- 
tled—food, clothing, and education, and all that, plus a little extra on 
the side to lay up for a rainy day. 


Mr OsMERS. I would like to get back to the period between 1906 
and 1915. We had a normal agriculture then. Those were the 
golden years of American agriculture. 

Mr. Ward. Very true. . , 

Mr OsMFRS We had normal rainfall and normal prices, and the 
farmer during those years fitted better into the whole picture of 
American economy than he has at any time since. Wliat happened 
in 1916 and 1917? „ , . . , 

Mr Ward. There was the advent of power machinery. Auto- 
mobiles, tractors, and other machinery came m at that time, and 
naturally it took a lot more money for a farmer or anybody else to 
operate That has been true ever since. In 1916-17 we were asked 
to prociuce food for our Allies and our own people Out here we 
broke up the prairies and planted wheat and for a few years farm- 
ers were very prosperous. When the war was over no preparations, 
no readjustments had been made. The important shift m our econ- 
omy wasn't nationally accepted by all the people. 

Mr OsMERS. Are we following now the same fatal steps that we 
took during those years— higher prices for land and commodities, 
and general inflation of agriculture? . 

M? Ward We are discouraging that. We are saying to our people, 
it is a good time to pay debts and a poor time to go into debt. And 
we are trying to get our people to resort to a diversified type of agri- 
culture, to intensification and specialization. We are also tiTmg to 
cet our people tied to the soil by long leases, which is hard to do, or to 
purchase through the tenant-purchase Pi'^Si"?'!^' ^o that we can avoid 
the impact that we had following the first World War. This time I 
think we are going to be in better shape. 

Mr OsMER?. Do you believe that the rise in prices of farm land will 
get so bad that it will become necessary for the Government to fix the 
price of farm land? ^ ,. , • +^ 

Mr Ward. I doubt if that time will come. I think we are going to 
have some legislation to curtail the pyramiding of land by individuals 
and groups. 


Mr, OsMERS. I was interested in your statement that the number of 
farms of over a thousand acres in a certain area had increased 50 

Mr. Ward. That is right. The size of farms is generally increas- 
ing in this area. 


Mr. OsMERS. Do you think that the trend toward mechanization and 
large-scale operations can be stopped? 

Mr. Ward. I don't think the mechanization can be stopped. The 
trend to large-area ownership can be stopped, but it is going to tako 
drastic steps. It is going to take an understanding of the problem. 
We first have to prove that it should be done. It is my own personal 
opinion that in these States out here, we can adequately take care of 
as many farm families as are on the farms now, and that after the war, 
industry will not be able to absorb these people or even maintain those 
who have jobs now in the factories. 

Mr. OsMERS. Do you think we are approaching a situation similar to 
that of large industry, where we will have large farm units and wage- 
hour laws and that type of agriculture ? 

Mr. Ward. It might come upon us unless we take some pretty drastic 
steps to crush it. 

Mr. OsMERS. I see. I would like to say, Mr. Ward, that this com- 
mittee has made very strong recommendations to the Budget Bureau 
for continuance of your work. We feel you have done a very valuable 
job for agriculture. 

Mr. Ward. Thank you. 

The Chairman. Mr. Meissner, you are the next witness. 


The Chairman. Mr. Meissner, will you state your name and address? 
Mr. Meissner. Walter T. Meissner, Sydney, Nebr., common laborer. 
The Chairman. Where are you from? 
Mr. Meissner. Sydney. 
The Chairman. What county ? 
Mr. Meissner. Cheyenne. 
The Chairman. How old are you? 
Mr. Meissner. Forty-eight. 
The Chairman. Have you a family? 
Mr. Meissner. Yes. A wife and three children. 
The Chairman. How old are your children ? 
Mr. Meissner. Twelve, 16, and 21. 

The Chairman. How long have you lived in Cheyenne County ? 
Mr. Meissner. Since the fall of 1930. 
The Chairman. What has been your occupation? 
Mr. Meissner. Farming till 2 years ago. 

The Chairman. What have you been doing in the last 2 years? 
Mr. Meissner. I worked in the Sydney Country Club until last fall, 
and anything I could get from then on. 

The Chairman. What do your children do? 

Mr. Mei«sner. Tlie oldest girl teaches school. 

The Chairman. In that same country ? 

Mr. Meissker. Yes. 

The Chairman. Does she help support the family ? 

Mr. Meissner. No. Just supports herself, mostly. 


The Chairman. Is she a college j2;radiiate? ,, , , , 

Mr. Meissner. She had 1 year of college work, and has been teacli- 
in«r school for three terms, the others are in school. 

The Chairman. Why did you have to give up farming^ 

Mr. Mkissner. Because the farm I was on was sold, and I coukln t 
get another one. 

The Chairman. Were you a tenant? 

Mr. Meissner. Yes. 

The Chairman. You tried to get another farm? 

Mr. Meissner. Tried way u]) into March, until I had to get ott. 

The Chairman. How big a farm, did you operate ? 

Mr. Meissner. A half section— 320 acres. 

The Chairman. What crop did you raise? 

Mr. Meissner. Corn and l)arley and wheat, feed. 

The Chairman. Did you do pretty well as a farmer? 

Mr. Meissner. I did until it was so dry. 

The Chairman. You were able to support yourself and your 

family ? 

Mr. Meissner. Until the dry years came. 

The Chairman. What are your plans for the future? 

Mr. Meissner. I would like to get back to farming, if I can 

The Chairman. You have just been working at odd jobs. You are 
not on regular work? 

Mr. I^Ieissner. I was picking corn when they took me up here. 

The Chairman. Are farms still difficult to find? 

Mr. Meissner. Yes; they are sometimes hard to find 

Mr. Curtis. What did you do with your equipment? 

Mr. Meissner. I sold it. n •, q 

Mr. Curtis. Can you buy it back for what you sold it « 

Mr. Meissner. No. 

The Chairman. Is that true of your stock, too ^ 

Mr. Meissner. Yes. I had to sell everything when I left the farm. 
I had no place to put it. , i x j; • 

The Chairman. What would it cost you to get back to farming, 


Mr. Meissner. More than I got when 1 quit. 

The Chairman. And you don't even have that now? 

Mr. Meissner. No. 

The Chairman. I believe that is all. n i, i! 

Mr Curtis. We are glad you were here because we can t call all ot 
the people in Nebraska who have rented farms and are out now, but 
your story illustrates a problem, and thus you have made a contribu- 
tion to our record. W^e thank you very much for your appearance. 


The Chairman. Mr. Person, of Wahoo. 

Mr. Arnold. Will you give your name and address and occupation 

to the reporter? , ^. , j. ^i •. 

Mr. Person. O. H. Person, Wahoo, Nebr., m^yor of the city. 

Mr Arnold. This committee has heard a great deal in the last tew 
days about Wahoo, and about a bomb-loading plant you are to have 
there We have received a statement from you and also from mem- 
bers of your defense subcommittees. They will all go into the record. 

(The statements referred to above are as follows:) 



November 20, 1941. 
A short time after we learned that an ordnance plant was to be located in our 
county, our city council decided that several of us should go to visit several 
towns that had met up with conditions which might be similar to what we were 
to face. 

Therefore, on October 22, our chief of police, city attorney, city clerk, light and 
water commissioner, and myself left Wahoo to visit Burlington and Ankeny, 
Iowa, and Wilmington, 111. 

We found that they were all agreed on one thing — that it was one grand head- 
ache. They did not know what to prepare for, or how to prepare, or what to do. 
We were informed of many problems which confronted them and which we would 
likely meet up with — such as housing, sewage disposal, trailer camps, education, 
recreation, labor, rents, traffic, law enforcement, and many others. I do not 
know if what we learned on our 3-day trip will be of any benefit to anyone, but, 
nevertheless, it was the only means we knew of to get any information. 

At our next council meeting we tried to relate our findings to the city council 
and later to several civic organizations, so as to partly prepare our people for 
what had to be done to meet the problems which we were to be confronted with 
in the near future. 

I have appointed or organized a defense council for the city of Wahoo, which 
was requested by the National and State Federal civilian defense officers and 
seven subcommittees. I am happy to state that these committees are functioning 
to the best of their ability. 

The housing committee has made a survey of the town and report that they 
find 257 rooms that can accommodate about 536 people, 8 vacant houses, and 9 
apartments. We have also made arrangements with a trailer camp witliin our 
city which will accommodate about 150 trailers. More trailer space has been 
provided for just outside of the city limits. We are helpless to house several 
thousands of people unless they live in trailers. We cannot look after a large 
number of school children .so that their education will not be neglected unless we 
are given help from the Government. 

The one tiling that I cannot understand is this : Why can we not be told what to 
prepare for and what to expect? Surely this could not help but lighten the load 
for everyone concerned. 

I was aho asked to give a brief report on what I learned from the people 
located within the district that is to be known as the Wahoo ordnance plant. My 
profession is a veterinarian, and, therefore, am in contact with many of the 
people in said district. 

I believe nearly all of the people are in favor of having such a plant in this 
section of the country. Again and again they say : "I cannot see why we are 
unable to get any information on how long we can stay. We want to husk our 
corn, or if we cannot will we lose it, etc." I believe about 60 percent are renters 
and the rest own their farms. 

The renter and landowner claim that the Government has led them to believe 
that after they sow their wheat they are assured of a crop of wheat by having 
wheat insurance and are now wondering if that insurance is any good. The 
renter feels that he is not taken care of at all — is paid nothing for his lease, 
has no place that he can rent now and will have to take a considerable loss 
on his machinery if forced to sell, and, above all, that he is put in this situation 
not by his own act. 

Some of the landowners feel that the people who are appraising the land are 
not qualified, due to the fact that they have been appraising land for loans 
only, and for this reason were inclined to have the value of the land plenty 
low. Most of this land is very good and, as many of you know, our country 
before the drought was rated as one of the richest agricultural counties in the 
State. In the year of 1930 our county had an estimated loss of $5,000,000 due 
to banks closing their doors. Since 1933 we have had a drought. 

Taking all of these things into consideration, I believe these people do 
deserve a little sympathy in having to give up their homes. 

In .'summing this whole thing up I believe we have too many agencies — thereby 
leading to jealousy and red tape. Washington should recognize that proper 
housing for these defense workers is of vital importance and no community 
can b'^ expected to furnish the same for a large number. 

When a new ordnance plant is located, defense authorities should make 
immediate plans to help the communities prepare in advance for the great 


influx of people. Governmont funds should be provided to carry out these 
dtfeiisf programs where muiiieipal and private enterprise cannot cope with the 
job efficiently. 

(The following letters and material were submitted with the above 

statement:) „^ ^„^^ 

' November 20, 1941. 

H.vKOi D G. Tipton, 

Field InvesiUjator, 

.iitl-'il2 J'ofst Office- Building, Omaha, Nebr. 
Re your communication of November 12, 1941. 

Der Sir- riease be advised, in reply to your communication and inquiries ol 
the above-named date, that so far and to date we have had no trouble with our 
trallic. health, and sanitation problems. Ihese situations have been well han- 
c;ied and maintained as time went on, and have been under full control at all 

times. , ^, , 

What these problems may be in the near future ; that presents another prob- 
lem Necessarilv, much of that will have to be worked out as problems arise. 
Frankly, I do not believe our sewer system and means of sewerage disposal are 
sufficieii't or satisfactory to take care of an increase in population of from 30 to 
lUO percent. Assuming such increase would come in suddenly, and that is what 
we expect facilities could scarcely be made to meet such sudden demands either 
from the standpoint of financial means, or from the standpoint of necessary and 
immediate construction. 

Relative to the traffic problem; I feel that additional men will have to be 
placed on the police force in order to be in position to cope with a larger prob- 
lem—namely, handling perhaps two or three times the vehicles within the same 

period of time. . , . ^ k^+4-^^ 

We as the governing body, are making surveys elsewhere in order to be better 
able to obviate unnecessary errors which might otherwise arise. We are seeking 
to from other communities which already have faced many of the prob- 
lems which will be quite new to us. We are having committees appointed m 
oi-der that things may be handled in a more representative and practical way. 
If you wish technical data on length of sewer systems and water lines, that will 
have to be procured from the water commissioner. 

Respectfully, _ _, 

'■ Peecy Blair, 

Chairman, Late Enforcement and Sanitation. 

Wahoo, Nebr., 
November 20, 19Jfl. 

Mr. Harold G. Tipton, 

J,11-/,I2 Post Office Building, Omaha, Nebr. 
Dfar Sir : As we have not been organized long enough to know the demands 
and problems associated with priorities which will affect this area, we find 
it very hard to make a report of sufficient value to be used at the hearing of 

November 25. „^ , , ^ -r i i „ i,^i« 

We are anxious to be of service to these affected, and I can pledge whole- 
hearted support by our committee, and we will appreciate suggestions or infor- 
mation on any of the problems. , , . •■ •. <-• 

As the moi-ale of plant workers depends upon good housing and sanitation, 
recreation reasonable prices, choice of clothing, and all household supplies, 
we believe the efficiencv and output of the works generally will be reflected 
in the morale and general well feeling of all the workers involved in construc- 
tion and operation. , , .^^ u 

Having the above in mind, we are cooperating with the other committees by 
helping to solve the problems of the question of priorities affecting housing, 
materials critical materials of clothing, recreation, sanitation, and utilities. 

At the present time we are interested in finding the extent of or the amounts 
of materials to be used for defense activity and what the O. P. M. will rule 
as to ratings for these materials. 
Very truly yours, 

W. H. Challburo, 
Water and Light Commissioner and- 
Chairman Subcommittee on Priorities. 


Wahoo, Nebr., 
November 20, 194 1 . 
Harold G. Tipton, 

Field Investigator, House Committee Investigating National 

Defense Migration, 4II-414 Post Office Building, Omaha, Nebr. 

Dear Mr. Tipton : Your letter of November 12 with reference to my appoint- 
ment as cliairman of a subcommittee on zoning for this city, which comes 
within the defense area and being 6 miles away from the west boundary of 
the proposed bombshell loading plant. As this committee was just recently 
formed, and having met only once, we are not prepared to give the Committee 
on Investigation of Defense Migration much information. 

The city council of Wahoo have passed an emergency ordinance covering 
the regulation of trailers and trailer camps and have also strengthened the 
ordinance covering building permits. We believe it is the intention of the city 
council to pass some form of zoning legislation and it is the purpose of the 
zoning committee to make a study of this and report to the council. 

It happens that the writer is the city engineer of Wahoo, and I might men- 
tion here some points along that line that the city council is concerned with. 
At present, our municipal light and water system is ample to take care of our 
needs. This likewise applies to our sewer system, but with the possibility of 
sudden large increase of population, we feel the Government should be in a 
position and likewise willing to come to our assistance in any necessary required 
expansion of our utilities. We question any possibility of cities of this class 
to provide an emergency expansion along these lines. 

The above likewise applies to our public-school system, of which th'e writer 
happens to be a member of the board of education. 

As soon as our zoning committee has completed a study of our needs and 
makes our report to the city council we will be happy to furnish your committee 
with a copy of same should they desire. 

Respectfully submitted. 

W. G. Johnson. 
Chairman of Zoning Committee for the City of Wahoo, Nebr. 

Subcommittee on Transportation and Highways 

It is difficult at this time to make a definite statement as to our plans with 
reference to highways leading to and from the proposed Nebraska ordnance 
plant near Wahoo. It has been difficult to get any specific information i-ela- 
tive to this bomb-loading plant, as no one has been assigned to this project, 
either by the engineering firm or the zone construction quartermaster's depart- 
ment. It is, therefore, difficult to solve a problem when the problem is unknown. 

Steps have been taken to contact our State highway department with 
reference to the relocation of Highway 34 leading from Wahoo to Ashland. 
Part of this road is within the boundaries of the ordnance plant. The depart- 
ment, at present, is hesitant about taking any action. However, they have 
promised their cooperation when more specific details are known. 

The construction and graveling of a road leading from Wahoo to the west 
boundary of the ordnance plant has also been discussed with our county 
commissioners. The road, which is mentioned for improvement to the plant, is 
located 2 miles south of State Highway 92 and alternate 30 and will lead 
directly east of Wahoo. 

When more information is available as to the location of the administration 
buildings and entrances to the ordnance plant, necessary steps will be taken 
either in cooperation with the county commissioners or with our State highway 
department, to have proper road facilities to these points. 

William Placek, 
Chairman, Subcommittee on Transportation and Highways. 

60396— 42— pt. 22- 

3466 OMAHA iikaiiings 

Wahoo, Nei!R., November 20, I!)Jit. 
Miij'or O. H. Person, 

Wahoo, Ncbr. 

Deur Mayor: I have been requested to make a statement relative to the 
problems facing a commiuuty when a defense site is selected in the vicinity, 
and the plans tal\en to meet the problems. 

It is yet too soon tor us to speak from experience as our problems to date 
are those of anticipation. We believe that we will be faced wiih a distinct 
housing shortage, and that there will bo other problems of health, school 
facilities, law enforcement, and many others of equal importance. 

Our present most urgent problem has to do with relocation of farmers who 
must move to otiier farms, or find suitable residence and employment elsewhere. 
Government facilities are being made available through the Department of 
Agriculture to help the situation, but we believe all facilities yet provided 
are inadequate to prevent adjoining land intlation, and to secure suitable 
location for tenants. 

We are just completing a housing siu'vey of Wahoo and surrounding towns. 
Cards containing the required information are prepared for every party having 
facilities available. In Wahoo the Woman's Club is conducting the survey. 
The cards will be filed by the city clerk at the city hall. It may be necessary 
for the committee to take some action relative to fair rents but so far that 
has not become a problem. 

Walter F. Roberts, 
Chairman, Housing and Fair Rents Committee. 

Wahoo, Neer., Novciiihcr 20, lO'/l. 
Di-. O. H. Person, 

Mayor, Wahoo, Nebr. 

Sir: In compliance with instructions received from Mr. Harold G. Tipton, field 
investigator for the committee of the House of Representatives investigating 
national-defense migration, the following report is submitted. 

The construction of an ordnance plant in the vicinity of Wahoo is certain to 
cause increases in local school enrollments. Those i icreases are more probable 
in the early elementary grades than in tlie upper elementary grades, and more 
likely in the latter section of school population than in the secondary grades. 
The age and the marital status of the average construction worker are the bases 
for this conclusion. 

If the influx of workers and the attendant increase in school population are 
distributed more or less equitably over the entire city of Wiihoo, present school 
housing facilities will permit an additional enrollment in all grades nmounting to 
approximately 25 percent of the present enrollment in all grades. The increases 
that can be absorbed, however, will be greater in the elementary grades than in 
the secondary grades. It is likely that an increase of even 35 percent in the 
elementary grades would be possible, while in the secondary grades, depending 
upon the courses pursued, a 20-percent increase would be a safe allowance. It is 
significant, however, that if the increased enrollments are concentrated in a few 
of the elementary grades, or in any one area of the city, school housing facilities 
will be taxed correspondingly. It is, therefore, a reasonably safe conclusion now 
to say that present school housing facilities are equal to the total population that 
can be accommodated by present residential facilities. 

It is probable, too, based upon the experience of school administrative officers 
in other localities where ordnance plants have been constructed, that d< finite and 
specific changes in the school situation can-'ot be foreseen. It would be in- 
advisable to prepare for increased school enrollments on the strength of abstract 
formulas only. Adjustments will have to be made as problems are met. Incon- 
veniences must be expected, and therefore, pending the stabilization of all phases 
of construction and operation of the plant, permanent solution of the school 
housing and servicing situation must he postponed. 

In the department of recreation a survey is being conducted to determine the 
availability of facilities for the promotion of sports, leisure reading, and enter- 
tainment generally. The comnuuiity service division of the State Work Projects 
Administration has been approached and assurances have been received that the 
utmost in cooperation will be provided. This cooperation will include the service 
of as many full-time and part-time leaders at Federal Government expense as 


are necessary. The local community, however, will be compelled to make the 
necessary outlay for tlie provision of the physical equipment that is necessary for 
the sponsorship of the program. 

Probably the most that the local committee on education and recreation can 
now report is a readiness to go to work in its assigned department of activity 
whenever the occasion demands, and a full sense of responsibility that the 
education and guidance of both the children and adults in the coming change 
will not be a small one. 
Respectfully submitted. 

Paux, E. Seidel, 
Chairman, Subcommittee on Education and 
Recreation Defense Council for the City of Walwo. 

Farm Displacement and Relocation Problems in Saunders County, 




A few days after the War Department announced that a bomb-loading plant 
was to be located in a rural area in Saunders County, representatives of the 
agencies most concerned within the United States Department of Agriculture 
and the Nebraska College of Agrifulture met to formulate a program of assist- 
ance to the farmers in and adjoining the proposed area in accordance with the 
general pirn approved by the Departments of War and Agriculture. This pro- 
gram included the designation of an interagency committee to represent the 
several agencies in their contacts with the representative or officer directly in 
chai'ge of the project. This committee was instructed also to work with and 
through the local people and to offer tliPm the facilities of the several agencies 
in meeting the adjustments necessitated by the location of a large defense 
project in a rural area. In order to determine the extent and type of assistance 
needed, a farm to farm survey was made of the families to be displaced or 
whose farm operations would be directly affected "by the defense project. This 
statement summarizes briefly the results of this survey, reviews the steps taken 
to date to meet some of the problems and points out some of the factors which 
need to be considered if the adverse impacts likely to result from the location 
of such a project in a rural area are to be held to a minimum. 


As indicated, a rather carefully conducted farm survey was deemed essenti;^! 
as an initial step in determining the extent and type of assistance needed by the 
farm families living in or near the project area. After the preparation of a 
schedule, trained personnel were a.ssigned by the Agricultural Extension Service, 
the Bureau of Agricultural Economics, the Farm Socurity Administration, and 
the Federal Land Bank to conduct the survey. The results are summarized 
briefly in the accompanying table. 

At the time the survey was conducted somewhat over 17,000 acres or ap- 
proximately 27 sections of land were included in the project area. Personal 
interviews were held with or schedules obtained for 111 of the 112 families 
directly efficted. Of the 111 families, 5 have made plans for relocation and 12 
live outside the area with sufiicient land remaining so that an immediate I'e- 
adjustment does not appear necessary. Several of this group, however, must 
ultimately face a rather serious reorganization problem. Of the remaining 
79 families desiring relocation on farms, 39 wish to purchase land and 40 wish 
to rent. With respect to the other 15 families, 6 plan to retire and 9 plan 
to enter nonagricultural employment. 

Seventy-three of the farms have all of their land in the area and approxi- 
mately two-thirds of the total land area is tenant-operated. Twenty-eight 
of the farms contain less than 160 acres each, and there is a distinct tendency 
for the pai-t-owner and tenant-operated farms to be larger than the owner- 
operated farms. 

The 95 households furnishing information relative to family composition aver- 
aged 3.5 persons per family and 54 percent of them had members under 21 years 



of afe'o with an avoraRe of 2.1 childroii per family. Tlioro appeared to be no 
relation between family comiiosit ion and tenure statns other tiian that more 
of the part-owner and tenant families had children under 21 years of age. 


Undoubtedly the most serious and immediate problems facing the families 
to be displaced are those of finding temporary living quarters (19 families), 
assuming that they will be asked to vacate during the winter and early 
spring months, and that of finding farms to operate in 1942 (79 families). 
In Nebraska, the connuon lease year extends from March 1 to February 28, 
and unless notice to vacate is given prior to September 1 the farm may be 
held for the following crop year. Thus it will be difficult to find new locations 
and unless they are obtained by the breaking down of larger units or through 
voluntary retirement or change In occupational status of the existing operator, 
secondary displacements will result and the problem will be merely passed 
on rather than alleviated. To assist the families to be displaced in meeting 
these problems, inquiries have gone out to Saunders and the adjoining counties 
for lists of farms that would be available for 1942 either through purchase 
or lease. A survey is also being conducted in Saunders County to locate 
farmsteads that would be available for temporary living quarters. When asked 
to express a relocation preference about 50 percent of the operators having 
a relocation problem indicated in or near Saunders County, 25 percent north- 
east Nebraska, and the remainder indicated other States including Iowa, 
Illinois, Missouri, Oregon, and Wyoming. Sixty-five farmers have asked for 
advisory assistance primarily in locating farms, and 23 farmers have re- 
quested assistance in locating temporary quarters. With respect to financial 
assistance only 17 farmers expressed such a need at the time of the survey 
and this was primarily for rehabilitation. Requestsi for financial assistance 
including that for purchase of land may be increased particularly if difliculty 
and delay in relocating is experienced. 

Operators classified iy tenure status with respect to — 


Type of tenure and number of operators 

Owners (31) 

Part owners (21). 
Tenants (59) 

Total (111) 

To discontinue 
farming for— 





To continue farming- 

made to 



No arrange- 
ments made- 
desire to — 





Type of tenure and number of operators 

Owners (31) 

Part owners (21) 
Tenants (58) 

Total (110) 

Acres and number of farms 






380 and 


Operators classified by tenure status with respect to — Continued 



Persons in 

Households with chil- 
dren or youth under 
21 years of age 

Type of tenure 


ber re- 















Part owners -. 












Type of tenure 


quarters for— 










Part owners . 


Tenants . 








The committee recognizes the need for and accepts without question the location 
and building of the Saunders County and similar plants as a part of the defense 
program. Its only concern and that of the various agricultural agencies is to 
assist the people affected in making the necessary adjustments. 

It is assumed that the landowners will obtain a reasonable price for their land. 
This, however, does not solve all of the ownership or other problems associated 
with the construction of such plants. As an illustration, one case has been called 
to the attention of the committee that of an owner-operator with a rather heavily 
mortgaged farm, one-half of which is in the area and one-half out. Because the 
buildings are on that part of the farm lying outside the area, the appraisal price 
is rather low. This will have the effect of increasing the mortgage on the land 
retained and reducing the farm in size to the point where it has little or no debt- 
paying ability. Although there may not be many such instances, it does suggest 
that all cases should be carefully reviewed and facilities developed for making 
adjustments where needed. 

The problems of primary and secondary displacements and relocation have 
already been discussed and no further statement needs to be made other than it 
would be desirable to use every facility available to hold the adverse impacts to a 
minimum. There are, however, two other problems that merit consideration. 
First, some means should be provided for making direct adjustments to the farm 
operators for recent plantings and cultural practices and other privileges for 
which full benefits have not yet been received. Second, direct effects to the com- 
munity such as the reduction in tax base and interruption of various community 
services sliould be studied carefully and means of securing equitable adjustments 
developed. In addition, the probable impacts of the development of the plant 
itself upon the community should be studied and every effort made to develop a 
proper balance between industrial and agricultural activities and to conserve in 
the adjoining area the recognized advantages of rural life to the greatest possible 



Mr. Aknold. Ill your caiJiicity as mayor, can you tell us something 
about the (lisphicciiKMit of farmers in your country? Where is this 
j)hint to be located in reference to the surround in<; cities and towns? 

Mr. Person. Ai)i)r()ximately 5 miles east fi'om the corporate limits 
of Wahoo and 2 miles north of Memphis; about 2 miles east of Ithaca; 
and a half mile south of Mead. 

Mr. Arnold. What are the sizes of those towns? 

Mr. PiojsoN. Wahoo has a population of about 2,700. Memphis, 
100; Ithaca, not over 100. 

I\[r. Curtis. How big is Mead? 

Mr. 1'erson. Mead is about 260. 

Mr. Arnold. In what direction is Lincoln and how far from 
Lincoln is the plant? 

Mr. Person. The south edge of the district taken in by this ordnance 
plant is, I would say, 25 miles due north and about 7 to 8 miles east 
of Lincoln. 

Mr. Arnold. About 40 miles from Omaha ? 

Mr. Person. Yes. 

Mr. Arnold. Any other cities in the vicinity of this plant? 

Mr. Person. Yutan is a town of about 270 population. It lies within 
4 or 5 miles of the i)lant. 

Mr. Arnold. How nmch land is to be taken over by the plant ? 

Mr. Person. I understand somewhere in the neighborhood of 27 
to 28 sections. 

Mr. Arnold. How many men are to be employed in the construc- 
tion ? 

Mr. Person. I have no idea. 

Mr. Arnold. You and your city officials went to Burlington, Iowa, 
and Wilmington, 111., when you first heard about this project. W^hat 
was the puipose of your trip ? 

Mr. Person. Our only way of obtaining information relative to the 
problems that might confront us was to visit some of the towns that 
had ordnance plants. So several of us spent 3 days visiting the 
plants at Burlington and Wilmington, 

Mr. Arnold. Did you get much information of the kind you 
wanted ? 

Mr. Person. I think we got considerable information in one way. 
In another way we didn't. We are in hopes that the new plant will 
be of benefit to us. At least, we satisfied ourselves that w^e had done 
all we could for our people and the community. 

Mr. Arnoij). Did you find that the officials in those other towns 
knew any more to start with than you know? 

Mr. Person. No. They didn't know anything whatsoever. They 
knew less than we know now — if that is possible. 

Mr. CiTRTis. Are you confronted with the problem of a lot of sug- 
gestions and stories without foundation? Is that one of your head- 
aches ? 

Mr. Person. No; I don't believe so. 

Mr. Curtis. I did not mean to accuse anyone, but sometimes the 
problems that worry us most never show up. You have taken steps 
to meet problems such as sew'erage and housing? 

Mr. Person. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Arnold. But you are in a predicament ? 


Mr. Person. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Arnold. And you have decided it is going to be beyond your 
reach to house all the people to be needed in that plant ? 

Mr. Person. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Arnold. You are going to have Government aid ? 

Mr. Person. Yes. But with that, we are willing to cooperate as 
much as is witliin our power in any way possible. 

Mr. Arnold. Have you any specific recommendations to make to 
this committee about preparing for the impact of what is to come? 
Do you feel that this committee can be helpful to you? 


Mr. Person. I have stated to Mr. Tipton^ that I believe that if 
the Government saw fit to send a man to us who would give us 
some idea of the things that we should do, it would be a great help 
to us. No one has come to us to tell us anything. 

We are not interested in what is going to go on within the ord- 
nance plant. All we are interested in is to meet the problems that 
are going to confront us, such as housing and sanitation, and so 
forth. We had to go out and get the information we have, which 
I am sure is not all that we should have, and we are undoubtedly 
leaving many things undone that we should do, simply due to the 
fact that we don't loiow what to do. I can't see Avhy someone 
couldn't come to us, or have come to us earlier, and given us the in- 
formation that Ave received by going out. 

We have no idea as to how many people might come there. We 
expect and hope the incoming population will be divided pretty well 
among communities of the entire county. 

trailer camps 

I don't presume anyone knows how many will come in trailers. We 
are at a loss to know what preparations to make for trailers. We 
have made some preparations for trailer camps. I believe that we 
can point to them with pride and say: "That is one of the trailer 
camps that is within the corporate limits or adjoining the city of 
Wahoo, connected with this ordnance plant." 

Due to the information that we gained at these other places, we 
saAv fit to start this before they came. That was their great problem 
in those other places. The people came in and they weren't prepared 
for them. They had nothing laid out for them. Our trailer camps 
are all laid out, with streets and all facilities, 

Mr. Arnold. You will need some roads? 

Mr. Person. Yes. 

Mr. Arnold. The President recently signed a bill for defense 

But you don't know where any such defense housing will be built. 
If the Government builds, it might not be in your city; it might be 
in the area of the plant. 

Mr. Person. We are hoping it will come somewhere near us, any- 

Mr. Arnold. You are happy to be getting this plant in your area, 
even though it may bring some problems with it? 

1 Refpronce is to Harold Tipton, field investigator, Select Committee Investigating Na- 
tional Defense Migration. 


Mr. Person. Yos, sir. I believe that we are entitled to some of 
the extra work and responsibility with the rest of the conntry; and 
I also believe the rest of the country should share part of our expense. 

Mr. Arnold. In the way of providing housing and sewers? 

Mr. Pi:rson. Certainly. 

Mr. Arnold. Schools and everything that goes with the enlarge- 
ment of your city? 

Mr. Pkrson. Yes, sir. • -: i 

Mr. Arnold. I suppose you have heard some complamts from the 
farmers who have been displaced? 

Mr. Person. Yes, sir. 

displacement of farm families 

Mr. Arnold. We all agree that it is a very serious matter to uproot 
families from their land and force them to move, but we realize that 
something of this sort is unavoidable. Can you tell us briefly what 
the complaints have been and what the basis for these complaints is? 
Mr. Person. Many of them, I believe, are the result of the same 
condition that confronts us. We had no one to give us any infor- 
mation. Rumors ]Hit everybody into a more or less unsettled state 
of mind, and the farmers, especially the renters, began to be afraid 
they were not going to get anything for moving or for their leases. 
They had taken out insurance on their wheat, and when they took 
this' insurance out they were assured that the insurance covered loss 
from any cause; and they are wondering if this will not be a com- 
plete loss to them of their wheat, and why they shouldn't be entitled 
to compensation. . t ■ *. 

ISIr. Curtis. I think you have made a good point there. It is not 
in the province of this committee to answer all those questions. It is 
your thought that the Crop Insurance Division of the Department of 
Agriculture, the Farm Tenancy, and Farm Security Administration, 
and all the agencies of the Federal Government, should go just as 
far as possible in helping these people ? 

Mr. Person. Yes, sir. I don't believe they are going far enough 
to help the renters. 

Mr. Curtis. I was interested in your statement that there were 
rumors and confusion and fears, and that it has been hard to get any 
information. •! thought you were, at first, describing the citv of 
Washington. That is a busy place these days, and it is not possible 
for the federal Government to foresee some of these things, nor to 
pick men who can tell you more than you know now. But I feel 
that out of hearings like this we shall have some material m the 
printed record that may be passed on to the Crop Insurance Division 
and the other agencies; and we shall urge them to give this matter 
immediate and serious consideration. 

If you have any suggestions, we will be glad to get them, and our 
record will be open. , • x 

Mr Person. I believe the renter is entitled to sometlimg tor mov- 
in<T, and if he doesn't get it, he becomes another problem. If this 
defense project hadn't been located in this territory, the renter would 
not have been confronted with that problem. After all, it is not his 
problem ; it is the problem of the United States. 

Mr Tipton. I have a number of letters bearing on problems arising 
from "the location of the Wahoo plant, which I should like to place 
in the record at this point. 

The Chairman. This may be done. 
(The matter referred to is as follows :) 



Wahoo, Nebb., November 15, 19Jfl, 
To the House Committee Investigating National Defense Migration, 

Post Office Building, Omaha, Nchr. 

Gentlemen: In response to your request for a statement discussing tlie tax 
problems which will arise in Saunders County, Nebr., by reason of the selection 
therein of a site for an ordnance plant, may I state my opinion to be as follows : 

The ordnance plant site will take up approximately 27 sections of agricultural 
land, or approximately 17,000 acres. An examination of the assessed value of 
real property, together with improvements, indicates that the average value of 
this land per acre is the sum of $70. There will be removed from the tax rolls, 
therefore, valuations in excess of $1,200,000. An examination of the personal 
property assessed in the plant-site area for the calendar year 1941 indicates 
that there will be removed from the area personal property estimated to be 
worth $180,000. Some of the farmers who will be dispossessed may obtain other 
farms in Saunders County. Where this is the case, then some tenant farmer 
will be dispossessed. It follows, therefore, that a considerable part of this 
personal property will not appear on the tax rolls of Saunders County for the 
fiscal year of 1942. 

By reason of this loss of tax valuation, the tax revenues of the county for the 
year 1942 will be diminished by a sum which approximates $6,000. The taxes 
for the year 1941, which have been assessed against this real estate, do not 
become a lien under Nebraska law until January 1, 1942. Therefore, in every 
instance where the Federal Government acquires title to any real estate in the 
site area prior to January 1, 1942, the county will lose the amount of the 1941 
taxes, as well. 

Under Nebraska law there is no way by which a county may recoup this loss 
in tax revenue by imposing any tax on those construction workers who will estab- 
lish a residence in Saunders County during the fiscal year 1942. A personal 
property tax may be levied only on those persons who establish a legal residence 
in the county. We anticipate that a large group of the construction workers 
will establish legal residences at Omaha, Douglas County, at Lincoln, Lancaster 
County, and at Fremont, Dodge County, Nebr. There will be imposed upon the 
county of Saunders a duty to furnish proper police protection for persons and 
property of the construction workers and to expend money for supervision in 
matters of health, sanitation, and housing for such construction workers as do 
establish a residence in Saunders County. I have conservatively estimated this 
cost at a sum not less than $10,000, half of which sum will be for police protection 
alone. I do not make any estimate of increased costs for similar services and- 
for the discharge of similar duties by the respective cities, villages, and school 
districts of the county. 

Under the constitution of Nebraska, and the relevant statutes, the county is 
not permitted to levy more than 3.7 mills for general county purposes and 1 mill 
for emergency relief. The county of Saunders is now levying the legal maximum. 
Hence, there can be no increase in the lavy of taxes for county purposes. Conse- 
quently, in order to offset the loss of tax revenues and the increased expenditures 
for public health and safety, the county must reduce appropriations in other 
departments of county government. Since the land which is taken is, for the 
most part, level table land and has given county oflicials no special problems as 
regards roads and bridges, the county is not relieved of any unusual burden once 
the Government takes jurisdiction of the land. The greater burden upon the 
county, as regards roads and bridges, has come from other sections of the county 
where the land is rolling and there is greater need for bridge and road work; 
that is to say, the cost per section of maintaining roads and bridges in the plant 
site area has always been much less than the cost per section of land in other 
parts of the county. The burdens to be borne by the taxpayers of the county 
have not been lightened by the taking by the Government of this large area of 
rather level table land. 

It is assumed that the county may recover some tax valuation at some time 
in the future when operation of the plant has commenced. It is assumed that 
new business establishments may be located in the county, and that perhaps 
values of urban real estate may rise. A prudent and conservative estimate of 
this possible gain leads me to the conclusion that such increase in tax valuation 
as may result therefrom will be inconsiderable when one considers the constant 
burden which must be assumed by the county in discharging its statutory duties 
as regards health and public safety ; that is to say, that the increase in the popu- 


lation in the county, once the plant is in operation, will increase the cost of 
county government to an amount great<>r tiian the possible gain in tax revenues 
by reason of the increase in population. 
Yours respectfully, 

W. T. Glekson, 
Count 1) Attonicn, Saunders County, Nebr. 

Lincoln, Nkrr., November 19, 19J,1. 

Regarding your retiuest concerning the sanitation and healtli problems in 
the Saunders County area, we report the following: 

It is quite evident that the towns in the immediate vicinity of the bomb 
loading plant will need either a Federal grant or loan to meet the increased 
demands for additional water supply and sewage disposal plants. These 
facilities in the main cannot be furnished by the community involved. Some 
of the comimniities will need some additional assistance for enlarging their 
school facilities. 

A health unit should be established with a health director, sanitary engineer, 
sanitarian, and imrses. This unit is now in the process of formation. The 
State health department will need additional a.ssistance in supplying both 
tho funds and personnel either from the State, the local conmiunity, or the 
Federal Government. I believe in this instance the Federal Government should 
furnish the bulk of the funds necessary to the establishment of a proper 
health unit. The personnel of the health unit could assist the comnmnitie& 
in the problems of water supply, sewage disposal, and the proper handling 
of food and milk. A survey is being conducted this week by the United 
States Public Health Service and our State department of health which should 
give additional information regarding the sanitary measures that might be 

The rural area should have the assistance and cooperation of the Work 
Projects Administration and have a preference rating in the e.stablishment 
of the necssary sanitary privy units in order to protect the community from- 
unnecessary contamination. The State department of health is recommending 
a vaccination program against smallpox and an immunization against diphtheria. 
This is being carried out extensively in the Cass-Sarpy County area. We 
recommend this vaccination and immunization program for every employee 
working on this bomb loading plant. 

There should be a more adequate inspection of milk, food, and food handlers. 
The program would include proper garbage and sewage disposal. 

In a recent meeting of all the municipal and county officials in Saunders 
County, a program for handling sanitation problems was suggested. The 
rules and regulations of the State health department should be adopted in 
regard to the trailers, trailer camps, and camp sites. These rules and regiUa- 
tions have been formulated and are now in the hands of the proper municipal 
authorities. There is a splendid cooperation among all of the political sub- 
divisions. The State department of health will continue to assist them as 
the problems of health and sanitation arise. 

A. L. Mu.LE«, M. D., 
Director, State Department of Health. 

State of Nebraska, 
Bellevue, November 21, lOf/l. 
Hakotj> G. Tipton, 

Field Investigator, J,ll-Jil2 Post Office Building, 

Omaha, Nebr. 
Dear Mr. Tipton : In answer to your request relative to health conditions 
arising in this area, due to an influx of defense workers and their families, we 
submit the following: 

1. Adequate school and recreational facilities cannot be furnished by the 
local communities affected by this defense project. 

2. Slightly over one-half of the estimated 1,000 housing units necessary to 
house these Tioople are now under construction. Most of the Hf)! houses are 
financed by Feder:il Housing Administration insured loans and are being built 
by local businessmen. 


3. Most of the larger towns in this defense zone have approved Work Projects 
Administration projects for extension and rebuilding of sewer systems and 
water-works systems. The individual towns are contributing their share to- 
ward the improvements according to Work Projects Administration require- 
ments, but the work is progressing much too slowly to meet initial and im- 
mediate community needs. 

4. At present the personnel of the health department in this area is financed 
entirely by the Federal Government and the State. 

5. Control of communicable diseases in this area is being done by chemical 
quarantine for control of venereal diseases. A program of vaccination and 
immunization is being conducted in this area. It is supported by the State 
and local people. 

Sincerely yours, 

A. L. Milter, M. D., 
Director, State Department of Health. 
Dr. L. E. Kling, 
Director, District Health JJmi. 

Farmers State Bank 
Charter 687 

,^ ^ Ithaca, Nebr., November 19, 19A1. 

Mr. Harold G. Tipton, Field Supervisor, 

House Committee Investigating National Defense Migration, 

Omaha, Nehr. 
Dear Sir : With reference to your letter of the ISth, we believe that the most 
important problems facing our community as a result of the Federal bombshell 
loading plant to be erected in this locality are as follows : 

1. Housing. 

2. Sanitation and health. 

3. Adequate water supply. 

4. Roads and transportation facilities. 

Housing.— We have only three vacant dwellings in town and one vacant 
business property. The dwellings are old and dilapidated and the owners are 
without adequate capital and initiative to go ahead and fix them up in proper 
condition for rental. The business property is old and needs repairs but the 
owner is willing to rent at a small rental, if the lessee wants to repair the 
premises. A long-term lease can be secured. 

Further, with reference to housing, we intend to appoint a local committee 
to canvass our town and farm area, securing the names of all parties who will 
rent rooms, or room and board, so that we will be able to accommodate as 
many workers as possible. We have also discussed setting up a trailer camp, 
but It IS hard to get anyone interested in this proposition on account of the 
capital investment needed to commence this business. 

Sanitation and health.—We have started work on our ordinances in this 
village to conform with the State board of health requirements. 

Water.— We do not have a water or sewerage system, as the assessed valua- 
tion on taxable property in Ithaca is to small to permit such a large expenditure 
as this would require. The assessed valuation of all property in this village 
is $64,615, and the State limits the water levy to 7 percent. If we have a large 
influx of workers, a water system would be imperative. 

Roads and transportation.— Our town is located on a graveled road, but the 
west side of the plant area is 2 miles east of town, and the entire west side is 
located on a dirt road. Unless the roads are paved around the plant and the 
roads are paved to the nearby towns, it is my opinion that the towns without 
hard-surfaced roads will not have many workers living there. They will want to 
stay in a place where the road is good under all conditions. 

8chooU—We have a 10-grade school that we believe is adequate, as 1 room in 
the school building is not being used at present, but in case of necessity it could 
be made into a classroom. 

I trust this will give you a rough outline of our problems, and if you know 
the right solution to them, it would be of great 'help to us. If I can be of further 
service to you, please advise. 
Yours very truly. 

Feed W. Waqneb. 


Ofuce of County Siiebdt, Saundees County, 

Wuhoo, Ncbr., November 13, WJfl. 
Mr. Harold G. Tipton, 

Field Investigator, House Committee Investigating, Oiiiaha. Nebr. 

DicAK Mr. Tipton : In roiily to your letter of the 12th, regarding the problems 
confronting the officials of Saunder.s County. 

Wo had a mcotinp: Wednesday, November f), 1941, at 8: 15 p. m. called for the 
purpose of formulating rules and regulations of camps, mainly trailer camps. 
Following is a copy of part of the mimites of that meeting. 

The county board of health called a meeting of representatives from the 
various towns in the county in the courtroom on the evening of November .5, 1941. 
The board consists of three members: The sheriff, Clarence E. Ilagstrom, chair- 
man and quarantine officer; a physician, Charles W. Way, M. D., medical ad- 
viser ; and the superintendent of public instruction, James F. Callaway, as secre- 
tary. The meeting was called to order by the chairman of the county board of 
health. Sheriff C. E. Hagstrom. 

Dr. A. L. Miller, State health officer, was introduced to the group by Dr. Charles 
W. Way. Dr. Miller mentioned some of the problems which confront us as a 
result of the location by the War Department of a site for the erection of a 
bomb-loading plant in our county. He also mentioned some of the obligations of 
the county. 

Dr. Miller introduced Mr. Filipi, who discussed some needs which confront us 
as a county, such as water supply, garbage disposal, milk supply and source, 
restaurants, taverns, etc. Trailer camps were mentioned as a major problem ; 
housing, zoning, sanitation, etc. It was their desire if any difficulties arise that the 
State health officers act in an advisory capacity. "Codes and regulations should 
be miiforni as far as the county is concerned," he stated, "Cooperation is im- 
portant and rules and regulations should be strict enough but not too strict so 
that they may be met as far as enforcing them is concerned." 

The motion was made by Dr. Person, and seconded by Mr. Cleon Dech, that 
a rules and regulations committee consisting of the county board of health, 
county commissioners, and the mayor of each incorporated town or village or 
someone appointed by him to act as a committee for drawing up a set of rules 
and regulations for the county. The motion was carried. The date is to be 
set by that committee. 

Out of the rules and regulations committee three members were appointed 
to draw up temporary rules, etc., and call a meeting in the near future which 
has been set for Monday, November 17, at 8 p. m., at which time we hope to adopt 
rules and regulations. 

As far as the law enforcement is concerned nothing much was said about 
that at that time. The smaller towns in the county, will no doubt have to put 
on police, most of them have no police officer now. When they appoint their 
men we will then have a meeting to those problems. 

I don't .see any need for making ."jO copies of our meeting as nothing has 
been decided on definitely as yet, if after we have our rules and regulations 
adopted you would want copies of them we would supply them. 

Hoping this is sati.sfactory for the present, and with assured cooperation^ 
I am, 

Yours very truly, 

C. E. Haostrom, 
Sheriff, Saunders County, Wahoo, Nebr. 

Letters Received From Saundp;rs County Farmers 

Mead, Nebr., November 22, 19^1. 
Mr. Harold C Tipton. 

Dear Sir : I am very much dissati.sfied with the deal that we are getting from 
the Government in more than one way. One of the first is the price we are 
being paid for our land. I am an owner and tenant. I think the tenant should 
be paid personally instead of through his landlord. He has his plowing, seeding, 
and has to give up his lease, and whatever the landlord sees fit he may pay him. 
It doesn't seem like the tenant or farmer has anything to say. They come 
and tell him they are going to put a shell-loading plant on his land and that 
he has to get out and no arguments. They send men around to appraise and 


tell you what your property and homes are worth and where you go is vour 
lookout. " o J 

We have to sell our corn for market price when we have qualified for a loan 
of 72 cents per bushel which at the present price would be a loss of 18 cents 
per bushel. A person has to sacrifice his machinery if he doesn't get another 
farm to rent. Then if he rents a house in town to get a job he has to pay a 
very high rent and just where is this money for moving coming from? 

It looks to me like the War Department knows all the answers ; just let them 
figure this out. I am moving about 40 miles. Forty tons of hay to bale at 
$2 a ton, for hauling, $2 a ton, making it $4 just for my hay alone and that's 
only a start. 

I think that as easy as it is to send food and help to other countries that 
each tenant ought to receive at least $500 for his lease and moving expenses 
And again don't pay it to the landowner but to the tenant personally. 

I have enough patriotism in me, that if they have to put a shell-loading 
plant here, well, I am ready to move, but let them show some appreciation too 

Smcerely, a tenant and owner of the shell-loading zone. 

H. W. Lehr, Mead, Nebr. 

Mead, Nebr., 
November 22, 1941. 
Dear Sir : We are writing you in regard to the appraisals value of our land 
the land we think is appraised $45 to $60 per acre lower in value than it is actu- 
ally worth. What we want is market value and if we are to replace our land 
we will have to pay that much or more, and we think the renters should be 
paid the value of their leases also. 
Yours truly, 

Mrs. Mary T. Charling. 
E. L. Charling. 

Mead, Nebr., 
November 21, 19^1. 

Dear Sir : I understand that you have something to do with the mass meeting 
that IS to be held in Omaha for the bomb-loading plant in this county 

Being a young farmer, I feel it is my duty to give you a few points on the 
loss on the renters' side of the question. 

Starting to farm yast year I spent $2,000 cash of my savings for farm 
machinery, being too late to rent a farm for next year. Where am I going 
to draw interest on this money? Besides, this machinery is losing its value 

I have 15 head of milk cows. What am I going to do with these? If I have 
to sell them I know I am going to take a good loss. That also goes for any 
other stock, such as my horses, hogs, and poultry. 

I have 20 tons of alfalfa put up in the barn which took plenty of hard work, 
besides spending $50 for the ground (this again will have to be mowed) Be^ 
sides this, there are oats and other small grain. 

I have fall-plowed more than 70 acres of ground, which cannot be done on 
a cost less than $1.50 acre. I have put in this fall 60 acres of wheat. Rye and 
new seeding of alfalfa at a cost of about $6 an acre. 

Still the Government gave the renter nothing, unless he can collect some 
from his landlord. In other words, if someone have come to me, and made 
me an offer to take my place and I take my things and move, I would have 
to ask at least a $1,000. Now, I have to move and take nothing. 

Besides this, I am giving up one of the best farms in the county. This place 
belongs to Frank Braber. (No relative of mine.) 


Ashland, Nebr., 
November 21, lOJ,!. 
Dear Sir: I understand there is to be a hearing on the complaints in con- 
nection with the ordnance plant in Saunders County, Nobr. My complaint is 
this : We cannot replace our homes with homos of equal productive value and 
convenience for the prices we are offered for our homes. I own 40 acres unlm- 


proved purchasod in normal times, just before the depression, for $150 per 
acre and ajtpraised by tbe Omaha National Co. at .$180. This adjoins the farm 
owned by my fatlier-in-law, which was later to be my home. This land, with 

'6-room mo(l(>rn honse, 28 by 8(J hip-roof barn with 16 by 36 shed on one side, 
31 by 32 donhh' corn crib, 14 by 32 cow barn, IS by 36 chicken house, hog 
house 12 by 24. sarage 10 by 18, 16 by 24 wash house, 10 by 12 meat house 
all in very excelliMit repair and all (>xcept the wash liouse on concrete founda- 
tions and witli cement lloors tliroufjliout is appraised at $131 per acre. Two 
of tlie first farms sold were optioned at $160 and $1(52. HO per acre and one farm 
which I term of the poorest quality farms in the project .sold for $117, while 
one owner, John D. Schmidt, who has 171 acres, some of which is not good 
land and some of the very best in the district was offered an option of $60 

-per acre. I have done soil-con.servation work on most farms in this project 
location durinj: tbe last 7 years of the farm programs. Those top-price farms 
are no more valuable or productive than our farm or some of my neighbors' 

-farms which have a lesser option. 


Mrs. Maggik Dbi:\.n, 

Y lit an, Ncbr. 
Dear Sik: This letter is to inform you of some of the reasons why we do 
not want to sell our farms. 

First, it is our home and has been for 60 years. It is in the dead of winter. 
We are not given a price that we can use to replace it, our buildings are 
the better buildings of the country. 

Our land is the best ; you can't replace it. Our neighbors are tlie best, and 
we will be scattered to the four winds. 

M. D. 

YuTAN, Nebr., November 22, lO^l- 
Dear Sir : We are protesting to the treatment the tenants are receiving in 
the bomb-loading plant area near Mead. 

We are tenants and are receiving nothing for being put out of our home; we 
are told we will be paid for our wheat and alfalfa but, as you know, that will 
be paid to the landlord. 

What we want is pay for our lease, not just for wheat and alfalfa. It is 
utterly impossible to rent another farm at this time of year, that's why we 
should he paid for our lease; we're being put out just as winter is on us and 
no place to go. 

Farming is our business. We stayed with it during the worst drought that's 

ever been known in these parts without taking relief or commodities of any 

'kind. Now that we're to be thrown out of our business we know not how 

soon we'll have to accept relief, and we've certainly never wanted to be on relief. 

Pay us, the tenant, for our lease, that we'll have something to go on for another 

year till we can find a place to I'ent. 


(Signed) Mr. and Mrs. Ivan E. Armstrong. 

YuTAN, Nebr., November 21, lOJfl. 

Dkar Sir : As T have been informed there will be a public hearing in Omaha 
next Tuesday in tbe case of landowners and tenants regarding the acquisition 
of lands and leases by the Government in the shell-loading plant near Wahoo, 
Nebr.. I want to briefly state my own case for your information or the proper 
officials who may desire such information. 

First. I am n tenant on a 200-acre farm and had secured a lease on this farm 
for the next year, which is owned by my parents and their only means of support. 
M.v farming operations consist chiefly of keeping and building up a good small 
dairy herd, feeding and fattening some steers and hogs for the market, besides 
practicing diversified farming in rotation of crops. My point of contention is 
(hat I will be deprived of my business of operations as planned, because it is too 
late to lease another farm equipped for feeding and dairying at this time of the 


year. Where located we have an outlet for dairy products bv being close to a 
large central market— namely, the city of Omaha— also, low' freight rates by 
being in the Omaha milkshed ; the South Omaha livestock market for our finished 
cattle and hogs, which also means low freight rates because of the nearness of a 
terininal livestock market. 

Hoping these remarks will throw some light on the subject from a tenant's 
Tiewpoint, I remain, 
Yours truly, 

(Signed) Herman Bromm. 

Mead, Nebr.. November 2.2, lO.'fJ. 
Deas Sir: I am protesting the way the renter is treated (in the bomb-loading 
plant). I think the renter should be paid directly. And the owner should have 
enough so he can duplicate his place. 
Yours truly, 

(Signed) L. R. Powers. 

Ashland, Nebe., November 22, 19.',1. 
Dear Sir: I am objecting to the price offered for the land and the way the 
renter is being treated in the proposed bomb-loading project. 

I believe the renter should be paid for the crop he has in ^md for the reserved 
lease directly. Most landowners are being offered less for their place than they 
have in them. They cannot go out and purchase land at inflated prices on these 
poor offers. 

I represent my father as a landowner and myself as a renter. 
Thanking you for, and consideration and backing in, our cause. 
Yours truly, 

(Signed) Leonard Laudenschiager. 

Ashland, Nebr., November 22, 19-',1 
Dear Sir: To give up our homes we spent lifetime building, neglecting self 
health, saving, paying down every cent on Federal loan, doing without necessities' 
that we might have a home in old age, that is niy case, as is also case of nvuiv 
others in this district. I could in time get my farm paid off. If the Government 
takes my home from me at the price they are paying, what am I to do at the aee 
of 64 when I get the $3,500 paid off and some back tax. My health poor We 
plead for fairness, that the Government pay us nothing less than our men of 
sound sense and reason are asking for us, so we may be able to buy somewhere 
else a home— home that can never replace the homes the Government is takine 
from us. Please be just with we unfortunate farmers and farmerettes 
Very sincerely, 

(Signed) Frances C. Semenec. 

Ashland, Nebr., November 22, 19J,1. 
Dear Sir : In answer to the question of why I am dissatii^fied with the nronosi- 
tion the War Department offers me as a tenant on the farm of the Wahoo bomb- 
loading district. In the first place. I am dissatisfied because I am left with 
absolutely no means of making a living for my familv in 1942 I am robbed of 
the money it cost me to rent this place and start a crop of wheat rve and 
pasture for next year. You say I should be satisfied because I am elieibl'e'for 
Farm Security Administration. Yes. I'm placed in a position where I must 
mortgage everything to the Government and pay them interest. I must sacrifice 
every freedom I have had. Through 7 years of depression and drought I have 
kept my family off of Public Works Administration, and .'^o forth I h\ve nd 
no charity what-soever. Now, when I have built up a herd of livestock and rented 
a good farm and things seemed to be turning my way, with good prices and 
plenty of moisture, the Government a.sks me to sacrifice all this and the oiilv 
hope they offer is to borrow money and tie myself to them. 



I am told by the GoviTumout men I will bo paid a certain sum for my crop, 
but I will have to settle that with my landlord. 

The War Department is buyinjj; the land from the owners, taking it at fore- 
closure prices, never thinking of paying them for their homes which they are 
sacrilicing or even making it possible for them to pay us even for our crop, let 
alone the fact that we are left without a job and will perhaps have to sacrifice 
our livestock and machiiiory. 

Gentlemen, we feel the War Department should settle with us as individuals, 
as it is absolutely unfair to expect us to force it out of our landlord. They are 
willing that we should be paid but when forced to sell at forcM-losure prices they 
can't pay us. 

If you are in any position to make a plea for us please make it known that 
we should be settled with individually and we must be paid for our lease in order 
that we should have something to go ahead with for the year 1942. 
Respectfully yours, 

(Signed) E.\bt. Robbins. 

Mrs. Earl Robbins. 

Mead, Nkbr., November 22, 19ffl. 

De.vr Sir: I'm one of the many farmers out in the bomb-loading district out 
near Mead which probably will have to move. 

I'm a renter of F. A. Forgette, which I rent 320 acres. And I got all modern 
machinery to farm it with. And I don't think we renters are getting a fair 
deal if tl'ie Government don't settle with us instead of the landlord. Just on 
this one reason cause we will have to vacate inside of 30 to GO days and we are 
not entitled to a Government loan on our corn which is 72 cents per bushel and 
the market in Mead today is only 52 cents. Now, I think the Government should 
take care of that and pay at least $5 per acre because we are all out of a year's 
income, which is pretty hard to take. 

Most of us farmers are not very much flushed with money. It's pretty hard 
to sell out and be without a farm. We could not lay around a year and start 
up farming again. 

All of us renters have been all set to go for next year and this kinda upsets 
things. I plowed 125 acres for corn next year and have all my wheat put in and 
looks like I'm pretty sure of a crop. I have 42 acres of wheat, 
yours very truly, 

(Signed) Johnnie Speckm.\nn. 

Ashland, Nebr., November 23, lOJfl. 

Harold G. Tipton, 

411-412 Post Office Building. 
Dear Sir : My mother is not satisfied with the price paid for her land. She 
lost $50 an acre, or .$4,000. She thinks it is unfair that some people are getting 
more for their land than others. 

We are the renters and have no place to move and no money to live on. This 
puts us out of a home. I have a wife and two small children and no place for 
them. They are not even paying the renters for their lease for another year. 
Yours truly, 

Ki.MER Wagner. 

Mead, Nebr., November 23, 1941- 
Mr. Harold G. Tipton, 

411-412 Post Office Building, Omaha, Nebr. 

Dear Sir: As an owner of a farm in a proposed bomb-loading plant district, I 
am Sony to say, but I am not satisfied with the appraised purchase price of my 
fai'm. Land which is adjoining ours has been appraised at $150 an acre, and ours 
at only $138. The amount of acres is the same and there would not be very much 
difference of valuation of the buildings as a whole. 

Why there should be such a difference in price, I can't understand, for the 
soil is the same. 

This farm is a homestead, and is in the third generation. I wouhl not have 
sold for any other reason. 


I am only asiking for a little consideration on my part. I am a natural-born 
citizen of the United States of America and feel that if this land is needed for 
such a purpose" to protect our country I will gladly sell it, but feel that I should 
be paid what it is worth, and what it means as a homestead. 

Mrs. Rosa Lehr. 

Mead, Nebk., November 21, IdJ^l. 
Mr. Harold G. Tipton, 

Omaha, Nehr. 

Dear Sir : Having been informed of the public hearing on options given on farms 
in this area I feel we are not paid enough for farms. 

I have been offered an option of $118 per acre on 115.5 acres that I paid $132.50 
for a few years ago. I have repaired buildings and improved land vmder con- 
servation program and have not been able to find anything to compare to it in 
quality or nearness to market at less than from $150 to $165 per acre. In fact, a 
tract of land just 4 miles from my home that was listed at $85 sold for $135 last 

We feel the tenants are not getting fair treatment. We have complied with 
the Government program taking 26 to 30 percent of our crops out of production 
to be eligible for a loan of 72 cents per bushel on 1941 corn, and now feel it is 
very unjust to be obliged to market it at 52 cents per bushel. 
Very truly yours, 

Fred A. Forgette. 

Ashland, Nebr., November 2S, 1941. 
Gentleman : My reason for protesting is because I am forced to sell my good, 
valuable land, for a great deal less money than I am able to buy land back for 
elsewhere. I was informed by an attorney that I would be allowed extra for my 
homestead right, which they refuse to pay me anything for. 

Second reason I protest is because of a division on my place for the sale of two 
houses. One belonging to a relative, allowing her a premium for her property, 
causing me to settle the deal with her at my expense, instead of themselves trans- 
acting the business as it should be fairly done. 
Yours truly, 

Frank Semeneo. 

Ithaca, Nebe., November 2//, WJfl. 
Mr. Harold G. Tipton, 

Omaha, Nebr. 
Dear Sir : Just a few words in regard as to why we demand a fair price for 
our farms. 

We are forced out of our homes before we have time to make plans, and com- 
pelled to take homes not as good for more money. 

Tlie great hardships and inconveniences involved — all an added expense — and 
it strikes me at a time when I could realize the height of my ambitions— just to 
have it snatched away. Sincerely hope someone can help us. 
Yours truly, 

Geneva Semenec. 

ASHLuA^ND, Nebr., November 2^, 1941. 
Haeold G. Tipton, 

Omaha, Nebr. 
Dear Mr. Tipton: We are writing in regard to the dissatisfaction we have in 
leaving our present home. 

This is home to us. For this home we have strived through years of labor, 
hardship, and strife. This makes home dearer. 

At the time we purchased this farm we paid $227 per acre. Now we are forced 
to accept a forced sale at a much lower price. Which means we are suffering a 
great loss. 

60396 — 42— pt. 22 9 


It cortiiinly makes it much worse having to have to move in the cold winter. 
We hope we liave given you some idea what this means to uh. 

Mr. and Mrs. Ernest G. Bohm. 

Meai), Nebr., November 22, 1941. 
Mr. TrpTON, 

Omaha, Nebr. 
Sir : We are in the area being taken over by the Government for the bomb- 
loading plant and have signed the option, but felt at the time we were not 
receiving enough for our land, but the Government man at Wahoo in charge said 
it would be useless and costly to protest. We are to get .$1G,4(X) for our 120 acres, 
but felt we should have had $18,000, as our land is as good as any in the area 
and have very good improvements. I understand you asked that farmers dis- 
satistied with prices paid for their farms write you. Would appreciate any- 
thing you may be able to do. 

Yours respectfully, 

C. T. Chaklino. 

Mead, Nebr., November 21, 19Jfl. 
HAROLD G. Tipton, 

Omaha, Nebr. 

Dear Sir: A few lines to say what the Government is doing to us. We got a 
letter last week from the War Department to come in and sign the option for 
our land. Mr. Stamp went in, but did not sign. We feel very much unsatisfied 
with the price they are offering us. We are losing the actual cash that we have 
in this farm of $15,000, not saying anything about the tax and the interest that 
we have paid all these 22 years. Now we been running around for a month look- 
ing for a place to live, which is a great expense of its own, and they are putting 
prices considerable higher since the Government is taking our land. So that's 
what we are facing, have to lose on our farm that the Government is taking, and 
have to pay high price for a place to live again. 

We have come through all the dry years, have made every payment when it 
came due, and now the Government Is putting us out of a home and land and 
our business with a great loss of $15,000 or more, the actual cash we have in our 

We feel it's very unfair. Can there be something done about it? Also the 
Government is unfair to the tenants. They should make a settlement directly 
with them. 


Mr. and Mrs. Fred J. Stamp. 

YuTAx, Nebr., November 2S, lO/fl 
Harold G. Tipton, 

Omaha, Nebr. 
Dear Mr. Tu'Ton : I am a tenant on one of the farms taken in the bomb plant 
area. I have a for 5 years and have farmed this farm 20 years. I also 
rented 400 acres besides the 200-acre farm I am living on. I feed SCO to 600 
cattle a year. T am eciuipped to take care of this business and have not been 
abl(! to lind anything like it. My banker at Wahoo went to I'urlington, Iowa, 
and inffirnied me an operator not as large as I am was paid $:5,()00 for his incon- 
venience and I feel I am entitled to a settlement like it. I also feel I should 
be eligible for a corn loan as well as my neighbors outside the area. 
Thaidting you, I am. 
Yours truly, 




afternoon session 

House of Representatives, 
Select Committee Investigating 

National. Defense Migration, 

Washington^ D. G. 

The committee met at 1 p. m. in the Post Office Building, Omaha, 
Nebr. Hon. John J. Sparkman (acting chairman), presiding, in the 
absence of the committee chairman, Representative John H. Tolan 
of California. 

Present were: Representatives Laurence F. Arnold, of Illinois; 
Carl T. Curtis, of Nebraska; Frank C. Osmers, Jr., of New Jersey; 
and John J, Sparkman (acting chairman), of Alabama. 

Also present: Dr. Robert K. Lamb, staff director; Harold G. Tip- 
ion, and Evelyn Weinberg, field investigators; and Irene M. Hage- 
man. field secretary. 


The Chairman. Will you give your names and addresses, please? 

Mr. Foegette. Fred Forgette, Mead, Nebr. 

Mr. Rogers. Lewis Rogers, Ashland, Nebr. 

Mr. Curtis. Mr. Forgette, how long have you farmed? 

Mr. Forgette. I was born on the place and I farmed ever since 
I was able to. 

Mr. Curtis. How old are you ? 

Mr. Forgette. I am 50, sir. 

Mr. Curtis. You are living on the place where you were born ? 

Mr. Forgette. Yes. 

Mr. Curtis. Is that in the area that will be taken for the actual 
plant ? 

Mr. Forgette. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Curtis. How old are you, Mr. Rogers? 

Mr. Rogers. Forty-one years old. 

Mr. Curtis. What is your occupation? 

Mr. Rogers. I am a farmer. 

Mr. Curtis. Do you live in this area ? 

Mr. Rogers. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Curtis. Do you own your own farm? 

Mr. Rogers. I own 40 acres unimproved, and rented the farm where 
I live. 120 acres. 


8484 OMAHA ukauings 

Mr, Curtis, In this tract to be taken over, how many farms are 

Mr, FouGEiTK, A])i)roximati'ly 180 farms, 

Mv. Cuinis. Do you know how many of those are operated by tlie 
man wlio owns them? 

JMr. FoKGETTE, About 40 percent. 

Mr, Curtis. Tlie rest are operated by tenants? 

Mr. FoRGETTE. Yes, sir. 


Mr. Curtis. In the ijroup attendinoj this hearing;, I'd like to see the 
hands of those wlio are farm tenants in this area. (Hands are raised.) 
Approximately 25 people here who are farm tenants. You two gen- 
tlemen have been selected to speak for the entire group of OAvners and 
tenants. Now, of those farms which are operated by their owners, 
how many are mortgaged ? 

j\Ir. FoRGETTiL I would say about 30 percent. 

Mr. Curtis. About 40 percent of all the farms in the area, or 72 
farms, are operated by the oW'iiers, and about 30 percent of those, or 
about 22 farms, are mortgaged, and 50 are not. 

Mr. Rogers. The mortgages in a lot of those instances may be for 
$500 or $1,000. They are very small amounts as compared to the value 
of the farms. 

Mr. Curtis. How much of this land is mortgaged for all it is worth? 

Mr. Forgette. I don't think any of it is mortgaged for all it is worth. 

Mr. Curtis. This is the section of Nebraska that has got along fairly 
well so far as foreclosures are concerned. 

Mr. Rogers. There was quite a number of foreclosures a few years 

Mr. Curtis. The land that is now farmed by tenants w^as not farmed 
by tenants in the years gone by? 

Mr. Rogers. That is much the case, but not entirely. 

Mr. Curtis. Who ow^ns this land that the tenants live on, the Fed- 
eral land bank, local banks, or local individuals? 

Mr. Forgette. I think there is a small percentage owned by the Fed- 
eral land bank, but the greater percent by landowners. 

Mr. Curtis. For additions to the statement that you men have sub- 
mitted our record wnll be open for 10 days after the hearing. We are 
very anxious to be of as much help as we can. If there are points 
brought out here that may affect the Crop Insurance Division of the 
Department of Agriculture, and if these facts are in the record, we 
shall be able to call it to their attention. 

Neither this committee nor any other committee in Congress selects 
sites for defense plants. That is tlie province of the War Department 
and the Office of Production Management. 

Mr. Curtis. Mr. Forgette, will you give us the facts that you feel 
should be told? 

Mr. Forgette. Farming is our business, and this business is being 
taken away from us. And there are many of us that have been out 
trying to locate farms, and we can't replace farms of like value for 
less than 30 percent to 40 percent above what was being offered us on 
these options. 

Mr. Curtis. What are they offering you on the options? 

Mr. Forgette. Various prices, 

Mr. Curtis. How^ do they run ? 


^fr. FoRGETTE. They rim from $47 an acre to as high as $212.50, but 
there are very few of those. These landowners have drawn up leases. 
These leases are drawn up in September when they plow and prepare 
the fields for wheat seeding, and these leases have been made and 
plans to carry on the work for 1942 have been made. If these leases 
are broken now, it leaves those plans of both owner and tenant 

This land is productive land. We have had a few years in the past 
with grasshoppers and drought. That hasn't discouraged these 
farmers. They are all anxious to keep on without having to fall back 
on relief. We have produced from 35 to 60 bushels of corn per acre 
in the last 2 years. The wheat production ranges from 25 to 40 bushels 
per acre, I have here 5 acres of alfalfa fields that has produced 20 
tons of hay and 21 bushels of seed at $13.90 a bushel, that has been 
marketed. That is land that has produced a crop worth from $41 to 
$79 per acre in 1 year. 

It is very much the same throughout the whole area. Tlie pro- 
ductivity of our soil is unsurpassed, and we have an abundance of 
water supply. That is one feature that has been brought home to the 
people of our locality by those who have been out to find new localities, 
that one of the greatest drawbacks is the water supply, 

Mr. Curtis, You are speaking of wells and water for irrigation, or 
rainfall ? 

Mr, FoRGETTE, Both, 

Mr. Curtis. What is your annual rainfall? 

Mr. FoRGETTE. About 26 inches. 

Mr. CuBTis. Are Wahoo and Saunders Counties in the eastern third 
of Nebraska ? 

Mr. FoRGETTE. Yes. 

Mr. Curtis. How far west would you have to go to find land that is 
at least partly submarginal, very inexpensive, and where there were 
not so many homes on it ? 

Mr. FoRGETTE. About 50 miles. 


In regard to the operations here, I may cite this example : One farm 
was sold in 1926. The deed was recorded January 7, 1927, from 
G. N. Parmentier to Joseph A. Masterer. This was the south half of 
the southeast quarter of section 36, township 14, range 8. The amount 
of the mortgage was $11,915.25. This was recorded in book 62, page 
63, of the deed records. The Government offers at this time $4,400 
to the present owners. 

Mr, Curtis. And how much was that last recorded deed « 

Mr. Forgette. $11,915.25. 

Mr. Curtis. Was that an actual cash transaction or some family 
arrangement ? 

Mr. Forgette. I don't know. 

Mr. Curtis. But so far as you do know, it was a bona fide sale? 

Mr. Forgette. Yes. Here's another first mortgage, recorded April 
27. 1931, book 55, page 77, Federal Land Bank to H. McElfresh, west 
100 acres of the southwest quarter, section 36, township 14, range 8, 
for $5,400. A second mortgage recorded December 21, 1933, book 6l' 
page 615, Land Bank Commission to H. McElfresh, on west 100 acres 
of the southwest one quarter, section 36, township 14, rano-e 8 $1 600 

?°^" ^1]^^ ^^^ ^^^^ *^ ^^^^ Government and it has been signed over 
for $8,700.50, ^ 


INrr. Ci RTis. Mr. Roo;('r,s, do you cure to discuss this situation ? 

Mr. KoGEi?s. First I have the case of an individual renter, a man 
who handles four to five hundred cattle per year, a man that V)uys and 
feeds cattle and puts them on the nuirket, and he does approxnnately 
$25,000 business a year. The man is a neighbor of mine. He has no 
place to go to. It is impossible to find a place for rent. That is the 
case of one renter. 

Mr. CiRTis. You are pointing out that he has a business in that 
community that de])ends u]ion his reputation and ability and his 
knowledge of farming, and that with the necessity of moving, thai 
business is gone, even though he may own no land on which you can 
put a dollars-and-cents value. 

Mr. Rogers. That is right. It upsets his financial program to tlie 
extent that he M'ill be out that $25,000 business. 


Here's the case of another farmer. He has a lease on a farm, with 
the option to buy the farm, and now, of course, he loses the option 
as well as his lease. This is the time of year when farms are rented 
for another year. They hold the lease open until the 1st of December 
or, in some cases, the Ist of January, and it has been practically im- 
possible for those who are looking for a farm to rent to find one. 
There are a few farms that no one else would have, and that is the 
thing we are up against as renters or tenants. 

These tenants are not the migratory type that move from year to 
year. A number have been on those places for years. I myself have 
lived on my farm 20 years. In that 20 years I have accumulated 
a herd of cattle, a buiich of hogs, and at the present time we have 
about 240 laying hens, doing very good. 

Mr. Curtis. Do you have a place to go to? 

Mr. Rogers. I do not. 

Mr. Curtis. What will you do with your livestock? 

Mr. Rogers. I wish I knew. I don't. 

Mr. Curtis. When is the deadline? When do you have to get off? 

Mr. Rogers. We don't know. 

Mr. Curtis, Have they given you any definite idea ? 

Mr. Rogers. They sav iO days, 2 months, or possibly until spring. 
They all say, "Don'Y quote me, I can't tell you." And that is the only 
answer we get. 

:Mr. Curtis. In reference to the land that you rent— not that which 
you own— what part of that loss do you think they will pay you for— 
the loss of your position as a tenant, which you have built up for the 
past 20 years ? Do they pay you for growing crops ? 

Mr. Rogers. They pay the landlord $5 an acre for crops seeded in the 
fall_^vheat, rye, gras&\ They figure that that will cover the cost of 
actual expenses of putting in the cro[). Other than that, the tenant 
isn't considered at all. 

Mr. Curtis. For wheat planted in August or September, the tenant 
doesn't get anything? 

Mr. Rogers'. They i)ay it to the landlord, and if he will pay it to 
the tenant, that is all well and good, but there is no law to compel him 
to do it. 

Mr. Curtis. In your community, who furnishes the seed? 

Mr. Rogers. The tenant, as a rule. 

Mr. Curtis. And who does the plowing? 


Mr. RoRERs. The tenant. 

Mr. Curtis. And it is his equipment that is used? 
Mr. Rogers. Yes. 

Mr. Curtis. And so far as you know they don't pay him for his loss 
of growing crops and planted crops ? 


Mr. Rogers. Well, my landlord has received an option. He hasn't 
signed his option, and I, being the tenant, I have received no con- 
sideration at all, and if I get anything I will have to get it from the 
landlord. We are not getting any consideration from the buying 

Mr. Curtis. Has anyone come in there with actual authority, any- 
one who notified the tenant that he had to get off by a certain time? 

Mr. Rogers. As far as I know tliere has been no notification that 
anyone has to get off at a definite time. There have been some hearsay 
stories but if you try to check up on such stories at the office, they say 
that is merely rumor. 

Mr. Curtis. Does most every farm have some fall wheat on it? 

Mr. Rogers. Yes : most farms do. 

Mr. Curtis. How is it looking ? Pretty good ? 

Mr. Rogers. It is looking fine so far. 

Mr. Curtis. That wheat is insured? 

Mr. Rogers. Yes. 

Mr. Curtis. With the Government crop insurance? 

Mr. Rogers, Yes; the Government crop-insurance program. Our 
crop-insurance applications have been accepted. We have acceptance 
receipts from the Kansas City office, and we have complied with the 
farm programs to a great extent, through the area, and are entitled 
to loan value for corn. Now they say that we will just have to put it 
on the market, and there is no provision that we wdll be paid the 
difference between the market value and the loan value to which we 
are entitled through cooperation wdth the farm program. 

Mr. Curtis. If you have been cooperating with the farm program, 
you can usually get a loan on your corn, but this year there is no 
jjlace to store the corn, and so you don't get a loan and loan value? 

Mr. Rogers. That is right. We will have to take what we can get, 
and the market price is 45 or 46 cents whereas the loan value is 72 

Mr. Curtis. Have any officials of the Crop Insurance Corporation 
of the Department of Agriculture notified the people whether they 
had any income by reason of their growing crops in this manner? 

Mr. Rogers. We had a meeting of the precinct supervisors in the 
county office. They had wired Washington for an opinion as to 
whether there would be any compensation on these insurance appli- 
cations, and since then they have notified us that there will be no 

Mr. Curtis. Was the answer by telegram? 

Mr. Rogers. Yes. 

Mr. Curtis. Do you know who sent it ? 

Mr. Rogers. I wouldn't know who sent it, but George R. Newsham 
is the chairman. 

Mr. Curtis. Would it be possible to get a copy of the telegram that 
went to Washington and a copy of the reply for our record? 

Mr. Rogers. I will do my best to get that. 


Mr. Curtis. The iiulividuals Avhoso farms are mortgaged are in 
about the same ]n-edic'amont as the tenant? 

Mr. Rogers. That is right. 

Mr Cuims There it is a question not of doUars-and-cents value ot 
the hmd, but of the farmer^s phans for sowing and growing crops and 
wliere to put his livestock and machinery, and the loan value ot the 
corn that he has earned by participating m the program. 

Mr. Rogers. That is right. , , ^ , • £ \ a 

Mr Curtis. A few moments ago I asked for a showing of hands 
of how many tenants were here who had lived in this area of 28 sec- 
tions that will be taken for this plant, and I counted about 25 hands. 
I would like to know how many of those men know where they are 
going and have already got a farm outside the area i [i^even lianas 

^^Now how many have not been able to get a farm but have been able 
to find 'a place to put their livestock and machinery without selling 
it? [Six hands raised.] . . ,^^ 

Mr FoRGirTTE. There is one question that comes to my mind here. 
I have just heard that there is a man in the audience here today who 
has been given 10 days to finish picking his corn. 

Mr. Curtis. Is that man here ? 

Mr. FoRGKiTE. His name is Roy Johnson. 

Mr. Curtis. Is Roy Johnson here ? 

(No response.) 


Mr. Forgette. Is Blair Fogel here? 

Mr. FoGEL. Here. , , . j 

Mr. Curtis. Will you please come forward and give your name and 

address for the record ? 

Mr. FoGEL. Blair Fogel, Mead, Nebr. 

Mr. Curtis. How long have you lived on that f ami i 

Mr. FoGEL. Five years. 

Mr. Curtis. Who owns it ? 

Mr. FoGEL. Estate of Fogle Ostenberg. 

Mr. Curtis. How big a farm is it? 

Mr. Fogel. One hundred and sixty acres. 

Mr. Curtis. And yon have a notice that you have to get your corn 
picked and set oif the land? . i .i • 

J^Ir. Fogel. It is two 80's. The house is on one and they give me 
10 days to get that north 80 out. I don't live on it. 

I^Ir. Curtis. Who gave you the notice ? 

Mr. Fogel. ;My landlord. 

Mr. Curtis. No official from the Government or contractor tor the 

bombing plant? 
Mr. Fogel. No. 

Mr. Curtis. Is it a written notice? 
]SIr. Fogel. No. 

Mr. Curtis. Do you have a place to go? 
Mr. Fogel. No. 



Mr. Curtis. Do you have a place to put your livestock and 
machiner}' ? 

Mr. FoGEL. No. 

Mr. Curtis. Now, is there anyone else here who has received a notice 
to <ret out ? 

[No answer.] 

Mr. Curtis. Now, I will address a question or two to the entire 
group attending this hearing. These gentlemen have mentioned the 
difficulty in arriving at a fair price and the problem of finding a place 
to go, for both landlord and tenant. The questions of your crop insur- 
ance, and what to do about your livestock and machinery if you don't 
have a new farm, have been discussed. Is there any other point that 
anybody would like to bring up ? 

i wonder if you men would provide for our printed record a copy 
of your crop-insurance contract that you have with the Crop Insurance 
Corporation of the Department of Agriculture. 

(The contract referred to is as follows:) 

Form FCI212-W 

United States Depaetment of Agricultube 

federal crop insurance corporation 

(State and county code and application number) 


(Pursuant to the Federal Crop Insurance Act, approved February 16, 1938, as 


The Federal Crop Insurance Program for wheat is part of the general agricul- 
tural program of the Department of Agriculture administered for the benefit of 

1. Applicant: Name of applicant: F. A. Forgette. Address of applicant: 
Mead, Nebr. 

2. The undersigned applicant hereby applies to the Federal Crop Insurance 
Corporation for 75 percent insurance on his interest in the wheat crop for the 
crop year 1942 on each and every farm located in Saunders county, state of Neb- 
raska, in which he has an interest at the beginning of the seeding of the wheat crop 
against loss in yield of wheat due to drought, flood, hail, wind, frost, winterkill, 
lightning, fire, tornado, storm, insect infestation, animal pests, plant diseases, 
excess or deficient moisture, incursions of animals, and against loss in yield due 
to other unavoidable causes not specifically mentioned herein. The insurance 
applied for by the undersigned applicant shall attach only to the interest which 
an applicant has in the wheat crop on the farm at the time of the beginning of 
the seeding of the wheat crop on the farm. The insurance hereby applied for 
shall not cover damage to quality, or loss in yield caused by overpasturage, or by 
the neglect or malfeasance of the insured or any person in his household or em- 
ployment or connected with the farm as tenant, sharecropper, or wage hand, or 
by theft, or by overplanting, use of defective or unadapted seed, failure properly 
to prepare the land for seeding, or properly to seed, harvest, thresh, or care for 
the insured crop, or by failure to reseed to wheat in areas and under circum- 
stances where the Corporation determines it is customary to reseed. 

3. It is understood and agreed between the applicant and the Corporation that 
this application, the required notice of seeding, and the 1942 Wheat Crop Insur- 
ance Regulations issued pursuant to the provisions of the Federal Crop Insurance 
Act, as amended, shall constitute the applicant's insurance contract. The Cor- 
poration will not be bound by any act or statement made to or by its agents or 
representatives restricting its rights or powers or waiving the written or printed 
provisions of the contract. 

4. Representations of Applicant : 














farm No. 



acres in 


Name of owner 

Farm name, location of 
fa rm, or legal descrip- 
tion of farm 

in wheat 


yield per 





F. A. Forgette 

1^2 E 3 S. of Mead.... 




5. It is understood and agreed that the data listed on tlie attached continua- 
tion sheet, if any, is hereby made a part of this application for wheat-crop insur- 

0. It is understood and asrood that insurance shall attacli to the farm(s) 
listed in this application, including the atlachod continuation .<^hoot, if any, as well 
as any other farni(s) in the county in which the applicant has an interest at the 
time of the hoginning of the seeding of the wheat crop on sucli farm(s) based on 
the yields and rates approved by the Corporation for such farm(s). 

7. Acceptance of this application by the county committee shall be acceptance 
on behalf of the Corporation, provided, hotoever, that the average yield (s) and 
the premium rate(s) specified in this application or in the accompanying continu- 
ation sheet, if any, are in accordance with the average yield (s) and premium 
rate(s) approved by the Corporation for the farm(s) covered by this application ; 
and provided further, that this application is submitted in accordance with the 
provisions of the application the 1942 Wheat Crop Insurance llogulations, and 
any amendments thereto. Acceptance of this application shall be evidenced by 
the delivery to the applicant of a copy of the application signed by a member of 
the county committee. Confirmation by the Corporation of the acceptance shall 
be evidenced by the issuance of a notice to the applicant. 

8. Any payment in excess of the premium finally determined shall be refunded 
to the person making such payment. 

9. The applicant hereby warrants that the information, data, and representa- 
tions submitted horowith are true and correct and are made by him, or by his 
authority, and shall be taken as his act. 

30. Cass of wheat to be used as the basis for the payment of premium and 
indenmity (Such class of wheat must be a class normally grown in this area) : 
No. 2 Hard Winter. 

11. The undersigned applicant does agree to participate in the 1942 
Agricultural Conservation Program. In the event that the undersigned applicant 
is not participating in the 1942 Agi'icultural Conservation Program, payment 
must be inade on the note of that part of the premium in bushels computed on the 
acreage allotment or permitted acreage, whichever is applicable, on all farms 
listed in paragraph 4 of Form FCI-212-W (including those listed on Form FCI- 
212A-W) at the time that Form FCI-212-W is submitted to the office of the 
county conunittee. 

12. Note. — On or before the matui'ity date shown on the reverse side hereof 
applicable for the state indicated in paragra]>h 2 above, the undersigned promises 
to pny to the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation the premium on the wheat 
crop insurance application identified by the serial number above. The premium 
for this application shall be the sum of the premiums in bushels of wheat for the 
farm(s) covered by this application, and shall bo (letermino(l in accordance with 
the 1042 Wheat Crop Insurance Regulations. Such note shall not hear interest 
either before or after maturity. 

If this note is paid prior to maturity, it shall he payable either in wheat or its 
cash equivalent. After maturity, payment shall be made only in the cash 

A premium payment in wheat shall be made in the form of a warehouse receipt, 
or other instrument acceptable to the Cori)oration, representing salable wheat. 
The cash equivalent of the premium shall be determined l)y multiplving the num- 
ber of bushels of wheat of the applicable class and grade constituting said pre- 
mium by the price of such wheat at the current basic market designated by said 
Corporation, less the price differential established by the Corporation pursuant 
to the 1042 Wlieat Crop iTisuranco Regidatioiis. The price of such wheat at such 
current basic market shall be the price for the day when this note matures or, 


in the event this note is paid before the date of maturity, the price for the day 
when this note is paid. 

In the event that a certificate of indemnity is presented to the Corporation for 
settlement, or to the Commodity Credit Coi-poration for a loan, befoi*e the matu- 
rity date shown on the reverse side hereof applicable for the state indicated 
in paragraph 2. above, the maturity date of this note shall become the day the 
cash equivalent is established for purposes of settlement or the day application 
for such loan is made, as the case may be. 

And further, if tliis note is not paid at maturity, the undersigned applicant 
hei'eby authorizes : 

(a) The Federal Crop Insurance Corporation to apply any amount which is on 
deposit with such Corporation for the payment of this note ; 

(ft) The Federal Crop Insurance Corporation to deduct the unliquidated 
amount of this note from any indemnity payable to the undersigned under any 
1942 wheat crop insurance contract: 

(c) The Commodity Credit Corporation to deduct the amount of the cash equiv- 
alent hereimder from any commodity loan made or which may be made to the 
under.iigned on any wheat ; and 

(d) The Secretary of Agriculture to deduct the amount of the cash eqiaivalent 
hereunder from any payment or payments to which the undesigned applicant is 
now or may hereafter become entitled under Sections 8 to 17 of the Soil Conserva- 
tion and Domestic Allotment Act, as amended, or any other act or acts of Con- 
gress administered by the United States Department of Agriculture. 

33. Signature of applicant. — 

(Date) : Aug. 12, 1941. F. A. Fobqette. 

14. Certification and acceptance by the county committee. — ■ 

The undersigned member of the county committee certifies for the county com- 
mittee that, after careful examination of representations and data set forth 
above, such committee has determined that to the best of its knowledge and belief 
such representations and data are true and correct. It has been determined that 
the signature appearing above has been affixed by the same person whose name 
appears in paragraph 1 above or if the signature has been affixed by a person who 
signs as fiduciary or agent, if any, that such fiduciary or agent has authority to 
act in the capacity shown. 

(Date of acceptance) Aug. 23, 1911. 

(Signature of county committeeman) John F. LuBKEat. 

(For the County Committee.) 

applicant's copy 

Matukit\' Dates by States of the Note Shown in Paragraph 12 op This Form 

July 10: Arizona. Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas. 
July 15 : Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri. 
July 22 : Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Iowa. 

July 25: Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylva- 
nia, Virginia, New INIexico. 
July 30 : Kansas. 

August 11 : Colorado, Utah, Idaho, Michigan. 
August 15 : Nebraska. 
August 18 : Washington, Oregon. 

August 20: California, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Nevada. 
August 22 : South Dakota, Wyoming. 
August 29 : North Dakota. Montana 


Mr. Rogj:rs. I might mention my own case in connection with my 
40-acre tract I bought in 1929, when corn was 62 cents on the market. 
But what is it now? That was just before the depression, and I paid 
$6,000 for that 40 acres. It was appraised by a man from the Omaha 
National Co., in connection with the Omaha National Bank, at $180 
per acre, for a loan, and I have been offered an option of $3,630 on 
that 40. If I accept that option, which I may have to do, I can't pay 


Mr. Curtis. It is your understanding^, f^entlomon, tliat the tenant 
farmer does not <^et anything for the growing crops which he must 

Mr. KoGERS. This man [pointing out Mr. Fogel] had an option a 
week or so ago. It was given watli a consideration for the growing 
crop, added to the option for the land and buildings. 

Mr. Fogel. And there has never been any mention made to me 
about the money that I might or might not get. 

Mr. Curtis. If that is true, it is a great surprise to me, and I want 
you to know when I return to Washington I will take up that ques- 
tion. It may be a detail they haven't reached yet. 

Mr. Arnold. I would just like to ask if the $5 payment you have 
mentioned is sufficient w^hen divided between the landlord and the 

i^ppRAISAL procedures 

Mr. Rogers. Mr. Carmody told me that they went to the Depart- 
ment of Agriculture at Lincoln and got a figure on the cost of seeding 
on acreage of that sort, and they said about $3.60 per acre was a fair 
estimate. Mr. Carmody said, "We are going to be liberal about it, 
and we will just make it $5 an acre." 

Mr. Arnold. But the tenant gets half the crop, ordinarily, and so 
should have half of it. You work on a share basis, do you not ? 

Mr. Rogers. After the grain is produced it is delivered to the mar- 
ket on a share basis, but this was to cover the expense of putting in 
the crop. 

Mr. Arnold. Therefore, the tenant should have all of it. 

Mr. Rogers. That is the way I see it. 

The Chairman. I am a member of the Military Affairs Committee, 
and I happen also to be a member of the subcommittee which is 
charged with the responsibility of investigating the acquisition of 
land for the construction of defense projects. We have had a good 
many hearings with that subcommittee on just such problems as yours. 
In most instances things have worked out very nicely. We have found 
that in many cases difficulties were simply anticipated and never did 
materialize. Many so-called troubles were based on rumor which 
proved in the end to have been unfounded. For example, the point 
that you have just mentioned — that the tenant will not receive a share. 
I can't conceive of that as being possible, because it is not logical, and 
I am not so sure that the Government could obtain clear title to the 
land if the tenant's interest — and certainly he does have an interest — 
w^as not satisfied. I don't see how the Government could have clear 
title. I believe that when the time comes for the money to be paid 
the tenants will be taken care of. 

Our committee has insisted all along, in the procedure of land ac- 
quisitions of the War Department, that fair and just treatment be 
given to the landowners and to the tenants, and I believe it will be done. 

We have run into some cases where difficulty arose from the fact that 
those who were appraising the land weren't familiar with the type of 
soil or the type of farming done in those particular cases. 

I might mention one case, which hud to do with the acquisition of 
land for the very large chemical warfare arsenal that is being built in 
my home town. The project requires some 40,000 acres, and some of 
the very best farm land to be found aaywhere. 


By the way, in this connection let me say that it is not always pos- 
sible to place these plants in such a "way as to use submarginal land, 
because of transportation, availability of water, roads, contours of the 
land, and the like. A good many factors enter into it. 

But for this chemical warfare arsenal at Huntsville, Ala., some 
40,000 acres have been taken over. The Land Acquisition Division sent 
in appraisers who were familiar with that type of soil, and as a result 
there was practically no difficulty. I don't believe there were 10 cases 
that hud to be taken into court by reason of the failure of the parties 
to reach an agreement. A good many cases had to be taken into couit 
in order to clear title. 

We ran into another situation down in Neosho, Mo., where undoubt- 
edly the land appraisers sent in were not familiar with the type of land 
and agriculture there, and as a result there was a great deal of dif- 
ficulty. Our subcommittee held hearings and carried our findings to 
the War Department. They made every effort to make a satisfactory 
adjustment, and I believe they did work it out pretty well. 

We have had no hesitancy in saying to the landowners that the Gov- 
ernment does not want to take their land for less than its true value, 
and that reexamination of the case will be made if any landowner is 
dissatisfied with the price that is offered by the appraisers or in the 
negotiations, regardless of what anyone might say to him about the 
length of time that it might take to have a fair settlement in court. 
It has been our opinion in that committee that the landlord or the 
owners ought to keep in mind that they have ample opportunity to go 
into court and have a jury assess the value of their land, and no agent 
of Government should seek to discourage the landowners from taking 
that procedure by trying to scare them as to the length of time or the 
cost or anything like that. It is normal procedure for the Govern- 
ment to deposit in court an amount of money covering the appraised 
value of the land, and ordinarily the court lends the landowner prac- 
tically all of that money in order to enable him to provide himself 
with another place and get himself set up while waiting for the wheels 
of justice to turn. We have taken the opportunity on every occasion 
to advise the landowners that they were entitled to those rights and 
no agent of the Government should try by persuasion or threats to 
prevent them from taking that recourse. 

Now, I have suggested to someone today that it would be well to 
write a letter to the subcommittee of the Military Affairs Committee, 
which is directly concerned with this problem. This committee on 
Defense Migration is interested in the subject mainly in its relation- 
ship to the displacement of population and the stranding of people, 
but the Military Affairs Committee is directly interested in the actual 
transactions with these landowners. That committee is charged with 
that duty by Congress. So I suggest that the matter be taken up with 
Representative R. Ewing Thomason. of Texas, who is the ranking 
member of the House Military Affairs Committee, and address it to 
the House Office Building, Washington, D. C. If that is done, this 
subcommittee will be glad to hear your protests, wliatever their nature 
may be, and see that the matter is satisfactorily adjusted. 

Mr. CuitTis. One of our clerks will wait on you outside and give you 
directions as to where to submit additional information. I think that 
covers the matter insofar as this committee has anything to do with it, 
because, as Mr. Sparkman stated, we have no authority to act in the 

g494 (t.MAiiA iii:a|{i.\(;s 

Mr. FoRGEiTE. I would like to make a .suir^cstioii, that tlie tenants 
settle directly, and not tliroutrh the landlords. 

Mr. Curtis. I think you will lind that the tenant has a right, and no 
one can bargain it away from him. Insofar as possible, don't rely on 
anybody's story until you are sure he knows what he is talking about 
and has authority to speak. 


Mr. Hanke. Our tenant^, as a rule, since the depression and drought 
have been making their living from the income received from the sale 
of dairy products, poultry, and eggs, and the way prices are now they 
are making a fair living, and that means of livelihood is taken away 
from them if they cannot get a place. This means that they will have 
to sell their milk cows and chickens, thus taking away their income. 

These milk cows cannot be replaced in less than 4 or 5 yeai-s, and 
it is almost impossible to buy good cows, as farmers will not sell their 
best cows but only culls. Farmers have learned to depend on these 
incomes entirel3^ therefore they will not sell cows which more than 
pay their way. That is the condition in our neighborhood at present. 

Farms are usually rented in the fall, and at this time there are none 
available, as most of them are rented; if they have to give up these 
farms, where can they find others ? 

Mr. Curtis. You are Mr. Hanke ? 

Mr. Hanke. Herman Hanke, Ithaca. I ain an owner involved in 
this project. 

Mr. Curtis. Thank you very much. 


The Chairman. Our next scheduled witness was to be the Honor- 
able George A. Wilson, Governor of the State of Iowa. I understand 
he can't be here, and Mr. Kimball is taking his place. 

Mr. Kimball, will you please give your full name and address for 
the record? 

Mr. Kimball. Edward A. Kimball, chairman of the Iowa Industrial 
and Defense Commission, Des Moines, Iowa, representing Gov. George 
A. Wilson. 

The Chairman. Mr. Osmers will interrogate you. 

Mr. Osmers. We are very sorry that Governor Wilson can't l)e here. 
We are indebted to him, though, for having sent you. 

There are appearances of prosperity in some parts of the farming 
area, due to increased prices, and we would like to have you tell us 
wdiat effect that improvement is having on tax collections in the 

Mr. Kimball. I think tax collections are higher this year than in a 
number of years. 

Mr. Osmers. You don't have any comparative figures? 

Mr. KiMBAix.. The Governor did not furnish me with anv of that 

Mr. Osmers. Have you had a number of workers come into Iowa 
as a result of defense activity? 

Mr. Kimball, Yes. 


Mr. OsMERS. Have any new conditions been created by that in- 
flux of workers ? 


Mr. Kimball. 1 think, Mr. Congressman, that it has had compara- 
tively little eli'ect on the economic life of Iowa. Burlington is the 
location of the Iowa ordiumce plant, which is nearly completed. 
Probably 6,000 woikers from other States have come into the Burling- 
ton area. 

Mr. OsMEKS. How large a ])0pulation has the Burlington area? 

:\Ir. Kimball. Probablv 30,000. 

Mr. OsMERS. And 6,000 have been added? 

Mr. Kimball. That is right, 

Mr. OsMERs. Have you observed a lack of housing there? 

Mr. Kimball. Yes. The Housing Administration is now construct- 
ing 350 houses. 

Mr. OsMERs. Have you had a police and school problem? 

Mr. Kimball. The city of Burlington has had to put additions on 
to 2 schools. The officials took up the matter with Washington. 
These additions would have been unnecessary if the 350 houses had 
not been put in one locality. If they had put them in different locali- 
ties, near the plants, that would have relieved the school, sewerage, 
and water and light facilities. 

Mr. OsMERs. But the Government built all those houses in one 
place ? 

Mr. Kimball. Yes. 

Mr. OsMERS. Aside fiom the Government housing project, has the 
Federal Government assisted the Burlington area in any other way 
in legard to community services, roads, or hospitals? 

Mr. Kimball. Not as yet. Burlington has been anticipating some 
relief under the recent road bill that the President signed the other day. 

Mr. OsMERS. I was thinking more especially of the bill appropriating 
$100,000,000 — the so-called Lanham bill that made this money avail- 
able for assistance to localities in solving the problems that have 
lesulted from in -migration. 

Mr. Kimball. So far as I know, I don't think they have received 
any assistance. I didn't check that, how^ever. 

Mr. Osmers. T understand that there is beginning to be a scarcity 
of fai'ms in Iowa, and that there are more people wanting to rent 
farms than there are farms available. Is that correct? 

Mr. Kimball. That is my information. 

Mr. Osmers. How do you account for it ? 

Mr. Kimball. Probably the best-posted man in Iowa is Mr. Russell, 
■over there [indicating], the editor of the Farm Register. I suggest 
that lie would be the best source of information on the farm problem. 

Ml-. Osmers. Are there fewer farms in Iowa now because of mech- 
anization and larger units? 

Mr. Kimball. I think there is very little change*. 

migration or young people 

Mr. Osmers. Have you had the same experience in Iowa (hat they 
have had in Nebraska? Have a great number of your young people 
left the State to go to California or elsewhere for defense jobs? 

Mr. Kimball. That is right. One hundred within the last 6 weeks 
have gone to Locklieed, in California — mostly young men. 


Mr. OsiNiERS. Is it your p;uess, Mr, Kimbtill, that after the emergency 
is over, many of those people Avill return to Iowa? 

jNIr. Kimball, From talkino; with tlie parents of a number of young 
men who have gone to California, I gather that their present intention 
is to remain there. They have stated that as their intention, in their 
letters home. No official check has been made, but I have heard, in 
quite a large number of cases, that the parents expect their children to 
remain in California. It depends on whether they can find work after 
the emergency. _ ■ 

Mr. OsMEES. We understand that the length of time needed to gain 
county settlement has been increased. We have been told that before 
one can be considered a resident of any Iowa county, one has to live 
there 2 years. Is that correct, Mr. Kimball? 

Mr. KiiviBALL. That is new to me. 

^Ir. OsMERs. With reference to those people who are going to Cali- 
fornia, I am wondering whether, at the conclusion of the emergency, 
they will be considered legal residents of California or Iowa, if they 
return to Iowa. 

JVIr. Kimball. If they maintain their voting residence while they 
are gone, they will be considered residents of Iowa. 

Mr, OsMERS, How can they do that? 

JVIr. Kimball. We have an absentee voter's ballot. 

INIr. OsMERs. Has a large acreage in Iowa been taken over by defense 
activities ? 

Mr. Kimball. I wouldn't say large ; around 4,200 acres at Burlington, 
and close to that for the rifle range and ordnance plant in Des Moines. 

Mr. OsMERS. Do you think that land will go back to peacetime uses 
after the emergency? 

Mr. Kimball. From what the officers tell me, no. But I know the 
United States Rubber Co., which is going to operate the Des Moines 
plant, has expressed the thought that after the emergency is over, if it 
can convert that plant, it would like to make some arrangement with the 
Government to make it a fabricating plant for domestic consumer use. 

Mr. OsMERS. We have heard considerable testimony since we have 
been in the West regarding the advantages and disadvantages of de- 
centralizing industry. Would you care to express your views on that, 
Mr. Kimball? 


Mr. Kimball. Tliere has been in the last few years some inquiry as 
to locating plants in Iowa. Centralization probably reached its peak 
along in 1928 and 1929, and declined somewhat during the depression. 
Because the large factories in the East haven't been able, at all times, 
to utilize their entire plant facilities, there was a decided movement 
thereafter to decentralize, and we had numerous inquiries from a 
number of large eastern institutions seeking ])lant locations in Iowa. 

I presume that is true in all the middle western territory. They 
probably thought that they could get a different and a higher type of 
employee in the Middle West than they could in the more congested 
areas, and also hoped their employees might find reduced living ex- 
penses, greater recreational facilities, and a better chance of getting 
back to nature than in the crowded centers of the East. 

Mr. OsMFRS. Have your small Iowa industries suffered in the Avay 
that some of them have suffered in Nebraska from inability to get 

Mr. Kimball, Yes, sir. 


Mr, OsMERS. And is their inability to get defense orders beginning 
to shut them down and put them in such a doubtful condition that 
their better mechanics and their more skilled workers are leaving them- 
and moving into various defense centers ? 

Mr. Kimball,. We have had many leave this locality and we have 
had some lay-offs. The reason why many don't leave is because they 
own their own homes in small communities, and they don't want to 
go too far away. They are going into a few of the larger industrial 
plants that have defense orders. 

Mr. OsMEEs. I suppose when the Martin plant in Omaha starts to 
operate, that will attract more of them away from Iowa ? 


Mr. Kimball. The washing-machine business was the hardest-hit in- 
dustry, and you are probably familiar with the fact that the War 
Department and O. P. M. have allotted a $12,000,000 contract, which 
goes to the pool of the washing-machine people and will be allocated in 
accordance with the facilities and needs of the various plants 

Mr. OsMERs. That should be helpful. 

Mr. Kimball. They say it ought to be effected within the next 6 
weeks. Maytag is now working on a small contract, employing about 
] 00 men. That is at Newton, Iowa, a town of about 15,000. 

Mr. OsMERs. What do you think the general social and economic 
problenis will be at the conclusion of the emergency? 

Mr. Kimball. I am rather optimistic. There are many people who 
are pessimistic. I don't think there has been a sufficient change in 
conditions m Iowa to change the present economic set-up, if we are 
able to go ahead and maintain at least an operating organization in 
the smaller plants that cannot get into defense work. 


Mr. OsMERs. We discussed the possibility yesterday, at a hearing 
at Hastings, of Government utilization of the facilities of these small 
plants by adoption of different methods. It seemed to me the com- 
mittee s conclusions were that if the Government had industrial eno-i- 
neers with authority to take orders and negotiate contracts, ancUf 
they would go through these Middle Western communities, particu- 
larly the smaller ones, and start parceling out small, easy-to-make 
parts, which are used generally in the assembly of larger devices of 
war, it would be a great assistance. 

Mr. Kimball. Our Commission furnished the O. P. M. office for 
Des Moines with a very capable engineer in charge on a dollar-a-vear 
basis and he has received authority to employ two more eno-ineers to do 
the very thing that you suggested, Mr. Congressman. 

But m discussing the subject of subcontracting with them it was 
found exceedingly difficult, and many of them are very critical of the 
Army for telling these small plants that they are going to o-et defense 
contracts, because the small plants have neither the machinery nor 
the trained men to work as the Army and Navy require— down to 
two ten-thousandths of an inch. We have had many small manufac 
turers come in, and they think if they get to one sixty-fourth of an 
inch they are doing pretty well. When the Army and Navy talk in 
terms of two ten-thousandths of an inch they are scared to death 

These engineers we are hoping to take on are goino- to— and tliev 
can-tram some of these men to work down to a nnich finer pre- 
cision, })ut many of the plants don't have the equipment 

60396 — 42— pt. 22 10 


;Mr. OsMEKS. Tlu' list of war Dire-sitic- thai arc no! precision items 
is sioadily inoreasinj!;. 

Mr. Kimball. That is what we liavc heen tiyinji' to lell the O. P. M. 

Ml'. O.SMEKs. There are castinirs ai)(l a <;reat many ihinj^s tliat 1 
am sure could be made; I realize tluit precision equipment requires 
precision machinery and precision mechanics. 

Mr. Kimball. That is right. 

Mr. OsMERs. Before I conclude my questionino-. Mr. Kimball, I am 
going to ask you if you Avould be kind enough to check with the 
appropriate State officials in Iowa about tlie '2-year residence re- 

Mr. Kimball. May I ask ]\Ir. Russell if he lias any information (m 

Mr. Russell. Not up to date. 

Mr. Kimball. There was no law recently passed in the State legisla- 
ture that I know of. 

Mr. Osmers. Do you have a commissioner of public welfare in 
Iowa, or some similar official? 

Mr. Kimball. We have the social-welfare board. 

Mr. Osmers. They probably would know. We are particularly 
interested in knowing what the status of these Iowa people who have 
gone to Californiti will be. should they return to Iowa — whether they 
are going to be considered Californians or lowans. 

Mr. Kimball. They can maintain their voting residence here. 

Mr. Osmers. But some of them will not maintain it. If you would 
check on that and forward the information to the committee, we 
Avould appreciate it. 

Mr. Kimball. I shall be glad to. 

(The following letter and statement wei-e received subsequent to 
the hearing and accepted for the recoi'd :) 

December 15, 1941. 
Hon. John H. Tolan, 

Chairman, Committee on Interstate Defense Mir/ration. 

House Offiee Buildinu, Washington, D. C. 

Dear Mb. Tolan: In accordance with my inomise made to .vonr committee ,it 
Omaha, I am enclosing a lettei- from JNIr. Don Hise, six'cial assistant attorney 
general for the Stale of Iowa, regarding "settlement riglits." 

Ki)w. A. Ktmhall. 

State of Iowa, 
Dkpartmknt of Sociat, Wki.fark, 

DcM Moincx. yonnilHr 29, J9J,I. 
Mr. Edward A. Kimball, 

Drs Moines, Iowa. 

Dear Mb. Kimball: In accordance with our telephone conversation, I am 
writing you relative to the legal settlement laws of Iowa. There are ever .so 
many questions continually being raised within the State and between the 
counties, but, as I understand your problem, you wish to know how the legal 
settlement law affects workers leaving tlie State. Section .3828.089 provides as 
follows : 

"3828.089 Settlement continues. A legal settlement once acquired shall so re- 
main until such person has removed from this state for more than one year or 
has acquired a legal settlement in some other county or State." 

You will note fi-oni this section that if a person leaves the state for more than 
1 year he loses his legal st^ttleinent in the county in the State wherein he had his 
legal settl(>ment. The ])roblem then arises how this legal settlement can be 
reestablished in a county in Iowa. Section 3828 reads in part as follows : 

"3828.088 Settlement-^how acquired. A legal settlement in this state may be 
nccpiired as follows : 

1. Any person continuously residing in any one county of this state for a 
period of two years without lieiiig warned to depart as provided in this chapter 


acquires a sottleuient in that county, but if such person has been warned to depart 
as provided in this chapter, then sucli settlement can only be acquired after 
such person has resided in any one county without being warned to depart as 
jtrovided in this chapter for a continuous period of two years from and after 
such time as such persons shall have filed with the board of supervisors of such 
county an affidavit stating that such person is no longer a pauper and intends 
to acquire a settlement in that county." 


You will note from tlie above quoted section that it takes continuous residence 
of 2 years after return to the State liefore legal settlement can be established. 
Tlie law formerly read 1 year but the forty-ninth general assembly changed it 
to read 2 years. 

The manner in which counties prevent a person from acquiring legal settlement 
is by serving a notice to depart, as provided under sections 3828.092 and 3828.093. 
These notices to depart can be served by the county authorities whether or not 
the person so served has made application for relief. 

Under the provisions of section 3828.090, which I will not set out here, the 
courts can order a person coming in from another State, who does not have a 
legal settlement in Iowa or who might have lost his legal settlement here, to 
leave tJie State, and may be removed at the expense of the county wherein the 
person is found. 

The comparable section of our code which deals with the situation of importa- 
tion of a pauper, and which was recently tested before the United States Supreme 
Court (a California case), is section 3828.091, which reads as follows : 

"3828.091. Importation prohibited. If any person knowingly bring within this 
.state or any county from another county in this state any pauper or poor person, 
with the intent of making him a charge on any of the town.ships or counties 
therein, he shall be fined not exceeding five hundred dollars, and be charged 
Avith his support." 

It should be noted, however, that our code provision and the California law 
are not quite similar. In our law there must be an intent on the part of the 
person bringing the pauper into the state to make the pauper a charge upon 
The county. As I understand the California law, there would not have to be 
any intent. Tn my opinion the decision affecting the California law would not 
i)e controlling insofar as the Iowa law is concerned. 

It must always he borne in mind that the legal settlement laws are separate 
:ina distinct from the domicile, legal residence, or voting laws. The legal settle- 
ment law IS only applicable when a person applies for relief from the county 
authorities. A person can very well leave the State and retain his domicile or 
legal residence or voting residence in Iowa and still at the end of 1 year lose his 
legal s^ettlement in Iowa. Domicile and legal residence are matters of intent; 
v/iiile legal settlement is a matter of statutory construction for the purposes of 

I trust that the above information will answer your questions, but, if there is 
anything further you wish to know, please inform me. 
Very truly yours, 

Don Hise, 
Specktl Assistant Attorney General. 

(The followino- additional statement was later received from Mr. 
Hise and accepted for the record:) 

«ince writing to Mr. Edward A. Kimball relative to the legal settlement laws 
ot Iowa on November 29, 1941, there has been some further discussion' relative to 
fsection 3828.090. 1939 Code of Iowa, as amended bv chapter 148, section 4, acts 
or the Forty-ninth General Assembly. 

Said section in its present form now reads : 
"3828.090. Foreign paupers; 

•■1. Any person who is a county charge or likely to become such, coming from 
another state and not having acquired a settlement in any county of this state 
or any such person having acquired a settlement in any county of the state who 
removes to another county, may be removed from this state or from the county 
into which such jierson has moved, as the case may be, at the expense of the county 
wherein .said per.son is found, upon the petition of said county to the district or 
sui)erior court of that county. 

"2. The court or judge shall fix the time and place of hearing on said petition 
and prescribe the rime and inannoi- of service of the notice of such hearing. 


"3. If upon the hearing on said pot il ion such person sliull be oi-dercd to remove 
from the state or county and fails t«> do so, he shall be deemed and declared in 
contempt of court and may be punished accordingly; or the judge may order the 
sheriff of the county seeking the removal to return such person to the state or 
countv of his legal settlement." 

Tlu'n> is some doubt as to whether or not the above-quoted section would be 
unconstitutional in view of the California decision. It might well be argued 
that a pauper having a settlement in another State C(/uld not be punished for 
contempt even though, after the hearing, the court ordered him to leave tlie 
State of Iowa and he refused. 


The Chairman. Mr. Kimball, I was in Burlington at the time that 
the site of the Iowa ordnance plant was selected. A good many people 
were complaining that it was taking the best farm land, and they were 
rather uncertain as to what the outcome might be. I am curious to 
laiow if the land adjustment w^as worked out all right, and if the people 
got resettled and w^ere satisfied with the land which they got. 

Mr. Kimball. So far as I know, there has been very little trouble. 
There was much complaining at first, but I have heard very little since. 
I have talked to a number of farmers, and they were very well satisfied 
with the price the Government paid for the land. There were a num- 
ber of elderly people on those farms, and a large number of them have 

Mr. OsMEES. One word more on the settlement question. At the 
Washington hearings, we had an Ohio migrant who had maintained 
his voting rights in Ohio while out of the State, but who nevertheless 
lost his .settlement rights. I want to make that distinction, so that 
you can investigate that possibility, too. 

Mr. Kimbatx. Yes. • • j. 

Mr. Osmers. We are particularly interested in the eligibility of such 
people for public relief when they return. 

Mr. Kimball. I brought some detailed information I would like to 
leave wnth you. 

Mr. Curtis. Thank you very much. -in 

(The following material is a part of that submitted by Mr. KimbaU. 
The balance is held in committee files.) 

Effects of Intekstate Defense Migration on the Public Schools of Iowa 

1 Changes in Hchnol plants and requirements.— In order to adapt the school 
plants to the requirements of the defense training program, approximately $125.- 
000 has been spent bv the school boards of Iowa in alterations, adaptations and 
installations of power lines, etc., to date. Many more schools are planning the 
introduction of defens(> programs as rapidly as they can get ready and secure 
ar-pi-ovals, so that this figure will probably double during the current year. 
(Tliere is no Federal reimbursement for those items.) 

2 Influx of people into Iowa and consequence on schools and school taxes. — In 
connection with the defense area work at Burlington, Ankeny, and the Rock Is- 
land Arsenal, there have been added approximately 22.000 workers to these areas. 
This will increase the school i)opulation in these areas by approximately 2.000 
to 2;"j00 pupils by the end of the current school year, and will necessitate the 
provision of school facilities for tliese children. Present building and teaching 
facilities for these children are wholly inadequate, and new facilities must be 

^^To further complicate the problem. ai)proximately 25,000 acres of fertile land 
in these areas hnv(> been transferred to Federal ownership, and since 99 percent 
of school support in Iowa is derived from local property tax, the school districts 
in these defense areas face the problem of providing complete school facilities 


for an enormous increase in enrollment with the assessed valuation of property 
in the areas in some instances almost completely wiped out. (No data are avail- 
able as yet on the effect of the South Omaha plants in the Council BlufEs area.) 


Centerville. — There have been no demands for agricultural labor in this area 
that could not be filled and there appears to be a sufficient supply of workers 
to meet the needs of the next month. 

Charles City. — Our orders for farm workers are usually somewhat ahead of 
•our supply and there is a considerable delay between the placing of the order 
and the filling of it. With the continued recruitment of trainees for defense 
work there may be a serious shortage of farm workers before long. 

Clinton. — Agriculture has experienced a shortage to some degree due to the 
preference for" other types of work. The situation has not been serious and 
has been confined mostly to the harvest season. 

Decorah. — The demand for farm hands during this period has been about 
normal. There has been an available supply of farm hands both single and 

Diihiique. — The demand exceeds the supply and there is a definite shortage 
of farm labor in the area. Attempt has been made to recruit men from Civilian 
Conservation Corps camp but this effort has met with only limited success. 

FairfieM. — The harvesting of crops on farms in this area'^is being temporarily 
islowed by lack of ready labor for such work. 

Fort. Dodge. — The demand for single farm hands has exceeded the supply 
of qualified men to a slight extent. This is due in part, however, to the 
reluctance of some workers to accept farm employment when they have pros- 
pects for a job in the defense industry. 

lou-a City. — Almost impossible to secure farm hands for farm labor. News- 
paper publicly is being used to recruit farm help. 

Keokuk. — There is comparatively little demand for agricultural labor in this 
vicinity and there are more farm hands registered than there are orders for 
farm laborers. 

Mason City. — It is becoming increasingly more difficult to supply the de- 
mand for farm laborers. Given a reasonable time to fill the order the office 
has been able to meet most of the demands. 

Muscatine. — There has been an increased demand for farm labor but up to 
the present time the supply has been sufficient to meet all needs. 

Oskaloosa. — There is no shortage of agricultural labor. 

Oehvein. — There has been a growing demand for qualified agricultural labor 
and while the situation has not become serious as yet, a serious shortage is 
expected within the next few months if present conditions continue. 

Shenandoah .—There is a local shortage of farm workers and it will be neces- 
sary to recruit men from other areas to meet the demand. 

F!iou.T City. — It is anticipated that we will have some difficulty in getting 
sufficient number of corn pickers. 

Spencer. — We have been unable to fill all orders for agricultural workers which 
is due in part to the fact that farm hands have preferred to work by the day 
rather than to contract by the month. 

Weh.Hter City. — During the early part of August there was a great demand for 
harvest workers. The local supply proved inadequate and transient farm laborers 
were employed on a number of farms. 

Alfjona. — There is a continued demand for married men for farm work which we 
have been unable to meet. 

Boone. — It has been possible during the past 6 weeks to fill all orders for farm 
laborers providing standard wages have been offered. 

Burlington. — This oflBce has been able to fill all reasonable orders for agricultural 

Waterloo. — The demand far exceeds the supply at the present time and there 
are a number of unfilled orders for farm hands. 

Ottumroa. — During the past 30 days a definite shortage of qualified farm hands 
has be.snn to appear but the situation is not materially different from that 
experienced during preceding years. 

Neicton. — While there is no large demand for farm help, many experienced 
farm hands could get work. In the case of dairy farms, stock has sometimes been 


sold off to cormspoiid to tlie anioiint of lu'lp available and in isolated iiisfances 
lias caused tlio farmer to go out of husnu'ss. 

Donnpurt.— 'nwve has boon a shortage of farm hands for farm work during the 
summer months and it is probable that there will again be a mild shortage during 
corn-picking time. 

Cedar Rapids.— AMhow^h there is still a shortage of farm labor, it is not as 
acute as during harvesting or the anticipated demand for corn husking. 

Iowa E.mi'Loymknt Sixurity Commission. 

November li), l!).',f. 

Dislocations of Woukkrs in Iowa Duk to Prkirities and Material Shortagf:s 

One of the most disturbing factors in the general labor market situation in 
Iowa during the past 2 or 3 months has been the actual or anticipatcMl lay-off 
of workers due to the inabilitj' to secure essential materials. Examples of such 
lay-offs, arranged according to hxalities, are as follows: 

Newtov.—Dnvhiy^ October the Maytag Washing Machine Co. laid off CO em- 
ployees from the gray iron and aluminiun foundry due to a lack of aluminum, 
steel, pig iron, zinc, and scrap iron. TlU' workers affected were machine molder 
squeezers, polishers, grinders, and factory laborers. The assembly line, involving 
{ibout 200 men, is only working 3 days per week because of a shortage of ma- 
terials, and some of the salesmen are idle since agents are not able to secure 
the necessary products. The Maytag Co. is now using about HlO (10 percent) of 
their employees in defense production, and this number is expected to be in- 
creased to about 300 by February 1, 1942. This, however, will merely involve 
the transfer of some of the present employees to this type of work. The Auto- 
matic Washing Machine Co. has laid off about 20 punch-press operators and 
factory laborers and has called in all their salesmen off the road because of a 
shortage of plastic, steel, aluminum, and zinc. About one-sixth of the personnel 
of this firm are engaged in defense production at the present time. The Midwest 
Stamping Co. has laid off about 40 punch-press operators and factory laborers 
because of a shortage of zinc, brass, steel, and scrap iron. About 10 percent of the 
workers in this establishment are now engaged in defense production, and it is 
impossible at this time to forecast what the production will be more than 30 days 
ahead. The Wind Power Manufacturing Co., manufacturers of farm electrical 
power system, has been forced to lay off a few engine-lathe operators becaiise of 
inability to secure steel and motors. Although Newton has been designated as a 
certified area, which should aid considerably in the securing of defense 
contracts, the community has been dependent to a very large degree upon the 
washing-machine industry, and shortages of materials essential to that industry 
have aireaily created real labor displacement problems in the area. 

Des Moines.— The. Rollins Hosiery Mills has laid off a total of 394 workers 
during the past 2 mouths as a result of the raw silk shortage. The workers 
affected involve knitters, toppers, loopers, seamers, gray inspectors, menders, 
skein winders, spinners, combers, boarding machine operators, and inspectors. 
The Wood P.rothers Thresher Co. has laid off nearly 200 assembly line workers 
and factory laborers during the past 2 months because of their inability to 
obtain steel and arc-welding machinery. While the firm has secured a sub- 
contract from th(> LaPlant-Choate Manufacturing Co., of Cedar Rapids, only a 
small percentage of their workers are now engaged in defense production, which 
means that a further reduction in personnel is expected unless present priority 
ratings are altered or defense contracts are received. The Chamberlain 
Laboratory, which employs 3r» workers, closed down their entire plant during 
October due to the inability to obtain 188-proof alcohol. The plant was reopened 
<m October 20. but the present supjily of materials is expected to be depleted 
within a few days. The Ideal Manufacturing Co. laid off about 20 workers, pre- 
dominately unskilled, in September because of an insuflicient supply of bar steel 
and IG-gage sheet metal. Some of the smaller job shojis have also indicated 
that it might be necessary for them to close down \udess materials can be secured 
in the near future. The report received today from the Rollins Hosiery Mills 
indicated that approximately HO of the workers laid ( ff have already been rehired, 
and it is anticipated several more will be added din-ing the next G weeks. In 
fact, present indications point to the possibility of the firm operating at near 
normal production by January 1942. Tliis is due to a decided increase in the 
output of cotton and rayon hosiery. Some of the workers laid off from the fore- 


going establi^linieiits have touiid t'luploymcnt at the Des Moines ordnance plant, 
or with other firms in the city. However, a recent analysis disclosed that a large 
percentage were drawing uneniployiueut compensation benefits. 

Cedar Rapids. — The Hall Mannfacturing Co. and the Rapids Equipment Co. 
have laid off 50 to 60 floor assemblers and sheet-metal workers during the past 
2 months because of inability to secure sheet steel. The Universal Crusher Co. 
laid off 31 helpers and assemblers during October, and the Eddy Paper Corporation 
recently laid off 3;"» laborers because of shortages of material. The Dearborn 
Brass ('o., manufacturers of plumbing supplies, have had no lay-offs to date, but 
since their product is made almost exclusively of copper and copper alloys, the 
Office of Production Management order No. M-9-c, effective January 1, 1942, if 
not amended, will practically put this firm out of business. This establishment 
now has 60 workers in its employ. Since this community has received several 
defense contracts there is still a demand for workers in other establishments. 
However, the situation is becoming increasingly acute and may result in rather 
serious dislocations of workers during the next 30 to 60 days. 

Waterloo. — The Chamberlain Corporation, manufacturers of washing-machine 
wringer rollers, have laid off 150 workers during the past 2 mouths due to a cur- 
tailment of orders brought about by a reduction in the production of washing 
machines. It is understood, however, that this concern has obtained a defense 
contract and that those laid off will be reemployed in the near future. The 
Associated INIanufacturers, Inc., laid off 110 workers in September due to priorities 
and to seasonal fluctuations. This firm is now back to normal production, how- 
ever, and most of the workers laid off were rehired during October. 

DiiMque.— The A. Y. McDonald Manufacturing Co. expects to lay off 20 
skilled, 30 semi.skilled, and 150 unskilled workers on November 15 due to a short- 
age of brass ingot and component parts for the manufacture of pumps, governors, 
etc. The General Dry Batteries, Inc. expects to lay off 876 workers in 
the near future because of a shortage of zinc. Due to the fact that tlie other 
foundries in Dubuque are faced with a similar situation, and to the fact that 
there is a relatively small demand for workers In other industries at the present 
time, considerable difficulty is anticipated in securing employment for the workers 
to be displaced. 

0.'<kaloosa. — The Universal Manufacturing Co., has laid off 15 employees due to 
a shortage of 16-gage sheet steel, even though present orders justify the hiring 
of 30 additional workers. While .some of the employees affected can be trans- 
ferred to other jobs, there is no demand in the community for the occupations 
in which these workers have been engaged. 

Albert Citi/.— The Superior Manufacturing Co. has laid off a total of 102 work- 
ers during the past 4 months because of inability to obtain 16-gage cold-rolled 
sheet steel, and unless defense contracts are received an additional 60 to 65 
workers will be laid off during the next 45 days. While several of the workers 
already displaced have secured agricultural employment in the area, some have 
already migrated to centers of defense activity, and a few are still unemployed. 
Due to the lack of demand for factory labor in this section of the State anil to 
the relatively limited opportunities in agriculture during the winter months, 
considerable difficulty is to be expected in finding emplovment for additional 
workers that might be laid off in the community. 


Although accurate figures are not available concerning the migration of work- 
ers from the State, it is known that a considerable amount of out-migration has 
taken place since the beginning of tlie defense program. The most outstanding 
instance of out-migralion during the past few weeks has been to the Lockheed 
Aircraft Corporation in California. As the result of aptitude examinations and 
personal interviews conducted by a representative of that concern, it is estimated 
that 1,000 to 1,200 workers, from all sections of the State, have already left town 
to accept employment with that establishment. Several hundred skilled and 
.semi.skilled workers have previously left to accept employment in the aircraft 
mdustry in Kansas, Texas, and California. There has also been a considerable 
exodus of skilled construction workers to Indiana and Missouri, and several 
•skilled workmen in the metal-trades industry liave left the State to accept jobs 
in Minneapolis. A considerable amount of intrastate migration has also been 
evidenced during the past year, and several hundred workers have migrated 
from less industi-ialized areas to those of greater defense activity. Differentials 

8504 OMAHA iii:arl\(;s 

in the prevailing; \vaj,'e scale liave also resulted in the movement of skilled work- 
ers from one city to another. The only area from which a total figure of out- 
migration has been reported is Iowa City. The most reliable estimates available 
for that locality indicate that l,Gn() residents have moved from the city since the 
beginning of the defense program. While the amount of out-migration i.s un- 
douhtt'dly much less pronounced from most otlier communities, it is evident that 
the more agricultural areas have lost thousands of workers during the past year. 
The most outstanding example of in-migration occurred at Burlington during 
the construction of the Iowa ordnance plant. Of the 11,0(10 workers employed 
at peak construction, only 15 percent were residents of Burlington, 4 percent 
lived el.sewhei-e in Des Moines County, 41 percent were residents of other counties 
in Iowa, and the remaining 40 percent were from other States. The construction 
of the Des Moines ordnance plant near Ankeny has also resulted in a considerable 
influx of workers into the Des Moines area, and it is estimated roughly that 1,200 
to 1,500 carpenters, bricklayers, plumbers, iron workers, and other skilled con- 
struction workers have recently migrated into Des Moines to work at the ord- 
nance plant. 


Mr. Curtis. Mr. Sparkman will interrogate you, Professor. 

The Chairman. For the record, will you give us your name, of- 
ficial capacity, and residence? 

Dr. ScHULTz. T. W. Schultz, head of the department of economics 
and sociology, professor of agricultural economics at Iowa State 
College, Ames, Iowa. 

The Chairman. We have received the paper you recently delivered 
at Chicago. Because of its timely interest, it will be printed in the 

Post-War Public Welfare Problems in Agriculture 

(Delivered before Agricultural Experiment Station subsection, Laud-Grant 
Association, Chicago, 111., November 10, 1941) 


There are essentially two avenues for approaching this assignment. One 
entails examining the alternative kinds of peace that might come and take 
each and try to ascertain the consequences of these to agriculture. Another 
procedure would involve sizing up the more significant elements of cl.'ange 
which are now in process in our economy associated with defense and war 
and see what these changes foretell. 

I know that you concur with me when I say that the uncertainties which 
lie ahead are indeed great. No one can tell which of the many shadows 
forecasts for us the course of future events. These uncertainties make it 
necessary to be prepared to change our plans repeatedly as we proceed. The 
horizon is too murky to make (say) 10-year plans. All that I say about 
post-war problems which are likely to confront agriculture must be inider- 
stood against this back drop of great uncertainty as to coming events, events 
born out of modern war which has potentialities for radically changing our 
basic institulions. 

We may at the outset, therefore, agree upon one solid, important conclusion : 
In times of increasing uncertainty the premium for flexibility rises. This 
premium for flexibility holds without doubt for agricultural experiment sta- 
tions. It behooves all of us to attain a maximum of flexibility, the type of 
flexibility which will permit us to shift our resources rapidly as new problems 
come to command our efforts. It is plain that flexibility of this kind adds 
to our margin of safety, and to our over-all effectiveness. My first dictum, 
therefore, is that we avoid certain long-time commitments at this time, and, 
instead, take steps to build flexibility into our oi-ganizations in order to more 


effectively and more quickly reorient our efforts when social, political, and 
economic events allovr us once more to plan for the long ijull. 

Let me illustrate: This is not the time to launch a 10-year research program 
on how to develop smaller family-type farms on the presumption that it will 
be necessary to absorb more people in our agriculture. Nor is this the time 
to launch hog-breeding programs designed to give us the British pork market 
after the war. Take the first illustration — it is not at all improbable that 
we might be at the beginning of a decade of full employment, which might well 
occasion larger rather than smaller family-type farms. And in the case of 
the second the technical, economic, and political changes in process may well 
give the Canadian farmers a clear claim to the British pork market, even at 
the expense of the Danes, after the war is over. 

Let me return to the two avenues of approach : The first, as you recall, 
means taking certain presuppositions about the terms of peace and exploring 
the most likely consequences of those terms to agriculture. This approach 
has one distinct merit, namely, it focuses attention upon the shortcomings 
to agriculture of the terms of peace after the last war. We need to remind 
ourselves that one of the major consequences of the other World War and 
its peace was that it made agriculture into the black areas on our economic 
maps, the depressed sector of our economy. There has been considerable 
speculation about the broad economic effects of various terms of peace. I 
doubt that much more can be said at this time by using this procedure. The 
level of generality is simply too great to permit any useful, immediate, direct 
applications to your respective tasks of organizing and directing agricultural 

I propose, therefore, to take the other road. As far as I know it has not 
been used to obtain a view of what might lie a head. There are certain 
trends which I believe do foretell, in part, the type and scope of the post-war 
problems which are likely to confront agriculture. I shall classify these 
trends as follows: 

(1) Production for war. 

(2) General price inflation. 

(3) More maladjustments among relative prices. 

(4) Increase in debts and in rate of taxation. 

(5) Further barriers to trade and commerce. 

(6) More Government management and administration of economic affairs. 
In each of these trends no one can say with certainty what is likely to happen. 

Much depends upon events and forces which are external to the United States, 
and also much depends upon what we ourselves do about current and prospective 
defense and war problems as they unfold themselves. Yet I believe that with 
some degree of probability we can discern the direction of the course of events, 
and we might, therefore, anticipate at least to some degree how we are going 
to react. It is with these qualifications that I now proceed to a brief detailed 
examination of each of these trends and their significance to our agriculture. 

First. Production for war. 

Our defense program has had at least one happy result. It has taught us 
how exceedingly large our unused, productive capacity actually was. We had 
not only idle acres but idle resources of almost every kind — labor, plants, finance, 
technical knowledge, organization, and management capacity — a large supply 
of each waiting to be put to use. Because of this slack, it has been possible 
thus far to actually produce both more butter and guns. Probably upward 
of a fifth of our productive capacity is now employed for war purposes. Thus 
far, however, these efforts have also added to our levels of consumption. Total 
production has expanded more than enough to provide for a substantial output 
of war materials and at the same time for more goods and services for consump- 

We are now starting a second stage. From now on total production cannot be 
expanded enough to offset the increasing amounts going for defense and war, and 
accordingly the amount available for consumption or for the replacement of 
plants and other capital equipment must decline. It is becoming plain that there 
will be less for consumption and less for the replacement of tlie capital goods 
used in normal production. This decrease will come chiefly in durable goods. 
More food is likely as agriculture expands its output, and this will result in 
better levels of food consumption within the United States unless the amount of 
exports to Great Britain and other countries more than cancels this expansion 
in agriculture including the large stocks that have accumulated. Certain farm 

85% OMAHA iii:ai{i.\<;s 

coniiudditios will, ui cnurst', liccoiiif srjii'cci- ht-c.-iiisc of the jirt-atly ciiljirtJtHl 
sliiiniuMils abroad : I'or cxaiiiplt', c-liccsc and dried milk. This, liowcvcr, does not 
isiKiiify that the availability o( food m-iicrally may not \h' incri'asfd suflicicntly 
ju'tually to fjjivt' pcoiilc in this connlry a bctlt'r per capita dii't. Our standard 
of food I'onsnmption, I belicvo, is likely to contiimc npward for at least the next 
year because {a) Anjerican consumers will receive iiicreasiufily larger incomes 
with which to buy, (h) some of the income of consuinei-s usually spent for 
durable goods will be ti-ansferi-cHl to purchase of foodstuffs, and (c) tlie agricul- 
tural production potential is still 10 to 15 percent from being fully employed; espe- 
cially there is the jiossibility of (piickly converting the storage stocks of feed into 

The third feature of this trend toward wai- jdoduction may be put <piite simply : 
The longer the war continues, the greater will be the dislocations in the use to 
which resources ar(> put and the more will tlu' capital enii)loyed for the production 
of normal peacetime products become exhausted. 

This proposition means that more people and plants will be put to work 
making the "wrong things" as far as a peacetime economy is concerned. More 
capital will be allocated to ordnance plants, shell factories, shipyards, and the 
like, and less to the productiim of private automobiles, homes, refrigerators, and 
radios. (The greater the speed and success with which we divert workers and 
plants into making materials of war, the more effective and cflicient our efforts 
in defense become; therefore, of necessity, we must disrupt, for business or 
agricultui'e as usual is incompatible with war efforts.) 

In agriculture this means that more of the resources of agriculture will be 
shifted to produce products which are not now available (o us; for example, 
vegetiible oils, vegetable fibers, especially .iute, and hemp. We will also expand 
food production for expoi't outlets, wliich we do not expect to continue when war 
is over. Commodities affected include cheese and condensed milk, eggs, pork 
and lard, and man.v others. Con.servation will be curtailed and our soils 
depleted. Less will be spent for power lines and farm equipment, less on repairs 
and replacement of farm buildings; less new farm machinery will be available 
and less will be invested in high-school and college education. 

What then are the post-war implications to agriculture of this trend? I sug- 
gest the following: 

(1) We will have the of transforming a war economy — war workers and 
plants making shells and guns into making plowshares and other peacetime 
products. It will be part of our task to have devised plans which will make 
this shift with the least possible social cost. 

(2) It should be po.s.sible to determine the type of capital goods and durable 
consumer goods in which deficits are accunmlating and which, therefore, will 
command immediate attention as we direct our production efforts after the war. 

(3) Agriculture will emerge with a nnich larger livestock economy on its 
hands, with more dairying, more cheese and dried milk factories, more butter 
and milk, more chickens and eggs, more pork and lard, and more beef cattle 
than we have ever had before. As I see it, we will have two choices: We may 
treat these additional food products as assets and be la'cpared to show how 
these may be distributed and consumed to better the diets of the American 
people, or we may view them as a liability and seek to destroy and curtail 
them. Without reservation let me recommend that we seek answers in keep- 
ing with the first of these alternatives. 

(4) We need to be prepared in agriculture when the war is over to increase 
sharply our investments in soil conservation. It is our .iob to point out how 
and where this should be done and do it more wisely than heretofore. There 
will have accumulated a shortage of farm machinery, farm homes, and equip- 
ment for farm homes. Power and electric equiimient may well deserve major 

(')) We should be pi'epai'ed to assist the nonagricultural sectors of our 
economy in making the transition from war to peace production in ways which 
will not necessitate during the interim many people returning to agriculture 
during the relief i)eriod. 

I must now turn to the other trends. I shall not give them as much time 
and consideration as I have the first. 

Second. l?nmr r/rvrrnl price itiffntion. 

There is going to be more inflali<m than many of us had hoped would occur, 
l)ut it probably will not get out of hand to the same extent as did prices gener- 
ally as a con"s(>(iuence of the other war. There are a number of important 
straws in the wind. There are the sharp changes in policies of Henderson, 


AVickard, Eccle.s, Morgeutliau, and A. G. Black. Each is responsible for im- 
portant controls when it comes to the problem of general price inflation. Nor 
shonld we overlook the intelligent and courageous position of the National 
Farm Bureau leadership. Nevertheless, much more needs to be done. The 
means at our disposal are higher taxes, forced savings, curtailment of credit, 
rationing of resources and consumer goods, outright price control, more con- 
servative land appraisals, and insisting that farmers pay off mortgage debts. 

I have the impression that the agricultural experiment stations and extension 
services have studied this very critical problem practically none at all. Not 
only have there been practically no studies to point out the means for preventing 
general inflation, but there has been virtually no educational work among farm 
people on this important problem. I am quite certain that most farmers simply 
do not have the information with which to formulate judgments on this issue. 
They do not know how to detect inflation. They are not informed as to various 
means for checking inflation, nor do they understand the impacts of inflation 
upon them. If my appraisal of the situation is correct, it would appear that we 
liave failed conspicuously in providing farm people with the facts and information 
relevant to an understanding of the inflation problem. Why have we done 
so little when we all know that agriculture was burdened so greatly by the 
inflation whicli came as a consequence of the other war? 

What about the post-war problems for agriculture which are likely to grow 
out of this inflation? 

I suggest : 

(1) Let us not wait until then, but at once get to work and contribute to a 
more basic understanding of the inflation problem : What it is and what can be 
done aboiit it in our respective States, 

(2) If we assume, as I am iirone to do, that we are going to act promptly 
enough and effectively enough to keep prices generally from rising by more than 
30 to 35 percent from present levels and thus not repeat, at least in extent, what 
happened from 1917 to 1920, the post-war problems will call for — 

(a) Studies which will show us how to maintain the wartime price level 

even though it is substantially iiigher than that of recent years. This 
will mean discovering and introducing the necessary stability condi- 
tions, which have the capacity to hold prices from starting down, while 
not freezing the price of any particular commodity or service. 

(b) Research which will point the way for getting producers and consumers 

when the war is over to fornmlate expectations on the belief that the 
higher level of prices will be maintained. 

Both (a) and (b) are most difticult assignments. Both are, however, suffi- 
ciently important to agriciflture to warrant a substantial allocation of research 

Third. More viahi'ljustmeiits in relative prices. 

In one we have been spending most of our energies since 1920 straightening 
out maladjustments among prices occasioned by the other war period. Major 
categories of prices got seriously out of line with each other. Most nonfarm wage 
rates stayed up. Farm prices fell. Prices of services were too high relative to 
I'aw material prices. Freight rates were frozen at war levels. Price of farm 
products produced for exports were out of line with those produced wholly for 
domestic use. In most of these cases the brunt of the maladjustment pyramided 
and fell heavily upon agriculture. 

We are again on the roa<l to many bad price relationships. The drift toward 
inflation is resnonsible for some of these maladjustments in relative prices. 
Then, too, some of these shifts in relative prices are altogether necessary to 
effectuate changes in the allocation of resources, a techniqxie for getting producers 
to change from peacetime products to war materials. To the extent that prices 
get out of line because of this, we should be wholly prepared to accept it as one 
of the necessary costs of transforming a peace economy into a war economy. 
Many of the maladjustments now in process, however, do not serve this end. 

To illustrate: The loan rates on some farm commodities have gotten prices 
out of line. They are simply too high for the long pull. Some of these loans 
will give us increasing difficulty unless flexibility can be introduced, flexibility 
downward as well as upward. Tlie rates of pay for some t.vpes of labor are 
becoming badly distorted relative to other prices. Also there are many business 
firms which operate under a kind of imperfect competition which makes for 
i^ticky prices winch are now running up their "fixed" prices, and then thesfe 
become too hish for the long pull. Tiiere is the danger that in the near future 


froislit rates will ho boosted and they may stay frozen at liio new high levels 
indfliiiittly. And thus tlie price niuladjustments multiply. 

AVliat about the post-war problems V 

I recommend — 

(1) That ajiricultural research aficiicies make the province of relative prices 
and their function one of their major fields of research. We know all too little 
about tlie detailed empirical side of this problem. 

(li) That we orient our research in such a way that it will be useful to 
farmers in formulating broad political-economic judgments with reference to 
national policies in order that the leadership of agricultural interest grou|is, 
political representatives of agriculture, and the administrative and expert 
personnel of the Department of Agriculture may operate not only with more 
thorough economic analyses at their disposal but with an increasing number of 
farmers appraising their efforts who have an understanding of the fundamental 
nature and function of relative prices in production, distribution, and consump- 

Fourth. Greater dcM and more taxes. 

The public debt and taxation are both increasing. 

This trend has many implications to us and to the future of agriculture. 
Before examining these, however, let me touch briefly upon present policies. 

Let me start with the assertion: Now is the time to turn to a pay-as-you-go- 
basis. The national income is increasing. It has risen from 71 billions in l!i39 
to an estimated S7 billions this year (1941). It will probably rise to 100 billions 
next year. Meanwhile, from now on out there will be fewer, rather than more, 
products available for consumers. Therefore, unless much of the surplus in- 
come is drained into the Public Treasury, it will make more difficult the task 
of getting private producers to turn to the production of war materials, and it 
will at the same time augment the dangers of inflation. There is thus every 
reason for taxing ourselves much more heavily than is now the case. 

Here again I like to pose this question : Why is it that the economic effects 
of public revenue and expenditures have been so completely neglected by our 
outstanding agricultural research agencies, the agricultural experiment stations? 
To the best of my knowledge, all that is being done is a little work on a few- 
projects dealing with local and county taxation. We apparently are prone to 
scrutinize a few nail holes and pay no attention to the big doors in our fiscal 
structure. Is it any wonder that farmers con.sider themselves "economic illiter- 
ates" when it comes to Federal fiscal policies? We have not given them the 
necessary, factual information for formulating judgments of the relative merit 
of alternative policies. 

However, to return to the main issue, a larger public debt and somewhat 
higher taxes are certain. As I have indicated, this trend has many implications. 
There is the likelihood of increasing competition of one set of public services 
with other .sets for resources. As the allocation for agricultural action programs 
expanded, appropriations for additional research became more difficult. As the 
budget for defense and war skyrockets, the more normal services and functions 
of Government will probably find it harder to obtain funds. 

The more important problciu at present and in the post-war period is not the 
size of the public debt by itself nor the cost of servicing that debt, but {a) the 
economic effects of various types of deficit financing by government and also 
of reducing the public debt; and (1)) the social and economic consequences of 
various forms of raising public revenue. The latter is especially significant 
because as the proportion of the total income that is absorbed by taxes in- 
creases, the impact of taxes upon the economy and the social well being of 
people rises. The formulation and pronuilgation of more rational and con- 
sistent policies in this field recjuire that farm people have available to them 
the technical information which will permit them to appraise alternative 
measures with understanding. 

Fifth. Further barrier.'^ to trade and commerce. 

I have a growing uneasiness that we are setting the stage for more, rather 
than less, nationalism. In every country many industries are being established 
which are wholly uneconomic to that environment. The sharp increases in 
freight rates on the high seas (which have advanced three- to five-fold and 
more) have contributed greatly to this develojnnent. These higher shipping 
costs are of the nature of economic barriers to trade, a protection for new 
infant industries. This is happening on a great scale in most of the South 
American countries, in Canada, and in the United States. In addition, in 


Oanada and in this country, of necessity, ttie Government is trying hard to get 
certain war indnstries to establish themselves or to expand their outinit. After 
the war is over, most of tliese industries will demand, I am sure, that they be 
kept going. They will insist on the necessary subsidies, and it seems to me 
many of them will receive it. Should this be tlie course of events, we are 
headed for further disintegration of world commerce. 

I will not enter into any speculations as to the prospect for United States- 
European trade after the war, because this will depend so largely on the terms 
of the peace. This is not to minimize the great importance of European trade 
to our econoniic health, but simply to recognize that at this time we simply 
do not know what is going to luippen. 

Within the United States it is likely that we will, during this period of war 
effort, reduce somewhat the barriers to interoccupational mobility iutergroup 
and interstate trade. Defense and war is a national undertaking. All per- 
sons and groups of all parts of the country are inclined to bend every effort 
to the task. In such an atmosphere the interest of the whole predominates 
and the many group, State, and regional "isms"' recede. 

What then are we to say about the post-war situation as far as trade is 
concerned? I suggest — 

(1) That the basic interdependency of the economy be examined and re- 
examined and its application and significance to agriculture be carefully 

(2) That the barriers to the mobility of persons, interoccupational, group, 
and State trade be studied along the lines followed by the B. A. E. in its 
report of interstate trade barriers, and that State experiment stations use this 
technique to study the nature and scope of the barriers to trade within their 
respective areas. 

(3) That the agricultural stake in freer world commerce be given a high 
priority in agricultural research ; specifically, this means determining the eco- 
nomic effects of various types of trade policies and procedures. 

Sixth. More govei-nment and administration of economic affairs. 

This point was the main burden of my paper before your land-grant associa- 
tion a year ago. The guesses which I ventured on this topic a year ago still 

The whole drift is toward more, rather than less, government management of 
the economic activities in agriculture. This trend is not new. It started 
after the other World War and was given much impetus by the great depression 
of the thirties. Defense and war efforts of necessity require more rather than 
less centralization in administration. A further break-down of international 
trade also contributes to this end. 

Of all the major changes upon us, the coming of more public administration 
in agriculture is by far the most significant. 

Because I spent most of the paper a year ago outlining a frame of reference 
for approaching this problem systematically in our studies, it will not be neces- 
sary, I presume, to repeat that material. 

Finally, before I close, not I hope as an anticlimax, may I say a word about 
the post-war agricultural problems which do not have their origin in our defense 
and war efforts but which are of much longer standing? Here are the more 
important ones : 

(1) How are we to transfer 'agricultural resources now employed in the pro- 
duction of cotton and wheat to the production of other farm products and into 
nonfarm occupations? Cotton and wheat are the chief examples within agri- 
culture of the misuse of resources of long standing. There are, it is true, several 
less important products which also now claim more land, labor, and equipment 
than is warranted by their value to society. In spite of all the efforts of gov- 
ernment during the past decade, very little has been done to effectuate a funda- 
mental correction in this matter. What are the necessary steps? 

(2) It is generally agreed that farm people in the main bear a dispropor- 
tionately large share of the cost of bearing and rearing the future population of 
this country. The problem of how to distribute this cost more equitably has not 
been solved. 

(8) The conservation of soil resources is vested with a public interest. How 
to allocate public funds in this sphere so as to maximize the social contribution 
is not well understood even with all of the large-scale experimentation in matters 
of conservation in recent years. 


(4) The function anil «'i(in()inic rdulrihiil inn of stuiajic stocks is on a liil-aiitl- 
niiss basis. It cciMaiiiiv is conipivlicndcd most vaKiicly. Are tliey to bo used to 
subsidize producers or'to iutro(bice stability conditions to the point where the 
additional social cost inv(tlved does not exceed the social fiainV 

(;")) I?y what nie'jius may a part of the total social product be made available 
to farm families— presnmaidy in the form of better diets, shelter, more education, 
resources to make possibl.' greater occuiiational mobility, etc.— in order to assure 
low income farm people a minimum standard of Vwiuii without (.ccasioninK a loss 
in resources from the production i)oint of view, without freczinj;- resources and 
people in the tvpe of farniiiifi in which they are now en}r:ijred. and without s\ib- 
sidi/.inu- inefliciency. This proitlcm i)resents a most difficiill b\ni(lle of questicms 
which research workers have barely touched. 

I trust that this sketch, in which I have depicted in some detail the nature <if 
tlie post-war problems that are likely to evolve out of our present defense and 
war efforts and those which we have inherited out of a longer past and which 
are likely to be with us and still demand attention when the war is over, proves 
useful to you. 


Dr. ScHULTz. I will nuike brief connnent in three parts: One, on 
the question of expandino- food production and on the question of 
labor shortages; two, on the effects of cheap labor on farm tenui-e 
and farm income and agricultural welfare; and three, some positive 

I will just scan this in order to lay the backdrop for your questions. 
The Department of Agriculture is asking for a sharj:* expansion of 
food production, especially in this section, particularly in the Corn 
Belt which reaches through Iowa into Nebraska. 

Specifically in Iowa, that means increasing the production of 
hogs by 16 percent, and eggs and poultry by 14 percent. 

Now, concern has been expressed in the press and m public dis- 
cussion as to the effect of demands for labor from outside of agri- 
culture, upon this possibility of increasing food production. My 
judgment is that we have at work, or have had at work, forces that are 
really of a kind so that we do not have as yet a labor shortage. 

I have submitted for your record a statement from Professor Hoj)- 
kins, who has probably done more on farm technology and mechaniza- 
tion'than any other person I know of in this country. For Iowa, the 
upshot of his whole analysis is that we really are at a period at which 
mechanization has released much farm labor in the last 5 or 7 years, 
and the demand of the defense program for more food comes at a 
time when there is a slack ill the labor forces on most farms— that is, 
the family farms. . 

Since the depression, and since agriculture was revived m 1935, num- 
bers of tractors in Iowa hav«> gone from 30 i)ercent of all farms to about 
70 percent of all farms. Niimbers of mechanical corn pickers have 
increased from 5 to 15 })ercent, and they pick corn on more than just 
one farm. There has been a wave of mechanization here that has 
released labor for the handling of livestock. 


That is an interpretation of Professor Hopkins" memorandum.^ 
Furthermore, over the last 10 years we have had this peculiar thing 
happen : AVhile the number of persons in agriculture stayed constant, 
the number of persons of working age increased sharply. The 1940 
census showed that while there wei-e 30.500,000 peo]de in agriculture 

' See p. 8524 ct seri. 

.NATIONAL L>1:FKNSJ-: migration g^j]^ 

as a whole in 1940 and in 1930, there are now 1,400.000 fewer people 
below 20. I L 

The same thing is hapepnino- here in Iowa. We liave 25.000 fewer 
males on farms, after the 10-year period. But the number between the 
ages of 20 and 65 has increased. The drop has been in those below 20 
years of age. Ihat is true all through the section to the East, but not 
m Nebraska, because of the drouth and in the section from the Dakotas 
to Kansas. 

The Chairman. I believe your outline shows how it was before the 

in?mn^rT^- The increase was 1,000,000 for the ages 20 to 64 and 
400,000 for the ages 65 and above. 
The Chairman. Which exactly balances each other ? 
Dr. ScHuiTz. The important part of it is that even in Iowa, where 
we have lost farm population sharply in the last 10 years, the ao-e of 
. working people on farms has been going up ^ 

now^r ^""^'''^'^'''- ^^'^'""^ ^^ going to be the answer 10 years from 

Dr. ScHULTz. The thing we have to beein to think about in our 
agriculture is that he age of our farmers isioing up. Our agric Itu re 
has become stocked with personnel that is letting much older. Tl at 
shows up very definitely in the figures. IVe have many more people 
over 60 who ha^e been dammed up on the farm. They haven't been 
able to re ire. That is part of their story. But we mus geti^ady for 
an agriculture that is being operated by many more old people That 
is one of the indications. l *^upit^. ±nai 


With reference to food production, I should like to make the o-en- 
eral assertion that m agriculture as a whole, and in agriculture W 
we have m effect a large -invisible unemplovment." We have had it 
for a long time. People are working hard, but workinc. at thim^s 
which are not very valuable to the total economy. I make that st"tf 
ment because m this country we are inclined to think of 1 rniem: 

S" my 'cLT'' B V ""^' ^'' r'^' "^ '''' '''y^ --^ wh'are not 
getting apay check. But m agriculture we have been dammincr un 

thnt IS especmllv true in this section iieu ot.ues, and 

tl.e olhe^Wm-kl 'wnltf '^' •" ''"™ '° 'H' ^i*'' 'h^' *«''- After 
••ame down witi, farm income, and we liave had eSinX che?,! 

^ ^ilS5 v° r- FM:^'s'{1j;k Ail 

economy ' "^'^ ^' '^'"I^' ^"^^^^^^^ ^^ the other parts of the 


ordnaiK'O plants at Aiikeny and at Burlin<;t'on. Those are the only 
two in Iowa. I should say that the farm-tenure situation is closely 
related to the chanf^ino: value of farm labor. That is a general, over- 
all statement. The relative position of farm labor worsens as the 
basic conditions «r<)vernin<T farm tenure become adverse. The two 
are definitely inten-elated. As the value of the farm labor improves, 
farm tenure gets better. 


In Iowa, since 1935, farm-tenure conditions have improved. In 
the last 2 years they have improved considerably. The turn-over has 
dro]iped. 'in 1935, 25,800 tenants moved. Last year there were 12,200. 
That was one major improvement. 

That 1935 figure was large because so many tenants could not pay 
their rent and found themselves looking for another farm. That was 
the condition that prevailed in agriculture at the time. 

Tlie whole import of what I want to say is this: Forces are now at 
work which may improve the position of farm labor, as such, and 
this Avill very definitely help improve tenure_ conditions. I think we 
are quite definitely developing a situation this fall in Iowa in which 
there will be much less pressure of tenants on farms than we have 
had since the depression. That means that more of the ]-)eople coming 
out of the farm-labor brackets are being drawn off and are finding 
opportunities elsewhere. That is part of the improvement of the farm- 
labor situation. 

The Chairman. When you refer to farm labor, do you mean labor 
performed on the farm, or do you mean that these farm laborers have 
found employment in defense industry? 

Dr. ScHiJXTZ. "VVlien I speak of farm labor, unless I qualify it, I 
mean all the labor that goes into agriculture, which in this section is 
primarily done by the family — the parents and sons. There is rela- 
tively little hired" labor. So I am thinking of that total labor force 
which has been so exceedingly cheap as an agent of production. 

The Chairman. But it is labor applied to the farm and not to some 
industry by some other member of that family? 

Dr. ScHULTz. That is right. ,, 

The Chairman. When you speak of the improvement of farm iabor, 
then, you mean greater income to those who constitute that pool of 
labor ? 

Dr. ScHULTz. Yes; that is what I mean. 

The Chairman. Which might include the farm hands ? 

Dr. ScHULTz. Yes; it does definitely; and any forces which tend to 
improve the position of that labor as a whole improve tenure condi- 
tions quite notably and lay the base for better tenure conditions. 

The Chairman. I agree with you on that. 


Dr. ScHULTz. There is one broad over-all criticism of our agricul- 
tural policy: That we have not recognized the close relationshi]) be- 
tween farm income and the cheapness or dearness of the whole labor 
force. The total net income of farm peo])le derived from agriculture 
in 1940 was al)out $5, .500.000,000. That is the income that was available 
to farm peo])le, out of agriculture. Now. most of that came as a return 
for labor that they put in. I have taken out operating expenses and 
rents to people not in agriculture, and items of that sort. 

The Chairman. That $5,500,000,000 represents the gross? 


Dr. ScHULTz. It represents the income to the farm people paid for 
two things — their property, or equity, which is about $33,000,000,000 
in the United States, and their labor. 

The Chairman. In business you might call that gross profits. 

Dr. ScHULTZ. It is a return on their equity, their property rights, 
and their labor. Now, when I break it up between property and labor, 
the bulk of it — anywhere from 50 to 66 percent, depending on the basis 
of your calculation — is a return for human labor, and that is primarily 
what farm people are selling in this game called agriculture. The 
property item is secondary. Yet in our total picture of the farm 
program, we have approached this repeatedly from the property end — 
the land, the equity in land, real estate, buildings, ancl drainage. 

Important as those are, I w^ant to focus attention on the fact that 
as long as labor in agriculture is cheap, farm income must ancl will 
continue to be low. The two are correlated, and they are compounded 
so that you can't pull them apart. We must focus on the human agent, 
and not solely upon the other resource, in determining our agricultural 
policy. In our program we have focused our attention upon what I call 
the resource problem — that is, getting the right amount of land in soy- 
beans and the right amount of land in corn and wheat, and stabilizing 
the market and getting cheaper capital rates for land, all of which are 
important — but we have not focused upon the human agent. Our 
benefit payment program has been, in the main, shifting over gradually 
from what I call the natural-resource problem to the human agent. 
Now, if I may, Mr. Sparkman, I would like to say several things on 
the positive side. 


At this time it is exceedingly wise to take steps to improve housing 
conditions of farm workers. I say that because it is to the interest of 
the farmers who hire. In Iowa the farmer finds that if he hires a man 
who is married, such a worker is more likely to stay and to give better 
service. But the housing available to him becomes very important in 
determining whether he stays. The farmer is anxious to improve the 
housing, ancl it is to his interest to do so. We ought to take advantage 
of that parallel of private and public interest. 

Also we ought to remodel the farm program to transfer more con- 
sideration from land to the human agent, from farm prices to the 
wages which the farmer earns whether he is tenant or owner. In Iowa, 
according to the State A. A. A. office, next year the earned income will 
be doubled, as against income on land, which is a good step forward. 

Mr. Arnold. Wouldn't that cause landowners to w^ant to farm their 
own land? 

Dr. Schultz. Yes; except that the earnino; performance involves a 
sacrifice commensurate with the payment. When they really have to 
get out there and earn it, there is an offset, you see, to the inclucement. 
If the additional income comes as a gift, yes ; but in terms of perform- 
ance and better farming practice, tlien I should say it is not likely. 

The memorandum of Professor Wilcox needs emphasis, and it is one 
of my recommendations that we recognize that our vocational training 
for farm boys and girls does not prepare them for this migration to 
opportunities outside of agriculture. It is all oriented inside. The 
young man who testified this morning brought that out very nicely. 
We know it very well, but we are not doing very much about it under 
the emergency vocational course. 

60396—42 — pt. 22 — —11 


If luilf of the farm boys are ^oin;^ to iiud jobs oulsitle, tlien let's 
train them for those jobs so they won't have to be started as unskilled 

The second point is that we should have a broad outlook on schofjl 
work, like we do in i)rei)arin<i; the economic outlook for farm commodi- 
ties and farm connnodity prices. The Department of A<2;riculture is 
doing an excellent job on farm connnodities. We don't do that with 
the man who is going to invest his career in farming. A program of 
giving attention to the human agent in agriculture in terms of jobs 
is very much overdue. 

Finally, I should like to see your group in some way get the land- 
grant institutions to tackle the labor problem. It is certainly in the 
mandate of the original charter that set up these schools. There is 
no research, no study, no investigations into the position of labor in 
our economy. Contributions to science have been started by specifi- 
cally saying to the researchers, "Get to work on this thing." I think 
the time is ripe for a broad legislative mandate authorizing and calling 
for systematic study of the social and economic aspects of labor prob- 
lems in all of the States. 

The Chairman. You have covered pretty well the questions I had 
wanted to ask you. Do you not believe that the expanding food pro- 
duction program will be adversely affected by a labor shortage? 


Dr. ScHULTz. I believe that the dairy sections, the milk sheds around 
Milwaukee and Chicago and St. Louis and probably Kansas City, 
where labor competition shows up most critically, will feel some short- 
age, but it has been greatly overemphasized. The difficulty is that 
we are used to very cheap labor in agriculture. It is difficult to read- 
just from $45 to $60 labor. But there is no actual shortage. 

The Chairman. You have referred to the influence that farm mech- 
anization is having upon the agricultural labor market. Will j'ou 
discuss that angle ? 

Dr. ScHULTz. Farm mechanization has gone far enough in the last 
5 or 7 years to release a large amount of labor. It has been labor- 
saving in its effect, and we can use that labor now in producing 15 
or 20 percent more hogs. W^e have to spend less time in the corn field 
and in cutting grain, and so we have more time to do the feeding 
which is called for now in the new program. That is the way it works 

The Chairman. You mention in your statement the "invisible un- 
employment" in agriculture. Would you elaborate on your conception 
of invisible unemployment on the farm ? 

Dr. SciiULTz. We are prone to think that if people are working 
10 or 12 hours a day, somehow they are employed. They are employed 
physically, but they may still be partly unemployed economically. 
They are doing work for a very low return, and they are doing too 
much of that work, in terms of the national economy. 

The Chairman. As you see it, then, when a factory is given an 
order to curtail production, some of its employees are laid off, and they 
are walking idly on the street; whereas if there is a curtailment in 
production on the farm, or if the going becomes harder, one member 
of the family does not say to another, "You are out of work"; all of 
them simply continue to do the job which might be done by two or 
three. Or, as j^ou go on further to say, they may work harder in order 
to try to avoid the hardship that is threatening. 


Dr. ScHULTz. That is right. It is well put. 

The Chairman. That is what you mean by invisible unemployment 
on the farm ? 

Dr. SciiULTz. Yes; and there is a great deal of it. 

The Chairman. Unless we keep that in mind, we have an untrue 
conception of the farm-labor market. 

Dr. ScHULTZ. That is what I would say ; yes. 


The Chairman. You have been discussing low farm income, or, as 
you refer to it, cheap farm labor and its effect upon farm tenure. I 
wonder if you would not agree also that it has the same effect upon 
land uses, up on the care of the land. 

Dr. ScHULTz. Yes. That is a big story, one that we don't know 
much about. But the little that we have learned suggests that as we 
move to southern Iowa and farther to the south, low income is defi- 
nitely associated with misuse of the soil. 

A family that finds itself caught in a low income and can't raise 
the money to do the things it wants to do for education and food starts 
to retrench in its outlays on the soil, and pushes the land too hard. 

The Chairman. That is certainly true in my section.^ Of course, 
down there cotton is the principal crop and it depletes the soil rapidly. 

It is the hardest thing in the world to get a person of uncertain 
tenure to engage in soil-building practices, such as terracing and rotat- 
ing of crops, planting lespedeza, or cover crop during the winter, be- 
cause he feels that he is called upon to put an investment in something 
that is uncertain as to its benefit to him. I presume that is true 

Dr. ScHULTz. The problem is perhaps less serious here, but we have it 
in some degree. 


The Chairman. Are land prices in Iowa increasing to the extent 
that an inflationary land boom is imminent? And if so, what are 
the factors responsible ? 

Dr. ScHULTz. I wish you would put that question to Mr. Hawley 
and others wdio have contacts in the field. I believe tremeiidous 
forces are at work to make for inflationary land prices. However, 
the bitter experience of 25 years ago is still acting as a check. I 
met with a group of 50 farmers the other night, and this subject 
came up. There was a strong feeling against doing anything that might 
start such an inflation. As long as that general will prevails, we 
may be able to hold it off. The Farm Credit Administration, in its 
conservative appraisal policy, and the insurance companies are all 
contributing to hold that inflation in check. But impact of high 
prices is definitely tending to set the psychology for still higher 
prices. We must not forget what happened last time. 

The Chairman. A good many witnesses before our committee from 
time to time have made the point that the educational system, par- 
ticularly the high schools, is not doing a satisfactory job in training 
students for work. I gather from your statement that you agree. 

Dr. ScHULTZ. I concur very definitely. 

The Chairman. And you believe that our school system should 

1 Eighth Congressional District of Alabama, including Colbert, Jackson, Lauderdale, 
Lawrence, Limestone, Madison, and Morgan Counties. 


be so set up that tliose boys and <iirls can be taught or prepared for 
jobs wherever those jobs miji^ht be? 

Dr. ScHULTz. Tliat is ri<^ht ; and it applies not only to agri- 

The Chairman. But in the machine shops also? 

Dr. ScHULTz. That is right. 

The Chairman. What should be the aim of the agricultural policy 
with reference to defense and post-defense problems? I am think- 
ing particularly of your discussion of the farm labor market at the 
present time, in relation to the expanded food pi'ogram. A great 
many of our people have been taken from the farms and put to 
work on defense piojeits and in the armed forces. After this thing 
is over — and it is going to l)e over some day — what is going to 
happen ? 

Dr. ScHULTz. I am afraid if I start on that topic, we may get too 
deeply involved for the time at our disposal. 

The Chairman. The answer to that question is one of the objects 
of all our hearings. 

Dr. ScHULTZ. The statement I prepared for the land-grant colleges 
just last week covers that point, and you have already incorporated 
it in the record.^ I followed six or seven trends and what they mean 
in agriculture. 


I want to be constructive, though, to the extent of saying one positive 
thing: We may find it necessary to create a market within the United 
States which will consume all that the Corn Belt and related live- 
stock areas can supply. We are expanding so sharply the production 
of dairy products, pork, and other such products, both for Great 
Britain and ourselves, that I think an expanding market, after this 
emergency is over, will be necessary. In the Surplus Marketing 
Administration, and in some of the techniques that you have been 
experimenting with to get more general food distribution through 
our total population, we shall have the necessary public machinery 
for widening this distribution of the product of agriculture of this 
section, working at full capacity in the years after the war. I don't 
think there will be a repetition of what we went through after the 
last war. 

The Chairman. You think we arc going to be better prepared. 

Dr. ScHULTz. I think we have much better public machinery in 
agriculture with which to tackle the problems as they arise in that 
post-war picture. 

JNIr. Osmkrs. I believe that all the measures that would come under 
the heading of "preparation" are based, in our minds, upon the ex- 
penditure of Federal funds. 

Dr. ScHULTz. Yes. 

Mr. Osmers. These agencies for distributing Federal money over 
the farming areas of the United States. 

Dr. ScHULTz, Not over the farming areas, necessarily, but into de- 
vices wdiich will expand food consumption. There is a difference. 

Mr. Osmers. Did the possibility of Federal insolvency ever occur 
to you? 

Dr. ScHULTz. It is quite conceivable that we have a tax-paying 
capacity that we haven't even dreamed about. We will probably 
learn something of it in the next year or 18 months. 

1 See 8504. 


Mr. OsMERS. There hasn't been any indication, at least to Members 
of Congress, that our tax-paying capacity today is equal to one-third 
of our expenditures, or between one-third and one-half. For 10 years 
now, roughl}^, we have failed to raise more than half of the money 
that we have expended. When the tax bill which has been enacted 
by Congress this year, with the one that is proposed, come along, I 
do not believe we shall have over half the necessary revenue, even 
with our greatest income. I don't think we will raise more than half 
the money we are spending. 

Dr. ScHULTz. Let me state the problem in terms of the necessity of 
raising more revenue. 

That is the approach of the largest pressure group in agriculture, 
the National Farm Bureau, and I think it is very sound. It is far 
ahead of other pressure groups. 

We have been increasing our national income seven to eleven billion 
dollars a year, and we ought to be draining all that off as public 

Mr. OsMEES. I won't attempt to debate or dispute that point, but 
so long as we do not have the courage to do it we are headed for in- 
solvency. When this is over we may have a debt of one hundred and 
fifty or two hundred and fifty billion dollars, and that is going to give 
us something to worry about right there before we have time to worry 
about the farm program. 

Dr. ScHULTz. My answer is that that is not the problem. If the 
Government is taking in enough to prevent run-away inflation, we 
shall emerge in the post-war picture perhaps as we dicl in the Mellon 
post-war period, when revenues surprised us, as compared with ex- 
penditures. It is conceivable, provided we are now willing to slap 
on two or three times the income taxes that we have right now, bitter 
as that seems. 

Mr. OsMERS. It doesn't sound bitter to me at all. The recent tax 
bill may be entirely inadequate for the work in hand. It may be a 
sop to a public which is conscious that something should be done about 
the tax problem, but that sort of program certainly won't stave off 

Dr. ScHiTLTZ. The farming groups, both the middle and left wings, 
the Farm Bureau and the Farm Union, are taking a very strong posi- 
tion. They say we must double and triple those taxes and do it quickly. 
That has a bearing on where we are going to be when the war is over. 

Mr. OsMERS. I wish that attitude could be reflected in Washington. 


The Chairman (to Dr. Schultz). As I understand it, you are advo- 
cating a more orderly distribution of farm commodities, through 
improved public machinery, and thereby relieving the threat of over- 
production, so-called, of those commodities. You think the cost of 
operation of that machinery is repaid many times in the orderly 
procedure that it gives to us ? 

Dr. Schultz. Yes; I would say that very emphatically. The cost of 
this new public machinery for the complex, wide-flung industry called 
American agriculture, that we have created in the last 6 or 8 years is 
really a very small overhead for the job it will accomplish. 

The Chairman. It is paying for itself. 

Mr. Osmers. You are going to run into a problem insofar as the city 
population is concerned. And I must take you back again to the tax 
question. More people are leading an urban life than a rural life. 


They will be paying a larger portion of the direct taxes. Before they 
submit to taxes of tlie character we have been discussing, an entirely 
new concept of taxation — they will demand economy in the solution of 
the farm problem, and that retrenchment would seriously hamper the 

Dr. ScntTLTZ. It might hamper certain phases of the program. 
There are other pliases, such as the labor aspect of the economy and the 
consumer element. The city people are going to support the Surplus 
Marketing Administration — the kind of thing tliat will make milk 
more generally available. 

Mr. OsMERS. Unless I misjudge the urban mind, I think the city 
people would go along a considerable distance on programs such as 
the Farm Security Administration. 

Dr. ScHTJLTZ. That is right. 

Mr. OsMERS. I refer to the programs that rehabilitate farmers and 
make them independent and take them otf public relief. Those should 
be expanded. 

Dr. ScHULTZ. That is very true. 

Mr, Curtis. Do you contend that by raising farm wages you can 
I'aise the price of farm products? 

Dr, ScHTjLTz. No. When you begin to say, "What can we do to make 
human labor in agriculture more valuable to all of us?" — getting back 
to the point that was just made here — 3'ou have a very complex prob- 
lem on your hands. There is no easy road. You cannot just do it 
by any mandate for the few people who are hired, especially in agri- 
culture through this part of the country; but I should say that in 
formulating agricultural policy, instead of starting to keep our corn- 
land values up, or keeping our resources in good shape — all of which 
are important — we ought to start by considering the human agent in 

Mr. OsMERS. And by that you are referring especially to the family- 
type farm, and not to the hired man? 

Dr. ScHULTz. Quite correct. 

The Chairman. Thank 5^ou very much. 

Mr. Tipton. At this point I should like to introduce into the record 
a number of statements dealing with the subjects that Dr. Schultz 
has been discussing. 

The Chairman. They will be printed in the record at this point. 

(The articles mentioned follow :) 

Fitting Rurai, Youth for Pkoducttve Work 
report by walter w. wilcox, iowa state coixege 

Today under the stress of expanding defense production as rapidly as possible, 
somethins over 580 defense-training courses in trades and industries are being 
offered in Iowa.' These courses are assisting the people of Iowa to equip them- 
selves to make their maximum contribution in the defense effort. 

' During the year 1940-41 various types of defense-training courses were offered in the 
State, as follows : 

1. A total of 224 courses for adult defense workers were conducted in 11 cities. 

2. A total of 201 general and specific preemployment courses were conducted for rural 
and nonrural out-of-school youth in 77 different Iowa towns and cities. 

3. Thirty different towns and cities conducted 150 courses involving vocational and 
related training for out-of-school youth employed on National Youth Administration work 
projects. Although this third phase of defense training was financed out of subsection 5 of 
Public Law 812, Federal and State policies permitted training which was of a nondefense 

Source : Vocational Education Survey, Des Moines, Iowa, July 1941. 


It is the thesis of this statement that such training, now entirely supported by 
emergency Federal appropriations, should be placed on a permanent basis, ex- 
panded, especially in rural areas, and integrated with our present public school 
system. Furthermore, it should be supplemented by an up-to-date national voca- 
tional-guidance program. The arguments for an expanded-training program for 
nonfarm employment are of several kinds : 

1. Industrial jobs are requiring more and more skills. Hence, the human agent 
requires more training to be able to perform them efficiently. 

2. In the recent past over half the boys reared on farms in the Middle West 
have migrated to nonfarm occupations. Approximately half the boys for the 
next 20 years will have to continue to find nonfarm jobs, even though no further 
farm consolidation takes place. If there is any appreciable consolidation of 
farms due to the ability of a family to operate a larger acreage with modern 
machinery, even more migration will take place. 

3. A comprehensive vocational-training and guidance program operating in 
every county in tlae State would greatly facilitate the mobilization and training 
of the human resources in the most efficient manner. 

4. Furthermore, it is believed that the operation of such a program would 
lessen the need for migration to find jobs, tend to facilitate decentralization of 
industry, both geographically and among a larger number of small firms and 
contribute materially to the stability of production of industrial goods. 

Farm leaders in Warren County. Iowa, became so impressed with the magni- 
tude of their farm-youth problem that in 19."9 the Agricultural Planning Committee 
undertook a comprehensive study of it. They studied the rate of retirement and 
death of farm operators and the number of boys reaching the age of 20 each year. 
By matching the two sets of figures they found there were between 2 ajid 3 
boys reaching the age of 20 for every farm available to operate. They also reviewed 
the situation with respect to numbers of farms. They found there had been no 
change in numbers in the last 20 years and did not expect much change in the 
near future. 

A review of the training and employment status of the young folks who had 
left the farms indicated that the most of them had taken "unskilled jobs in the 
towns and cities when they first left home. Very few had any vocational training. 
And these untrained boys were the first ones laid off when employment slackened. 
This inquiry into the facts in the situation led the Warren County Planning Com- 
mittee to recommed that more vocational training be provided for the young people 
who would be required to leave the farm to find jobs. 

The situation in Warren County would be duplicated in every rural county in 
Iowa and probably in every county in the Middle West. 

Agricultural people have asked for and obtained public support for vocational 
training of rural boys and girls in agriculture and home economics. Since one- 
half or more of their boys must find jobs in cities, it is surprising that they have 
not asked for similar training for nonfarm occupations. Perhaps it is to be 
explained by the desire and attempt on the part of many families to keep their 
children on their own or neighboring farms. 

Few of the farm people who express a desire to keep their children on the 
farm think through what it would mean if all children born on farms remained 
in farming. What they inarticulately are groping for in most instances is the 
development of forces which would encourage the most promising farm operators 
to remain in their home communities while the less promising ones entered non- 
farm occupations. What they have almost universally overlooked is the fact 
that a well-rounded vocational training and guidance program would assist them 
in achieving their desires. 

Financial opportunities in agriculture are limited by the large number of 
persons attempting to make a living at this occupation. This fact alone dis- 
courages many of the most energetic and ambitious young people from under- 
taking farming as their vocation. But what is probably fully as important, 
the up-and-coming youngsters find that there are many untrained and only 
moderately capable individuals who would like to get out of farming. Because 
of lack of training and vocational guidance these less-qualified people are unable 
to get other jobs. Many able young people who might like to farm if they had 
congenial neighbors and could live in a community with relatively high non- 
monetary as well as monetary living standards turn from farming to other 

A greatly expanded vocational training program giving farm youth an oppor- 
tunity to select from among a number of vocational training courses, together 


with a functioning system f>f vociitional Kuidance, should result in the various 
individuals having more nearly equal opiiort untitles to choose the vocation they 
like best. 

Under such a system, many individuals who now remain in farming not 
because they like it and take pride in their husbandry, hut because they find it 
iinijossiblc to do ollicrwise, would (luickiy enter iionfaiMu occupations. Tins in 
turn would make farming more attractive to others. Agriculture should have 
nothing to fear from such a program. The results would he more economic 
utilization of our human res(mrces through getting a better "lit" of men to 
jobs. It should also result in a more desirable rural culture through the opera- 
tion of a more intelligent selective system. 

A broad, effectively organized system of vocational training and guidance 
has .significance in other directions, besides facilitating the niovenient of surplus 
farm people into nonfarm occupations. The centralization of industry into a 
relatively few large corporations and congested urban areas is in part the result 
of the absence of skilled workers in rural areas. Larg(> cumpanies have their 
own labor training programs. Small companies cannot afford them. New small 
businesses must establish themselves adjacent to supplies of skilled labor which 
usually means still further concentration of industries and workers. 

The knowledge tliat a continuing supply of young trained workers would be 
coming on each year might be just the added atlvantage necessary to cause a 
business to locate in a small town or city. The existence of such a trained labor 
supply in rural areas would be an important factor influencing decisions of men 
who would like to start up a new small business to manufacture or proceSB 
some product. 

Under our present system of training industrial workers, the young men get 
a minimum of training in skills other than those necessary for the particular 
job to be done in the industry furnishing the training. The workers have little 
opportunity for learning the skills required or the prospective employment op- 
portunities in other branches of industry. A sound, modern vocational educa- 
tion program supplemented by vocational guidance would make it easier for 
labor to shift from one job to another, thus tending to reduce the immobility of 
labor and to stabilize employment in industry as a whole. 

Furthermore, the existence of trained young people with roots on the farms, 
in periods of slackened demand for labor, might be expected to materially 
change the rural landscape. At the present time, as soon as the unskilled 
farm boy loses his job, he returns home and helps a little with the usual farm 
work, awaiting the time when he can get another unskilled job in the city. 
With training these farm youth could do much of the skilled work necessary 
to bring rural housing facilities up to the standard of housing enjoyed by the 
middl<> income nonfarm people. High wages for skilled workmen have been 
an important factor retarding rural electrification, farm home modernization, 
and the repairing of farm buildings. 

One further gain which might be expected from such a vocational training 
and guidance program would be the injecting of the public interest into the 
recruiting of new laborers for any particular trade. At the pre.sent time, in 
some cases a small group of union leaders with extremely narrow, selfish 
interests dictate training and apprenticeship terms. Changes in apprentice- 
ship policies would be required. Care would have to be exercised to prevent 
the demoralization of any particular trade. But the vocational guidance pro- 
gram would fill just such a need by studving employment trends and wage 
rates in the different fi(>lds and informing the new recruits of their findings. 

The objections to such a program as outlined here will come from o sources. 
One group will say that we cannot afford such a compn^hensive program. 
The answer to this objection is that the costs will be repaid several times over 
in the increased productiveness of the workers filling jobs for which they are 
trained and fitted as compared with the present largely accidental system of 
fitting jobs and people together. A second group — farmers — will be afraid 
that the rush to the cities will be speeded up. This point has already been 
covered in the discussion. The present farm-labor shortage due to excessive 
defense demands must be recognized for what it is — a tempoi-ary war situa- 
tion. As long as farm families have sufilciently high birth rates to more than 
maintain themselves, they will have a surplus of youth who must find non- 
farm jobs. The third group to object will surely be organized labor, but 
here again further study should indicate that only relatively few groups in 
labor who are now engaged in monopolistic practices will be adversely affected. 



It is even probable they may be benefitted by stearlier employment and lower 
living costs brought about by such a program. 

The political prospects of adopting such a program during a period of unem- 
ployment are not bright. How much better off we would be today had we 
adopted such a program 5 years ago. If the present emergency program is to 
be converted into a permanent and integrated part of our public education 
system, action in that direction is urgently needed immediately. A permanent 
vocational education and guidance program will not solve all of our problems. 
It is no cure-all for our economic and social ills. But the emergency defense 
training courses are filling a real need. Similarly an expanded program mak- 
ing vocational training in a wide number of fields available to every rural 
youth would fill a real need. The beneficial effects would flow in a number 
of directions. 

Tenant Mobtlitt in Iowa^ 


A survey conducted in early February 1941 reveals that 11 percent of all ten- 
ants definitely knew they were moving in March, and 2 percent were still uncer- 
tain whether they could stay. Applying a mobility rate of 12 percent to the 
101,484 tenants reported by the 1940 census, we arrive at an estimate of 12,200 
tenants moving off the farms they occupied in 1940. 

Compai'ed with earlier years, the rate of tenant mobility seems to have de- 
clined, as is shown in table I. 

Table I. — Tenant mobility rates, 1920-Jil 


Percent of 


Number of 


Percent of 

Number of 



24, 000 
20, 400 






1925 -• 

13, 400 


12, 200 

Source: 1920-40: U. S. Census, 1940, Agriculture, Second Series, p .10, 1941: Farm 
Tenure Survey, February 1941. Bureau of Agricultural Economics and Agricultural Market- 
ing Service, U. S. Department of Agriculture, cooperating. 

A number of factors may have contributed to bringing about this decline 
in tenant mobility. We have, however, no data to weigh the relative im- 
portance of such factors. Some of them we may list briefly : 

(1) The years 1937-40 have been comparatively stable with respect to crop 
yields and prices. Hence, fewer tenants are likely to have defaulted in rent 
payments, fewer landlords were disappointed with their rent returns, and 
there were probably less causes for frictions between the two parties than 
in the earlier thirties. 

(2) In 1939, the Iowa Legislature enacted a lease termination law which 
provided that unless written notice for termination is served before November 
1, thiit lease is to remain in effect for the following crop year. It is likely 
that this statutory provision, which has been widely publicized and is whole- 
heartedly approved by the great majority of the rural population, has tended 
to increase the tenant's security and to reduce tenant mobility. 

(3) The rate of foreclosures has fallen rapidly, from 40 per 1,000 farms 
in 1935 to 13 in 1940. The mortgage moratorium, which became effective 
in 1934 and expired in 1939, in conjunction with the debt adjustment work 
carried out under the auspices of the Farms Security Administration, has 

1 This report is largely based upon two surveys undertaken cooperatively by tlie Iowa 
Agricultural Experiment Station and the Bureau of Agricultural Economics, U. S. Depart- 
ment of Agriculture: (1) The Farm Tenure Survey of February 1941, and (2) The Rent 
Determination Survey of August 1941. The first covered a representative sample of 3,713 
farms. The schedules were taken by Worlds Pro.iect Administration workers under the 
Farm Employment Survey, OfBcial Project No. 1G5-2-72-28.5, State Work Project No. 
57S2 The second covered 157 tenant farms in the 5 major type-of-farming areas. The 
schedules were taken by J. Lloyd Spaulding, Bureau of Agricultural Economics, who is 
cooperating in their analysis and summarizations. 



resultod in many a debt settlement whieli left the octui)auty of the tenant 

(4) The awareness of the strong competition of young farmers and migrants 
for farms due to continued uneniploynieiit in industry may have induced ten- 
ants to stay on tiieir farm if they possibly could. Tills mifilit explain ]»artly 
the decrease in mobility in the face of keen tenant competition for farms 
to rent. 

Aeeording to our February Survey, 20 jn'rcent of the tenants moving off their 
farms in liMl intended to, or were forced to (piit fai'iiiini;, at least for the 
coming crop season. Of all tenants (putting farming in 1941, 78 percent did so 
involuntarily; they would have preferred to continue fanning, but for some rea- 
son were unable to obtain farms. Exiianding proportions from oiu' sample 
to Iowa as a wdiole, about 1,800 tenant families were forced off the land in the 
spring of 1041 ; this means that about 20 tenants per county, on the average, were 
squeezed out of agriculture and driven into towns or cities against their wilL 
This "displacement" of tenants, however, need not be associated with farm con- 
solidation, as most of them were probably replaced by other tenants or owner- 

In August 1941 another more intensive "rent-determination survey" of 157 
tenant farms scattered throughout Iowa was undertaken. Although this sample 
was not designed to represent Iowa tenancy as a whole, some information was 
obtained from this siu'vey, which is relevant to the problem of tenant mobility. 

About 34 percent of the previous tenants of 71 farms on which the present new 
tenants were interviewed were reported to have quit farming in 1940 or 1941, 
as indicated in table II. Voluntary retirement due to age, health, etc., appeared 
to be the reason for quitting for 14 percent, while most of the other 20 percent 
were displaced from farming against their will, probably. 

Table II. — Tenure and occupational status of farmers moving off the farm m 

19J,0 or 19U 



Number of tenant farmers having moved in 1940 or 1941 --. 





On rented farms - 



On bought farms 


On farms already owned .- - ..- 


Farmers quitting farming . - - - 



Retiring to town 



Active in town .. 


Miscellaneous '. 


• Includes 3 working as hired hands, and 2 whose whereabouts are unknown to the present tenants. 

Source: Rent Detormination Survey, August 1941. This information is a summary of what the present 
tenants reported of their predecessors. 

Although this sample was not intended for expansion over the State as a 
whole, the orders of magnitude of the changes in tenure and occupational status 
of the tenants which left those farms in 1940 or 1941 are worth observing, and 
may not be far from, retlecting widely prevailing conditions. The fact that the 
percentage of retiring tenants is so much larger in this (14 percent) than in the 
February surve.v (4 percent) probably means that retirement of farm families 
has, in recent years, i)een an important source of farms available for rent, since 
the 4 percent of the February survey refers to all tenants moving, while the 14 
percent of the August survey refers to the predecessors of the new tenants who 
moved onto these farms in 1940 or 1941. 

The 9 families who were reported to be active in town are supposedly engaged 
in carpenter work 2, truck driving 2, ])aperhanging and painting 1, business 1, 
and miscellaneous or unknown occupation 3. 

The August survey yields further information of relevance to mobility. 
Of the total of l.")7 tenant farmers interviewed, 15 percent knew they W'ould 
move in 1942, 23 percent were uncertain, and 62 percent definitely planned to 
stay. The tenants' plans for 1942 are presented in more detail in table III. 


Table III. — Tenants' plans for the 19^2 crop year 



tenants ' 


tenants ' 

Tenants planning to move in 1942 

Looking for a farm to rent 

Having made arrangements to rent 

Having bought a farm 

Looking for a farm to rent or to buy. .. 
Tenants uncertain of their stay in 1942 
Tenants planning to stay in 1942 

Total number of tenants •--.. 

















1 New tenants are those having moved to their present farms in 1941 or 1940; old tenants have stayed on 
their present farms since 1939 or longer. 

Source: Rent Determination Survey, August 1941. 

Not a single one of the tenants intended to quit farming in 1942. Since almost 
one-fourth of all tenants were uncertain of their stay, and an additional 9 per- 
cent knew they had to leave but had not been able to secure a farm yet, one- 
third of all the tenants were confronted in August 1941 with the possibility that 
they might not succeed in getting a farm for 1942 — a situation which cannot fail 
to produce restlessness and anxiety in a substantial part of tenant families in 
Iowa. This will hold true even if the employment opportunities will be con- 
siderably better in 1942 than they were before due to the increasing momentum 
of defense production, because these tenants are farmers, want to continue farm- 
ing, know no other trade, and anticipate substantial losses if they were forced 
to sell their stock and equipment and work on unskilled jobs or Work Projects 
Administration — particularly since their families greatly hamper their freedom 
of movement. 

Note that the corresponding proportion of tenants uncertain of their 1942: 
stay is much higher for the new tenants (40 percent) than for the old (25 per- 
cent) who have been on their present farms for three or more years. 

From 30 of the 73 new tenants, we were able to obtain some information 
regarding the intensity of competition for farms to rent. When they rented 
their present farm in 1940 or 1941, 6 of these 30 tenants reported that they knew 
of 6 or more other tenants wanting to get that farm, 5 reported 2 to 5 com- 
petitors, 8 reported 1, and 11 reported no direct comiietitors. 

A few individual case histories might serve to visualize the character of tenant 
migration in Iowa. 

Mr. A had farmed several years with his father in Pocahontas County. He 
wanted to start out on his own, and took over the local agency of an oil company 
But soon he longed to get back into farming. A local landowner and his wife 
were killed in an automobile accident. Mr. A went to the administrator of the 
estate and told him that if there would be a change of tenants he would like to 
rent the farm. Two years later the farm became vacant, and Mr. A moved to 
that farm. By the end of his second year, he was told that a relative of the 
family of the estate wanted to operate the farm. He found a small SO-acre farm 
belonging to a tenant who operated a larger farm nearby. But even before Mr A 
had moved onto the SO acres, the owner told him that he was getting more and 
more embroiled with the landlord, and he had decided to move to his 80 acres 
himself the next year. Mr. A immediately started hunting around for a farm 
and by August 1940 he had found the place he occupies now, and arranged a lease 
through a local businessman who managed the farm for an estate. Tlie previous 
tenant had cheated the estate on a number of scores, and had a bad reputation 
according to Mr. A. The neighbors, however, accused Mr. A of having offered 
a cash sum for the privilege of getting the farm, of "buying the lease" in local 
vernacular, a practice which is frowned upon and considered unfair bv farmers 
Mr. A denies this. In August 1941, he had the assurance from the estate manager 
that he could stay for the 1942 season. 

Mr. B. came to Iowa as a young lad from Kentuckv in 1920, and worked 
around as a hired farm hand until 1924. He had saved 'a little, and with some 
credit bought equipment and rented a farm. He staved on that same place for 
n years, and everything considered, life had treated him prettv well. In 1935 
He longed to see his folks down in Kentucky. He sold most of his stock and 


eqiiipnient and wont to his old homo for an extended visit. In 1936 he came 
back to another farm in Pocahontas County. In Septemher l!t.39 it was sold, and 
now trouhle hegan. He looked around desperately, spent .$200 driving to Des 
Moines, Iowa Falls, Eunnetshurjr. Speneer. All he could spot was a poor, run- 
down place n<'ar Spencer, which would hardly have yielded the cost of moving. 
He was just n'ady to sign a purchase contract on a farm which really did not 
appeal to him either, when a mcrchaut friend of his i)ersuaded him to hack out 
of the risky deal and take his chance on locating a farm for rent. Time slipped 
away, and Mr. li prepared to give up and sell out. Then, an old farmer in the 
neighhorhood died, the father-in-law of a good friend of his. He learned that 
the old man's son was moving to that farm, and therehy vacating the farm he 
had rented. Mr. B inuuedialely went to see the respective landlady, who had not 
yet heard that her tenant was planning to move. She knew Mr. B for some 
years, and promised him the farm. Her tenant, however, had figured not to 
cancel his lease, hut to suhlet the farm to his brother who also was looking 
desperately for a place. The landlady refused to let her tenant sublease her 
farm and rented it to Mr. B, who, now, after considerable agony, feels well 
satisfied and fairly secure in his occupancy. The previous tenant's brother, 
however, for all we know, may still be looking for a place to stay. 

The moral : In each locality There are would-be tenants on keen lookout for 
vacancies, jumping at opportunities almost before they actually arise, and it 
may take a long .series of bad and good luck before a tenant family succeeds 
to get settled with an appreciable sense of security. Intimate knowledge of local 
people, backing by some intluential persons in the community, is often just as, 
if not more, important as farmers' experience and ability to get hold of a farm 
in Iowa. Farm sales, death, or retirement seem in recent years, to be the main 
immediate factors causing tenants to move. 

It might well be, however, that expansion of employment opportunities under 
the defense program in the coming years will change the character of tenant 
mobility substantially. Farmers' sons, instead of looking for a place to rent, may 
move to defense industries ; tenants, having asked to leave, may look for defense 
jobs rather than farms ; and farm laborers, of, are drawn off most readily 
from farm work. Rut indications are that only very few tenants who have farms 
and are permitted to stay even on a year-to-year basis are likely to migrate to 
defense industries. 

Progress of Mechanization in Iowa, 1929-40 

report by john a. hopkins, associate professor of agricultural economics, 
iowa state college, ames, iowa 

The adoption of larger and faster farm implements has continued during recent 
years at a relatively rapid rate, though more slowly during the depression years, 
1931 to 1934. The central feature of this trend has been the replacement of 
horses with tractors, permitting the use of larger field implements and greater 
speed of operation. 

From 49.000 in 1929 the number of tractors rose to .58.000 in 1931, declined 
slightly until 1933, then increased rapidly to 124,000 in 1941, according to data 
collected by as.sessors (see table I). The assessors' records, however, tend to 
understate the full number, and the United States Census shows over G6.00O in 
April 1930 and 128,000 in April 1940. As might be expected, the largest numbers 
occur in the cash grain, eastern livestock, and western livestock areas, while 
tractors are much less common in the southern pasture area, with its rougher 
land and smaller crop acreage. 

At the same lime that tractors were being adopted rapidly by Iowa farmers 
an important shift in type was occurring also. About 1925 the row-crop type 
became available and permitted the cultivation of such crops as corn, as well as 
the performance of heavy seedbed preparation work. For the country as a whole 
the sale of row-crop tractors surpassed that of the standard, or four-wheel type, 
in 192S, and from that year on the new type gradually displaced the old. The 
change in chassis design and other improvements, such as application of the 
power take-off, the power lift, improvements in the lubrication system, and 
increased speed of operation led to greatly increased use per tractor and per 
farm. Thus, an Iowa study in 1936-37 found that standard tractors on 66 farms 



were used for drawbar work about 200 hours per year for each 100 acres of 
cropland. Steel-rimmed row-crop tractors ou a similar number of farms were 
u.sed about 300 houx-s, and rubber-tired row-crop tractors about 330 drawbar 
hours for each 100 acres of cropland.* Not only did the row-crop type provide 

Table I. — Tractors on Iowa farms according to assessors' data, January 1929 to 
January 19Jfl, by type of farming areas 


dairy area 




Cash grain 








48, 718 

55, 065 

58, 475 


53, 278 

54, 464 

58, 353 

69, 835 

83, 656 

99, 803 



124, 487 











17, 696 

20, 174 

21, 746 



10, 639 
12, 072 

12. 520 

13, 203 
15, 809 
22, 770 
24, 974 
27, 685 



14, 269 
14, 7S6 
14, 458 

12, 742 

13, 190 
21, 374 
25, 380 
28, 235 
29, 877 
31, 282 


12, 153 
15, ;^92 
15. 234 
14. 069 
14, 160 
20, 772 
24. 021 
26, 298 
28, 129 
29, 754 











9, 936 

11, 150 




1930. . 


1932 --. 

1933 . . 


1935 . . 







Percent farms with tractors, 

Number tractors in State according to U. S. Census: April 1930, 66,258; April 1940, 128,516 

power for a wider variety of farm tasks and displace more labor, but the greater 
use reduced the cost per horsepower-hour. 

About a quarter of the tractors that had been used in 1930 were of the row- 
crop type, according to a 1911 survey.' As this type increased in number, the 
proportion rose to 51 percent in 1935 and to 80 percent in 1941. (See table II.) 
The shift, however, is not yet completed, and it will be several years before the 
older and slower tractors are all worn out and displaced by the more efficient 
type. Labor displacement will therefore continue for some time from this 
source as well as from further growth in total number of tractors. 

Table II. — Tractors; percentage of those reported that loere of roio-crop type, 
by type of farming, 1929-41 * 

[Preliminary, subject to correction] 























1932 . 




1936 . 


1938 . 




' Based on reports from 3,138 farms. 

Iowa Agricultural Experiment Station, Research Bulletin 258, Cost and Utilization of 
Power and Labor on Iowa Farms, by Wvlie D. Uoodsell. 

'A survey of a random sample of approximately 3,000 farms was conducted in the 
summer of 1941 by the Work Projects Administration (project O. P. 165-2-72-285 work 
project o7S2) in cooperation with the Agricultural Marketing Service and the Agricultural 
Experiment Station of Iowa State College. 



Tari.e IIL.— Estimated percentage of Jowa farms with corn pickers, 1929-.'fl, 
by type of farming areas ^ 

[Preliminary, subject to correction] 




















































































« Based on reports from 3,138 farms. 
' Less than one-half of 1 percent. 

Corn pickers. — The mechanical corn picker has had a greater influence on the 
amount of farm labor required in Iowa and on its seasonal distribution than 
any other implement during tlie past decade. This is not a new machine, but 
the development of a two-row machine and the application to it of the power 
talve-off in the late 1920"s started a rapid process of adoption. According to the 
1941 survey, about 2 percent of Iowa farms liad meclianical corn pickers in 1929. 
During the depression the number increased only slowly, since there was a 
scarcity of funds for investment in implements and abundant low-priced labor 
for harvesting the corn crop. By 1935 6 percent of the surveyed farms had corn 
pickers. But from this time until the present the increase was more rapid until 
mechanical pickers occurred on 15 percent of the farms in 1941. 

There was a wide difference in the rate of adoption between type of farming 
areas. It was most rapid in the cash grain area where level land and large corn 
acreages make mechanical picking particularly advantageous. Here 26 percent 
of the farms surveyed had mechanical pickers in 1941. Next highest came the 
eastern livestock area with 20 percent, while tliese machines were found on only 
3 percent of the farms in the southern pasture area. It should be noted that the 
rate of increase in corn pickers has apparently passed its peak, and fewer new 
machines were bought in 1940 and 1941 than in 1938 or 1939. 

How important are these machines in i-educing farm labor requirements? In 
the sample surveyed there were 471 corn pickers. These harvested an average 
of 164 acres of corn, of which 93 acres were on the home farm and 71 acres on 
other farms. On an average the machine saves about 3 hours per acre as com- 
pared to hand picking. 

The comhine. — Although the purchase of corn pickers is slowing down, that of 
combines continues to increase. They were found on 6 percent of the farms in 
1941, as compared to 1 farm in 500 in 1933. Combines were most numerous in 
the cash grain and the eastern livestock areas, with 8 and 9 percent, respectively. 
The combine (of the size used on Iowa farms) saves an average of 3 to 4 hours 
per acre of grain, as compared to harvesting with a binder and threshing from 
the shock. The average machine in the survey was used on an average of 72 
acres on the home farm, plus 106 acres on other farms. Like the corn picker, 
the combine affects labor requirements most in a peak season. These two ma- 
chines enable the farmer to complete his harvests in shorter periods of time and 
with less dependence on hired labor. From the viewpoint of the hired worker, 
such machines affect most the demand fur seasonal labor which has been em- 
ployed either from the local town or from the ranks of migrant workers. 



Table IV. — Estimated percentage of Iowa farmfi with coniMnes, 19S2-Jfl, by type 

of farming areas ' 

[Preliminary, subject to correction] 



dairy area 




Cash grain 








































1 Based on reports from 3,138 farms. 

2 Less than one-half of 1 percent. 

Grain hinders. — The importance of mechanical power extends to older types 
of implements as well as to such newly adopted machines as corn pickers and 
combines. Of the farms reporting, 25 percent had binders drawn by horse, 20 
percent by tractors, and 6 percent sometimes drawn by one type of power and 
sometimes by the other. Since 1929 there was a decline of about a third in the 
number of horse-drawn binders. Part of this was offset by the increasing number 
of tractor-drawn machines and part of it by the adoption of combines. 

The tractor binder saves about one-third of an hour per acre of grain harvested 
as compared to a horse-drawn machine of the same size. Consequently its effect 
on labor requirements is much smaller than that of the combine. But it is a 
striking fact that more of the farmers interviewed bought new combines in 1940 
and 1941 than bought binders, although the average combine harvested six times 
as many acres of grain as are grown on the average farm. Indeed, the sale of 
binders has declined so sharply for the country as a whole that the Census Bureau 
failed to report binder sales at all in its 1940 bulletin on Manufacture and Sale 
of Farm Equipment. 

Cultivators. — The general shift toward larger equipment and toward tractor 
implements is well exemplified by the changes in types of cultivators bought and 
used. Information on types of cultivators was obtained from 2,913 farms in the 
1941 survey. On these farms an average of 120 one-row, horse-drawn cultivators 
was bought each year from 1930 to 1934 (even during the depression). In 1940 
and 1941 the average number bought per year was 16. During the 1920's a shift 
from one-row to two-row horse-drawn cultivators was in progress, since these 
machines saved about two-thirds of an hour of labor each time the corn was cul- 
tivated. Purchases of these two-row machines averaged 40 per year from 1930 to 
1934, equivalent in cultivating capacity to 80 one-row machines. By 1940-41 even 
the two-row horse-drawn cultivators were being crowded out of the picture, and 
purchases by farmers in our sample amounted to only 5 per year. On the other 
hand, two-row tractor cultivators were purchased by 30 to 40 farmers in our 
sample each year from 1930 to 1934. Purcliases inci-eased to over 200 per year in 
1937-39 and averaged 15.5 per year in 1940-41. This machine saves a quarter 
hour per acre covered as compared to the two-row horse cultivator. 

The shift to the larger cultivators is, however, far from complete. It is esti- 
mated that the average one-row horse-drawn cultivator lasts 24 years, the two- 
row horse cultivator 21 years, and the two-row tractor cultivator 15 years. Con- 
sequently, most of the one- and two-row horse cultivators that were on farms in 
1980 are still there, though they are not all used. From 97 one-row horse cul- 
tivators in 1929 on each 100 farms studied the number declined to 69 in 1941. 


Tabuj V. — 1-roic, horse-drawn ciiltivator,i; ■nunihrr per 100 farms, hy type of 

larming areas, l'J2i)-fil ' 
[Preliminary, subject to correction] 


dairy area 




Cash Rrain 







1929 - 










1931 - 


1932 . 




















> Based on reports from 2,913 farms. 

It is estimated that there were 17 two-row horse cultivators per 100 farms in 
3929. By 1932 this number had risen to 19; but after 1934 the wearing out of old 
machines m<ire tliaii ollset new purchases, and the number declined to ].") in 1941. 
On tlie other hand, adoption of two-row tractor drawn cultivators brought a rapid 
increase in this type until the present time. 

From 4 two-row tractor cultivators per 100 farms in 1929 the number increased 
to 13 in 1935. Thereafter, with a more optimistic outlook for agriculture and 
more available funds, purchases increased rapidly as stated above, and tlie number 
per 100 farms shot upward to 50 in 1941. The largest number, 73, occurred in the 
cash grain area, and the lowest was 24 in the hilly southern pasture area. 

As already indicated the adoption of tractors was the most important influence on 
farm-labor ellicifucy and on farm employment in the last two decades. Its effect 
was not restricted to the few machines discussed but extended also to a majority 
of farm implements including plows, disks, mowers, and so on. Further, other 
and newer machines such as the pick-up hay baler and field ensilage cutter are 
also becoming available for adoption in the future. 

One important consideration is that the adoption of larger implements and of 
mechanical power has affected labor requirements in peak-seasons more than in 
slack seasons. The corn picker, combine, pick-up hay baler, tractor cultivator, 
tractor-drawn plows, and other seedbed preparation equipment, are all machines 
that are employed during the busiest seasons. Labor requirements on livestock 
and on general maintenance work around the farm have been affected much less 
by new mechanical contrivances ; and from the nature of the work to be performed, 
such work is less likely to be affected in the near future. Consequently, mech- 
anization has tended to smooth out the seasonal peaks and has reduced the demand 
for seasonal and migrant labor to a greater extent than that for year-round farm 

Table VI. — 2-roiv, tractor cultivators; nnmljer per 100 farms hy type of farming 

areas, 1929-41 ' 
[Preliminary, subject to correction] 



dairy area 




Cash grrain 






















































































> Based on reports from 2,913 farms. 


National Dp:fense Migration in Harden County, Iowa 

eeport by robert a. thompson, county club agent, 4-h clubs, and walteb p. 
eyre, county agricttltural agent 

CoopEKATi\'E Extension Work in 
Agriculture and Home Economics, 

Eldora, Iowa, November 17, lOJfl. 
There has been only a slight loss of workei'S to defense industries. The most 
sever impact has been through the selective service. 

Our agricultural plant made the largest production in this year of 1941 that we 
have ever had. In the food-for-defense program we have been asked to make an 
even greater increase in food production, such as dairy, poultry, meat, and soy- 
beans. The feeding of livestock and dairying is a skilled occupation. There is not 
time to materially increase the number of cows kept and the larger portion of in- 
crease will have to be made through increased efficiency. This will be in addition 
to the largest production per cow on record made in 1941. 

Where the Selective Service Board is pinching our production is in its taking 
of these boys who are skilled in feeding and dairying and the operation of power 

In an interview with our county selective service board today, we find they 
indicated there is very little in their instructions that allow them to defer single 
men or recently married ones, although it may mc&n breaking up of an entire 
farm business if they are taken. If our food-for-defense program is as essential 
as they tell us it is, and we believe that it is, it will not be possible to make the 
desired increase in the production of food if many of these boys are taken. 
While the draining off of farm woi'kers to defense industries has not been very 
noticeable, farmers have been unable to secure as much help as desired even in the 
slack season for nearly a year. We have seen more women working in the fields 
this year than for at least 7 years here in the county. 

We would say that to date the selective service has not very materially reduced 
the capacity of the agricultural plant to produce the essential food. The situation 
has. however, gotten to the place where inroads will be made on efficiency if some 
of the boys who are skilled in feeding and power machinery operation are taken. 

One thing that may not come within the study of your committee but should 
be mentioned : Repairs and replacement parts for farm machinery must not be 
curtailed if the required production of the essential foods is made. 
Very truly yours, 

Robert A. Thompson, 
County Cluh Agent, Jf-E Clubs. 
Walter B. Eyre, 
County Agricultural Agent. 

Agriculture and the Effects of the National-Defense Program in Stort 

County, Iowa 



Principal crops grown in Story County are corn, oats, and soybeans. In some 
sections of the county a considerable acreage Is devoted to sweet corn and i)eas 
for canning. The type of farming might be described as general. Very few are 
strictly grain farms. Practically all farmers feed some hogs, part of them feed 
cattle and part of them do some dairying. Some farmers feed more corn than 
they raise but the general practice is to have some corn to sell and miarkeit 
the balance through livestock. 


In 1939, 64 i>ercent of the farms in Story County were operated by tenant.?. 
In 1941, 59 percent were operated by tenants. We have no exact figure on 
the proportion of land owned by townspeople and insurance companies but the 
majority of the land which is operated by tenants is owned by people who live 
in towns or by insurance companies. There has been no material increase in 
60.396 — 42— pt. 22 12 


the number of farms purchased by nearby businessmen. Within the last tew 
months several farms have been purchased by interests outside of the State. 
Those purchases are not likely to affect tlie pi-oportion of tenancy in the covmty as 
the new owners seem to be inclined to liandle each farm as a separate unit. 

Insurance companies have sold a good many farms; the majority of them 
going to men who will operate them, that is ; men who have been renters. 

Most farmers take a rather lenient attitude toward ab.sentee ownership. 
They do feel, however ; that insurance companies should sell their farms as 
rapidly as po.ssible. 

Tlie size oi farm units has increased within the last few years. This is due 
largely to the increase in meclianization. The increase in the size of imits has 
decreased the number of farms for rent. This is making it rather hard for 
young men to secure farms when they are ready to start farming lor themselves. 
Absentee owners have found it rather unsatisfactory, because of the type of 
farming which prevails in the county, to operate their farms with hired help. 


The national-defense program has increased farm mechanization within the 
last year. Farm help is hard to secure. A good many of the young men are in 
the training camps and many others have found it more protiiable to secure work 
in plants producing war material. This is causing considerable concern among 
farmers who depend upon hired help. Mechanization has been increasing 
steadily for several years. The defense program will very likely increase the 
demand for more power equipment. We do not anticipate that farm mechaniza- 
tion will have any material effect upon the size of the farm unit in 1942. The 
increase in the size of farming units was prior to the inauguration of the 
defense program. 

Statement of Donald R. Murpht, Editor Wallace's Farmer and Iowa Home>- 

STEAD, Des Moines, Iowa 

Only 231 farm families have been displaced in Iowa as the result of land 
buying for the munitions plants at Burlington and Ankeny. Most of these 
families will probably be helped to new locations by the Farm Security Admin- 
istration. So far as Iowa is concerned, therefore, the displacement of farm 
families in this way is only a minor problem. 

Our major problem in farm displacement started before the war and still 
continues. In 1940, Wallace's Farmer and Iowa Homestead made a survey 
of Iowa to try to find out how many farm families had been squeezed out Ln 
the last year by farm consolidations. Our conclusion was that around 2,000 
farm families had been forced off the land in that one season. 

The Farm Security Administration, making a somewhat similar survey, foimd 
a larger disiilacement. Unfortunately, data in this field is still inadequate, but 
the evidence available indicates that the growing size of farms, as a result 
of increased meclianization, is causing trouble in Iowa as elsewhere. 

Iowa farm iieople are well aware of this situation and are troubled about it. 
Almost every farmer has seen his neighbor forced to move when his farm 
was rented to a big operator. 

One survey of ours indicated what happened in the 3 years, 1936-39, to 
Iowa farm people who h;id been pushed oft' their farms. Where did they go? 
We found that 17 percent went on Works Projects Administration or relief, 20 
percent got jobs in town, 37 percent went to farming elsewhere, 7 percent 
worked as fiuni hands, and 19 percent were hard to classify. 

Iowa farmers recognize the disease, are inclined to thiidc the answer is to 
crack down on big farms, to take drastic action toward maintaining the family- 
sized farm. We have asked, in opinion surveys of the Gallup type, wliether 
farmers wanted a graduated land tax on ownership and operation. These 
surveys have shown that around 00 jiercont were in favor of such a plan, 
with 25 percent ojiposed, and the balance of 15 percent undecided. 

We have asked about limiting (he landlord's lien to half the crop and half 
the increase in livestock (a marked change from the present Iowa law) and 
found 00 percent in favor and oidy 19 percent against. We have asked about 
a notification date on lease renewal and found S.5 percent asking for a date 
September 1 or earlier. The Iowa law names November 1. 

Farm sentiment, so far as we can measiu'e it. seems to recognize farm con- 
solidation as a menace to the type of rural civilization we hope to have, and to 


be strongly in favor of limiting farm size and of stabilizing Ihe position of tbe 

Right now we are engaged in making a survey on farm opinion as to whether 
the farm land banks should lend money on land to nonoperators. Though the 
final figures are not in, there seems to be a heavy majority against the present 
land-bank practice of lending to anybody who has security. This emphasizes 
again the tendency of Iowa farm people to want steps taken in favor of the 
-actual opei'ator on the land. 

This is our continuing problem. The new problem, forced on us by the war 
situation, is that of farm labor. Wages have gone up. Men are harder to get. 

Farmers, in the past, have preferred fairly young, single, hired men. Many 
hired a man for the rush season only. One farmer in Iowa said to me 2 years 
ago : "We don't hire a man all the year round any more. We just hire him 
for the rush months and then put him back in cold storage in the Work Projects 
Administration until we need him again." 

Now the young, single men are off to the Army or to munition plants. There 
is still plenty of farm labor available in most places, but it is middle-aged, 
married labor. 

To hire folks means providing a house, extra milk, eggs, and meat. It 
also means doing some educating with men who aren't used to modern machinery. 

Some farmers don't think it worth while to put up a house for a married 
hired man. One way to get around this is to find a house for him in the 
nearest village, pay him mileage, and let the hired man commute to work. There 
are disadvantages here, too, of course. 

The family sized farm, which needs to hire little help, has an advantage these 
days. So does the big, efficient farm that can afford to pay high wages for the 
men it needs. The in-between farm, which needs about half a hired man, is 
having trouble. * 

Here is a letter to Wallace's Farmer and Iowa Homestead from an Iowa farmer 
who tells what he does for his hired men : 

"We are hiring two married men. They each live on a separate farm. They 
have good houses, one of six rooms, the other a seven-room house. Both have 
good basements. 

"The pay is $45 a month the year around. We a good cow the entire 
year, 2 hogs to butcher, allow them 100 old hens, and they raise 200 young 
chickens. These are fed on our grain. 

"The hired men can raise all the garden produce and potatoes they want. 

"They get all the cobs they can burn. They pay their own light bills. We 
also give them 35 cents per meal for all extra meals they prepare for workmen. 
We have never taken off a cent for days they have off. I feel these men are 
actually getting real wages of around $75 a month." 

And here is another letter from a farmer in the in-between class : 

"If a farmer had an extra house on his farm for a married hired hand to live 
in, where would he get that middle-aged married man, where there is none to 
hire? You say a farmer may have to make a deal with a married man who 
lives in town and can drive back and forth. You cannot find a single or married 
man of any age living in our town who will go out and work on a farm. 

"I had a middle-aged man last spring who couldn't learn to drive a tractor, and 
broke up machinery. I paid him what wages he asked. Where in 1942' will 
a hired man be found when there is not any now? 

"Did you ever try farming without help? Just try to farm 200 acres without 
any help, besides having seven or eight cows to milk twice a day." 

To give the other side of the argument, from the hired man's side, here is a 
letter from an Iowa farm woman, a hired man's wife. She writes : 

"Most employers are like ours. Pay $40 through the summer, cut to $20 in 
winter. Furnish no extras except a quart of milk a day, a garden spot, and feed 
for a couple of dozen hens. The only fuel we get is cobs. My husband is an 
experienced farmer, but we can't find a better place. It is stay here or go on the 
county. We have three children and nice furniture enough for a five-roora 

This letter was dated November 10. and comes from central Iowa. Apparently, 
farm labor shortage in that area is not very great yet. 

Iowa is undoubtedly going to have more trouble in the next year or two from 
farm-labor shortage than now. So far we have worried about it, but we haven't 
yet been badly hurt. 

It seems certain that the farmer who gets good hired help will have to be willing 
to take married men of middle age, spend some effort on retaining them, provide 


good qiiartors for the fjiniily, iuul be fairly generous with milk, eggs, and meat 
as well as with cash pay. 

In the long run, the growing labor shortage will probably give the family- 
sizwl fai-m an advantage over farms a little larger. P.ut it seems doubtful 
whether it will bother the really big operators very nnich right now. 

Consolidation of farms is likely to continue. Farm families will continue to be 
squeezed out, though wartimes will give such families a better chance to earn 
a living elsewhere. To stop the trend away from the family-sized farm will 
probably require aggressive and deliberate Federal and State action, in the way 
of punitive taxation of big farms and tenant purchase programs. 

What of the Land and Peopli:? 

a short study in trends among the rural peoples — by oalvin schnucker, 
pastor of the ramsey reformbd church, titonka, kossttth county, iowa 

This part of Iowa (North Kos.snth and Winnebago Counties) is, compara- 
tively speaking only recently pioneered and settled. Many of those living now 
can rem(-m!)er the swamiis and lakes which once covered half of the land. They 
remember when first the horsepower ditch was made and an influx of popula- 
tion resulted. When the ''bull" ditches next drained from 2 to 4 feet of water 
from the land another influx of population resulted, people who were born in 
Germany, Holland, Sweden, and Norway. Finally, the large drainage canal 
and tile system was completed and the last of the land made available to 
colonization. A strong and splendid community resulted. There was enough 
land for all. Men purchased enough to settle their sons on the soil. The 
future looked bright and progress was recorded in home life, "methods of agri- 
culture, in community outlook, in schools and churches. 

Comparative prosperity continued through the 1930's. However, during the 
1920's a land boom was in progress and hit this new portion of the State of 
Iowa especially hard. Land commenced changing hands and with each change 
another $25 per acre added to its selling price, until it was selling at prices 
altogether out of proportion to its productive value. Then came the crash 
and with it the land companies took over a great share of the land. Only 
27 percent of the land was operated by owners. Thus far, the pictui-e is an 
old familiar one to many parts of the United States. It was about this time 
(1932) that I moved into North Kossuth County to serve a rural parish. 

From 1932 to the present time (November 1941) an insidious change has 
come about in land practices. The opportunities which the past generations 
considered as a part of the regular scheme of life liave been taken away 
from youth. Young men and women who looked forward to marriage and life 
on a farm together are being disillusioned. The opportunities which once 
were tlieir parents' no longer pertain. Marriage must be postponed much 
later than it ought to be because there is no land available. Land? Yes; 
there is sufiicient land, but conditions have arisen which have made possession 
of land as remote as capturing Neptune in his flight across the night skies. 
The trends for the futui'e are even worse than they have been. On the fol- 
lowing pages I wish to set forth the situation and the problems and the youth 


Despite the decrease in number of births noted across the country by the recent 
census, there are many young people living in this territory. young people 
were born to farm people; they have all the traditions of the land bred in them. 
They know their farming in this territory ; they know good-land use practices. 
Most of (hem have been educated in the small rural schools which dot this por- 
tion of the State or in small-town consolidated schools. About half of them have 
completed the high-school courses, and the other half dropped out somewhere 
between the eighth grade and senior high. These young people know the soil and 
love it ; they understand stock and poultry. Their entire life has been tied up 
with agriculture and, consequently, they are not trained for any other type of 
work. They do not have the "go to the city" fever. Their chief hope and longing 
is to rent and then own a family-sized farm of their own .some day, where their 
children may be born and raised and they themselves may grow old and die. 
In other words, these young people are the ones that ought to be on the farms 


because they can best make a success of farming and they can best contribute to 
the national security by farming the land the way it ought to be farmed. But 
these young people have no chance to get on the land. 

1. There is no new land. Before this time each succeeding type of drainage 
ditch opened new land for those who came in to settle or for the young people 
ready to start farming. This land has all been reclaimed and almost to a square 
foot is now tillable and occupied. So there is no new land here to conquer. 

2. There is no money. Now, I realize that this statement sounds untrue in view 
of present prices. However, it is more true than ever. The young man who 
wants to get started in farming today needs more financial backing than his 
father needed. Machinery and methods have completely changed. The young 
man who w^orks out on a farm for $40 a month during the suuuuer and is idle 
fall, winter, and spring, hasn't much of a chance to save money to start farming. 
There was a time when he worked out the entire year and because the boss pro- 
vided him with transportation and his immediate needs, he was able to save most 
of his wages. Today, few people hire help, and the young man who finds a job 
is just plain lucky. So, where is he to find a job which will provide him wnth 
adequate money to meet his personal needs and finance him in farming? 

3. There is no old land. Again this sounds a bit out of reason — there is as 
much land measured in acres as ever before. Yet today there is even less 
land available. One of the most vicious trends of today is the increasing 
size of the individual farm. Years ago when a farmer owned 640 to 1,000 
acres of land no one thought much of it. There was plenty of land to be 
had — and he usually had enough sons so that when he died each would get 
160 acres. For a time it seemed as though land grabbing had ceased. Since 
1934, there is a vicious trend back to that system. Again and again it has 
happened in this area that a farmer who had 160 or even 240 acres, bought 
another IRO acres ; because he had the equipment to handle the land, he 
immediately gave notice to the tenant and the next year the second set of 
buildings stood empty and the farmer farmed all. There are quite a number 
of such empty buildings from which the renter has been removed. 

Then there is the city or town dweller who is purchasing farms as an 
investment. In many cases he rents this land to a farmer who already has 
160 acres — thus making even less land available to the young man who wishes 
to start farming. 

4. Then there is the attitude of the land-holding companies and the private 
owner who refuse to rent their farms to young people because these young 
people would have to start on a very small scale of equipment. The owners 
"Wish their renters well equipped so that they can handle the land to get the 
most out of it for the owner. As a result these owners frequently rent to a 
farmer nearby who has his own land and is well equipped with machinery 

(power machinery) to handle more. 

5. There is a fifth element that has entered the picture. The Government 
has its share of fault in the matter. Some of the policies are basically 
unsound. I refer to a condition which affects us here in Kossuth County. 
Namely, that of the Farm Security Administration defense relocation plan. 
Originally the governmental purchase of land held by insurance companies was 
excellent so far as this community was concerned. The idea of breaking up 
the large 400-acre farms into family-size farms was good especially since it was 
aimed to make available these farms to the young farmers in this community. 
The about face which has more recently taken place, namely that of bringing 
displaced farmers from the ordnance areas at Burlington and Ankeny upon these 
farms, is not at all good for this community. The land rightfully should first 
be placed into the hands of the "unlanded" young people here. They have 
the first right to the land. Bringing in others only displaces them and the 
vicious circle is increased rather than abated. I know that there are those 
who will plea that these displaced farmers near Burlington and Ankeny should 
be placed on these farms from a moral viewpoint. Their argument is fallacious 
because the trouble goes back a bit further. The defense plants at Ankeny 
and Burlington, if an intelligent group had been placing them, would have 
been situated on some of the most abundant marginal ground and no displace- 
ment would have been effected. Thus, the burden of placing th(> youth here on 
land here, and the displaced farmers on some of the 5,000,000 acres of land 


bcinji inado available in the Tenuessee Valley and also in the West, lies squarely 
on the shoulders of the agencies which, to a great extent, are responsible for 
the problem. 


I want to refer to several steps which could and ought to be taken in order to 
bring about a condition of equity, cooperation, and peace. Some of these ideas 
may be a bit drastic but they will increasingly become necessary. At times Gov- 
ernment spt)kesmen have resented the indifference which many, many Americans 
have shown toward the present emergency defense program. However, one who 
has seen the Farmers Union in action during the 1932-33's, one who has watched 
cream trucks spilled in the ditches, and corn and hogs turned back from market, 
can also see why there are people who are not merely indifferent but even hostile 
toward the Government defense program. The first line of defense is not an Army 
and not a Navy as Rome, Greece, Babylonia, Persia, Egypt, and China can wit- 
ness — the first line of defense is people and land. 

The cynicism, the bitterness, the hostility of young people who have again and 
again been disillusioned ought to give all, including our. great national agencies 
pause to consider. I have both seen and witnessed that which eventually may lead 
to an overthrow of Government itself unless a more sympathetic and helpful atti- 
tude and action is soon taken. 

1. Adequate financing should be made available to youth starting to farm. By 
this I mean finances for farm equipment. This could be done and is being par- 
tially accomplished by the Farm Security Administration. 

2. Security for the future should be made possible through some method of 
applying social security to farmers and disability insurance of one nature or 
other. So that both sickness and old age will be provided for adequately. It may 
be necessary to socialize medicine a bit more than it is. 

3. Land must he made available. — A. The first method that ought to be used is 
that which is being tried : namely, all land held by corporations should be pur- 
cha.sed by the Government and immediately be made available in family sized 
farms to the "unlanded" in the neighborhood and when they have adequately 
been cared for, for others. 

B. Large landowners who are operating all their acreage should somehow be 
penalized. That is a roof ought to be placed upon the number of acres a man 
ought to operate. In our territory, 200 acres should be positively adequate and 
ought to be the top limit of land to be operated by the owner. He may own more 
but that ought to be rented out to others, using a fair lease as renter-owner rela- 
tionship. A method of taxation should be provided that would make it not too 
profitable to own more than 200 acres of land. (I know the figure 200 is arbitrary. 
It would not be enough in certain areas such as western Nebraska or even south- 
ern or northeastern Iowa.) 

4. Suitahle supervision. — I am certain that a suitable supervision of farms 
leased by or being sold by the Government agency to farmers would have to 
be worked out and abided by quite rigidly. That would be the only way tO' 
make the venture completely successful. 


The suggestion has been made and has already been worked out to break up 
the farms purchased by the Farm Security Administration in Kossuth County 
into from 60- to 80-acre tracts. I feel distinctly that in this territory the 80- 
acre tract should be the minimum at present. A smaller tract will tend toward 
making merely a subsistence farmer out of the renter or buyer. We are not 
ready in America to make peasants out of intelligent individuals. We want the 
young farmers and their wives to be financially able to raise children and to 
give those children adequate training for life. The smaller the farm the less 
likelihood that that will be accomplished. 

On the concluding pages of this study, I have signed statements made by 
young couples who have been married for several years and have been trying 
1o make a stiirt at farming. They have no hope of getting parental assistance. 
It is their own honest reaction to the situations which are assailing them. 
These young people were picked at random. I have also included several 
signed statements made by young men who have been engaged for some time 
but have not been able to get married there is no security ahead for them 
so far as they are able to see. With each of these statements, I have included my 
own notes concerning those quoted. 


Exhibits to Statement of Rev. Calvin Schnuckeb, Pastor of Ramsetx- 
Reformed Church, Kossuth County, Titonka, Iowa 

interviews between bev. catvin schnucker and members of his parish 


Pastor's comments : Clifton Buckles and his wife have been married 6 years. 
They had great hopes of attaining a higher status in the farm scale. Gradu- 
ally it is dawning upon them that it is not possible under the present set-up. 
Mrs. Buckels is a very capable woman, with various talents, and is quite well 
read. They are fighting bitterness with all that is in them. They still take 
short outings to fish and picuic — but they both fear that gradually they too 
will become embittered. 

Interview : 

C. S. Cliff, its nice to see you and Ella. It must be all of 6 years ago that 
I married you two. Paula looks healthy; how old is she? 

C. B. Paula is 214 years old now. 

C. S. I heard that you were going to move next spring. How does that 
happen ? 

C. B. Well, you know, the man I'm working for has rented the farm he has 
been working. Now the Joint Stock Lank Bank of Chicago gave him orders to 
move next spring. So there we go too. 

O. S. Oh, then you weren't working the farm for yourself? 

C. B. No ; I have been working as a farm laborer ever since we've been 
married. And I can tell you it hasn't been a cinch either. You know, when 
Ella and I got married we thought it would be comparatively simple to climb 
the ladder of farm success : Laborer — renter — owner. But it just doesn't work 
out that way any more 

C. S. What's the matter? Why doesn't it? 

C. B. Four words tell the story : "No land," "No money," and we might add 
"No cooperation" especially from agencies that ought to be anxious to assist 
for the good of the future status of our country. Ella and I had had high hopes 
of obtaining one of the farms which the Farm Security Administration plans 
to make available. You know, Ella's dad was renting one of the large farms 
which the Bankers Life sold to the Farm Security Administration and which 
will be broken up into smaller units. 

C. S. Did you inquire whether you could get hold of one of those places? 

C. B. Sure, we went to Algona and inquired in Homer Hush's office. But we 
couldn't get any satisfaction. Now we hear that they are planning on taking 
even this remote possibility away from us and are going to give that chance 
to those people from eastern Iowa and from Ankeny. 

C. S. You've been working 6 years as a farm laborer — why haven't you saved 
the money to equip or buy a farm yourself? 

C. B. I know you're just trying to rib us. You know as well as we do that 
for $40 a month for 10 months of the year, raising a family and living, nobody 
can save enough to buy a farm. Why, our car is a wreck and we have not 
been able to get enough money together to replace that with a fairly decent 
used one. 

C. S. What do you see in the future for you? 

C. B. Not much unless a different plan is adopted by our Government agencies. 
But there is so much unfair at present, just lika I mentioned above, and farmers 
buying more land and displacing the present renters. Its hard but Ella and 
I aren't bitter as yet, although some of our friends are getting that way. We'll 
try getting along, but we would like a lift. 

C. W. Buckels. 

Nov. 21, 1941. 


Pastor's comments : Milford Diugman has been married 9 years, and all this 
time he has been a farm laborer — the lowest scale of the ladder in this com- 
munity; He works as hard and as willingly as others. There is little chance 
for advancement for him. Both he and his wife are growing bitter, his wife 
esi)ecially. She has been a woman of refinement and culture, well read. She 
resents this inability to advance. They have been married long enough to 
realize that the future is none too rosy for them. They worry about the future 
of their son. 



C. S. Milford, I want to ask you a few q\iestions and I want j'ou to toll me 
a few thiiifjs about yourself and your family and your future hopes. Tell me, 
how lonj; have you and Fanny been married? 

M. D. We have been married 9 years and we have a fine boy who is now 3 
years old. 

C. S. What have you been doing these last 9 years to make a living for your 

jVI. D. I have been working as a farm laborer. You know, we have a little 
one- or two-room house, so much milk and eggs and usually a certain amount 
per month to live on. 

C. S. Do you make $G0O a year? 

M. D. Say, were you ever a farm laborer? We're lucky to make $300 — then 
we have to live off of that. 

C. S. Well, why don't you rent a farm for your.self ? 

M. D. I have two good reasons — the first is enough — there just isn't any land 
to be rented here— and when a farm is open a big owner comes along and rents 
it and makes one big farm out of his own and the other. That leaves us out 
in the cold. 

C. S. Why don't you buy a farm? 

M. D. (with a glint in the eye). Did you ever try to raise a family, pay doctor 
bills, and buy a farm on $300? The reason I don't buy a farm is because I 
haven't any money. My wife hasn't any money, my father didn't leave me a 
farm. There's no way for me to get ahold of money to buy a farm, nor even to 
get equipment to rent a farm. 

C. S. Well, how do you feel about the whole present set-up? 

M. D. There was a time when first I got married and a few years before I 
got married that I expected it would be fairly easy to follow the steps that the 
past generation took : First to work as a farm laborer, then to rent a farm for 
several years and finally to buy my own farm. Tnose were dreams — pure dreams. 
I haven't found life that way at all. I have worked as hard as others — we have 
tried and tried — but where are we? We're no further today than we were when 
we were first married. In fact we aren't as far today. When we were first 
married we had the holy hope to own our own place, now we are losing hope. 
That's not nice. 

C. S. Do you think there is a chance for you? 

M. D. What kind of a chance? If you mean to get a farm let me answer, not 
unless some big changes are made. Look at the big farmers who are buying 
more and more farms and are working these themselves — that leaves us out 
and puts the fellows who were on the farms off, too. I think there ought to be 
a law against that practice. Those big farms should be broken up. We had 
big hopes that the Farm Security Administration buying up the land here in 
Kossuth County would give us a chance at renting or buying one of the smaller 
farms, but now they are going to bring in outsiders and put us out entirely. I 
tell you it isn't fair. We're not getting a square deal. All I ask for is a chance 
at an 80-acre family-sized farm. Then I'd show the world. This living the way 
we have to is hard on me, but it's a lot harder on my wife. Then when I think 
of my little boy. my blood simply boils. What's going to become of him. we'd 
like to know? How is he ever going to have a chance? If you can do something 
for us, won't you do it soon? We don't want charity — all we for is a chance, 
a fair and an equal chance, with others. But so long as we haven't a chance, 
what can we do? 

Milford Dingman. 

November 21, 1941. 

Richard Gray. ' 

Pastor's comments: Richard Gray and his wife have been married less than 
a year. They are very happy together — life is all ahead of them. They are 
now where Dingman and his wife were 9 years ago and Buckels and his wife 
were 6 years ago. They are fairly certain that a prosperous future awaits them 
and that they can easily scale the farm ladder of success. You can contrast 
the interviews of these thre(> and just see the degree of happiness — gloom — and 
finally embittered disillusionment. Shall Richard and his wife be doomed to 
the same thing? They will unless * * * ij^t that can only be answered by 
the proper Government agencies. 



Interview : 

C. S. : Richard, I've known you for almost 10 years now and I've watched 
you grow up with a good deal of interest. I was especially interested when you 
started going with lola several years back. Both you and lola come from the 
very best of farm families. I want you to tell me a little bit about yourself 
and what you hope to do in the future with your life. Tell me about how old 
you are and how long you've been married. 

R. G. I'm 23 and lola is 20. You married us last spring. Of course we want 
to be farmers, because we have both lived all our lives on the farm and we 
love farming. It's our way of life. 

C. S. Tell me, what is your status on the farm at present. 

R. G. Just at present I am a farm laborer. Of course, you understand that 
is only for the present. A few years from now we hope to be on our own farm 
either as a renter or as an owner. 

C. S. How do you expect to get there? 

R. G. I'm earning $2.5 a month all the year round, we have a nice two-room 
house, my boss furnishes us with cream, eggs, and things like that and even 
supplies us with gas for our car to a limited extent. I'm going to work for him 
for 3 years and then he will help me get a start at renting. You know, we have 
to have money to buy equipment and that sort of thing ; he will help us. 

C. S. That's very splendid and we sincerely hope it turns out that way. 
Where do you expect to be able to rent a farm when the time comes? 

R. G. That's just what is bothering us. We want to stay in this community 
where we were both raised. But there aren't any farms available here. We 
went down to Algona and inquired whether we couldn't get a chance on one 
of the new small farms which the Farm Security Administration is going to 
make available after the buildings have been put upon the farms. But Homer 
Hush couldn't promise us a thing. In fact he didn't seem to know anything 
about the whole business. But we read in the papers that those farms were 
going to be given to the dislocated farmers from Ankeny. Do you know any- 
thing about it? 

C. S. Although I am a member of the Farm Security Administration board 
of directors, I'm afraid that I don't know much more about it than you do. 
But tell me what kind of farm do you want? 

R. G. I want a small farm — 80 to 120 acres is large enough. I don't like 
this idea of some people buying more and more land and working it all them- 
selves. Something ought to be done about it. Of course, when a farmer has 
a large farm and also a large family of boys and expects eventually to break 
up his holdings as his boys need farms, I don't object to that. But so many 
who have small families or no families are buying the land and working for 
themselves and I don't think that is quite fair to the rest of us. 

C. S. But you expect some day to be able to h'andle the situation yourself? 

R. G. I hope to, if the breaks aren't against me. By breaks I mean sickness 
and all those other things that can happen to a young couple. Of course, 
5'ou understand, if it wouldn't be for the help that my boss is offering it would 
be quite a problem to get started. You see, I know several young couples who 
had all sorts of sickness and hospital bills and that has held them down 
pretty much'. 

C. S. There is one last question that I want to ask you, Richard. You've 
lived here practically all your life. Do you think if those people from near 
Burlington and Ankeny are brought into our community that they will be 
able to make a go of things here? 

R. G. I don't know how much different the farm practices ai-e here and 
where they come from. So I can't say whether they will be able to farm as 
efhciently here as where they were. But I do know that it is important for 
them to fit into oiu* community life. If they haven't the same community 
ideals and hopes which we have, then they will get to be a liability to the 
community. So often these people live differently than we do and that will 
tend to disrupt our entire community life. I know our community isn't 
perfect and that there are things that aren't the way they ought to be, but, 
taken as a whole, we have as fine a community here as there is anywhere. 
So I would hate to see anything happen to change it for the worse. 

C. S. You have expressed something that's been in my mind some time, but 
T haven't ever given voice to it. Thanks a lot for your information. 

(Signed) Richard Gray. 
November 21, 1941. 



James Rippentoop. 

Pastor's commoiits: .Tamos Ripiioiitrop is one of the cautious young people. 
He has seen what lias haiipened to many of tlu> young couples who got mar- 
ried and are gradually becoming cynical as farm laborers. He doesn't want 
that to h.ippen to iiim and his wife. So lie postpones marriage, although lie 
ought to be married and have a youngster by now. Instead, what is going to 
happen, he will soon be inducted into tiie Army. If this happens it is a grave 
mistake, in spite of the defense, because Jimmie is the type of young man 
that can really make the soil do something. Wiiat he could contribute to 
national defense as a farmer far surpasses anything that .limmie can con- 
tribute as a soldier. He might as a soldier kill one mythical enemy before 
he gets killed liimself— as a farmer he could save the lives of 22 Americans 
and tlieir allies each year. But no! Because of poor agricultural policies, 
Jimmie is single, working as a hired hand, and will soon be in the Army. 

C S. Jim, I'd like to have you talk with me a little while. You've been 
courting Dorothy for almost 3 years already. And you're not so young any 
more. Whv aren't you married? 

J R. That's rather plain talk, but I'll answer you just as bluntly. I m not 
married because I want to be pretty certain that I can support my wife on 
a farm before I marry. 

C S. lUit, Jim, I've known you a good number of years and feel that you 
are as dependable as any of our young people and more so than most of them. 
I think that you can be trusted to support not only Dorothy but also any 
children that may be born. 

J. R. It isn't that I'm not able to support her. I am willing to work as hard 
as anybody and I'm as able to farm as most farmers are. But the real trouble 
is I can't find a farm to rent. And I don't have the money to buy a farm. 

C. S. How do you know there isn't a farm to rent in this neigliborhood? 

J. R. How do I know? Well, I've been around looking for some and they are 
just not to be had. My dad tells of the days when the owner used to go to the 
prospective tenant and "beg him to rent his farm. Today the owniers almost have 
to get help to keep the renters away from their doors. The competition is so bad 
that there are renters who are out-bidding others just to be able to find a fann. 

C. S. That's a new one on me. So there are actually renters who offer an 
owner more rent than the present tenant is paying just to be able to get a place 

to live. , J •... X. J, 

J. R. That's right. So you see that leaves fellows bke me stranded high and 
dry. What kind of chance have we got when we haven't enough money to start 
out with A-1 equipment, and the other fellow has all that and even more. We 
simply haven't the ghost of a chance. 

O. S. What is the solution of the problem? How are farms to be made 
available to deserving couples like you and Dorothy? 

J. R. I know of several ways that it could be done— but I doubt whether we'll 
over see the day when it is done. 

C. S. Such as? 

J. R. Force the big landowner, wdiether he is an operator or an absentee owner, 
to break up his large acreage and give deserving young couples a chance to rent 
the land and even buy it if they can. 

C. S. Who's going to do it? The Farmers Union or Farm Bureau? 

J. R. The Government is the only agency that can do it. But they've got to do 
a better job of it than they are doing at present with the land the Farm Security 
Administration has purchased from the Bankers Life Co. and the Metropolitan. 
They buy it for one purpose and then instead they import other farmers to make 
it harder for us to get a place. But I suppose I shouldn't worry about this all. 
The draft board just put me in class 1-A. I really ought to be farming as a 
defense industry. I am exceedingly capable of that. That's where I would have 
been by this time if I had had the chance, but now * * * 

(Signed) G. .Tamf.s Rippentrop. 

November 21, 1941. 

Dick Meinders. 

Pastor's comments: The Dick Meinders situation is an interesting one and 
shows what certain parents are sacrificing for their children. It is a splendid 
example of parental devotion. However, this is not a typical case. In the 
typical case, the parent is unable 1o do that thing. Usually the parent is one 
of those who, through post first World War inflation, lost his farm to the 


insurance companies (drat those insurance companies) and as a consequence 
Is unable to assist bis children. 

C. S. Dick, I beard that your dad bought the 80 just northeast of our church. 
Is that true? 

D. M. That's right, we'd been dickering for it for some time and now we've 
got it. 

C. S. But Dick, I can't see why he did that. He just bought his own farm 
and hasn't that completely paid for. What's he want to go into debt for so 
much deeper on this farm? 

D. M. It's like this, Mr. Schnucker. You know the draft board put me in 
4F because of some physical disabilities. Kathryn and I want to get married — 
and we're old enough, too. But there wasn't any land to be had. I've looked 
all around to find a farm. I had hoped that we could get one of the new small 
farms which are supposed to be planned here in our county— but these couldn't 
be got. I worked out for several years as you know, but that doesn't pay, 
one can't get a good start in life that way. So this year I was home most of the 
time helping dad. We decided that the best way for me to get started would 
be to buy a farm for me. 

C. S. Did you dad increase the loan on his home farm in order that you 
could get this farm for you? 

D. M. No; he didn't do that, exactly. However, the money which he is 
making on the home place and which would have reduced the loan against 
the home place is now being used as down payment on the farm which I shall 
work next year. It really isn't fair to the folks, it isn't fair to the home farm. 
But there wasn't any other way out. 

C. S. Couldn't you have handled the situation yourself? I mean, how would 
it be with you if your dad wouldn't have thrown this extra effort into eettine 
you started? * 

D. M. Well, I just wouldn't have got started and I wouldn't be able to 
become a renter. I'd probably have to be just another laborer, probably all 
my life. 

C. S. Your dad has three more boys at home. You happen to be the oldest. 
What do you think is going to happen when these are ready to start out in life 
for themselves? Do you think Dad can continue doing for them what he is 
doing for you? 

D. M. I don't see how he possibly can do it. 

C. S. Just what is your idea? How can our young people, your friends, get 
started and get on land in this community? 

D. M. That's a question I don't like to^think about. We can't shoot the older 
farmer who stays on the land longer than his father did before him— that 
would be murder. We can't take the land away from the too big operator— that 
would be robbery. AVe can't turn the outsider who is to be shipped into our 
community back or direct him to other land which will be available — the Farm 
Security Administration with its pet experiment wouldn't like that. So your 
guess is as good as mine. I'm not going to worry about it too much right now, 
because I'm just too tickled that my personal problem has been solved. I 
know it isn't helping the other fellow and I'd surely like to see him get a fair 
deal too. 

(Signed) Dick Meinders. 
November 21, 1941. 

John Miixee. 

Pastor's comments: John Miller is just in the process of disenchantment, 
What It will eventually mean to him and his wife if it is allowed to continue, 
time can only tell. One point in his favor is that he has himself a little better 
prepared with equipment to step into the shoes of a renter. He may have a 
chance to progress— but even for him, that opportunity is somewhat remote 

C. S. John, it's not quite a year ago that I married vou and Elsie. I've for- 
gotten just how old you are; won't you tell me? 

J. M. I'm 27 and Elsie is 21. 

C. S. Tell me just how you are making out as a farmer, John? 

J. M. I'm not really a farmer proprietor; I really hold the status of a farm 
laborer. I work the farm and for my share receive living quarters, eggs, some 
garden produce, feed, shelter, and pasture for 24 hogs and 8 milking cows. 

C. S. John, that is a rather strange relationship which vou have to the boss 
but I'm not so sure whether it isn't pretty good. That would make you get 
about $60 to $G5, wouldn't it? ^6 


J. M. Oh my, no! Lot's fifiure it out. During the year round, I might get 
an avrragt> of $15 a month fi-oin my cows jintl I have to keep a numlier of my 
ho;;s for hniod sows so Til get ahnut $.S4(I for the hogs I dare sell, then there 
is always the risk i>f losing them l)y death and :ilso 1 have to pay for vaeoiiies, 
etc. So tliat actually I am getting somewhere between $40 and $4.") per month. 

C. S. That does sound a little different. Tell me hone.stly, John, why you 
didn't rent a farm for your.self ? 

J. M. The ehief reason for that is there aren't any farms. You know 

that one farm not far from T that was owned by the Metropolitan Insurance 

Co. Well, I practically had that rented. But after everything was all but 
arranged, the company sold it and I was out. So there went my chance at the 

C. S. From what you have just said, John, I take it that you could furnish the 
equipment to start farming? 

J. M. Yes; I think I could furnish the equipment for an 80-aere farm all right. 
We would have to get along without some things at first, but that wouldn't be a 

C. S. What are you going to do this coming year [1942]? 

J. M. I w'ish I knew that for certain myself. I'm in a sort of bad way since 
the farm I had hoped to rent was sold from under me. I wish that we young 
farmers had a decent chance to get on small farms right here in this community. 
I don't like the idea of importing a bunch of farmers from central and eastern 
Iowa and giving them the choice farms here. What's to happen to us? It 
doesn't sound like good sense to me, to bring in other farmers when there are 
so many of us who haven't farms at the present time. We're married too and 
many of us have families. We ought to have the first chance in this community 
to make a living off the farms in this community. 

(Signed) .John Mixxer. 

novembeb 21, 1941. 

Herman Tapper. 

C. S. Herman, both you and Elida were raised on farms and are products of 
this community. You like the farm. How old are you? 

H. T. I am 27 and Elida is 21. 

C. S. What have you been doing since you were married to support your wife? 

H. T. I've been doing whatever I could. I have been working as a farm laborer. 
But that job doesn't hold out as well as they once did, so in between times I have 
been doing whatever I could find. Sometimes driving a truck — sometimes doing 
this and then again that. 

C. S. Had you ever thought of renting a farm for yourself? 

H. T. I not only thought to rent a farm but I tried. I kept the road to Algona 
dusty trying to find a farm. But the answer is always the same and that is — • 
there just isn't any farm to be had. So as long as there isn't any land to be 
had, what am I to do? 

C. S. I realize, Herman, that you would he able to take care of a farm and 
could nicely provide for your wife; had your baby lived, also for it. You're 
willing to work. But tell me, if land were available, could you furnish enough 

H. T. I think that I could provide at least the basic equipment for an 80- or 
120-acre farm. But the trouble is, where in this community shall I find tlie 

C. S. Have you any ideas on the subject yourself as to how land may be made 

H. T. I've been playing with the idea of organizing the "unlanded" farmers 
and all the .young couples who need land and then hounding the Government 
and bringing pressure to bear upon the big owner-operator to break up oversize 
. farms, place buildings on them, and turn them over to us. 

C. S. Now. that is an idea — I hope we can bring this about without using your 
suggestion — but if the time comes when we find that we can get action in no other 
way, you can count me in on the pressure group. While we are talking about 
th«>se big operators, what do you think about the Farm Security Administration 
defense relocation bringing in displaced farmers from eastern Iowa and from 
Ankeny ? 

H. T. My first answer would he that those poor farmers have a right to find 
land, too. They have to make a living. But I don't think there is either rhyme 
or rea.son for bringing them up here. 

C. S. Why not? 


H. T. Well, bringing them here will simply displace us, and the Government 
will solve absolutely nothing. And why bring them here in the first place? 
Didn't you tell us when you got back from Nashville, Tenn., at the meeting of 
the youth section of the American Country Life Association that Brooks Hays 
had mentioned that the Government through its large irrigation schemes in the 
Tennessee Valley and in the West was making several million acres of land 
available to pioneer settlement? Well, if that is true, why is not the Government 
smart enough to realize that that is the place to send these dislocated farmers 
and leave the land here for us? 

C. S. I'm not sure whether it was Brooks Hays who made that statement; 
I think it was, and I also think you're right in your opinions. 

(Signed) Hekman J. Tappee. 
November 23, 1941. • 

John Rippenteop. 

Pastor's comments : John Rippentrop represents the very aggressive type. He 
realized that he would have only the barest chance to make progress as a married 
farm laborer, so he has been tiding himself over by accepting a position in a 
neighboring small town. Neither he nor his wife want to be in town — they love 
the farm, and that is where they ought to be — they could make the very best 
of success on the farm for themselves and also for the community and Nation 
at large. They are hard workers, an asset to the community, and also splendid 
workers and supporters of the church. But they belong on the land. How will 
we get them there? 

C. S. John, I remember when speaking to you some time ago that you still have 
your heart set upon living on a farm. I want you to answer a few questions for 
me. Tell me, about how old are you and Delia? [Delia is John's wife.] 

J. R. I'm 27, and Delia is 24. We've been married about 2 years. We always 
lived on a farm until we were married. 

C. S. That's right ; both you and Delia were born and raised on a farm. Tell 
me what are you doing for a living now? Aren't you on the farm any more? 

J. R. No ; we don't live on a farm any more. After we got married we both 
moved into town. My work is that of a gasoline-service-station attendant. I work 
for a farmers' cooperative oil company. 

O. S. That's strange. Why aren't you and Delia on a farm where people such 
as you with the splendid rural background which you have belong? 

J. R. The answer to that one is quite easy. We're not on a farm because there 
isn't any land for rent. I know that there is plenty of land, but too much of it is 
held by too few who want to work it all for themselves and not give the rest of us 
a chance. Of course, there is another answer. When Delia and I got married we 
didn't have the money to purchase the equipment with which to start farming. 

C. S. Would you like to get on a farm now, after living in town? 

J. R. I most certainly would. And Delia at first just hated to live in town but 
she's getting accustomed to it now. I suppose if we went out on a farm now after 
living in town so long we would have to get used to some things that we might not 
like at first. 

C. S. Why don't you stay in town and be satisfied with your work? You're fairly 
good at it. 

J. R. What future is there in it for me to be an attendant in this station in this 
town? I'll be just where I am 10 years from now. As it is we have just enough to 
keep ourselves going. We pay house rent and buy most of our foods. We're not 
at all well off. And anyway, I was raised on the farm and would like to continue 
living on the farm. 

C S. Just what would you like to have offered you on the farm? 

J. R. I would need some help in getting farm equipment. Then I would like a 
place that would assure me of a degree of permanency so far as tenure is con- 
cerned. I want a place that I can call home — not have to move every year. If the 
Government could only get ahold of some of these big farms, break them up into 
smaller units, put buildings on them and give us a chance. That would be what 
I should like. 

O. S. I take it you don't approve of too large land holdings? 

J. R. I most certainly do not. We have altogether too much of that sort of thing 
here in this neighborhood. 

(Signed) John S. Rippentrop. 
November 21, 1941. 


STA'n':MKNT OF I{ay F. Andkrson, Farm Editor, C'edab Rapids Gazktth, Cedar 

Rapids, Iowa 

NoviiMBEU 25, 1941. 

A. Corn, soybeans, and oats are the main grain crops protluced in tlie Cedar 
Rapiils trade territory. Alfalfa, soybeans, and mixed clover and timothy are 
the main forage crops, exclusive of corn and sorghums for en.silage. The 
bulk of the farm income in this region is derived fr<tm sales of livestock and 
livestock produces, namely, hogs, beef cattle, bnlterfat, eggs, and poultry. 
Relatively little grain is sold as such except in a limited area approximately 
25 miles west of Cedar Rapids, where considerable corn is shelled for the 

B. The lowest rate of tenancy of any county in Iowa is in Dubuque County. 
The general average tliroughout this ;irea is sliglitly more than 51 percent 
owner operated, by which I mean the owners have a substantial equity, and 
slightly less than 49 percent tenant operated. Institutional ownership is smal] 
except in the of State institutions and insurance companies. The Statfe 
institutions operate large farms in connection witii hospitals, penitentiaries, 
etc. Insurance companies have sold the bulk of their land in the better soil 
areas and now their holdings in this section of Iowa are mainly in the north 
and in the south districts. The trend has been rapid toward mechanization 
of eastern Iowa farms in recent years. We have many farms in this area 
now without horses. We have farms, also, with two or three or more tractors 
and two or three or more trucks and automobiles. The trend toward mechani- 
zation has been one factor intluencing a decided trend toward larger farm 
units. One man today can tend and produce three times as many acres of 
corn with power machinery as he could a few years back with horse machinery. 

C. Impact of program : The Army has taken more men from 
farm jobs than any other agency. There has been the usual influx of young 
men from the farms to city jobs but this, in my opinion, has not been much 
greater than ordinary. A few of the skilled dairy herdsmen have been at- 
tracted to similar jobs on millionaire farms in the eastern part of the United 
States. Wages of farm hands have more than doubled in the last year, and 
this, of course, is due to higher wages in other occupations plus the drain from 
draftees. I doubt if farmers in this region will be seriously hard put for labor 
next spring because of the increased use of mechanical aids. By that I mean 
they will get by somehow, although there will be an outcry about the shortage 
of labor. 

Regarding the status of the hired man, he is less a member of the family 
today than several years back. In many cases the farmer who employs a hand 
also furnishes a house for him to live in. Herds have been enlarged com- 
mensurate with the increase in the size of farm units and also because of the 
pressure from the United States Department of Agriculture defense board. 

Some of the defense programs have brought serious dislocations in this area. 
For instance, the extraordinary demand for cheese has resulted in a price 
for butterfat 20 to 25 cents higher if the butterfat is in milk intended for 
cheese making compared with the price ci-eamories are able to pay for butter- 
fat from which to make butter. Relatively small cooperative creameries 
abound in northeastern Iowa and right now the management of these cream- 
eries is faced with an acute problem of increased income so that they may 
pay a price for butterfat in line with the price paid by cheese factories and 
operators of evaporating plants. The head of the dairy manufacturing depart- 
ment at Iowa State College recently suggested that the installation of skim- 
milk driers would be more advisable in northeastern Iowa than the installation 
of equipment for making cheese inasnnich as he predicted that such equipment 
would be less likely than cheese equipment to become obsolete at the end of 
the war. 

D. The Farm Security Administration has exerted much influence toward 
the "family-sized farm" idea in this district, but the economic pressure is 
toward continued large-sized farm units, power operators, more mechaniza- 
tion, and general specialization of crop and livestock production. 

Hoping this answers your questions, I am 


Statk-Federai. Division of Agricultural IStatistics, 

Lincoln, Nebr., December 22, 19^1. 
Harold G. Tipton, 

Field Investigator, House Committee 

Investigating National Defense Migration, 

Omaha, Nebr. 

Deab Mr. Tipton : I regret that I did not have the opportunity to give you the 
information in time for your hearing at Omalia November 25. 

As stated, I have part in the work of tlie Subcommittee on Farm Labor.. 
We are making a Stale-wide survey througli Agricultural Adjustment Admin- 
istration precinct committeemen in the near future so as to learn what the 
situation was in 1941 and what is expected in 1942. In addition, the Agricul- 
tural Statistics Division will collect statistics monthly on farm labor. It i& 
possible also that we might use Agricultural Adjustment Administration pre- 
cinct committeemen for any urgent special inquiry on farm labor needs. As 
you probably know, this Division has collected information on farm labor sup- 
ply and demand and farm wages quarterly and has a monthly inquiry on per- 
sons employed, both family labor and hired labor. 

We are extremely short of help but we are going to get some help and expect 
the cooperation of some of the other offices and we believe that we will be able 
to furnish information as to farm labor needs to the Placement Service of the 
State and Federal Employment service here in time for them to do the best 
they can in meeting the farm labor requirements. We are anticipating a 
considerable shortage and through the State farm defense board in cooperation 
with the other agencies, are doing all we cnn to suggest that farmers buy 
repairs for their farm machinery now or at the earliest possible date, and to 
place their ordei'S for labor-saving machinery, as there is likely to be a shortage 
and it is doubtful if the orders can be filled if farmers wait too long. We feel 
that this is one way to counteract the expected shortage of farm labor. 
Very truly yours, 

A. E. Anderson, 
Senior Agricultural Statistician. 

Statement by Homer H. Hush,^ Algona, Iowa 

The national-defense program is causing a shift of population from the farms- 
to the towns and cities. Farmers are being pushed and pulled off the land, and 
the present favorable farm conditions, caused by the same defense program, 
should blind no one to the operation of these powerful forces and the social and 
economic problems which will surely follow the defense effort. 

The push is direct and sudden. Where defense plants are established in rural 
areas the farmers are forced to leave their homes within a few months time. 
The pull is in the attraction of farm workers to defense plants which creates 
an apparent scarcity of farm labor thereby inducing operators to buy more big 
machinery with the tendency toward even further enlargement of farms. 

Let us consider first the problem of dislocation by the Government purchases 
of land for ammunition factories. There are two such areas in Iowa. At 
Burlington, 23,000 acres of farm land was purchased for a shell-loading plant. 
Near Des Moines, 2,445 acres has been purchased on which will be located a small 
arms-ammunition factory. All of the land in these 2 areas, totaling 25,445 acres, 
had been used for agricultural purposes. The 231 farm families who lived on 
the land were forced to vacate their homes during the crop season of 1941. 

The seriousness of the displacement of 231 families in Iowa lies in the fact 
that Iowa already had more farmers than there are farms. Mechanization of 
agriculture had filled the small towns and cities of Iowa with thousands of 
families who are still farmers by choice and training. These families are now 
competing with town and city labor. Within the past few years a new tractor 
outfit in the hands of an adjoining owner or operator made their services unneces- 
sary and their home just so much surplus equipment. 

1 The writer was born on a farm, spent 27 years operating a farm in southwest Iowa, 
was a member of the Iowa House of Represenetative.s, the Iowa Senate, assistant secretary 
of aafriculture of the State of Iowa, newspaper publisher, and now defense relocation 
supervisor under the Farm Security Administration for the State of Iowa. 



Many of (lioso fiimilit>s still liavo a part or all of tlit-ir farm'i. irid are 
sorkiiijr an opportunity to fjct back on tho land. Every coui- " '• 

till' Farm Security Adniinistralion, county aj^onts, and rcal-os. 
the pleas of these dislocated farmers and their wives, often 
opportunity to rent a farm, earn their living, and raise tht. .u the 

open country as th(>y had plaiuied. 

The followinjr lijiures taken from the Census of Agriculture o*. the sixteenth 
census, imhlishcd in 1!)40, shows tlie tendency toward larger fa' ^ing units and 
fewer farms in Iowa and explains why fami families were unat'ie to get farms 
even before the defense dislocation. 

Total number of farms 

Average size of farms (acres). 

221, 986 


213, 318 


3.9 decrease. 
3.4 increase. 

Even more striking is the tendency for the larger farms to increase in number 
while smaller farms are decreasing in number, as indicated by the following 
figures from the same source. 

20 to 49 acre farms. .. 
50 to 99 acre farms... 
100 to 174 acre farms 
175 to 259 acre farms 
260 to 499 acre farms 
500 to 999 acre farms 
1,000 acres and over. 


34, 285 
42, 342 


32, 140 
82, 393 
26, 119 

Percentages (1940 
versus 1935) 

Increase Decrease 





The table above tells the story. With the normal increase in population, it is 
inevitable that there should be a great shortage of farms to rent in Iowa. Some 
estimates have run as high as 6,000 families crowded off or moving to other 
States last March 1. In this situation the addition of 231 families from the areas 
taken over for ammunition factories becomes a serious problem. While some 
of these families will have means to buy or lease farms in other areas, they will, 
in each case, displace some other farm family to be thrown into the intense 
competition for land on which to make a living in the State of Iowa. 

The second influence by which farmers are being pulled off the land is through 
employment offered in the defense industries. The result is an apparent farm- 
labor scarcity which in turn causes farm operators to buy more machinery and 
again enlarge their operation. It has the effect of stimulating the trend toward 
mechanization and larger farms which has been going on for a number of years. 

Both of these influences work toward tlie same ultimate result, which is the 
crowding out of the family sized farm and the permanent dislocation of thousands 
of families whose training is that of agricultural producers. While the purchase 
of land for defense industries adds directly to tliis group of what might be called 
unemployed farmers, the attraction of employment in defense industries, by 
causing greater mechanization, makes the position of these dispossessed families 
more or less hopeless. They will have the choice of remaining off the laud, or, 
perhaps, of going to the status of hired laborers. 

This is a serious situation. The effect on American rural life is not pleasant 
to contem]ilate. Heretofore it has l)een our boast that the young ambitious man 
could start as a farm laborer and by hard work advance himself to the status of 
a tenant and then become an owner. One step in this ladder to success appears 
abotit to be eliminated. 

The defense program is increasing the speed of the trend toward larger farms 
which liad already been going on for several years. Th(> tiiial result will be a 
small grnui) of large landowners and large operators who will either subrent 
to small farmers or employ them on a wage basis. The great middle class of 
farm families will have been liquidated. In such a situation the class conflict 
of industrial centers will inevitably appear in rural America. 


■. t' ... ' )9 

SoT"'- y. that a trend has already set in toward ownership and point 

fUy farms by insurance companies to fanners within the past 
.fiiination of the deed record book in any county recorder's 
oruv-c :, ^.j, , ,,, .destroy this pleasant illusion. While it is true that farms 

have been o e public record shows that a large percent of the deals are sales 

contracts, wht. ,^n the new owner has paid from 10 to 20 percent down with the 
contract calling^or a deed when one-third of the purchase price is paid. These 
"shoestring" pu- '>hases do not prove a permanent trend toward ownership 

The answer to' the problem is to reestablish the middle-class farmers who have 
been operating moderate-sized farms and prevent their being forced off the land 
permanently or required to enter the status of hired laborers. The large number 
of former tenants who are now holding on to all or part of their equipment iu 
the hope of getting back on the farm are entirely justified in resisting the descent 
to the status of agricultural laborers, in my judgment. We should support them 
in their resistance and reestablish, if possible, the conditions where it is possible 
for Ihe young man to start out as a farm laborer, become a tenant, and finally 
own a family-sized farm or operate on long tenure. 

One way this can be done is to purchase large tracts of land and subdivide 
them into family-sized farms. We must actually create more farm homes in 

-.r.^^^^ ^'^^^ Defense Relocation Corporation is doing that now. During this year 
10,0(8 acres of good land has been purchased in the counties of Kossuth, Palo 
Alto, and Wright These farms average about 340 acres in size, the total number 
of families on the land being 30 It is proposed to subdivide the farms into 
units approximately SO acres in size, thus increasing the families on the land bv 
a ratio of 4 to 1 and finding homes for 95 additional families 

It is proposed that the new family-sized farms shall be under the supervision 
of the Farm Security Administration. The farmers who live on the land will be 
selected from groups in the following order. First, those who now live on the 
land will be given an opportunity to remain in the home in which thev now 
live if tliey wish to adjust their operations to the familv-sized unit. Second" those 
faniihes which were displaced by the establishment of the ammunition factories 
at Burlington and D.\s Moines. In this group secondarv displacements will be 
given the same consideration as those families actually living in the areas And 
the third group will include any worthy farmer who has been crowded off the 
land or is unable to find a farm to rent. 

This project is, of course, entirely inadequate to meet the need. Homes on the 
present acreage will be provided for 95 additional families, whereas -^31 families 
will be directly displaced in the 2 defense areas. However, the project if civen 
proper support, may demonstrate the practicability of family-sized farms and start 
a new trend in Iowa agriculture. 

If this project i.s successful it does not necessarily mean that the Government 
must buy large units in all parts of the State and subdivide them If >=uccess is 
proved individuals may carry on. That is, if farmers can see there is more 
security on a small farm operated by family labor than on a large unit with its 
accompanying risks of operation they might seek the .smaller units voluntarily 

Therefore, it is vitally important that the defense relocation proiect be devel- 
oped at once. Delay may destroy the public favor which the project now enjoys 
The land has already been purchased, but without buildings it can have no effect 
on this problem, which will be pressing hard the moment the defense effort stons 
or i.s reduced and the soldiers return from their service in the armed forces In 
this the Congress and defense authorities are the only ones that can help. ' ' 


It is my belief that defense migration in Iowa is having the ef£(^ct of intensifvin- 
the problems related to mechanization in agriculture. It is increasing the number 
of faniilies who have farm training but are not able to find farms to rent throii-^h 
the retirement of land formerly used for agricultural purposes. It is stin , ot n^ 
the us'e of machinery because of labor difficulties, and will eventually cause Inrire 
operators to absorb still more farms into their present units 

It is my conviction that this double-barreled assault, unintended, but none the 
less real, will cause social and economic ills that may take on a violent nature 
when the defense effort subsides unless something is done abont it now ' ^ 

It ,s^ my present thought that the effort now should be toward the sunnort 
nnd establishment of family-sized farm units with such supervision and fin El 
aid as may be necessary. At the present the defense relocation project should 
G0396— 42 — pt. 22 13 


be jiivon supiiort in its efforts to relieve the present dislocated funiilies from 
defense areas, and i)rovide a pattern for tlie establisliment of family-sized units 
as a eontrihution toward a permanent solution. If time proves tlie need of 
further action it should be taken. Corrective and preventive measures will be 
far cheaix'r in the louf? run than measures found necessary to solve the land 
prol)lem in the chronic stages it was permitted to reach in Ireland and many other 

National defense and the preservation of a successful democracy depend abso- 
lutely on a healthy rural life with opportunity and justice for all. Let us not in 
the name of defendiiiir ourselves from enemies without, neglect doing tlie things 
that arc necessary to defend our way of life from evils within. 

The Chairman. We shall now hear Mr. Hawley. 


The Chairman. Mr. Arnold will interrogate you, Mr. Hawley. 

Mr. Arnold. State your name and address for the record. 

Mr. Hawiey. F, K. Hawley, Laurens, Pocahontas County, Iowa. 

Mr. Arnold. Will you tell us something about your background,] 
Mr. Hawley? 

]Mr. Hawley. Well, gentlemen, to make it plain, my father and 
mother lost their home in the panic of '78 in northern New York. 
They joined the army of the unemployed and drifted westward. 
They had seven children. In 1879 the}^ settled on a farm that I 
now own. They paid $400 for the half section. 

As you know, Pocahontas County was the wettest county in Iowa, 
and our farm was practically all slough except for 15 acres. Ten 
years later my father died and my mother was left with 10 children 
to support. 

In the first place, I would like to tell you that I am just a farmer. 
I am not an officeholder, nor do I seek office. But in the 61 years 
that I have lived there, I have seen things happen to the ownership of 
the land and I assure you I am keenly interested in where we go 
from here. 

Ours was the third house in the township. The nearest neighbor 
was 5 miles away. The post office was 18 miles away. The house 
%vaS( 12 by 14 feet. We were the third family in the township. I 
lived there when every man owned his home, and I live there today 
when about 58 percent of the farmers are homeless. It is in almost 
the exact center of the cash corn area of the United States. 

Pocahontas County is one of the high-producing counties in lown. 
It has been drained and is very fertile. In 61 years we have never 
had a crop failure. We have had two short crops, and notwith- 
standing those conditions, we have about 58 percent tenancies. 

I served on the President's Tenancy Committee. I was chairman of 
the State farm tenancy committee. I spent my time on the tenant- 
purchase program until last July 1, and I should know something 
about it. 

I believe that the earth is big enough for all people, and it is the 
duty of our Government to make the earth's surface and its natural 
resources available to the people of this Nation. I only hope to leave 
to my grandchildren better living conditions than I have had. I 
don't want them to go through what I went through to own my home 
and have it paid for. I bought the old home. There were 10 children 
in my mother's family. I h;id to mortgage it for every dollar I could 
get so that the other 9 could get their money. It took my wife and me 
35 years to pay for it, and we got the job done after the World War, 


when hogs were $23 a hundred. That is the first time I ever saw 
my abstract. That, I think, gentlemen, is my background. 

Mr. Arnold. You still own the 320 acres ? 

Mr. Hawlet. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Arnold. What did you pay for it? 

Mr. Hawley. $25 an acre. 

Mr. Arnold. Around $8,000? 

Mr. Hawley. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Arnold. What positions have you held with reference to farm 
problems ? 

Mr. Hawley. I was chairman of the Iowa farm tenancy committee 
of 1938, and a member of the President's Farm Tenancy Committee 
of 1937. 

Mr. Arnold. You stress the high percentage of farm tenancy in 
Iowa. Is it your opinion that the trend has been intensified by the 
defense program, or has it decreased since the defense program 
started ? 

Mr. Hawley. I think perhaps it has decreased a little, but I don't 
think the defense program has had anything to do with it. I think 
the action of the Commissioner of Insurance, Mr. Fisher, when he 
authorized the sale of the farms held by insurance firms in Iowa, 
had more to do with it than any other one action. 


Mr. Arnold. Did the Federal farm program help you out? 

Mr. IL\WLEY. It surely did. If it hadn't been for the farm pro- 
gram, we couldn't have bought any of it. 

Mr. Arnold. It helped reduce tenancy, by helping tenants to buy 
farms on time payments? 

Mr. Hawley. The farm program has enabled several people of my 
acquaintance to buy farms. 

Mr. Arnold. And when you say the Government owes it to the 
people to make it easier for them to acquire land, you have in mind 
something like the program we have at the present time ? 

Mr. Hawley. Yes. Might I make a statement for the record on 
farm tenancy? 

Mr. Arnold. Go right ahead; and in that statement, tell us of 
the changes that have been taking place in your neighborhood in 
the past 20 years. 

decrease in farm tenancy 

Mr. Hawley. In 1900 there was 1 county in Iowa that had 50- 
percent tenancy. In 1910 there were 7 such counties. In 1920 there 
were 27. In 1930 there were 42. And in 1935 there were 57 counties 
that exceeded 50-percent tenancy, out of the 99 counties in the State. 

In my own county, I am sure a few farms have been bought. In 
my township we have about 62-percent tenancy. 

To illustrate, a neighbor of mine owned his home. He had a boy 
of marriageable age, and he wanted to farm, and the boy wanted 
to farm. He mortgaged the home place, and made the first payment 
on the farm for tlie boy. When the crash came, with the loss of 
farm income, he lost both farms. 

Another f)erson — I don't care to have these names go into the 
record — a very fine old German, came out there and bought a section 
of land. He had four boys. Each boy got a quarter-section. Wlien 
the old man passed away the boys had to mortgage their farms 


to i)ay the <i'ivh their share. They ('(jukl not pay the mort<j^a<i^e 
ana every one of thi-ni lost his home except one. He didn't, and tlie 
reason he diihi't was that he married a woman wlio had $-.2(),0()0 cash. 

Mv. Cuirris. Is that one of the sohitions yon are suggesting? 

^Ir. Ha\vley. AYell, your colleague asked me what has been hap- 
pening to us farmers; sir, I am telling him. 

The other man — I would like to mention his name, but I won't — 
a wonderful character, and wonderful commimity man, a man of the 
soil, had three boys. He had a half-section of land, and -was a cattle 
feeder. "When those boys grew up, they wanted to farm, too. So 
the old man mortgaged the faim and made the first payment on three 
quarters for the boys, because he wanted to keep his place, too. 

Mr. Curtis. When did he buy the extra land? 

Mr. Hawlet. He bought the lanrl before the war, I would say, 
about 1916. And when the crash came, he lost not only the three 
quarters, but the home place as well. Today he is living with one 
of his girls by the side of the road, making hamburgers for the 


Another man in my immediate neighborhood had his farm paid 
for. His father died, and all the creditors wanted their money. He 
thought he would be able to mortgage his farm and pay off these 
people, because he had a fifth interest in his father's farm, and it 
wasn't mortgaged. When the crash came, he lost his inheritance, and 
he lost his home in my township. 

I think, gentlemen, that the reason for all this tragedy was this: 
10-cent eggs and 15-cent oats, and 10-cent corn and $2 hogs — prices 
like those, combined w^ith costs of $180 for a manure spreader and 
$265 for a binder. Those were some of the reasons why these men 
lost their homes. They had no purchasing power commensurate 
with their operating expenses. 

Another thing that has been conducive to this change has been our 
tax system. I am speaking of Iowa. As our tax system works out, 
whenever we improve a farm we are penalized. If we build a house or 
a barn or a crib, up goes the valuation, and we are taxed more for it. 
Here is a man who has a quarter section. He, perhaps, lives in Cali- 
fornia or somewhere else, and the on\y thing he is interested in is the 
annual cash income. Now, the neiglibor will rent that farm and give 
him just as much rent as though he maintained a farm unit. 

So here is what happens : In many, many cases — seven around the 
town of Laurens — the houses have been moved off the farms and into 
towns, where they are rented. And the farmer rents his farm to the 
neighbor, keeps away from any farm upkeep, lowers his taxes, and is 
perfectly satisfied with present conditions. Personally, I would like 
to see the adoption of a system which would penalize a man if he didn't 
keep up a set of buildings and a home on a farm unit. But we operate 
in the reverse. 

Mr. Arnold. In Iowa do you have a sales tax? 

]\rr. Hawlet. Oh, yes. 

Mr. Arnold. The land doesn't pay all the tax there? 

IVIr. Hawlet. No ; I guess not. 

Mr. Arnold. I think the committee is interested in knowing about 
farm tenancy specifically. The information you have given us has been 
very enlightening. We have mentioned some factors that have con- 
tributed to the insecurity of the farmer. Can you think of any others? 


Mr. Hawley. I tliink I have mentioned the principal factors that 
have ied to the insecurity of the farmers. , . , , , n , n 

Mr. Arnold. Would you tell us what you thmk should be done to 
remedy the situation, as you see it? 


Mr Hawley. Yes, sir. I believe that man's dependence upon the 
earth is fundamental, and the proper application of those natural re- 
sources to society is the foundation for the remedy. Let me ilkistrate : 
When tenant purchase was proposed in Iowa, it was a new deal, and we 
hesitated and wondered what would happen. And here is what took 
place : The appropriation by Congress was so small, as you are well 
aware, that we coukbrt^buy but a few farms in Iowa. In the past 3 
years we have bought 476. 

Mr Arnold. That would be only two or three of the counties^ 

Mr Hawley. We didn't have all the counties m the program. 
Those that had been in 2 years got more than those that were in 1 year. 
In opening up these counties, it was shocking to see the hundreds ot 
people who made application for tenant purchase. WejA,'ere only 
able to buy 1 farm for each 35 applicants. On July 12, 1941, out ot 
the 476 tenant-purchase farms, not 1 of them was behind m interest, 
taxes, or amortization payments. , . .i tt -4. /i c^ + 

I feel this way about it : If the Government of the United btates 
can come to Iowa or any other State and take an area of land to build 
a munition plant— which I think is necessary— then it could also come 
into Iowa and take all corporate and alien-owned land, and re- 
distribute it to the farm-minded young people of that State, in the 
interest of public welfare. And if we would take the land ot Iowa 
and divide it up into family-sized units, we can take care of all our 
people, and a lot of you fellows, too— people from California and ail 
other parts of the country. We have got a job for them all. _ 

But please let me say this : I don't believe it is right to go into the 
Treasury of the United States to get a dime of the money, because it 
isn't necessary. There is plenty of money in this country to finance 
all these homes. All I would ever expect to ask would be that the 
Government underwrite or insure these purchases, just as it does the 
H. O. L. C, and let private money and corporation money be invested 
in these homes, and then sell them to these people on a variable pay- 
ment plan, meaning that a portion of the annual income from that 
unit would be paid on the purchase price. I can't help but believe, 
gentlemen, that our young people are more than anxious to have homes 
of their own, and security. All we have to do is to make the re- 
sources of this country available to them. I think then that agricul- 
ture can do its part in absorbing, after this World War, those who 
will come back to us from the various parts of the United States. 


Mr. Curtis. Mr. Hawley, I think you have made a very fine state- 
ment. I especially want"^ to comment on what you said about the 
United States going into that program. . One of the difficulties of the 
Bankhead-Jones Farm Tenancy Act is that that is the only way 
it is done. 

IVIr. Hawley. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Curtis. And if Congress doubled that appropriation, we still 
wouldn't keep up with the R. F. C. foreclosures? 

Mr. Hawley. No, sir ; you would not. 


Mr. Curtis. I am very much in accord Avith your idea that we .should 
work out some equitable scheme that would make it unnecessary for 
Congress to make a cash appropriation in order to carry on this 

Do you fool that the Federal land-bank policy of reselling land 
should be improved ui)on? 

Mr. Hawley, I feel (hat the Federal land bank is in the position 
of most long-term agencies. They, naturally, like to sell for profit. 
If you can make arrangements whereby the Federal land bank would 
sell their land through the Bankhead-Jones set-up, then I would say 
"yes." I want to make myself clear on that. One of the great evils 
of farming in Iowa and all over tlie Middle AA^est is this enlargement 
of farm units. When we are under the Bankhead-Jones set-up, that 
is all stopped. You farm the place you buy, and that is all. You can't 
rent any outside land, and, secondly, you are helped. Would you let 
me tell you a story? 

Mr. Curtis. I think we have time. 

Mr. Hawley. It happens to be a true one. Over in Fayette County 
I went around to visit some of these tenant-purchased farms and 
came across a shocking thing. When w'e drove in, we knew before 
we got there that it was a 66-acre tract, and 20 acres of it wasn't fit 
for anything but pasture. And as we drove in there, a woman walked 
out of the house, barefoot, with as happy a face as you would see in 
Hollywood; also a little girl 8 years old. 

I thought it was peculiar. She didn't act backward at all. I found 
that she was the purchaser's wife. Her husband had been in the 
World War. He got gassed over there, and formed the acquaintance 
of this girl from Alsace-Lorraine, and after he had been home for 4 
years, she came over and they were married. He has very poor 
health and I doubt if he will live more than a year or two. But she 
knew the value of a home, and she made this little 66 acres yield an 
income of $31.13 an acre in the past year. She told me : "If we could 
only have these prices for 2 more years, we will have our home paid 

I speak of that only as an example. I have visited many such 
people, and they are all so appreciative of being given an opportunity 
to have a home. 

Mr. OsMERS. Mr. Hawley, in your previous testimony you men- 
tioned the H. O. L. C. You are familiar with the operations of the 
F. H. A., by which the construction of new homes is financed by 
private capital ? 

Mr. Hawley. That is what I was referring to. 

Mr. OsMERS. In my territory we have the largest F. H. A. building 
program in the entire country, and I don't see any reason why that 
same principle can't be applied to farms as well as new suburban and 
city homes. In other words, the banks and other agencies interested 
in financing will advance the money to buy the farm and certain 
portions of that loan will be guaranteed by the Federal Government, 
but not a pennj^ will come out of the Federal Treasury. They will 
all pay a little percentage into a pool, as you do in F. H. A., so if 
you have a sudden drought in one part of the State, the other part of 
the agricultural economy will carry the program over the rough spot. 


Mr. Arnold. Do you think we should continue to buy farms on 
this Jones-Bankhead plan if farms are advancing in price in your 


Mr. Hawley. I talked this over with a man who had to do with 
the sale of many farms recently. He has sold many, many farms in 
the last 2 years. He said that he thinks that the fioures justified the 
statement "that land has gone up in Iowa in the last year about 4 

Mr. OsMERS. And it is still rising, Mr. Hawley ? 

INIr. Hawley. I think it is. 

Mr. Arnold. That is not enough of a rise then to cause us to curtail 
the tenant-purchase plan in Iowa. 

This committee was before the Director of the Budget last week, 
advocating that sufficient appropriations be made for that purpose, 
and the Director said that from his knowledge of many areas of the 
country, land had advanced until it was no longer a buyer's market. 
He said appropriations should be reduced. I argued that I knew 
many areas where farms could be purchased advantageously, and 
that that practice should be continued and concentrated in those 
areas, if there are certain parts where a buyer's market has not 
developed. -, ^ . 

]\Ir. Hawley. I think you are absolutely right, and what you say 
applies to Iowa. . . 

Mr. Arnold. It is applicable to many sections ot Illinois where 1 
live. Perhaps not the northern part, but other parts. Commissioned 
bank receivers and insurance companies still have farms, and are 
willing to dispose of them at fairly favorable prices for the buyers. 
Is that true here? 

ISIr. Hawley. Yes, sir. , i ui 

Mr. Curtis. We want to thank you. You have been a most valuable 
witness, and we appreciate your attendance here. 

Mr. Hawley. May I say one more thing? 

Mr. Curtis. Surely. , n , i 

Mr Hawley. I had a little experience when the boys came home 
after the World War. They are coming home after this war, too. 

Mr. OsMERS. We hope a lot of them will. 

decrease in market prices 

Mr Hawley. An English boy came to work for me, and went over 
to war. When he came back, he came right straight to my place, i 
had a good man and didn't need him, but I kept him ]ust the same 
He didn't get back until June 1919. That fall he said : "Fred, I would 
like to farm, and I can rent that 120 acres over there. There is a barn 
on it. How can I be financed?" I said, "Take what you want here 
and go to it, and pay for it when you get the money.' He did. In the 
summer of 1920 he was a farmer. He had a nice bunch of hogs, and 
he had to have some corn. He came over to my place to get some corn 
The day that he came to get the corn I said, "When you have shucked 
your corn, put it in the crib and that will be all right.' He took 
140 bushels. The day he took it, it was worth $2.23 a bushel, ^\hen 
the fall came, I told him he could pay me back in 1921. bo in IJ^l 
he brought the corn over one day, and the day that he put that corn 
in my crib it was worth 21 cents a bushel. . ^.n oo -^ ,i^ 

Had I been a financier and sold him that corn for $2.23, it would 
have taken his entire crop to pay for those three loads <)1 corn. 1 hat 
is what has ruined agriculture in the past. And I think these boys 
are coming home again, and if I owe them anything, I owe them an 
opportunity when they come home. They shouldn't be turned out in 


the coltl. 'l1io boys I know are fuirniiiulcMl boys. They lilce to have 
B. home and a wife and family, like other human bein^js, and I leave it 
to you, if you don't think it would be rifjht to make it possible, wIkmi 
tliey do come home, for them to find security. It is a Government job, 
and I wish you success. 

Ml-. Curtis. 'I'haidv vou very much. 

IsMr. Jay J. Newliii here?' 


Mr. Curtis. Will you please give j'our name to the reporter? 

Mr. Newltn. Jay J. Newlin. 

Mr. Curtis. "Where do you live ? 

Mr. Newlin. Webster Township, Polk County, Iowa. 

Mr. Curtis. What is 5'our business or occupation. 

Mr. Newlin. Hybrid Corn Co., growing hybrid corn, operating 
1,100 acres of land. 

Mv. Curtis. How much of your lifetime have you spent in agri- 
culture ? 

Mr. New^lin. I taught a while. The rest of the time I have been 
on the land. 

INIr. Curtis. How old are you ? 

Mr. Newlin. 46 — no; 56. I just took off 10 years, like the girls. 

Mr. Curtis. How do you pronounce the name of the plant being 
built near Des Moines? 

Mr. Newlin. Ankeny. 

Mr. Curtis. What kind of a plant is being built there? 

INIr. Newlin. A United States ordnance plant for manufacturing 
shells for the Army. 

Mr. Curtis. Where is that, in reference to Des Moines? 

Mr. Newlin. That is north of Des Moines, about 2 or 3 miles 
from the city limits. Des Moines is in Polk County. 

Mr. Curtis. How much farm land does the project take up? 

Mr. Newlin. The ordnance plant about 2,400 acres, and the rifle 
range, I think, is about 1,400, if I remember correctly. The whole 
project, including these, takes up 4.500, they say. 

Mr. Curtis. And your average farm is about a quarter section? 

IMrfl Newlin. The average is 157 acres, and in Polk County it 
would be a little smaller, because of 15-acre tracts in around Des 
Moines that are called farms. 

Mr. Curtis. Do you hold any position in the Farm Bureau Fed- 
eration ? 

Mr. Newlin. Not at the present time. I was director in Polk 
County for 10 years and vice president for 2 years. 

Mr. Curtis. When this defense plant was undertaken, did the 
Farm Bureau create a committee to help the farmer get adjusted? 

Mr. Newlin. They did. 

Mr. Curtis. IMr. Newlin, I have gone over the report of the farm- 
ers' committee. The committee will include this material in the 

Mr. Newlin. Thank you. 


Report of Farmers' Committee of the Polk County Farm Bureau Re3:ative 
TO THE Acquisition of Land in the.Ankeny Ordnance Plant Area 


With the announcement of the Government in the local Des Moines papers 
about June 1 of the establishment of a small arms ordnance plant and rifle 
range at Ankeiiy, the farmers and landowners in that area began to call at 
the county agricultural agent's office, Farm Security, Agricultural Adjustment 
Administration, and other offices to secure available information on the proce- 
dure to be established by the Government in taking over this tract of land. 

For the purpose of getting out information as quickly as possible the county 
agent suggested that all farmers in the area affected hold a meeting and select 
a chairman so that information could be quickly carried out to the farmers and 
residents of this area. At the first meeting of this group Mr. Robert Moeckly 
was selected by the group to act as their chairman. 

Mr. Moeckly was a tenant operating a 120-acre farm that belonged to Mrs. 
Jennie E. Harvey. Mrs. Harvey is Mr. Jloeckly's mother-in-law. Mr. Moeckly 
was, and is at the present time, a member of the county Agricultural Adjustment 
Administration committee and as a committeeman has had experience in dealing 
with farmers and has access to con.siderable information as to the productivity 
of the farms of the various operators in this area. He has himself farmed in 
this area 27 years. About the first thing that the group did when they met 
with Mr. Moeckly was to request that a farmers' committee be appointed of 
men outside the ordance plant area itself and of men who had had wide 
experience in values and men whose integrity and fairness would be un- 

In order to secure such a committee Mr. Moeckly contacted Mr. Arthur J. 
Lehman, president of the Polk County Farm Bureau, an organization of 770 
members in Polk County and the only farm organization in the county. He 
requested that Mr. Lehman appoint such a committee to assist the farmers in 
the ordnance plant especially with valuations, appraisals, etc. Mr. Lehman 
brought this matter to the attention of his county farm bureau board of direc- 
tors and as a result a committee was appointed. 

Melville A. HAE^-EY. 

The chairman, Melville A. Harvey, who is a tenant-operator, lives 2 miles 
north and one-half mile east of Aukeny. Mr. Harvey has operated this farm 
for 32 years and is widely acquainted in this area. He has always been a 
leader in this community. 

At the present time is is treasurer of the Polk County Farm Bureau, a mem- 
ber of the Ankeny school board, and is township assessor in Crocker township 
where most of the ordnance plant is located. He has sei'ved as a member of the 
township Agricultural Adjustment Administration committee and has done 
considerable custom farm work such as operating a corn picker. Mr. Harvey 
could well be considered an authority on the land values in that community 
since for so long a time he has been intimate with not only the assessed valua- 
tion of the property but the actual productive capacity of the various farms 
in the area. The appointment of Mr. Harvey to this committee by the Farm 
Bureau met with the universal approval by the farmers and tenants affected 
in this area. 

C. G. Yarn. 

Mr. Yarn owns and operates a farm located l^g miles south of the Ankeny 
plant area. He has operated this farm for 2.") years, has been very active in 
various community enterprises and is personally acquainted with the majority 
of people in the area and enjoys their confidence. He is a past president (if the 
Polk County Farm Bureau and at the present time is a director in the Iowa 
Farm Bureau Federation. At the present time he is also the rural chairman 
of the Polk County Red Cross. 


Mr. J. J. Newlin is vice president and general farm manager of the Pioneer 
Hibred Corn Co., this particular farm being the home farm of A'ice President 
Henry A. Wallace, this county being the home county of Mr. Wallace. Mr. New- 
lin is a former vice president of the Polk County Farm Bureau and has been 
recognized for a long time as a man of unquestioned honesty and integrity, as 


well as a man thoroughly familiar wilii land vahios and a student of good 
farming in the county. , 

This comndtit'c was entrusted with the problem of developing plans so that 
the owner-operalius and tenants of this area would receive fair consideration 
in the prospective transfer of the two tracts of land involved in the establish- 
ment of this ordnance plant. 

The ordnance plant area itself comprises an irregular shaped piece of land 
approximately 2AW acres lying just south of the little town of Ankeny and 
just north of the city of Des Moiues. Another tract of land was purchased for 
use as a rille range. 

A rough break-down of the two tracts is as follows: 

Onlndiicc pUnit ana. — Two thousand four hundred and forty-five acres em- 
bracing 1(5 farms of 40 acres or more occupied by 10 families of whom 9 were 
tenants and 7 owner-operators in addition to 40 small acreages occupied by 
owner families, most of whom were employed in the city of Des Moines. 

Rifle raiKjc area. — One thousand nine hundred and forty acres embracing 30 
farms occupied by la families of whom 15 were tenants and 13 owner-operators, 
together with certain tracts field rented by operators living outside the area. 

Tape of farniiiif/. — The 4,400 acres involved in both tracts represented a highly 
diversified farming area with probably the major emphasis on dairying because 
of its proximity to Des Moines dairy market. In the area the majority of the 
operators are livestock farmers, nearly all the operators milking a few dairy 
cows, raising hogs, poultry and sheep, and a few feeding beef cattle. The prin- 
cipal problems involved are — 

1. Negotiations and acceptance of a satisfactory .sale price. 

2. Conserving as much of the crops and unexpended capital as possible. 

3. Relocation of families on other tracts. 

4. Fair price to tenant for cost of moving. 

With these major objectives in mind the committee conducted a very ex- 
haustive survey and rendered very valuable assistance to both tenant and 
owner-operator with the sole thought of arriving at a fair and equitable solu- 
tion for all concerned. 

Herman M. Hayes, 
County Agricultural Agent. 


[Preliminary report of the first meeting of Federal agencies held in Des Moines 
in July and narrative of the work done and problems encountered by the com- 
mittee appointed by the Farm Bui'oau to assist owners, tenants, and operators 
in their negotiations with the United States Government] 

Mr. J. J. Hughes, then director of the Des Moines Offic'e of Government Reports, 
called a meeting of the representatives of all Federal agencies to clarify the 
procedure involved in the acquisition of the Ankeny ordnance plant area om July 
11. Mr. C. G. Yarn, member of the Farm Bureau conuuittee, was invited to and 
sat in at this meeting. Mr. Bailey Webber, a representative of the United States 
district attorney's office, which handled the preliminary legal steps necessary for 
the Government to acquire the land involved, explained to this group the proce- 
dure to be followed in dealiiig with individuals landowners and operators. Sev- 
eral statements were made by Mr. Webber, which formed the basis of this com- 
mittee's action in proceeding to assist owners, tenants, and operators. 

1. Title to the land involved was effective as of July 7 (excluding rifle 

2. Settlement of claims would be on the basis of direct negotiations by 
representatives of the War Department. 

3. Competent Government appraisers, he said, would establish values of 
property and remuneration. 

4. The Government would deal directly with landowners; compensation to 
tenants would only be recognized in valuation paid to landowners. Such 
compensations to tenants would involve value of crops not harvested, loss of 
lease, loss of income, etc. 

5. Settlement would be effected on a speedy basis upon agreement between 
the negotiator and the seller; payments would come through very quickly, 
usually, he estimated, in 10-day periods. 


6. In event a settlement could not be effected immediately or expeditiously 
the next step would be appointment of a United States marshal appraisal 
committee, and the marshal's office was even then considering the appoint- 
ment of such a committee. 

7. In event the marshal's appraisal committee's decisions were questioned, 
operators would still have recourse to the United States district court. 

Complete proceedings of this meeting are on file in Washington, as a report was 
sent in by Mr. Hughes. 

The first thing that the committee did, having received this information and 
transmitted this information to those affected in the Ankeny area, was to make 
their services available at no cost to the o^^'ners and operators of farm land in 
this area. Upon the request of anyone in this area the committee visited the 
farm and prepared an appraisal report, which they were willing to back up in 
testimony in court if necessary to assist the owners or operators in securing a 
fair negotiated price. The committee then contacted the negotiators who were 
sent out to this area and offered their services and their cooperation in effecting 
speedy settlements. This offer, however, never did receive any consideration 
from the negotiators sent to handle this project. 

In establishing the appraisals the committee included the following items: 

1. Placing a value on the crops. 

2. The value of loss of lease. 

3. Moving expense. 

4. Since the tenure on all farms in Iowa is on a basis of March 1 to 
March 1, a value was set on additional expense in family living necessi- 
tated by renting homes and loss of income that would have been earned 
if the operators had been left undisturbed. 

With this background of information in mind, it is now intended to proceed 
with the case history on a number of the farmers in this project. 
First, let's consider the case of Roe Anderson, 

Instance No. 1. 

Mr. Anderson is a man 52 years of age, handicapped by the fact that he is 
almost deaf. He and his wife operated a 290-acre farm owned by Mr. S. M. 
Morris. There are two children, both of whom are grown, married, and living 
elsewhere. Because of Mr. Anderson's age and his physical handicap he would 
find it very difficult to obtain employment in any other line than which he is 
engaged. He has operated this farm for 11 years as a stock-share partnership. 
The farm was a well-improved farm, modern in every respect, with the farm 
barns, granaries, etc. located on the west side of the road outside of the 
ordnance-plant area. Ninety acres of rough pasture were on this side of the 
road, 200 acres were on the east side of the road in the ordnance-plant area. 
This 200-acre tract is as good land as there is available anywhere in Iowa. 
Every foot of it is in cultivation. Located on this side of the road and on this 
tract was a new modern home. 

Mr. Anderson was a dairy farmer, milking a large herd of purebred Jersey 
cattle. He had spent years in assembling this herd and building up to their 
present productive capacity. He was a member of a Dairy Herd Improvement 
Association, and his cows were all high producers. Because of the location of 
his farm he had a good dairy market. He is a good dairyman and a good farm 
operator paying particular attention to his crop rotations and such things as 
are recognized as essential to maintaining a farm in a high state of produc- 

Our committee placed a value of $5,687 on the losses for which Mr. Anderson 
should receive remuneration. This included 78 acres of corn, 15 acres of soy- 
beans, 10 acres of alfalfa, 40 acres of red clover, 5 acres of sorgo and silage, 
his garden and truck patch, building improvements which he had contributed 
to the farm, the loss of his lease which had continued for 11 years and un- 
doubtedly would have continued as long as Mr. Anderson desired to operate 
the farm, at least that is what Mr. Morris told the committee, and included 
loss incurred in the sale of his herd of cattle and loss in monthly income from 
the period July to March 1. We would like to point out that Mr. Anderson's 
share of income from the sale of dairy products on this farm alone amounted 
to $400 per month. 

The negotiators first offered Mr. Morris $35,000 for the 200 acres of land. 
Included in this offer would be remuneration for Mr. Anderson. They made 
this offer on August 15, 6 weeks after they started negotiations. On August 25 


they made Mr. Morris another offer of $40,000. On September 4, they made 
another offer of $50,0IM). Tliey liud incieased their offers over a 3 weeks' 
period $ir),000. It is interestinj; to note that the September 4 offer inciiuh'd 
an offer of $r),iiOO to Mr. Anderson wliich was the reeommendation of this 
committee in tlie lirst place. 

Mr. Auiler.son and Mr. Alorris accepted the $50,000 offer which, in our opinion, 
was only a fair seiilemeiit of tliis claim, as the 2^,0 acres involved were worth $200 
per acre, in our ojjinion, and it liail a new $0,0; house on it. Mr. Morris and Mr. 
Anderson, however, have ri-ceiitiy been told that this agreed-upon offer will now 
have to be reconsidered and the negotiators are back to where they started. They 
have not received one penny of remuneration to date. 

Instance No. 2 (Robert Moeckly). 

At the request of Mr. Moeckly the committee visited his farm. In the first 
place, we might state that Mr. Moeckly is 40 years of age. There are four in the 
family, and he operatisd this farm as a tenant renting from Mrs. Harvey. Ho 
employed a married man, Manfred Love, age 40 years, who lived on the farm and 
opeiaied it by the month and was paid by the month by Mr. M(»eckly. Our com- 
mittee placed a value of $.j,10J) as a fair remuneration for Mr. Moeckly. This 
included the value of his corn, soybeans, alfalfa, i)asture, and included the cost of 
moving 1.500 bushels of sealed corn. This is a 120-acre farm. The principal 
income fr(jm this farm is from livestock, including dairying and hogs raised and 
fed on the farm. 

The first offer made by the negotiators to Mrs. Harvey, the owner, whi'h in- 
cluded damages to Mr. Moeckly, was $1 15 per acre, made on August o. The 
second offer made September 15 was $175 per acre, and the third offor made 
Novembi'r 5 was $150. This is a rather typical example of the progress jnade 
by the negotiators. No settlement has been reached, and nothing has been re- 
ceived in the way of remuneration by either the owner or operator. Meanwhile, 
he was forced to release his hired man and sell or move his livestock. 

Instance No. 3 {Milo Stall). 

Now, let's consider the situation of Mr. Milo Stall. Mr. Stall operates a 120- 
acre farm owned by Rolfe Wagner, a Des Moines banker. He also operated 107 
acres of land located outside the ordnance-plant area, the land being an unim- 
proved tract with no buildings or fences on it. Mr. Stall is 35 years of age, has 
four children, ages 14, 12, 8, and 20 months. 

The committee thought that INIr. Stall was entitled to remuneration totaling 
$5,645. Mr. Stall was forced to move 2 000 bushels of sealed corn that he hoped to 
sell sometime to advantage. He had built temporary cribs at his own expense to 
hold this corn and had made numerous improvements around the farm at his 
own expense to handle his growing livestock enterprise. He was particularly 
handicapped due to the fact that he was forced to move off and was operating 
another tract of land that had no facilities whatever for handling this stock. 
However, he would need the equipment to harvest the crop on this tract, and be 
would need to be relatively close to it to harvest these crop.s. 

Mr. Stall was advised by the committee to of his livestock, but he felt 
that he wanted to hold his breeding slock together and mtiintain his opei-alious 
due to the fact that he was able to rent another farm on which he would gain 
possession March 1. He has endeavored to hold his livestock and oquiiim(>iit 
together and moved over on this other tract of land. He is living at the present 
time in a hog house and is handling his livestock outdoors. A large number 
of pigs and hogs are suffering from lack of shelter, many of which will die. 
He is milking his dairy cows outside in spite of the fact that this fall has 
been a record for rainfall and unseasonably bad weather. 

To date he has had no offc^r whatever from the negotiators and is in very 
desperate circumstances. (See attached statement.) 

Instance No. Ji {Alva Dann). 

Mr. Alva Dann is an owner-operator on <S0 acres just at the edge of the city 
limits of Ankeny. Forty acres of this 80 is in the ordnance-plant area, 40 
acres are outside. All of his buildings were located on the 40 acres in the area. 
Since Mr. Dann was an owiKM-operator, 05 years old, and was in a position 
where he expected to retire, this committee was not called upon to make any 
appraisals. However, it is interesting to note some of the circumstances in- 
volved in this case. 

Those in charge of the dev(>lopment of the ordnance plant area were making 
their preparations in rather feverish hurry, and one of the first steps they took 
was to start out apparently without any aim or program in destroying crops. 


During this confusion period they destroyed 10 acres of Mr. Dann's corn but 
made the mistake of cutting it off of tlie 40 acres tliat was not in the ordnance- 
plant area. 

This created such a furor not only by Mr. Dann but by other citizens in the 
comnnmity that the negotiators hastily reached a settlement with INIr. Dann, 
purchasing the 40 acres of land and remunerating him for the corn destroyed, 
paying him $11,700 for this 40 acres of land. They paid him $40 an acre for 
the corn and $~>n for the fence they liad destroyed. All the buildings on Mr. 
Dann's place could very easily have been moved across the fence on the other 
land; however, the militaiy autliorities in charge of plant construction knocked 
these buildings down and burned them, in spite of the fact that Mr. Dann would 
have been glad to have had them moved on the other land. 

Instance No. 5 (Alof Pearson). 

Mr. Alof Pearson is 60 years of age, has three children at home and owns and 
opei-ates an 80-acre farm wliich has belonged to the family for quitt- a number 
of years. It is the home place of his mother-in-law. This 80-acre farm adjoins- 
the Dann farm just described. It is very similar to that farm in every respect. 
The building's, however, are not as good in repair but are adequate for Mr.. 
Pearson's needs. Mr. Pearson has always been a frugal, hard-working indi- 

The progress of the negotiations in this case is very interesting, particularly 
as related by Mr. Pearson. Mr. Pearson expected a settlement similar to that 
wliich was received by Mr. Dann. He thought that he should have about $17,000 
for this 80 acres which would include his crops and other consideration. This 
farm lays very close to the town of Ankeny and is highly desirable from that 

As the negotiations progressed the negotiators originally offered Mr. Pearson 
about $8,000 but ultimately reached a settlement for approximately double that 
amount, but later on this settlement was again rejected. We would like to 
quote Mr. Pearson. Immediately after the burning of Mr. Dann's buildings, 
the negotiator called Jlr. Pearson into his office and asked him what he thought 
he should have. Mr. Pearson said, "I will be satisfied with about the way you 
settled with Dann." The negotiator explained to Mr. Pearson that his buildings 
were not painted and in as good repair as Mr. Dann's. Mr. Pearson replied, 
"Yes, but the land is as good and my buildings will burn just as good as Dann's." 

We could go ahead and relate the experiences encountered by other owners 
and operators in the area and the instances with which this committee has 
come in contact with the negotiators on every farm in the area, but we feel 
that we have picked out some typical instances as to how the negotiations have 
proceeded. At present, negotiations are in progress in the rifle-range area 
but we do not have, as yet, very much data as to how they are proceeding. 

All the operators in the ordnance-plant area proper were dispossessed in 
the middle of the summer, were left without any place to go, and were forced 
to liquidate and move to town or in with relatives to carry on until March 1, 
when they could again reenter the farming business. 

In general we could say that the farmers in this area are very little farther 
along with negotiating with the Government than they were at the beginning 
after nearly 4 months. On the other hand, the owners of acreages have gotten 
along much better. Our problems have not been very much conterned with 
these folks as they easily could move into other places and they were not de- 
pendent to any great extent on their places for living expenses. 

There is on file at the farm bureau office signed statements by several parties 
who have entered into negotiations with the appraisers. 

committee's eeport and kecommendations 

In the light of the above findings the committee is forced to some rather 
definite conclusions and wishes to make Certain pertinent recommendations. 
As a preface to these recommendations the committee recognizes the fact that 
in the acquisition of land and the development of the area for defense purposes 
there existed a state of emergency which called for immediate action and a 
great many short cuts in order to accomplish the end in as brief a time as 
possible. It is fully recognized that in situations like these sacrifices must 
be made, and each and everyone is willing to make sacrifices; therefore, the 
sole purjwse of the recommendations is to suggest things that it is believed 
could be put into practice in future cases which would alleviate much of the 
inequality and inconvenience occasioned. 


At the present time 4 months liavo elapsed since acquisition of the farm 
land by the Government. During this time the committee feels that there has 
been much contusioM and niisuiiderslaiHliiiK to the extent that few definite 
casii settlements have been made beyond those concerned with small acreages. 

During this time nnich of the growing crop has been wasted or inelliciently 
handled. Considerable areas of good farm land have been stripped of growing 
crojis and improvements, and are at this writing still not utilized for buildings 
or ordnance improvements. 

It is felt that such management as has been evidenced tends toward friction 
and dis.satisfaction and engenders the state of mind which is to be deplored 
in such times as these. 

aiatiy minor situations have arisen in this period of time which contribute 
to the over-all confusion, not the least of these is the feeling that the ap- 
praisals carried on have not been such as would in.spire the confidence and 
satisfaction of the vendors. It is felt, therefore, that it is pertinent at this 
time that the committee give some recommendations which, if followed, would 
remove a great many of these mi.sunderstandings. 

1. It is recommended that in the acquisition of property, careful planning 
should be entered into which would take into consideration the repercussions 
which would result in forcing an individual operator to discontinue the only 
means of livelihood he has at the present time and the only means for which 
he, by virtue of life's work, is particularly fitted. Such planning should em- 
body progressive steps which would make available for use areas as are needed 
for first construction, leaving for later consideration areas not so pres.sing upon 
which the crops might mature and be harvested in an orderly manner. 

2. We reconunend that much or virtually all of this planning and appraisal 
work on both the real and personal property should be handled by the local 
Defense Boards of the United States Department of Agriculture, inasmuch 
as such Boards are appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture because of their 
representation of different agencies and activities who are experienced in this 
line of work. 

It is almost needless to add that competent appraisers and evaluators from 
such agencies as the Farm Credit Administration, Federal Land Bank, Farm 
Security Administration, the county farm bureau, and other related agricul- 
tural agencies would be in position to render fair and competent service, and 
at the same time enjoy the respect of the property owners in their final 

3. We further recommend that in the disposition of crops and small per- 
sonal effects which would comprise for both landlord and tenant such items 
as temporary buildings, fences, and other minor improvements, an entirely 
separate set-up be effected. For this we would suggest that a management 
or salvage corporation be created w^hich could be handled entirely by local, 
competent individuals, making available for those who seriously need it, food 
and fiber grown or growing on the place, which would eliminate the waste and 
confusion which has been apparent and which is particularly distressing in a 
time when a definite drive is on for increased production. This would also 
render a return to the Government on such property salvaged and sold many 
times what is now being received. 

The management corporation could function in various ways, and it would 
be our suggestion that in this connection a definite set-up for the salvage should 
be established. Such salvage corporation would function in the orderly dis- 
posal of crops, either by auction or by transfer to parties who would have use 
for such at a price based upon present market values less the additional cost 
of removal. Such corporation could handle the harvesting and removal of 
crops and could make available for use such small buildings as are needed on 
many farms, and would eliminate the destruction and loss which has been 
very apparent during the past few months. 

It is felt that a corporation like- this might well be headed by an activity 
such as the Farm Security Administration. As a pertinent example it might 
be pointed out that at the present time the above-named agency has in Iowa 
acquired several thousand acres of land for relocation purpo.sos designed espe- 
cially to accommodate farmers who are forced off the land taken by the Gov- 
ernment for ordnance uses. At the present time farms are, to a large 
extent, units of such size as would support several families. 

In this, we understand that it is the intention of this relocation corporation 
to break these large farms down to family sized units as quickly as adequate 
buildings can be erected. This is extremely difficult to do this year for many 


reasons — such as labor shortages, lack of materials, and delay occasioned in 
planning and executing building contracts to the extent that just at this time 
when there is an apparent need tor the relocation of a number of families very 
few can be acconmiodated. 

We feel, therefore, that such management corporation or salvage corporation, 
whichever term Is to be used, could effectively make available for such farms a 
great many small buildings which have up to this time been destroyed or burned. 
This not only would lend itself to buildings but would also apply to fences, heavy 
machinery, and even shade trees and ornamental fruit and nursery stock, not 
to mention again crops, especially such as could be adequately stored for future 

There are also a few large available farms which might have been purchased 
within a few miles of the plant and converted in the above-suggested manner 
which could be made to support many families now without means or places to 
move or any visible future occupation. 

4. In the area covered by this report there has existed for many years a par- 
ticular harmony between the tenant and landlord. In most instances it has 
been found that tenants and landlords have operated harmoniously for periods 
of from 5 to 20 years on a mutual agreement basis with no written lease except 
the original. It should also be noted that the Iowa law states that in the event 
there is no cancellation in writing by or before November 1, the original lease 
shall automatically continue from year to year. 

The committee recommeTids, thei'efore, that no steps for tlie acquiring of prop- 
erty which especially involves growing crops, termination of income, and forced 
cost of moving, shall be entered into without the recognition or the establishment 
of the legality of oral leases. The committee feels that tlie word of lienor in 
situations like this is far more imiwrtant than written leases on prescribed 
forms. On the other hand, definite recognition should be made of interest of 
tenant on absentee-owner farms where the renter planned to stay for some time. 

5. In the appraisal of property leading up to acquisition by the Government, 
much confusion has resulted because of the inequality of values placed in many 
instances upon adjoining properties. In that connection we feel that due con- 
sideration should be given to the purpose for which the acquired real estate would 
be used, as often a piece of property that is very desirable as a whole, though 
perhaps somewhat reduced in agricultural value from the standiwint of produc- 
tion, will serve as a basis or location for some of the most important buildings in 
an ordnance unit, and for that reason should not be drastically depreciated in 
the appraisal. 

6. The appraisal of the farm property, aS previously stated, should be made by 
competent individuals experienced in that line of work, and values should be 
based or established taking into consideration the present productive capacity 
and as secondary consideration the location, the desirability of a home and the 
curtailment of income by the individual. If we keep in mind that much progress 
has been made agriculturally in improved methods, improved livestock, better 
management, soil conservation, the use of hybrid seed and money management to 
mention but a few, we are forced to the conclusion that past history of farm 
income, sales, etc., should not enter materially in arriving at a fair value of real 
estate or chattels. 

7. The committee wishes to commend the attitude of all other agencies in their 
willingness to coperate in order that the transition from farm land to ordnance 
plant be carried out as expeditiously as possible with the least inconvenience and 
loss to all concerned. 

Especial mention should be made of the efforts of the Farm Security 
Administration in their attempts to secure additional land through the defense 
relocation projects upon which dispossessed farmers might go. The existing 
areas under this project would at the present time serve practically all of 
the farmers removed from the ordnance plant and rifle range areas were it not 
for the fact that these recently acquired tracts at the present time have in- 
sufficient buildings and improvements to accommodate the farmers as of 
March 1. 

In this connection we are more seriously concerned with the plight of the 
tenant and owner-operator who has but a small equity in the farm. In most 
instances these people have a definite interest which might be called "location 
value" in that it is their home, it is where their children have been raised, 
and it is where all of their community ties exist. They feel that in addition 
to proper remuneration for the real estate, crops, and chattels, some consideration 
be made for the intangibles above mentioned. 


As an ovidence of the thoupht in this community tho committee would like 
to call attention to a recent resolution hy the Polk County Farm Bureau, an 
organization which represents over 7(X» farmers and reflects the sound thinking 
of tiie rural jicojilc in ijiis conununily, to wit : 

"Whereas I'olk County now has the following tracts of land devoted to 
puhlic purposes, all of which arc iiciiii,' iiscd for the jtuhMc welfare, extending 
beyond I'olk County houndarics: Municipal Airport, (J40 acres; Fort Des 
Moines Army Tost, .320 acres; Camp Dodge, 2,G0U acres; Mitchellvillc Train- 
ing School. 175 acres; Clive Prison P'arm. 8')0 acres; Des Moines Ordnance 
Plant, 2.41)0 acres ; rifle range, 1,940 acres. All of these land tracts are exempt 
from taxation. 

"In view of the above, therefore, wo believe that the Polk County fanner is 
contributing more than his share to the jtublic welfare and that l'utur(! planning 
should distribute more of such projects in various areas of Iowa. 

"We wish to point out that the present ordnance plant being con- 
structed is creating innumerable problems in transportation involving our 
present farm-to-maiket road; the impact is being felt on the farms of the 
county relative to the securing of adequate farm labor; the rural-school facil- 
ities surrounding this county are also feeling the impact; the law enforcement 
agencies of the county are being pressed to handle additional volume cau.sed 
by such a plant. Therefore, we move that the United States Government avoid 
establishment of additional industries in this already overlturdened 
conmiunity. aiul that other commTinitics in Iowa be considered in future ex- 
pansion plans of the defense agencies of the country. 

"We wish to take issue with the efforts of the chamber of commerce, the 
mayor of Des Moines, and other groups in their efforts to bring further defense 
agencies here." 

The committee recognizes the stress under which all parties concerned are 
operating, and it lias tried to weigh advantages and disadvantages fairly in 
this consideration. It must be recognized in this report, therefore, that many 
human factors are involved which ought not to be ignored, and that at the 
present time changes which have been mentioned above are becoming effective 
which should be conducive to ultimate satisfactory outcome in most instances. 

Submitted by Farmers' Committee. 

Mfx\ilt.e a. Harvey. 
C. G. Yarn. 
J. J. Newlin. 


Mr. Cup.Tis. What sort of complaints did your Farm Bureau Com- 
mittee hear when you went out to deal with these farmers who were 
displaced by defense plants ? 

Mr. Newlin. There wasn't much complaint until early in Jul}'. 
Our report was dated as of July 7. A little later the projects were 
taking form and the appraiser was there. I might say he was in- 
adequately prepared for the job before him. He didn't know farm 
land or farmers of that section of Iowa. 


Mr. Curtis. How did your committee feel about the complaints 
that were made ? 

Mr. Newlin. We thought they were just. 

Mr. Curtis. Without going into too much detail, what were the 
complaints? Did they involve prices or where the farmers should 
go, or what ? 

Mr. Newlin. They involved prices, but in the first place, as men- 
tioned here before, no consideration was given to the substantial 
loss of income that the farmer incurred during the period from 
July 7 to the 1st of March, even if he was lucky enough to have some 
place to go. No consideration was given to the value of his crop, 
other than those crops which have a cash value on the market, such 
as second-growth meadow and pasture, or to the use of building, 
home, and garden. At least, these matters were not given the con- 
sideration we thought they should have received. 


Mr. Curtis. In Nebraska the farmers planted fall wheat and took 
out ordinary crop insurance, and they feel that they have lost their 
crop and that the Croj) Insurance Corporation owes them something. 
Do you get crop insurance ? 

INIr. Newlin. We did not have that problem exactly. As it developed, 
the M'heat was harvested even after the project was to take over. 
Another question that came up was: Does the Department of Agri- 
culture, through the Agricultural Adjustment Administration grants 
for the soil-building prooram, make payments to the tenant, or does 
the War Department, taking over the land, give that particular money 
to the tenant or the landlord ? 

Mr. Curtis. Do you mean certain benefits the farmers have earned 
for past practices? 

Mr. Newlin. That is what I mean, and they should be entitled to it 
for this year. 

Mr. Curtis. And it is your contention that if the Department of 
Agriculture does not pay those benefits, that is one of the claims de- 
stroyed by the War Department, and that they have a cash value that 
should be reimbursable? 

Mr. Neavlin. Certainly. 

Mr. Curtis. I want you to take a few minutes to give us any recom- 
mendations that you should like to make in respect to the future 
procedure in land acquisition by the Government for defense pur- 

ORAL leases 

Mr. Newlin. The area that was taken for the Ankeny ordnance 
base probably was as good a section of farm land as could be found 
in the Corn Belt. It was not for sale. In this section we had 
tenants who had lived on those farms from 5 to 20 years, with no 
particular additions and no written leases. We were told flatly 
that that kind of lease had no value in the settlement of the tenant. 

As a recommendation, we think that such an unwritten under- 
standing should have value. If two men are gentlemen and honest 
enough so their word is as good as their bond, it should have legal 
value. One man is supposed to have $4,000 for a 3-year lease. 
Another man, for a 20-year lease. According to the present arrange- 
ment, he gets nothing. 

Mr. Curtis. That was an oral lease? 

Mr. Nba\-lin. Yes. 

Mr. Curtis. What does the law say about that ? 

Mr. Newlin. The oral lease stands continuously until changed, to 
November 1 or the beginning of next year, but when the landlord 
and tenant understand each other, that is all right. One man had 
his first lease in 1906 and has had none since. 


Another recommendation that I should make is that local people 
who are familiar with farm practices and know the value of the 
land and the income of the farmer, should be considered first for 
an appraisal committee. That can be done through various govern- 
mental agencies, if you like, but certainly somebody familiar with the 
territory should have something to say about it. 

Further, we should consider what we are going to do M'ith those 
people from the 7th of July to the 1st of March, and what after 
that. There are 27 pieces of land within the Ankeny ordnance 

60396— 42— pt. 22 14 


plant. Most of those have houses on them. Seven of these cases 
have been settled to date; the rest have not. 

A part of the dillieulty is due to the inadequate information of 
the appraiser, and part of it is due to the fact that the Government 
is not accej)tin<2,- the title to this land for various reasons. One of 
the latter is the question of retention of mineral ri<i:hts. It would 
seem to me that the United States (ioveriiment is in better shape 
to clear the titles than the tenant and landioi'd, who are reduced in 
income and who have no power to settle anyway. It would seem 
that a proper settlement of fair valuation, with some undei'standinj^ 
as to where these ])eople might go and what they mi^ht do after- 
ward, should be included in the procedures. I can understand why 
the War Department wants the Ankeny plant where it is, because 
of the transj)ortation, water, and drainage. Yet we will never get 
that 2,400 acres for agriculture, and it took many lifetimes to make 
that })iece of land as workable as it was. 

Mr. Arnoij). But you say it is a good location for the i)lant? 

Mr. Newijn. Yes. But 2,400 acres is dumped in the junkpot. 1 
like that soil. 

I have now covered the principal points, I think, in connection 
with the displacement of these people — fair valuation, immediate set- 
tlement, and some assistance where they might go afterward. 

Mr. Curtis. And some recognition of the value of the leasehold to the 

Mr. Newlin. I think some of those tenants will get practically noth- 
ing for their leases. 

Mr. Curtis. Are not the growing crops an element there? 

Mr. Newlin. They were. One man filled his silo, which was outside 
the area taken over for ordnance plant. Another man, whose corn was 
inside that area, was not allowed to cut it, so he didn't get to fill his 
silo at all. As a result, he has to sell his dairy herd. 

Mr. Curtis. Whom did they pay for the crop ? 


Mr. Newlin. The regulations came from the Comptroller General's 
office, and they deal only with the landlord. The landlord must settle 
with the tenant. It is recommended from the Comptroller General's 
office that they deal only with that one man, and he settles pretty much 
as he likes. And the tenant may or may not get his due. 

Mr. Curtis. Maybe they need a lawyer in the Comi)trol]er General's 
office to advise them as to the rights of tenants. 

The Chairman. They do require the landlord to produce a state- 
ment from the tenant showing that he has been settled with — a dis- 
claimer of any interest — before they Avill pay the landlord. 

Mr. Newlin. If I had been a tenant and had that kind of a lease, I 
would not want to give it up in the middle of July and take $40 for my 
corn. I would not want to do it. 

Mr. Curtis. We thank you very much. 


The Chairman. AVill you please give your full name and address to 
the reporter? 

Mr. Stall. Milo Stall, Ankeny, Polk County, Iowa. 

The Chairman. We have your statement, Mr. Stall, and it will be 
placed in our record at this point with others concerning the situation 
at Ankeny. 


(The statement is as follows:) 

Statement by Mnx) Stall, Tenant, on the Ankent Purchase, November 

12, 1941 

I'm 35 years old, my wife is 30 and we have a family of four children — two 
girls and two boys, the oldest of whom is 14 years. We formerly lived in what 
Is now the ordnance area. We had 120 acres rented there and about 107 
acres rented over here. My landlord, Kolfe Wagner, president of the Ankeny 
State Bank and the Capital City Bank, rented the land over on the other farm 
at a pretty low rental because when I got it the land and the place was pretty 
run down. We expected to stay there for some time and put improvements in 
and worked that land with tractors and I could farm it pretty deep and produce 
a good crop. We made out pretty well over there and by going into the Govern- 
ment program you could build up a part of the land and farm a part of it. 

I had 4,000 bushels of corn sealed on that place. So far, the Government 
hasn't made any settlement with me other than to offer me, indirectly, $1,050 
for the corn and beans and no consideration has been given to me for the loss 
of clover seed and sealed corn or for the buildings I've put up on the land. No 
consideration was made for baling the hay in my barn so that it could be moved 
and other things like that. It was kind of a fake deal. About the notices, right 
from the start, they came around and told my wife we had to move in 10 days. 
Then, later, they give us a written notice that we had to be out the 15th of 
September. But that first notice scared a lot of people around here and they 
started to hold sales of their stock right away. 

We moved over here to this hog-house that we cleaned out. It is a pretty 
tight squeeze living in such a place but we can't put up another building. No 
one could get any houses off the plant lands — they took everything, loose planks, 
and other things that we could have used and that were later destroyed. We've 
no place to put our pullets and things and now the chickens we've sent to my 
mother's have range paralysis. Our cows have no shelter and we're trying to 
take care of our livestock out of doors. Meanwhile, we've not made a final 
settlement and have received no money at all. 

I could hardly make a living on the SO acres that I can get from the defense 
relocation corporation — and with the machinery I've got — spread around now 
through the county — I can take care of two or three hundred acres. Sure is a 
mess. Takes lot more choring now than it did before. 

I've got a farm rented near here — 240 acres for next year — when I can get 
possession of it. I had figured on purchasing a farm and keep on farming the 
one I had so that I could pay for the one I'd buy, but the money I've saved in 
the bank for a down payment on a small farm is all gone now with the moving — 
and the prices are raised too. 

Of course, my landlord says he's not going to pay me anything for moving. 
He took me aside after the talk with the guys from the Government office and 
told me — just to protect himself that he didn't have to pay me anything for 
the improvements I had put on the land — only for part of this year's crop—" 
that's all he had to do and that's all he's a-going to do. I think the Government 
ought to make such people pay us tenants something especially since this move 
doesn't hurt their income or living or families — after all, the tenant does all 
the work on the land and these bankers shouldn't get so much. 

Mild Stali,. 

Ankeny State Bank, 
Ankeny, loica, November 19, 1941. 
Miss Evelyn Weinberg, 

Ca7-e of House Committee Investigating National Defense Migration, 

OmaJia, Nehr. 
Dear Miss Weinberg : In reply to your inquiry as to how the Government 
ordnance plant is affecting business in this community. 

We find that it has not increased the business here in Ankeny as much as we 
thought it would for the reason that the plant is only about 5 miles from the city 
limits of Dps Moines and most of the employees of the plant come from Deg 
Moines every day. However, it has made some increase in all lines of business. 

The banks in Des Mioines do not charge for cashing checks and we have a 
service charge for cashing all outside checks so most of the employees cash their 
checks in Des Moines ; we have been cashing from 400 to 500 pay-roll checks every 


Wo hnvp had a. shortage of residences here for several years so the newcomers 
wlio li.'Hl families lind to po elsewhere to (hid places to live. Tliore are ahout 
KK) trailers in llie trailer cainijs of Aiikcny and many liave them on their resi- 
dence i)roi)erly. All the lumies who had looms to rent have them occupied at 
fair prices. 

Tliere has bet>n ;in increaso of about 100 pupils in tlie grades of the school but 
only a few higli-scliool students. 

Before the plant work pot startec] we had .3 places that had cif?arette licenses 
and only one place with a beer iierinit. Now we have 10 places that have cif^arette 
licenses and - beer permits. Cigarette licenses are $."0 and I believe the beer 
permits are .$.'300. 

Til is brings some extra revenue to the town but we have hired a policeman 
whicli makes extra expense, before we just had the constable at a very low wage. 

The people who are living in the trailers are all very nice and so far I have 
never yet seen a drunk on the street, and in all we think that we have a much 
better class to deal with than we expected. 

Most everyone liere is working and are pleased with the wages they are getting. 

I don't think tliere are many peoi)le employed who come from a distance 
but many of the skilled workmen come from different jiarts of the country. 

I have tried to explain the situation as best I could but I think each plant 
had difE'rent problems for the reason that some are farther away from the larger 
cities and trading centers. 

But in all we here in Ankeny have been pleased so far with the class of people 
we have had to deal with and think it has been a help to all lines of business. 
Yours very truly, 

W. J. LiEXJHTY, Cashier. 

Statement or Harkt J. Bode, Farmer 

I own this farm of 400 acres, here in Kossuth County. I work it with ma- 

My son is 19 years old just now. What started him a-goin' was his schooling. 
He went to school in Algona and got interested in airplanes. He's mechanically 

He is now at the Aero-Technical Institute at .524.5 St. Bernard Road at Los 
Angeles, Calif. Solicitor from the school came here and interviewed some of 
the boys who were at school in Algona. .Just two of the boys went from this 
county then— in February. There are about half a dozen boys from this county 
down in California now. 

This hasn't left me particularly short-handed on the farm now. He used to 
work on the farm in the summertime but never otherwise. I've been hiring help 
now for about 40 years. Never had any difficulty getting help — not tliis year 
or any other. I've had the same man here S years — but he may go any time 
now because he's just draft age. I've got five boys altogether — three of them 
farming; one is right here across the road and he helps me some. 

Next year I'm getting another 280 acres of land right next door here, and 
I'm putting one of my married sons on there. He's been farming some rented 
land 8 to 9 miles southeast of here but that farm was bought by John Ziemet 
who owns another farm and who is going to rent this new land to a friend of 
his. If it hadn't been for that, he (the friend) wouldn't of had a farm either. 
The big problem now is to get a farm of his size — that is for the young fellow 
who can't get help. Some of the older farmers find the same problem. The 
only way to have a farm now is to buy it if you can get it from the big 

Now farming is being forced to the position where a man has to work with 
machinery and so he can't be satisfied with 120 acres — he needs close to 240. 
I blame part of that on the machine salesmen who try to make a sale no matter 
what and get one or two payments — if a man has a big farm, he can hold his 
machine but if lie has only a small farm he loses his farm and the machine and 
some other fellow gets it. 

The Chairman. How old are you ? 
Mr. Stall. 35. 

The Chairman. Are you married? 
Mr. Stall. Yes ; and I have four children. 
The Chairman. Are you a farmer? 


Mr. Stall. Yes, sir. 

The ChxMrman. How lon^ have you lived at Ankeny ? 

Mr. Stall. In the neighborhood of Ankeny, practically all my 

The Chairman. Did you own the land you farmed? 

Mr. Stall. No, sir ; I was a tenant. 

The Chairman. Who owns it? 

Mr. Stall. I have two landlords, Ealph Wagner, the president of 
the Capital City Bank and several other banks in Des Moines, and 
S. R. Graham, the financial man of the Tribune. 

The Chairman. How much land did you farm? 

Mr. Stall. 237 acres. 

The Chairman. Was that within the area of the plant? 

Mr. Stall. 120 acres w^as. The other 117 was outside the plant, 
without a fence or building or anything to work with whatever; 
just bare ground. 

The Chairman. You lived on the ordnance site ? 

Mr. Stall. Yes. And the other part of the land I had to do some- 
thing with after I was put off where I was at. 

The Chairman. What did you do with it ? 

Mr. Stall. I bought me a bunch of hogs and a lot of fence and put 
me up a scatter place, if you please. 

The Chairman. Did you buy any of that from the ordnance plant ? 

Mr. Stall. They won't sell or give — they just destroy. That is a 

The Chairman. In most of these instances they do sell the build- 

Mr. Stall. They didn't there. 

The Chairman. Did you try to buy one? 

Mr. Stall. I tried to buy a fence. Many a person tried to buy 
buildings, but didn't succeed. 

The Chairman. I will just say for the record, in all of these places 
they have sold a great many of the buildings and a great deal of the 
fencing. AVliat arrangements were made with you as to your inter- 
est in the land that was taken? 


Mr. Stall. In a roundabout way I was offered $40 an acre for corn 
and $30 an acre for beans which totaled $1,050. The Farm Appraisal 
Board appraised my loss at sixty-two-hundred-and-some-odd dollars. 

The Chairman. What was the Farm Appraisal Board ? 

Mr. Stall. It was set up by the Farm Bureau. 

The Chairman. Is that what Mr. Hawley was telling us about ? 

Mr. Stall. Yes. 

The Chairman. They appraised it at $6,250? 

Mr. Stall. They took the leasehold, gardens, and everything that 
should be taken in and they thought they were fair, and I thought they 
were fair. It wasn't too high. 

The Chairman. Did you sign any option or any settlement? 

Mr. Stall. I have not. 

The Chairman. Has the landlord been settled with yet? 

Mr. Stall. Not yet. And he has told me twice that he would not 
give me a dollar. 

The Chairman. How many acres of corn do you have ? 

Mr. Stall. On the area condemned, 45 acres. I was offered $40 an 
acre. Also 10 acres of beans. 


Tile Chairman. And you were offered liow much? 

Mr. Stall. $30 an acre and three-fifths of that was niine and onc- 
liiilf the corn was mine. 

The CiiAiKMAN. Did they offer you anytliinir for your "gardens? 

Mr. Staix. Tiioy did not. 1 had ch)ver seed wortli in the neighbor- 
liood of $.S()0 destroyed. 

The CiiAiRisrAN. You mean ^rowing ch)ver, drying up for seed? 

INIr. Stall. Yes. 

The Chairman. No vahie for that at all? 

Mr. Stall. They didn't talk to the tenants at all. They settled with 
the landlord and we know nothing. 

The CiLMRMAN. Who set these figures? 

Mr. Stall. That was through the landlord. He told me one night 
that that was what they offered for the crop on that place. 

The Chairman. That was what the landlord offered you? 

Mr. Stall. Yes. And outside of that he said he wasn't going to 
reimburse me a dollar. We are still friends. He said that to relieve 
him of any trouble in court. 

The Chairman, That committee judged your loss at $6,250. Was 
that your loss ? 

Mr. Stall. That was my loss alone. 

The Chairman. And in that estimate, were they still giving the 
landlord a half of the corn and two-fifths of the beans? 

Mr. Stall. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Curtis. And how much did you get ? 

Mr. Stall. I haven't gotten anything. 

Mr. Curtis. How much are you going to get? 

Mr. Stall. We have no statement yet at all. 

The Chairman. How much was it? 

Mr. Stall. $1,050 that they offered me on the crops. That is what 
would have come to me if I had taken what they offered. 

The Chairman. Have you told your landlord that you would be un- 
willing to accept it? 

Mr. Stall. I told him I would rather not take anything than that 
small sum for that. 

The Chairman, You are aware of your rights in the court? 

Mr. Stall. He told me he hadn't told me to get off the place, and he 
would not. 

The Chairman. I don't mean your rights against the landlord. But 
if the Government takes this over, through condemnation proceedings, 
you will have an interest that will have to be adjudicated in the court. 

Mr. Stall. I just don't see what you mean by that. He said if he 
hadn't told me to move, I wouldn't have any hold on him. 

The Chairman. Suppose you fail to agree to that. The landlord 
can't settle with the Government until you agree to settle with him. 
Then they will have to go into the Federal court and file a declaration 
of taking, and you will be made a party defendant along with the land- 
lord, the Government being the plaintiff. 

Mr. Stall. If my money holds out. The rest of the tenants signed 
their waiver a long time ago. I think there is one other tenant besides 
myself that held out. 

The Chairman. If those condemnation proceedings are taken to 
court, then you will have a right to have your damages assessed by a 


jury. That will take into consideration all of the compensable elements 
of damages. 


Mr. Stall. I had on that place 4,000 bushels of sealed corn. It was 
stored for a year until this August. There was only 3 cents a bushel 
earned on the storage at the lime I had to deliver, on account of the 
ordnance plant. I had to dig up the other 7 cents a bushel to get the 
corn moved, besides all the other losses. I had to sell and deliver it 
a year ahead of time, which alone is another loss. 

The Chairman. Was that storage a part of the normal granary? 

Mr. Stall. Yes, sir. I had a written consent of the landlord to 
leave it on that place until the time the storage was up. All my part 
of it was done, but when this came up, I had to pay the 7 cents storage 
I hadn't earned, which was all a loss. 

The Chairman. I believe Mr. Hawley stated that the Department 
of Agriculture had taken the attitude that it would not make good 
the earned benefits. Is that right? 

Mr. Stall. They also stated that it wasn't their trouble — much as 
they would like to help us. 

The Chairman. You say all of your neighbors who are tenants have 
signed, with the exception of one other? 

Mr. Stall, There is just one other who hasn't signed. 

Mr. Curtis. The point you wish to make is that the average tenant 
is not so much interested in what he can do in court as in getting the 
money he needs as soon as he can get it, and that many times he doesn't 
understand ? 

Mr. Stall. He is forced to do something he doesn't want to do. 

Mr. Curtis. It is your suggestion that the Federal Government 
should provide some means whereby the rights of these tenants are 
taken care of in due time, and that they not be forced to take an 
unjust settlement because they need the money in a hurry, or are not 
fully aware of their legal remedies. We thank you very much. 


Mr. Curtis. Will you please give your name and address to the 
reporter ? 

Mr. Kyan. M. O. Ryan, secretary, Eepublican Valley Conserva- 
tion Association, McCook, Nebr. 

Mr. Curtis. Mr. Ryan, our records are going to be open for about 
10 days, and if you will send in a statement it will be printed in the 
record. Can you give us a paper on the outward migration from 
your valley and what contribution in^igation can make in reversing 
this trend? 

Mr. Ryan. We had an idea yesterday afternoon after reading a 
statement concerning your meeting. The Burlington Railroad has a 
record of one-way tickets to California sold from the little towns in 
the Republican Valley. From 4 little towns there were 128 one-way 
tickets sold to California recently. They are making a canvass of 
all the other points. 

Mr. Curtis. We will be very happy to put that in the record. 
(Following are the statements submitted by Mr. Ryan. The lists 
of names which accompanied the statements are held in committee 


Statkment hy M. O. Ryan, Skcimctauy, RicpuinirAN Vai.t.ey Conskhvation 
Association, McCodk, Nkuk., Novkmhek, 25, 1941 

III coiintH'tioii with your current studios of migration, oooasionod by iiatioiial- 
defeiise indusirics, may we respectfully present several suggested imMliods 
by which tliis migration might be accurately measured. 

From only four points canvassed by the; Chicago, liurliiigton & Quincy 
Railroad ollicials, a total of 128 one-way ticlvOts to California have been recorded 
so far tliis year. Tlie great majority of these are reported to have lieeii sold 
to young people fi'om those communities. The one-way ticket is regarded as 
an accurate method of measuring the out-bound travel wliich has a semblance 
of permanent removal. Tliese .sales were made as follows: Oxford, 21; Arap- 
ahoe, lU ; Cambridge, 12; and McCook, 76. 

It is highly likely that an even greater travel by car to west coast and 
other concentration points for n.itional defense has been experienced, but no 
known method of tracing or measuring travel exists, prior to the 1942 auto- 
mobile registration in tlie various States. 

The i\I(Co(ik Credit Association publishes a weekly credit letter to members. 
Since January 1941, and including the November 20 weekly letter, a total 
of 33 address changes from Red Willow County to California defense points, 
Fort Crook, and other i)0ints known definitely to be defense industry centers, 
are therein recorded. An even greater ninnber of railroad men has been 
transferred to Denver, Cheyenne, and other points where national defense 
freight traflic has ushered in demands for increased labor forces. In prac- 
tically every instance, these address chang<'S noted by the credit association 
are family heads, since junior members of a fanuly are seldom listed separately. 

We attach a list of 196 names, gained from the record of address changes at 
the McCook Post Office. The great preponderance of these are claimed to be 
family heads. The postal rules i)revent the giving out for pul)lication of 
present addresses, but the postal officials who compiled the list estimate that 
75 percent of this total has changed to California or other west coast addresses. 

There is also attached a list of 18 names, most of which again are family 
heads. This list was made up by Fred Marsh of McCook. an insurance man, 
who knows each of the parties personally. It is a known fact that each person 
shown herein left McCook in the past several years, intending to set up perma- 
nent residence elsewhere, as shown. 

From most sources, we are advised that a majority of the migrants are young 
men and women, the type of citizens who will, in the normal course of events, 
be building homes, equipping homes, farms, and business places, and affording 
consumer markets for business at other points in the Nation. This might well 
become a grave threat to all types of business in Nebraska, especially the entire 
retail field. 

We firmly believe that a careful field study by investigators of your com- 
mittee in our locality would reveal the fact that current migration is even heavier 
than during the difficult years of 1934 to 1937. If this proves correct, a problem 
of great magnitude faces those parts of Nebraska, and other contiguous States, 
which are suffering a like experience. 

Our association offers two tangible suggestions for meeting this problem, and 
helping to check migration. That suggestion centers around rehabilitation of 
the farm economy through flood control, soil conservation, and development 
of well or surface irrigation wherever found feasible by competent technical 
agencies. The other would involve introduction of defense industries in this 

TuE Republican Valley Conservation Association, 

McCook, Ncbr., Dcccmhcr 15, lf>ffl. 
Dr. RoBEin K. Lamb, 

Chief Investigator, Committee, Migration of Destitute Citizens. 

House Offiee Building, Washiugton, D. C. 
Dear Dr. Lamb: At the hearing, held by your committee in Omaha. Nebr., 
November 25, the committee very graciously accorded us the privilege of filing 
a supplementary statement, in addition to the brief statement handed your 
committee clerk. 

We are privileged to attach a copy of a statement, prepared by us today, on 
the basis of supplementary information which has just reached us. We shall 


be hoping tliat some of the contents will be pertinent to youi- study and that 
they may be reviewed by your committee. 

M. O. Ryan, Secretary. 

Added Statement of M. O. Ryan, McCook, Nebr., December 15, 1941 

The area studied in this brief is the watershed of the Republican River, lying 
in the southwestern part of Nebraska, and running over into Colorado and 
Kansas. The watershed, including 2.">,000 square miles, is a typical portion of the 
Great Plains, except that repeated floods have added to the problem of re- 
curring drought, and intensified the outward migration. 

A unique method of measuring this migration is found in the analysis of 
one-way ticket sales by the Burlington railway which traverses this valley. 
Since January 1, 18 cities and towns within a radius of 75 miles east and west 
from McCook, have sold a total of 294 one-way tickets to western points, bound 
for defense work of one kind or another. Of this total, a few have gone to 
Washington, D. C, to go into Government work, and the remainder have all 
gone to California, and a few to Washington State. The great majority of 
them were young men. 

From some of our towns of 1,000 population, as many as 20 have gone by 
train alone, and we think it safe to assimie that an even larger number have 
gone by car. Sample cities, and their one-ticlvet sales I'eported to the Bur- 
lington, are: St. Francis, Kans., 17; Atwood, 19; Beaver City, 19; Culbertson, 
22 ; Trenton, 18 ; Benkelman, 21 ; Oxford, 21 ; Arapahoe, 19 ; and from McCook 
a total of 76. 

Migration of this magnitude surpasses the outward movement of people dur- 
ing the trying years of Dust Bowl experience. The past decade witnessed an 
average population loss of 13.2 percent in the 10 counties in Nebraska, which 
lie entirely within this basin. Threatened is the entire tax base of the area. 

Frank ilolmes, superintendent of the McCook High School, has assembled 
a list of individuals and families which have removed from this city of 6,500 
within the past 2 years, as taken from the rolls of school children in grade and 
high school. The city is literally being denuded of its tradesmen and its 
service trades workers. Even ministers of the gospel have left, the list includ- 
ing three of them from this community, one of whom has become an Army 
chaplain. Also numerous farmers, squeezed out by drought and flood, or by 
foreclosure, have emigrated to other areas. 

List lA. attached, includes 71 names, many of them family heads who have 
taken their families with them, headed for farms in other sections of the 
country, or for nondefense work. List 2A includes 20 names of men and women 
who have gone directly to defense work, and withdrawn their children from the 
local schools. List 3A includes 46 names of young men who have left the 
city, up to December 1, each of whom has gone to the armed forces or to defense 
work of some kind. These are all men whose youth caused them to be regis- 
tered with school authorities, and does not include older men whose names 
would no longer be recorded with the city schools. 

We submitted formerly lists from the McCook Credit Bureau, and from other 
sources, giving" further evidence of the severity of current migration. None of 
them are presumed to be complete, but are offered as possible suggestions to new 
studies by the committee of selected communities to gage the actual extent of 
defense migration. 

irrigation to meet war food needs 

We do earnestly plead that the development of supplementary irrigation in 
this locality could serve to stabilize farm income, and thus provide a sufficiently 
sound economy for this area to check the outward migration. Through the 
Agricultural Adjustment Administration and Farm Security Administration 
as well as numerous other Federal devices, an effort is being made to stabilize 
farm income. But all of these efforts fall far short in years of drought, when 
little or no farm produce is grown. 

During the last war, when the plea came out from our Government to in- 
crease production, one of the gravest mistakes in the agricultural history of 
the Great Plains occurred. Much of our pasture and grazing land was broken 
and planted to wheat and other grain crops. There was laid the basi'i for 
subseqeunt foreclosure, soil blowing, and migration such as the Dust Bowl 
made famous. We insist that if native production of foodstuffs is to be 


materially increased to feed America and the lease-lend nations, that it would 
be more prudent to resort to supplementary irrigation, wiiere proven 
feasible liy llie 15uieau of Kccliimatiou and oilier Federal bodies, than to make 
the mistake once more of breaking up marginal lands. 


The Bureau of Agricultural Economics has recommended irrigation of 125,000 

acres in that part of tlie Republican Watershed lying above Superior, Nebr., 
while invest igal ions being carried on by the IJureau of Keclamatiim on projects 
running on east and south from that point, down into Kansas, if found feasible, 
would increase tlie total potential irrigable acreage to nearly 2r)(),()00. 

Wliat would that mean in terms of increased farm units, increased farm 
labor opportunities, and increased farm production from this area alone? 

In the 16 counties, comijosing the upper reaches of this watershed, running 
over into northwestern Kansas and eastern Colorado, there were, as of the 
1940 census, a total of 2(),r)00 farms, accounting for 7,9."»4,0(K) acres, or an 
average of 3S8 acres per farm. Tlie Rui-eau of Agricultural Economics' survey 
of this basin revealed an average of 73 acres per farm under irrigatiini on all 
existing irrigation installations. But should we figure as high as 200 acres for 
the proper economic farm unit, the tillable acreage of this basin would break 
down into a total of 39,770 farms. 

Not only would the expansion of supplemental irrigation double the luunber 
of present farm units, and treble tlie production during dry periods, but an 
immense new labor market would l)e introduced, since irrigation farms require 
at least double the labor of dry-land operations. 

We have not included Chase, Dundy, Lincoln or other counties in this water- 
shed, which run into sandhill country where farms are larger. But even in counties extensive opportunities for well irrigation exist, according to 
the Bureau of Agricultural Economics. 

In looking ahead to post-war years, with the need for resettlement of many 
families, we think it is pertinent to point out that this single relatively small 
watershed of 2.1,000 square miles could accommodate another 20,000 farm 
families, as a minimum. We hoiie its capacity in that direction may be care- 
fully apprai.sed in connection with any post-war agricultural planning now being 
carried forward by State and Federal agencies. 


Mr. Curtis. The of our testimony will consist of the panel of 

Mr. OsMERS. Will you please give your names and addresses for the 
record ? 

Mr. Russell. J. S. Russell, farm news editor of Des Moines 

Mr. HoDGKiN. Carlyle Hodgkin, farm editor of Omaha World- 
Herald. I live in Lincoln, Nebr. 

Mr. RoELors. Edward E. Roelofs, editor, Sioux Center News, Sioux 
Center, Iowa. 

Mr. OsMERs. We are very happy to have you with us. Since all 
three of you imderstand the scope of our hearing, I wonder if each 
of you would give us a brief oral statement supplementing your 
written statements, which have been accepted for the record, as have 
some statements from some other editors who could not appear today. 

Statement by J. S. Russexl, Farm Editor, The Des Moines (Iowa) Registeb 

AND Tribune 

November 25, 1941. 

The defense program has been responsible for a substantial reduction in the 
supply of farm labor in Iowa. There are 25 to 30 percent fewer persona avail- 
able for this work now as compared to a year ago. 

There is no real sliortage from a State-wide standpoint at the present time 
but unless some steps are taken to remedy the situation, there may be one 
within the next year or so. 


In the first place, the competition from defense industries and projects and the 
more attractive wages and hours offered have been the principal causes of the 
migration of rural worlcers from the farm areas. 

Tiie farm job at $45 to $00 a month — somewhat higher rates by the day and 
some additional compensations included in many cases — with a 60- to 70-hour 
week isn't very attractive as compared to 40 hours a week at $1 an hour, 
plus time and a half for overtime, in the defense industries. 

The Selective Service Act has taken some of the young men out of rural 
areas but State administrators of this act deny that there has been any real 
shortage occasioned by their policies in Iowa. 


Lt. Col. R. J. Shaw points out that last April the State employment service 
had 4,600 farm hands registered for jobs while 5,500 farmers were deferred 
as necessary to farm production. Agricultural deferments now total 9,-500, or 
5 percent of all men classified. He also points out that 4,600 farm tenants were 
forced off the land last spring because they could not find farms for rent 
and that many of these men were made available for farm jobs. Before another 
crop season, 1,000 Iowa draftees are expected to have completed their year of 
service and to be back in the State to swell ranks of workers. 

Many farm groups have gone on record asking deferment of farm boys to 
avoid a labor shortage for next season. 

Labor shortages to date have consisted of local and seasonal demands which 
could not be filled and the real ti'ouble has been due to lack of proper distribu- 
tion and training rather than of total number of workers in the State. 

The number of men registered for farm employment remains fairly adequate 
in most of the State, although it now is less than half of the total of last 
April, or about 2,200. There are definite shortages indicated in counties 
adjacent to Burlington, Davenport, Clinton, and Waterloo, indicating the effect 
of employment on defense projects. 

The State Work Projects Administration office reports 146 men leaving 
Work Projects Administration for private employment during October in one 
of three districts in the State. Administrators state that men must accept 
private offers of jobs or they will be dropped from Work Projects Adminis- 
tration. The Work Projects Administration load in Iowa has dropped from 
36,000 a year ago to 14,000. 

National Youth Administration has about 600 farm boys — or did 2 months 
ago, according to latest information available — out of 1,500 on projects of this 

Farmers feel that both Work Projects Administration and National Youth 
Administration are providing competition with them for available farm jobs 
and that so-called emergency or relief agencies are being maintained in the 
face of actual labor shortage. Farmers also claim that they do not want nor 
can they use most of the men now on Work Projects Administration. 

Younger men are leaving Work Projects Administration for private employ- 
ment, which leaves only the older men. The average age now is nearly 48 
years of age. Constructi(?n projects have been dropped in 17 counties by Work 
Projects Administration, and National Youth Administration now is not operat- 
ing, or has only clerical projects, in 24 counties, mostly rural. From July 1 to 
October 30, 1941, a total of 388 young men left National Youth Administration 
for farm employment in rural areas. No data can be presented on Civilian 
Conservation Corps, but the number of enrollees is dwindling as private jobs 
become available. 

While Work Projects Administration, National Youth Administration, Civil- 
ian Conservation Corps, and the Selective Service Act have been credited with 
some competition with the farm labor market, the big factor remains — and 
will continue to be — the defense program with its more attractive wages and 


The migration of farm labor away from the farms is important in that it 
has some rather serious implications for the future and may affect the future 
security of persons engaged in agriculture. 

A labor shortage will step up the trend already in effect in Iowa toward 
fewer farms, more highly mechanized and operated by fewer persons. 

This may hasten the apparent industrialization of farming, which to date 
has been rather a gradual tendency brought about by the greater use of 
machinery and the increased technological efficiency whereby fewer persons are 
able to produce our food requirements with each passing decade. 


Tlioro is a sliorl-raiiso prol)lom bcforo agrir-nlttirH rif^ht now in which in- 
creased food siiiiplies are needed for the national defense and lease-lend re- 
qnirenients. The lonfi-ianjie implication indicates the possibility that with 
higher wajjes necessitated by competition from indnstiy, consumers might feel 
the pincli of liij;lier iirodnction costs as faiin prices advance. 

Increased mechanization niiglit be a solution of the problem, altho\ij,'h right 
now priorities hinder this development. The trend in the long run might turn 
farms into factories, losing much of the social b<Mielits of the family-sized 
farm. On the other side of the picture is the possibility that again workers 
who have left the farm for city jobs might hie themselves back to the land 
as a refuge, just as they did in 1931-34, if some future depression should make 
the going tough again. 


A practical approach to the problems of agricidture would be to take what- 
ever steps are necessary to insure greater security to farm laborers, farm 
tenants, and farm owners. 

In tlie first place, there are many persons on Worlc Projects Administration, 
National Youth Administration, or some of the other emergency agency rolls 
who with proper training could make ethcient farm workers. Not all are fitted 
by l)ackground or preference but it is possible that a training period similar 
to some of the training schools could alleviate any farm labor shortage 
in an area where it now exists or in the future for the state as a whole. Em- 
ployer would have to do their part by being willing to hire on a steady basis 
and provide decent hours. 

Perhaps this would be one way of relieving the condition of the farm tenants, 
now being forced off farms at the rate of 3,0(J0 to 5,000 a year because they cannot 
get farms to rent. Alany of these have been "tractored off," as Iowa agriculture 
increases the number of tractors at tlie rate of ten to twelve thousand a year — 
12r),000 to 130,000 now — and increases the area of the farms by about a half acre 
a year on the average and 3 or 4 times this rate in some counties. 

The tendency for a single operator to rent additional land and operate with 
mechanized etiuipuient — we have upward of 22,000 mechanical corn pickers in 
Iowa — has been a factor in the shortage of farms for rent. Competition by 
farmers from less-favored agricultural areas of Nebraska and South Dakota has 
contributed to the shortage. 

The farm tenant has all too little secui'ity of tenure. So far the Iowa Legisla- 
ture has adopted only makeshift measures for the improvement of farm tenancy. 
Most of the recommendations of the State committee on farm tenancy were 
ignored and little improvement resulted from that study and report. Improve- 
ment in leases, in the relation-slups between landlord and tenant, and in longer 
tenure is needed. 

The shortage of farms for rent has been stepped up by the purchase of farms 
by tenants during the last few years. Favorable farm prices and income have 
made it possible for many of the better tenants to buy farms, and some of them 
have taken this step largely to be certain that they would not have to move. In 
many instances the purchases have been made "on a shoestring," and .sales by 
insurance companies, with a down payment of 10 to 15 percent, have not been 
uncommon, and a few have sold for less than 10 percent. 

If farm conditions remain favorable, these men in a few years will be able lo 
meet their obligations, but a price depression, a few unfavorable seasons, or the 
withdrawal of a farm program with no satisfactory substitute might plunge ".shoe- 
string" farm owners into insecurity again. Purchase on an inflated price level 
might mean plenty of trouble. 

This emphasizes the need for security and stabilization of farm prices and 
income if there is to be any real security for persons engaged in agriculture, 
whether they be owners, tenant.s, or laborers. 

The policies of the Federal Government in acquiring land for defense projects 
and. particidarly, ordnance plants, have tended to throw agriculture in the 
affected areas out of balance and adjustment aiul work hardships on farm 
operators and, particularly, farm tenants. 


The Government, although attempting to alleviate tenure conditions and help 
tenants, through c'crtain ag<Micies. has refused to recognize the farm tenant when 
it comes to ac(|uiring of land. The tenant is ignored, verbal leases have no stand- 
ing, the potential value of a farm as a factory for converting grain 
and roughage into meat and milk is not taken into consideration. The tenant is 
given a kick in the pants and if he complains, he is called unpatriotic. Meanwhile, 
land values in the vicinity of projects soar, and owners of condemned acreages 


frequently suffer fiuaiiclal loss when (hey seek to replace the acreage sold to the 

The Farm Security Administration, which already is helping farmers to buy 
farms under the Tenant Purchase Act, is setting up a defense relocation project 
in northern Iowa wherein about 130 rather small tracts are to be made available 
to farmers for leasing. This cannot be more tlian a dro[) in the bucket, or a 
demonstration, on the scale now contemplated but is designed to alleviate some 
of tile shortage and demonstrate that it is possible to make a living on 60 to 100 
acres of good land ; just as the tenant-purchase program under the Bankhead- 
Jones Act is demonstrating that some 800 tenants, with proper financing and 
supervision, can become farm owners without any down payment. 

There is considerable agitation in Iowa to effect some sort of a break-down 
of the large farming units, reversing the trend toward fewer and larger farms. 
No one seems to know just how it should be accomplished but a number of farm 
bureau organizations and farm planning committees liave suggested the desir- 
ability of checking the increase in size of farms and maintenance of the family- 
sized imit. 

Among the suggestions are: That a graduated land tax be aimed at large 
units, rather than necessarily at owners of large areas as has been suggested; 
extension of the homestead tax exemption idea ; development of machines de- 
signed to operate on the smaller farm units; further demonstration by Govern- 
ment agencies that the smaller or medium-sized farming units can be operated 

In a few communities there have been indications that the labor shortage 
might even tend to put the brakes on the expansion of big-scale farming opera- 
tions. Operators are hesitating to expand when the labor supply is uncertain 
and some owners fear that b.v renting a farm to a tenant who already is operat- 
ing a farm or two, some neglect of land and buildings might result. Tliere is 
some talk of the desirability of having each farm independently operated, some 
landlords feeling it better to have three tenants on three 160-acre farms than 
to rent the entire 480 acres to one man. 

In the meantime, why not try out a system of training some of the persons 
on public agency rolls for the highly skilled job of farm labor, with a view to 
making it possible for them to get steady jobs on farms? We might also inves- 
tigate further the controversial issue of bringing farm labor within the provi- 
sions of the Social Security Act as proposed by Secretary Wickard and others. 

It is obvious that we cannot expect to keep all rural youth on the farms and 
we must continue to provide training in industrial skills and crafts so that many 
of them can find jobs elsewhere. It is essential, however, that we meet both 
the immediate needs and the long-term implications to prevent a disruption and 
dislocation of agriculture by the defense program and its demand for manpower. 

Statement by Carltle Hodgkin, Farm Editor of the Omaha (Nebb. ) World- 
Herald, November 25, 1941 

My observations on the subjects before this committee can be summed up 
briefly : 

defense migration 

There has been a great deal of migration from Nebraska to defense jobs both in 
the West and in the East. Probably nobody knows just how much. The editor 
of the paper in Cozad, Nebr. — population, 1,800 — -told me at least 100 young men 
have left there this summer and fall for defense jobs. Editors and businessmen 
in nearly every town report that many young men have gone away to work. 

■ This new kind of migration works an additional hardship on the businesses and 
industries of Nebraska. The State suffered for 8 years of drought, and a great 
many farm families pulled up stakes and left the State. Now the migration of 
farmers has pretty well stopped but there is continued migration of another 
type- — mechanics, carpenters, plumbers, and other skilled workers leaving the 
towns and a great many young men, generally unskilled, leaving the town and 
community for most any kind of defense jobs they can find. A few farmers, 
I've been told, are .selling out and following their sons to where thei'e are jobs, 
but probably this number is not very great. 


As yet I do not think the movement of manpower out of Nebraska has caused 
serious loss of or damage to farm crops in Nebraska. There was some scarcity 


of help at hnrvosttinio, hut fanners iiiaiiaRcd to p;ot thoir harvesting and thresh- 
ing done witliout serious t-rop loss tliat I liave lieard of. Tliero is some scarcity 
of men to picl; cDrn tliis fall, hut in some couununities farmers have told me they 
are half or heller than half done and will get along all right if the weather con- 
tinues reasonably favorable. 

There are ways the farmers can meet this labor shortage. One is by worliing 
a little liarder than many have had to work during the past 8 years of poor crops. 
Another is to ask the women to help outside once in a while at raking hay, driving 
a tractor, or something that isn't too hard. Another is to trad<; work witli 
neighbors more. Tliis often can he done where help is scarce and a two-man outfit 
has to be run, such as tractor and combine. 


The biggest thing farmers will do to meet the labor shortage is to shift to ma- 
chinery. Mechanical corn pickers that haven't been used since 1933 are being 
hauled out of farmers' sheds over Nebraska this fall. Likewise, mechanical 
elevators to pile the corn. 

Combines are in common for grain harvesting. Tractors are in common 
use for plowing and row-crop work. The farm machinery companies have had 
good sales in the State the past two seasons. I don't thiid< the general state of 
repair of farm machinery over Nebraska is so terribly bad. Farmers generally 
have a lot of mechanical ability and inventive genius. In a pinch they can find 
ways atid means to get things done. 

In production of beef, pork, lamb, wool, dairy products, and poultry products 
farmers have learned much about how to turn out greater production per man by 
means of labor-saving systems and equipment. For instance, by self-feeding one 
man can handle a lot more hogs or chickens or turkeys; or with the right kind 
of lambing pens one man can handle more sheep. 

In certain specialized crops like potatoes and sugar beets, mechanization of 
hand labor processes is developing rapidly. Sugar-beet loaders, which remove 
the most back-breaking job in the industry, are fast coming into conmion use. 
Machines that lift, top, and load the beets — reducing three different processes 
to one — are being tried experimentally this year. They are far from perfected 
yet but there is some hope of having them in limited commercial operation by 
next year. Experimental I'esearch at the same time is developing a way of "single 
seed" planting of sugar beets so the hand "thinning" in the spring no longer will 
be necessary. Tiiese changes, when they have fully arrived, will greatly reduce 
the hand labor needed for sugar-beet production and cut the cost of producing the 

Mechanization of farm processes seems certain to go on faster, no douht, in 
some phases of the industry than in others. Wheat growing, for instance, is 
pretty well mechanized now. 


Tliere will be new problems when the young fellows come home from their de- 
fense jobs after the war. Some men I've talked to in farm communities think most 
of the defense migrants, the young fellows especially, won't save much of the 
money they are making now. These chaps have grown up in farm comnnuiities 
in hard times. They never have had much money. This is their first experience 
on good wages and there are plenty of ways to spend their wages for good times. 

A lot of young men now gone from Nebraska probably will come back broke 
after the defense boom and have a pretty hard time finding anything to do. 
The obvious thing for Nebraska to do is to have things ready for these fellows to do 
when they come home, or draw them home to jobs as the defense effort begins to 

But what jobs can he provided for them is the great question? 

Irrigation in Nebraska appears to be one avenue of promise. We have as an 
example a fully developed irrigation conmumity in the North I'latte Valley. The 
high yields and great variety of crops produce a great number of jobs both on 
and off the farms. 

A new irrigation area, the "Tricounty," is now being developed in the soTith 
central part of the State. First crops under partial irrigation have been produced 
there this year, and the yields of watered corn run about 50 bushels per acre 
compared with lr> or 20 for unwatered corn. Other new irrigation areas are 
being developed along the Loup Rivers in the central part of the State, and in 


these areas where manpower requirements are increasing rapidly the labor 
scarcity no doubt will be most acute next year. 

Irrigation from pumps has considerable possibility over Nebraska. There 
are places it cannot be done successfully, but there are a great many places it can. 
Many farmers have been slow to put down irrigation wells, partly because they 
lacked the money and didn't want to borrow and partly because they hesitated 
to take on the additional work and management problems that irrigation 

Irrigation seems to me to be one avenue of permanent improvement that needs 
to be encouraged and developed in Nebraska. 


In recent years there has been much agitation for new industries in Ne- 
braska. It has been pointed out, for example, that if we just raise and sell the 
cattle that's one source of income, but if we process the meat that's another, and 
if we tan the hides that's another, and if we make the leather into shoes that's 
still another. 


A man of high standing in the University of Nebraska last winter gave me this 
significant picture of the improved opportunity for industry in Nebraska : 

Nebraska now, with its system of hydroelectric plants, is able to develop 
distributable power. Power is the first requirement of any manufacturer. Dis- 
tributable power is the principal influence in the past 30 years in bringing about 
some decentralization of industi-y, and Nebraska now has power to offer. 

Second, modern high-speed rail transportation, all-weather highways forming 
a network over the region and air service for both passengers and freight make 
possible rapid distribution of the manufactured product in less than carload 
lots. The distribution of the manufacturer's product is much easier and faster 
than it once was. 

Third, rents are lower for the manufacturer and living conditions for his 
workers are more healthful here in the rural areas of the Nation. 

These three factors — distributable power, both electricity, natural gas, and 
oil, high-speed, all weather transportation, and lower rents and more desirable 
living conditions — were pointed as all favorable, for the first time in the State's 
history, to the location of industry here. 

This could be light steel, plastics, or industry of many types. Generally it is 
pointed out, however, that the most logical industries for Nebraska are those 
based upon agricultural products as raw materials. 


With this last idea in rnind, the Nebraska Legislature in its last session ap- 
propriated $25,000 for chemurgic research under the board of regents of the 
university. The three chief purposes ai'e to keep in constant touch with re- 
search in this field at other places, such as the Federal laboratory at Peoria, 
to study new uses of Nebraska's present farm crops as raw materials for in- 
dustry and to seek new crops of industrial value that might be grown in 

This project is just now being put into operation. We hope it will be a means 
of finding industries to take up some of the employment slack when the national 
defense program ends. 

In general, I think the kind of help we need from the Federal Government 
in Nebraska is financial assistance in establishing industries based on farm 
raw materials. Financial assistance not only in possible construction of plants 
but in research to find the way. One timely example is ethyl alcohol, which 
has been much cussed and discussed over the Middle West in the past 10 
years. There is a great need for this product now for shells and explosives 
of war and a great shortage has developed in the Nation. If the Goverrunent 
had been willing to finance a few experimental plants a few years ago, when 
it seemed to have unlimited money for everything else, the grain-producing 
States could be helping to meet the Nation's acute alcohol needs new. It 
wouldn't have to be made out of sugar at double the cost. Moreover, research 
of the past few years now indicates strongly that industrial alcohol made 
from grain can stand on its own feet as a peacetime industry. 

3576 O.MAI 1 A iii:akinus 


I would like to olTcr anollit'r coiniiu'iit. I aKrcc with tlio dissent of Congressman 
Carl T. Curtis in ynur puhlislicd i)rcs.s release of October 21, 1941. 

Some "eniiiloynieut n^jeiicy" service is all i-i^lit and has its place. I don't 
know whether we have loo nuicli of if now ov too little. But tlie idea can 
be overdone ;ind this all-Federal set-up is likely to overdo it. 

After all, we have newspaiiers, magazines, and radio to publish information 
about jobs available and people needing jobs. Any fellow who will be any 
good on a job after he gets it is likely to do a little looking around on his own 
hook. Do we have to have a Federal crew running around hunting everybody's 
jobs for tlieinV Let's si)end the money instead for the establislnuent of indus- 
tries and agricultural improvements that will make jobs. 

Statement BY Edward E. Roeix)fs, Editor of the Sioux Ckntkb (Iowa) News, 

NOVEMBKK 25, 1941 

Migratory hibor is a problem today in all parts of the United States. Our 
people are mobile and respond to the demand for labor so readily, crossing 
State lines like any other commodity, tliat we look upon it as a Federal 
problem and not as a local problem. 

The rural Middle West has a migratory labor problem, but not of the same 
proportion as li'ave the congested industrial areas. Our i)r(iblem in rural Iowa 
is not one of labor shortage — it is hardly a labor problem at all. It is a 
problem of losing a good percentage of our people and the effect of this 
on the character of the rural areas. It is a problem which we must face 
after the war when we anticipate a return home of the bo.vs and girls who 
left during the last few years. 

The few observations we make here are limited to labor — as we .see it — as 
a rural problem. For years the rural areas have lost many of their young 
men and women to the professions and to connnerce. This tended to balance 
our labor supply. In recent years, mechanization of farming, with the tend- 
ency to larger farms and fewer farmers, has forced more boys to look for 
work and opportunity in busier areas. Many of the farmers from northwest 
Iowa, for example, left for southern California to fill a demand for a rapidly 
expanding dairy industry for whicli farmers had .special abilities. We 
have witnessed many others, particularly young married men, going into the 
factories of industrial Michigan. These, prior to mechanization, had been 
absorbed as labor at home. 

We shall in.sert an aside observation here. Since mechanization of farms, 
thei'e has developed a class of married hired hands who live in small tenant 
shacks on the farm yard where they work. This is a new di'velopment which 
has serious implications socially, and which must eventually find definition 
in the social-security law. 

It is obvious that the people who have migrated because they were "tractored 
off" are the opposite of a labor shortage. They are, however, a problem in 
the areas to which they move, and concievably they could be a problem to us 
in an economic crisis they sought refuge among their friends and relatives. 

But if who have moved away are no problem to us now, the social 
Implications of larger farms and fewer farmers resulting from mechaniza- 
tion are a serious problem. It is the same tendency we witness in industry — 
the rich get richer, and the poor get poorer. Those who can get started can 
prosper, but a majority of our young iwople must move away, some to become 
doctors and teachers, but most to become common factory laborers ; and many 
of those who remain to increase that class of young married couples who must 
live in farm shacks. 

Slowly leaders in the Midwest have come to see a possible solution — a way 
to keep the farms family-sized units, even while they become mechanized. 
We luust extend credit to the promising yotnig farmers so tluit they can buy 
farms, much as we have granted credit to homeowners under the Federal 
Housing Authority.' We must write the terms of credit to discourage unlimited 
accumulation of land, and to encourage cooperation between neiglibors in 
the use of farm machinery. 

Farmers have successfully owned threshing equipment together for many years. 
Recently farmers in Iowa have been buying corn pickers, combines, griiulers, 
trucks, and .silage cutters together. The Farm Security Administration already 


encourages their debtors to buy only such equipment which secures their money. 
Banliors make loans to farmers who follow good farming practices. 

We are not concluding that our labor problem would be solved if we extended 
credit to young farmers to own their own farms. We do mean that the family 
unit is not only a social asset but a sound economic unit. 

The national-defense program has more directly affected our labor supply. 
Over 200 boys have been drafted into the Army in the last year from Sioux County. 
Many others, boys and girls, have been attracted by good wages to the booming 
industrial areas. The effect of their going is obvious — they are the cream of the 
crop; but the truth is, we still have no labor shortage. We may feel the effect of 
their absence more next year, and the year after. The tendency toward mechani- 
zation of farms, however, will take up part of the labor slack, but, incidentally 
will intensify our future problem of farm tenancy and farm ownership. 

The real problem is with these young people when the time comes for them to 
find a place in the post-war set-up. After the war, the young people dismissed 
from closed munition factories will come home to breath during the transition 
period. Even if normal industry rapidly reabsorbs them it will be a critical time 
for mobile labor. At about the same time that these people come flocking back, 
our service boys will be coming home. 

We must be prepared to feed and house these people. It is obviously a problem 
which transcends State lines. Thank heavens for the experience we have had 
with the Work Projects Administration, the Civilian Conservation Corps, the 
National Youth Administration, the Farm Security Administration. We must 
extend these and similar agencies to meet the post-war crises. 

Statement by J. C. Hammond, Editoe of Decorah (Iowa) Journal 

Cities such as Decorah, which might be classed as one of the county-seat towns 
of the Middle W^est, are due to feel a considerable increase in the purchasing 
power of farmers, while those on moderate salaries are hit by the rising cost 
of living. 

There has been some decrease in population, due in part to the enlistments in 
the armed defense forces, but to an even greater extent as a result of the migra- 
tion of skilled and semiskilled workers to the airplane factories, the munitions 
projects, and national defense activities in the industrial centers. 

The farms are becoming more mechanized and the temporary buying by such 
monopolies as Carnation Milk, Borden's, and Kraft for condensed milk, dried 
•milk, and cheese is tough competition for cooperative farmers' organizations, such 
as creameries. 


The foregoing summarizes a report prepared for Miss Evelyn Weinberg, of the 
Tolan committee of Congress, a House committee investigating the effects on 
various parts of the Nation of the defense migration — meaning the effects from 
the numbers of men entering the national-defense forces as soldiers, sailors, and 
marines, and also the migration from the interior of the country to the munitions, 
airplane, and national-defense industries of the Nation. 

Miss Weinberg has been touring the Nation to gain this information and visited 
Des Moines. Mason City, Decorah, and other points last week. She was here to 
gain information to be submitted to a hearing to be conducted by the five 
Representatives in Congress on the committee at Omaha Tuesday of this week. 

causes business vacancies 

Contrary to the belief of many, the national-defense program is having an 
adverse effect on rentals, vacancies, and property owners in the smaller citiea 
of the Middle West, with a tendency to increase vacancies in business properties. 

Tliere are more vacancies in business properties and not quite so keen a 
demand for residential properties, though the average and better places are 
Avell filled. 

The draft and enlistments have taken many young men out of the Middle West 
with no replacement by industrial activity inspired by the national-defense pro- 
gram, most of which activities appear to be centered in the larger centers of 
population in the South, East, and on the coasts. 

Probably there has been a greater drain on the smaller cities and rural districts 
in taking men of the skilled and semiskilled trades to the automobile and air- 
60396 — 42 — pt. 22 15 



plane factories with a resultinR shortage of carpenters, farm laborers, machinists, 
and skilled worlters. 


On the other hand, pnrchasinj; power of the farming population throughout the 
Middle West is being increased largely by the advances in the prices of farm 
products, which for the first time in recent history have reached a parity with 
industrial prices, hut the white collar worker and those with moderate salaries 
are placed in a more dillicult condition with rising costs of living, while wages are 
not advancing and the proprietors of small businesses are hard pressed to 
continue present wage s(al(>s with decreased activities in the smaller cities, 
particularly those with no factories. 

Competition from big wholesalers and manufacturers, virtual monopolies — is 
causing difficulties. Not long ago one of the important independent cheese 
factories in the Middle West was the Marty Co. at Monroe, Wis., and the 
Marty cheeses found a ready market. Now, like Log Cabin sirup, since taken 
over by one of the big monopolies, many buyers say some of the fine Marty- 
cheeses have lost individuality in becoming a unit of Borden's. 


The cooperative and private creameries in the Middle West making butter 
have been rather up against a tough proposition. Some of the cheese factories 
have been paying around 60 cents a pound for butterfat as compared with the 
40-cent price at creameries making butter, since there has been an abnormal 
demand for cheese — with prices figured on the butterfat basis. 

Then also there is the situation of the big monopolies in the dairy products 
field. Not many years ago there was little or no milk from Winneshiek 
County going into the manufacture of condensed milk. Later at plant at Cas- 
talia was taken over and used as a cooling plant for the concentration of ship- 
ments of milk to a Carnation plant at Waverly, Iowa. Now truck lines 
operate almost within the shadows of the city of Decorah, where the Decorah 
Ice Cave Creamery Co., with some 800 members of the cooperative farmers" 
group' operate a creamery that has been manufacturing about a million and 
a quarter pounds of butter a year. For the first three-quarters of 1941, all 
records for production in Decorah set new highs, only to slump to the lowest 
point in many years during the fourth quarter of 1941 as Carnation milk and 
cheese factories are paying more than the price of butterfat going into butter 
for purposes such as cheese-making, condensing, and powdered milk. 


The Decorah creamerv has ordered about .$20,000 of equipment for manu- 
facturing of dried milk and plans to start .such operations next February. 

Shorta<^e of man-power on farms and in rural communities is causing a 
tendencv^to use more machinery, such as tractors and other equipment. 

Alois Bernards, operating 80 acres highly diversified near Decorah, has never 
had a horse on his farm— using motors and mechanical equipment even to the 
point of turning lights on in the hen house at 5 a. m. for greater egg produc- 
tion in cold weather— placing out feed the previous night. 

The result of migration of men from the Middle West into national-defense 
armed forces and national-defense industries is to increase centralization of 
work cau«e the use of more tractors and machinery and bring about more 
centralization of monopolistic purchasers such as by Borden's Carnation 
milk and Kraft cheese. This retards cooperative marketing of farm products, 
in somewhat the manner that dii'ect buying of livestock by packers has cur- 
tailed competitive buying of livestock. 

Statement by R.vlph O. Hiixgren, State Editor, Sioux Falls (S. Dak.) Abgus- 



Sise of farm unit 

There has been no appreciable change in the size of the farm unit in the 
State directly as the result of the defense program. In the eastern two tiers 


«f counties the quartor section is pretty much the standard unit, altliough 
a thrifty farmer may have acquired more and another of the same character 
may be able to get along with slightly less. There is now an extremely active 
demand for land here in the eastern section, with a few coming in from States 
to the east, but more from the counties farther west in South Dakota. Where 
the buildings are at all habitable, they are occupied today and the land is farmed 
as previously in the smaller units. 

Farther west the unit may vary from a half section to as much as 800 
acres for ordinary fai-ming, with possibly more where livestock is the prin- 
cipal effort and grazing land is needed. A man cannot begin to operate with 
anything less than a half section, because the i-eturns are not adequate, due 
to lack of rainfall. In this western section, also, land is in demand. There 
is some tendency toward getting bigger farms, but even the customary size 
farm is in demand (320 acres or more). In the central section of the 
State, a report today stated, every farm will be used next year. This report 
came from Kimball, in Brule County. Farming is sufficiently profitable, even in 
those areas, to create this demand for land. 

Tenant problem 

More land is now being operated by owners than was true several years 
ago. Since insurance companies, the Federal land bank, rural credit depart- 
ment, and even counties, are liquidating land which they obtained under 
the unfavorable conditions several years ago, many tenants find their places 
sold out from under them. As a means of self-protection, tenants are buying 
land so as to have some place to farm. 

Farm sales this year are fully four times as great as last year The 
State rural credit department is about at the halfway point in a liquida- 
tion program started 2 years ago, when it had more than 1,200,000 acres 
of laud which it had obtained by foreclosui-e. Values are not much stiffer 
than they were last year. 


Mechanization has progressed steadily since about 1928 or 1929. There are 
very few farmers who today do not have tractors. A very large number have 
mechanical corn pickers. The demand for pickers this year was greater than 
the supply. The machinery companies report this demand was mostly for 
replacements. Farmers found themselves having more cash, and wanted new 
machinery because the oM was becoming worn out and inefficient 

No serious labor shortage has been seen. The typical South Dakota small town 
still has considerable labor, or retired farmers, willing to work on farms This 
population flocked to towns several years ago when drought conditions made farm- 
ing unprofitable. Relief work was more attractive. 

Tractors, two- and three-bottom plows, and machinery to be drawn by tractors 
may now be considered standard etiuipment on South Dakota farms This trend 
has been steady and had reached its peak before the defense program started As 
srated previously, tliere has been demand for replacement equipment due to 
Increased ability to pay for same. 

Future of South Dakota agriculture 

The pattern for South Dakota agriculture seems already to have been laid 
bheep and cattle will be dominant everywhere west of the eastern two tiers of 
counties, and even in those two tiers there will be heavy feeding operations 

An impoi-tant influence on this pattern is the discovery the past few years that 
the drier portions of the State will grow sorghum successfully. Grain sorghum 
production this year was the largest on record. This can be fed to livestock rery 

Grain will continue to be grown in the drier portions, but only for feed in 
rotation. There is absolutely no danger of vast areas being plowed up for grain 
raising even though prices shall advance. Experience has shown that the 
country is fitted primarily for livestock, with just enough farming to raise winter 
feeds, and a large part left in pasture for summer grazing 

In the western part of the State, units probably have reached as large a size 
as they will ever grow. It may be expected, however, that if prosperity con- 
tinues individual farmers and ranchers may add contiguous tracts if the price 
remains low and taxes also are low. In most instances rents have been lower 



than taxes so it is bettor not to own too much land. The farmer and rancher 
would own'wliat he needed for his home plot, and put in dams, hut would rent 
much ndj..ininK land. To reiH'at. he may huy if he had an almndanee oT cash, 
and if taxes become lower. Of course, the more land that is bouKht the lower 
the taxes will be, and there is a iK)Ssibllity that tax reduction in some of these 
fH)unties may become substantial. 

Drain of population 

No authoritative material is available on tlie drain of population to the 
defense industries. , , ,«_-. 

News reports are continually being received, however, about youg men who have 
received work in tht> princiiial industrial centers. 

Emphasis should be placed on the word young. There is little migration of 
farmers with families sudi as there was during the drought several years ago. 
The voung men now leaving the State are fairly well educated, mostly unmarried, 
mteliigent, and adaptable. There is no industrial education in the State, so they 
are not exactly equipped for industrial life, but exix-rience has shown that when 
such voung men from thrifty homes are given an opportunity, they make valuable 
employees If the defense effort suddenly stops, some may find Avork in other 
industry Farmers' .sons can be absorbed into life on the farm, because there 
is always more than enough work even on the mechanized farm. 

Other effects 

The farmer's position is very good at the present time, due to better prices. 
Should great disparity reoccur, however, the effect will be disastrous. Farming 
fs SconSng more of a capitalistic venture every year, and fair returns are neces- 
sary to keep it above water. If labor's returns get out of hand, and are reflected 
in the prices of things the farmer buys, the defense program wilL indeed prove 
tragic for the farmer. 


Mr OsMERS. Would you start the discussion, Mr. Russell? 

Mr. Russell. I think you are interested, principally, m the migra- 
tion from rural areas and how that has been affected by the delense 
program. I know that throughout most of Iowa there has been a 
very heavy migration both of potential farm workers and, as was 
told your committee earlier today, some migration of industrial 
workers, which decreased the potential labor supply available here. 
It is my own personal opinion that there has been no severe shortage 
as yet of hired farm labor except in certain areas. It has been more 
a matter of poor distribution and lack of adequate training, and 
especially the competition of defense work, although farmers in some 
of these areas have complained that farm boys were being taken by 
the draft. 


Mr. OsMERS. Have a great many boys in Iowa been deferred? 

Mr. Russell. I think that a farm boy should not be treated dif- 
ferent from anybody else. If he is essential, he should be ^loterred 
if not, he should not be deferred. The mam thing is that it isnt 
attractive for a man to work 60 or 70 hours a week for $4o to $69 a 
month, depending on some of the other things that go ""[Z^.'^'a^ 
wages in money, when, with only a reasonable amount of skill in de- 
fense work, he can get a job where he works 40 hours a week with 
time and a half for overtime. That is where your real competition 

"^^Mr." OsMERS. From industry rather than from the draft board? 
Mr. Russell. Yes; the whole thing tends to reduce the available 


labor supply. As Dr. Sclmltz pointed out, a certain amount of that 
is a good thing and the thing we have to expect. This idea of keep- 
ing the boys on the farm doesn't work because we are able to produce 
more with fewer people. 

Mr. OsMERS. This is obvious. Would you care to make a short 
general statement, Mr. Roelofs? 


Mr. RoELOFS. Yes. I will boil my statement down to this : It isn't 
a question of a shortage of labor so much as a question of the 
migration of young people out of our community. We have been 
pretty largely adjusting our fanning conditions to where we need 
less farm labor. Consequently, we weren't short a few years before 
the draft, but when the defense program went into effect, a lot of 
the boys migrated to the airplane factories, and Michigan tank 
factories and ordnance plants, and we have adjusted ourselves to 
that. We are getting along without them. There isn't a labor 
shortage now, but there is a problem we will have to face in the 
future. These people are going to find when this war is all over, 
and these defense plants, after going through a transition period, 
have gone back to producing normal goods, that they are going to be 
stranded in Michigan during the transition period and maybe not 
equipped to work in these factories. During that period they are 
going to come running home and find they have been replaced. 

It is going to be intensified because they are going to come home 
at the same time that the boys from the Army are going to come 

Mr. OsMERS. You visualize a more severe post-war problem than 
the present problem? 

Mr. RoELors. So far as the rural areas are concerned. 

Mr. OsMERS. In our hearings around the country, we have found 
that the difficulties we have now are due to crowding in some of the 
defense areas, and lack of proper public facilities and housing to care 
for these people. But it is a comparatively rosy situation because, 
when the boys leave here and go to California, they are going out 
there to almost a sure job. When the Oakies went out in '3G, '37, and '38, 
they were going out there with hope but that was about all they had. 

Mr. Hodgkin, would you make a short statement ? 

Mr. Hodgkin. I don't think there has been any farm labor shortage 
in Nebraska this year. While we have had it, I don't think we have 
had it enough to result in important damage to the crop. There have 
been delays, and the farmers have been a little slower getting corn 
out this fall than otherwise. But they have made the crops that were 
raised without any serious damage. 

It seems to me this more acute problem will come when war is over 
and the boys come back after the war. A^T;iat are we going to do 
with them then? That seems to me the greatest problem. There is a 
lot of capacity among farm folks for young boys to do things; to 
trade work more than they have in the past, and work longer hours. 


Mr. OsMERs. I know and it seems to me like there is going to be a 
sliortage. It will be worse next year than this year, but I am not 
worried as much about that as what we are going to do when a lot 
of these folks come back. Do you feel that the present slight short- 
age, if it continues to grow, will lead to a further mechanization of the 


farm? That is. as IniinaTi Inbor l)ecomes a loss iinportaiit factor, will 
it load to more mochaiiizalion? 

Mr. IIoDOKiN. 1 (loiTt think thore is any doubt about that. That is 
the j)rocess anyway. That is the kind of thinij that has been going on; 
.1 think I mentioned it in my brief. There has been a spurt of inven- 
tions in the sugar-beet industry and several new processes that seem 
almost h.ere may wipe out very largely the hand labor in the sugar- 
beet industry. 

Mr. OsMERS. You have reference to the single-seeding process that 
oliminates nuich labor. 

Mr. HoDOKiN. That is a good example where hand labor can be 
eliminated by two or throe mechanization processes. Wlieat raising is 
so largely mechanical now that it is hard to see how it could be mecha- 
nized much more than it has been. By and large that will be true; to 
what extent it is a little hard to judge. 

]\fr. OsMKRS. What do you think of the future size of American 
farms? We have had a lot of testimony here; much of it has been to 
the effect that we should attempt to discourage the large corporate 
farm. Do you think wo are headed in that direction inevitably, or that 
it is possible to stop that trend ? 

Mr. RussEix. There has been a lot of talk about it, but nothing has 
been done. 

Mr. OsMERS. Do you think it would be desirable ? It would be re- 
versing a natural law to put the brake on it. 

Mr. Russell. I think in the long run it will be determined by the 
efficiency and the economy of operation. There is a tendency now, as 
]Mr. Hodgkin properly said, that has stopped up the trend toward 
meclianization. If you don't have as many people available to hire, 
and if you have to pay them higher wages, naturally there is a tend- 
ency to go into further mechanization, tractor operations, and so forth. 
Generally, in the Corn Belt, this has meant larger farm units in the 
long run. 

There have been some trends in the opposite direction. This very 
shortage of labor has tended in some cases to discourage too large an 
increase at this time. The fellow who is doing the operating wants to 
be sure; he is going to play "close to his chest." Another thing is 
that some of the farmers — the land owners I should sa^' — don't care to 
have the same operator handle too many farms because they don't take 
as good care of the land and let it run down, if it isn't being used. You 
have in Iowa homestead-tax exemptions which tend to encourage farm 
ownership, and you are probably going to have the family-sized unit 
encouraged more by ownership by the operator than any other one way. 


Mr. OsMERS. That brings up several things that I wanted to inquire 
about. One of them was in connection with a statement that you 
made here. You state that the farm tenant has too little security of 
tenure, and later on you say: "Improvement in leases, in the relation- 
ship between landlord and tenant, and in longer tenure is needed." 
What improvement in leases did you have in mind thore? 

IVIr. Russell. Thore are a number of things. I will try not to go 
into too much detail. We have a law in Iowa that requires that 
unless the lease is canceled by the 1st ot November, it is automat- 
ically renewed for the ensuing year. The fiscal farm year starts as 
of March 1. The Farm Tenancy Committee which Mr. Hawley 
headed and which some of the rest of us were members of, made a 


recommendation for a somewhat earlier conclusion date, also to en- 
courage improvement of the soils, such as seeding it down. The soil 
conservation program encourages that to some extent. 

It gives an incentive to the tenant to make improvements by 
knowing either that he is going to stay on the farm and have an 
opportunity to get the benefit, or else be compensated for it. 

5lr. OsMERs. You say— 

The Government, although attempting to alleviate tenure conditions and help 
tenants through certain agencies, has refused to recognize the farm tenant 
when it comes to acquiring of land. 

Mr. Russell, I could not add very much to what was said by 
Mr, Stall or Mr. Newlin. That is the situation I referred to. 

Mr. OsMERs. That was the situation when the Govermnent ac- 
quired land for defense. 

Mr. Russell. Oh, yes. If I may, I would like to insert "acquir- 
ing land for defense." That was an oversight, if I did not say that. 

Mr. OsMERs. You make an interesting proposal with respect to 
the graduated land tax. There may be some merit in that idea. 

Mr. Russell. I don't make the proposal, I refer to it as having 
been made and discuss it at some length. A lot of people own five 
or ten or fifty or a thousand acres. My idea was to think of the 
size of the operating unit rather than the volume of total holdings. 

Mr. Osmers. You would reduce it to terms of farm units rather than 
ownership. An insurance company might have lots of land but all 
of it might be operated in 50-acre farms. 

Mr. Russell. This principle might apply there in homestead ex- 
emption taxes. 

Mr. OsMERS. Now you say there is considerable agitation in Iowa 
for the breaking down of these large units. You say that no one 
seems to know just how it should be accomplished. Do you have 
any suggestions as to how it ought to be done ? 

Mr. Russell. No, I don't think I will tackle that at this time. 
I have just mentioned it. As to the ownership of large tracts of 
land by insurance companies, we have been doing something about 
that. Give your tenant the kind of income he had for the last year 
or two, and he will take care of that himself. 


Mr. OsMERS. You give some interesting figures in connection with 
the operation of the W. P. A. in Iowa and you state that the load 
has dropped from 36,000 a year ago to 14,000 today. Has that been 
due to the policy in Washington where w^e have curtailed appropria- 
tions to W. P. A. or is it the result of increased employment in Iowa ? 

Mr. Russell. Increased employment almost entirely. There have 
been some cases in which projects have been dropped in rural areas, 
but in most cases it is because they are no longer required there. 

Mr. Osmers. You say that at the moment there is no real shortage 
from a State-wide standpoint? 

Mr. Russell. Not at the present time for farm labor, but unless 
steps are taken to remedy the situation tliere may be a shortage in 
the next year or so. 

Mr. Osmers. What steps do you suggest be taken ? 

Mr. Russell. In the fii-st place, if we have been expending only 
15 or 17 percent of our industrial output for defense, and we are 
going to switch into high, by the middle of next year, there will 
be a greatly increased competition for the amount of labor avail- 


able. One of the steps I had in mind has never been tried, but 
I am sii<2:<2;estin<5 that it has enougli merit to require some looking- 
into and some trial. This would be to point a way toward ])rivate 
employment for people on MV. P. A., N. Y. A., and C. C. C., and 
the so-called emero;encv agencies — I don't know just how long an 
em,ergency is — to get them into private em])lovment. The average 
age of the W. P. A. worker in Iowa now is 47.8 years and it has 
become increasingly high. Your younger workers are being absorbed 
in private employment. They are a little more mobile and flexible 
than your older men who are not finding jobs. I am referring to 
W. P. A. now. But if you have those agencies providing a certain 
amount of security to some of these people, it does have a tendency 
to prohibit them from going into private employment. 


I suggest that we try to train these people in the skills that might 
be picked up rather easily if they have a liking and a background for 
agricultural employment. I dignify the job of a farm laborer. We 
have always said, "Most any bum can M'ork on a farm." Well, I think, 
we want to get away from that psychology. I might cite my own case. 
I was a tenant farmer. I thought I was a good farmer. But I 
would find if I were to return to the farm that I could not run a 
tractor or a corn binder or a combine because I have not been actively 
engaged in farming since those things have come to the farm. So I 
presume I would be a candidate for a farm hand to take this farm 
training that I am recommending for W. P. A. workers. 

Mr. OsMERS. I think that the Government has missed great oppor- 
tunities ever since they created these emergency bureaus. N. Y. A. and 
W. P. A. and C. C. C, by not providing training for these people. It 
would have been invaluable in this defense effort. 

Mr. Russell. I am in thorough accord with Dr. Schultz' suggestion 
in regard to some of the responsibilities of the farmer and his obliga- 
tion to provide adequate housing and many such things for his hired 
workers. I think we are going to have to work out a method for 
making this possible. I don't want to depend on Mr. La Guardia's 
recruiting to go out and harvest the crop. I think we ought to do it 
ourselves. The farmer is too apt to say : "I don't want anybody from 
W. P. A., he is no good." 

Mr. OsMERS. I detected a paradox in your statements on that subject. 
While you state that farmers claim that they do not want nor can they 
use most of the men now on W. P. A., you also state : "Farmers feel 
that both W. P. A. and N. Y. A. are providing competition with them 
for available farm jobs." 

Mr. KussELL. I think the paradox there isn't entirely my paradox. 
I am not assuming the farmer would take everj'body on W. P. A. or 
that they would make good on a farm, only those with a liking for it 
and some experience and background. You would be surprised how 
many of these people who have been forced on W. P. A. are former 
tenants who have been forc^l off the land and have had to go to town, 
I am assuming we might give them a somewhat better opportunity so 
that they might enjoy a better status than they have now. 


]\Ir. OsMERS. Do vou recommend bringing farm labor under the 
Social Security Act? Would you care to express a direct opinion on 


Mr. Russell. No; I don't have any conclusion. I think there are 
some things involved there. I am merely reiterating the suggestion. 
If )'ou are going to saddle some of the cost onto the farmer-employer, 
you might well investigate a little further whether he is going to have 
adequate income to meet these additional costs, and I think you might 
find out whether the public is willing to pay higher prices for food if 
you add to the production cost. I don't know what the answer is. You 
might as well deal the cards face up on the table. 

Mr. OsMERS. A lot will depend, as you say, on which element of the 
population stands the increased cost. It will depend whether the public 
will stand for it, or the farmer will stand for it. Studying farm in- 
come, I don't think farm income has been sufficient to stand the burden 
of taxation necessary to put social security in force. 

Mr. Russell. I cited that as one of the factors that might lead to 
greater security. I assume that neither the consumer nor the farmer 
would feel the burden greatly in a year like this, but we may not have 
a year like this next year, or soon again. We may come back to the days 
we don't like to think about, faster than we would like. 

Mr. OsMERS. Mr. Hodgkin, I wonder if you would discuss for the 
committee, just briefly, some of your ideas with respect to the chemur- 
gic industry in the farm areas ? 

Mr. Hodgkin. I don't think anybody has any very fixed ideas about 

Mr. OsMERS. To nail it down to a starting point, what do you think 
of the movement of the Nebraska Legislature to appropriate $25,000? 

Mr. Hodgkin. We all hope it is a good thing. We know that some 
fundamental circumstances in Nebraska are more favorable to indus- 
try than before. We have electric power available in the State that we 
did not have 40 or 60 years ago ; we have roads that permit distribution 
of products in less than carload lots ; and we have favorable living con- 
ditions and that sort of thing. So some of the fundamental conditions 
in industry are more favorable than they were. 

But if we have industries in Nebraska, they will have to be fairly 
closely related to agriculture. Grain milling and sugar-beet processing 
are two of our biggest industries. 


Mr. OsMERS. What about the future of the frozen food business? 
Would that become an industry of any consequence in Nebraska ? 

Mr. Hodgkin. I don't know much about that particular thing, but 
I think it is being developed pretty rapidly by commercial industry 

Mr. OsMERs. I believe that we are on the threshold of a vastly 
increased use of frozen foods because more and more people are find- 
ing that frozen foods are far better than many fresh foods that you 
buy over the counter. It may replace the canning industry. Those 
areas that get into it are probably going to be important. It is like 
Michigan in the automobile industry. They started the industry 
there, and Michigan is now the leader in the automobile industry. 
Now, in my State, they are freezing millions of dollars worth of food. 

Mr. Hodgkin. In our State we don't have a great lot of commercial 
foods or vegetables. We do have some in the chemurgic project that 
has been set up here. They attempted to freeze some products, but 
it isn't a big enough thing for any large scale research such as the 
Federal Laboratory in Peoria. 



In the chenuirific project thoj' are trying to do something not done 
by anybody else and it has ])roved vahiable to a large number of 
people in the State. The project is broken into four parts: One is 
under the title of "General Service." Some of the manufacturers in 
the State use light steel and the problem is, can we help them find a 
plastic raw material instead of steel? Then one is an agronomic 
study of a lot of new crops that are known to have some commercial 
industrial possibilities, such as the castor bean. The third point is 
the study of nonpoisonous insecticides. The story is that arsenate 
of lead used for long jjeriods poisons the soil and has a detrimental 
eflfect. The first part is worked with fermentations and starch mak- 
ing, and research will be done chiefly with soighum and barley instead 
of corn, because corn is being worked on at Peoria. 

Mr. OsMERS. I notice in your statement that j^ou agree with Con- 
gressman Curtis in his dissent to the committee report with respect 
to a federalized employment service. Do you care to enlarge upon 
that a little? 

Mr. HoDGKix. I was thinking about the farm labor problem of 
Nebraska. My knowledge of the problem doesn't go much beyond 
our own State. Since you can't have all the money you want to do 
everything, some things are not going to be done — maybe those are 
the things that are more important. In Nebraska the development 
of irrigation and of industry is a more valuable way to use money 
than for a big employment ser^dce. They say that ill news travels 
fast and I imagine good news does too. If there are jobs some- 
where, with the radio and all those things, it seems to me that a lot 
of people ought to find work. 

Mr. OsMERS. Not to debate the question, there has been a great deal 
of evidence given to this committee all over the United States that 
erroneous and misleading information regarding employment has 
been put out by the radio and the newspapers, and without any malice 
aforethought it had led to a great deal of needless migration in the 
United States. I think it can be carried too far. 

Mr. HoDGKix. Before you mentioned the malice aforethought, I was 
thinking of the handbills in The Grapes of "Wrath. That was with 
malice aforethought. 


Mr. OsAfERS. Would you care to extend your remarks on the matter 
of the Agricultural Extension Service? You look upon it, appar- 
ently, as a stepchild of the present program? 

Mr. HoDGKix. Of course, in my work as a farm writer, I am on close 
terms with all of the Federal agencies in the farm field. I put in that 
point about the Extension Service, as you no doubt know, because we 
lost $50,000. or one-sixth of the Federal money, for the extension pro- 
gi'am because of our loss of population. The Extension Service being 
a pre-New Deal set-up, doesn't seem to have the funds to work with 
that the New Deal agencies have. And here is the one reason I men- 
tion that point. In the past few years in Nebraska, because of the 
drought, everyone — businessmen, professional people, as well as farm- 
ers — have awakened to the necessity and importance of agriculture 
more than ever before. You have the Extension Service, like a mis- 
sionary agency, saying. "This would be a good thing." But it stops 
there. It has no club to hold over people's heads. 


Now we have the commercial people, the businessmen, the commer- 
cial organizations, all united in cooperation to encourage good farm- 
ing and spread the gospel of good farm practice, and right when the 
Agricultural Extension Service seems to be needed most, it seems to 
be having the hardest time to get along. 

Mr. OsMERS. Mr. Koelofs, what effect does the migration of young 
people have upon the community life of Iowa? 


Mr. RoELOFS. Considerable. I think. Rural Iowa is changing its 
whole complexion. It has larger unit farms. AVe have lost an awful 
lot of our young people. Many of these are the boys who went off 
to college and never came back. They went into industry, possibly 
because we taught them that agriculture was not a dignified profes- 
sion. We have had lots of our best farmers leave us. 

Mr. OsMERS. Where did they go, Mr. Roelof s ? 

ISfr. RoELors. We have a peculiar situation in Sioux County. The 
people there are practically all Hollanders and they go to their own 
people when the}' leave. They have been going quite largely to Grand 
Rapids, Mich., and Holland. Mich. Instead of going into any old city 
that has an industry, thej^ will head for Grand Rapids. 

Mr. OsMERS. Were they farm owners or tenants ? 

Mr. RoELors. Mostly tenants, and I have several in mind who moved 
out because they could not get a farm. 

Mr. OsMERS. "\'\niat were their ages? 

Mr. RoELOFS. The younger men were about 20. Most of these would 
be sinirle bovs who never started farming. Those who have been 
tenants are up to 40 or older. I know some who went into the dairy 
business in California. They settled in Los Angeles County, and 
built up a business. The Hollanders, from Iowa I think, practically 
run the dairy industry in Los Angeles County. 

Mr. OsMERS. Is it your opinion that when this emergency is over, 
these people are going to come back ? 

Mr. RoELOFS. They will not come back from Grand Rapids, but we 
have some who went into the airplane industry who will probably 
come back. 

Mr. OsMERS. Will they come back if California refuses to give them 
relief after the war? 


Mr. RoELOFS. I figure it this way : A lot of them are people who are 
going to be thrown out of work when the manufacture of munitions 
ceases. When these people are laid off, and thej^ don't know where 
their next job is coming from, they are going to make a bee line back 
to the town they came from, partly because they won't be able to 
establish residence in California and Michigan for relief. I am afraid 
Michigan and California are going to have a tremendous relief load. 

Mr. OsMERs. Are these people farm-minded? 

Mr. RoELOFS. Yes. I think the majority of the boys that I know 
would go into farming if they had an opportunity to start. A lot of 
them have gone away and sought employment because the wages were 
in terms of 83 cents an hour, instead of $35 or $40 a month, but in 
case of unemployment they are going to come back to the farm 
country to their folks and relatives. 


Mr. OsMERs, Would you venture to make a proposal to the com- 
mittee as to some preparation which the Federal Government should 
make at (his time, to ivceive them \n\vk on the land after it is all over? 

Mr. KoEiX)FS. "Well, the idea that Mr. Ilawlcy j^roposed is very com- 
mon in this part of the country. We would like to see farm units of 
smaller size and see the youn<^ fellows j^ivou an opportunity to buy 
a farm. 

Mr. OsMERS. Wliat size farm do you have in mind? 

Mr. RoEL<3rs. A farm of a quarter section. 

Mr. OsMERS. What is the average j^rice for a farm of that 

Mr. RoELOFS. It has been goino; up rapidly, but land in Sioux 
County is worth about $100 an acre or slightly less. So a IGO-acre 
farm would be a $16,000 proposition. 

Mr. OsMERS. And in most instances should these people have to 
make a down payment ? 

Mr. RoELors. If we were going to take the picture as a social 
question, I would say they should not have to make a down pay- 
ment if it is a long-term rehabilitation program. If it is a ques- 
tion of giving our people something to do and having a way of earning 
a living, we could afford to omit the down payment. 

Mr. OsMERS. In our F. H. A. projects in New Jersey millions of 
dollars of building have made home ownership available to people 
who could not obtain similar quarters under $6,000. In these projects 
they have required a 10-percent down payment. 

Do you see any great disadvantage in instituting a system of that 
character in farming areas, with the possible elimination of the 
down payment, or perhaps considering the first year's income as a 
down payment before the man would get his deed to the landl Is 
that feasible? 

Mr. RoELOFS. Yes; I think so. The basis of the transaction is 
the real property itself. Nobody could possibly lose. 

Mr. OsMERS. It had been demonstrated in the last two or three 
generations that farm real estate depends on farm income, but if 
there isn't any income, no sj^stem works, whether it is Government 
financed or insurance financed. 

Mr. RoELOFS. Like the gentleman here today, I think the Iowa 
farmer would insist that we keep our farm program with the parity 
loans. Then we shall not have a situation after this war such as we 
had after the previous war. 

Mr. OsMERs. We hope we are not going to, but I still think we 
ought to use the word "hope" because it is not yet founded on sound 
Government policy but on the hope that we will have it. We hope 
that we will be able to work out some policy. But do you anticipate 
any permanent industrial increase in these States through the Middle 
.West as a result of the defense program? Were you here this 
morning when the man from the Glenn L. Martin plant was here? 
That is a wholly Government-owned plant, and at the end of the 
war I assume that the Martin people will put their hats on and 
go back to Baltimore, and the Government will own the plant in 
Omaha that has been employing fifteen or twenty thousand people. 
They anticipate 8,000, but they will probably double that program. 

What is going to happen to those people? Are they going back 
to the farm, or will somebody operate that plant to make shoes out 
of cowhide? 


Mr. RoELOFs. We would like to see some of the industry decentralized, 
so that they can use up some of our surplus labor. 


I have another point I would like to make entirely aside from 
what has been said here. Somebody asked this afternoon, if Iowa re- 
quires a 2-year residence for a person who has moved out to reestablish 
his residence. We have a more sinister system in Iowa than that, 
I think that the Congress in Washington should be aware of what 
we are doing here. If a man moves into the State of Iowa, we insist 
that he cannot establish residence. When these defense workers get 
back here, and we have adjusted our farming conditions by the use 
of machinery, to do without them, we are going to tell our deputy 
sheriffs that these hundreds of people coming back into the State are 
not to be permitted to reestablish residence in the State. We ha\^ 
that practice in operation now and that is how these people are to be 
prevented from moving in and requiring a tremendous relief problem 
after the war is over. 

Mr. Curtis. At one of our previous hearings,^ one of our witnesses 
incorporated one of those notices in his testimony. 

Mr. RoELOFS. We have used this repeatedly not only to prevent 
people from moving across county lines, but also to prevent people from 
getting into the State. 

Mr. Curtis. In the Supreme Court decision that came out Monday,^ 
Mr. Tolan appeared in person and argued the case before the United 
States Supreme Court. It involves the right of a State to prevent 
American citizens from other States to enter into it. 

I will address one question to Mr. Hodgkin. It is in reference to 
the Extension Service. For the record, would you enumerate what 
particular activities you mean by that term, including 4r-Ji club work. 


Mr. Hodgkin. It is the field activities program of the Department 
of Agriculture, and 4-H club work, while a big part and the part 
we hear most about, is not the most important part at all. I think 
the program of educational work with adult farm men and adult 
farm women in Omaha is the finest example in the State of Nebraska 
of what the Extension Service is doing. It is called the "Pasture, 
Forage, Livestock Program." 

Mr. Curtis. It is my firm belief that the work of the Department 
of Agriculture, through the Extension Service, the 4-H Club work, 
and all their related activities in the pasture, forage, livestock pro- 
gram is returning a greater value for dollar expended than any 
other type of farm activity in the area where there is not very much 
rainfall. I believe that they are accepting the drought as a reality 
and really helping people to overcome it and live in spite of it. 

Mr. HoEKiKiN. That is true. It seems to me that this migration 
is a problem we have now, and will continue to have in the future. 
Meanwhile, in Nebraska, which is a semiarid State, we are also going 
to have these moisture problems, so we must develop irrigation and 
moisture conservation and soil conservation programs and make 
things as stable as we can, and make Nebraska as desirable as pos- 

1 Spp T.inroln Hen rings, pp. 16^1-1608. 

» Novpmber 24 1941. Part 25 of these hearings will contain the story of the so-called 
"Edward's Case. 

j^590 uMAUA hi:akin«;s 

sible for these mi«?rants to c-omo l)aok to. Another thing that swiiis 
important to me is to tlevelop some industry that would take up 
part of the shick when some of these defense workers begin to 
come back. 

Mr. IlussEij:i. I wish to comment on the suggestion that Mr. Haw- 
ley made and Mr. lloelofs reinforced. While I agree with the prin- 
ciple raised that we should certainly do anything possible to in- 
crease the security and make possible home ownership for our people, 
possibly operating on a smaller scale than now, but I don't think 
we should kid ourselves that just by making it easier to own farms 
we are going to be able to absorb all of the migration from the areas 
of the JSIiddle West back on the land again. We must look and 
should look to industry to provide employment for a great many 
boys that are growing up on farms. I hope we can keep some of 
the smart ones on the land. I think we need them, but unless we 
turn our agriculture upside down and go to subsistence farms, which. 
I am not advocating, we are not going to be able to absorb them. Some 
of them may come back because a farm is a better place to be, in 
time of depression, than anywhere else, but even then all j'ou may 
do is displace another tenant and not relieve the situation in the 
long run. There may be some sections elsewhere in the United 
States where a man can make a living on a 60- or 80-acre instead 
of on a 160-acre farm, but before we look to that as an entire solu- 
tion we had better let Dr. Schultz ask tlie land-grant colleges to 
do a little research and see if that is the answer. I think it is a 
little visionary to say now that it is the answer. 

Mr. Curtis. There are many factors involved and no one thing 
is going to solve it. 

Mr. Russell. There is some good land in these particular areas, but 
if you compare jour birth rates, and so forth, you will see that some 
of the farm boj s will have to go into industry if we are going to con- 
tinue to farm efficiently and produce more crops with fewer people, 
as Dr. Schultz has said that we are doing. 

Mr. Newun. I have been a ^H leader for 5 years, and I have just 
one thing to say: "If 3'ou want to educate the family, get after the 

Mr. Cuims. I want to take this opportunity to say that we regret 
that we can spend only 1 day here, but, after all, we have a job in 
Washington awaiting us. Thank you very much. 

Mr. Tipton. ]Mr. Chairman, in addition to the statements already 
introduced into the record, we have several additional statements from 
persons who were not able to testify, and I should like to place them 
in the record. 

The Chairman. We shall be glad to have these statements in our 
record. The}^ will be printed following the testimoiw we liave re- 

(The committee adjourned to meet at St. Louis, Mo., on Wednesday, 
November 26, 1941.) 


Exhibit 1. — Statement by National. Youth Administration, Federal 
Security Agency, Washington, D. C, December 17, 1941 


Youth and Migration in Nebba.ska 

Prepared by the Division of Finance and Statistics from data furnished us by 
Mr. Theodore Eslick, State Youth Administrator for the State of Iowa ; Miss 
Gladys J. Shamp, State Youtli Administrator for the State of Nebraska ; and from 
data collected in the national office. 


Youth are the most mobile group in the population, and always form a 
substantial portion of the stream of migration. Youth in Nebraska have been 
no exception to this general pattern. Migration of youth from Nebraska dur- 
ing the past decade has been a large contributing factor in the 4.5 percent 
decline in the total Nebraska population. In a State which has had a high rate 
of natural increase for some time, this indicates that considerable migration 
has taken place during the 10-year period 1930 to 3940. Emigration from 
Nebraska is not new. For instance, in 1930 more than 450,000 persons who were 
born in Nebraska were found to be living in other States. In preceding 
decades, however, entrants to the State more than made up for those who 
left, and it was not until the period 1930-40 that an actual decrease in the 
population occurred. The migration of youth was of great importance in this 

The Nebraska youth population in 1940 totaled 257,000—43,000 below the 
300,000 it would have totaled had natural increase proceeded and no migration 
taken place. This 257,000 represents a decrease of more than 8 percent in the 
yopth population since 1930. Undoubtedly far more than this 43,000 left the 
Stale during the 10-year period. However, some immigration occurred since 
1930, particularly in the early years of the depression with its back-to-the-land 

Within the next few years it is expected that, unless the past migration 
trends continue, the youth population will substantially increase. By 1945, 
the natural increase would result in a total of 279,147 — or 22,431 more than in 
1940. Thus either a greatly improved employment situation must be brought 
about, or these youth must of necessity continue to migrate. 


It has been thought by many that improving farm and business conditions 
due to the defense effort would check the migration of youth from Nebraska. 
The evidence available at the present date, however, does not point to this con- 
clusion. As late as the middle of 1941 employment opportunities for youth 
in Nebraska were relatively few, particuarly in the rural areas, and wages were 
low in comparison with other sections of the country. Consequently, youth con- 
tinued the long-time trend of setting out for other more industrial regions in 
search of jobs. Tlie luck of defense industry in Nebraska has resulted in some 
of Nebraska's youth migrating to other sections of the country, particularly to 
California, Washington, and other aircraft and manufacturing centers. Only 
recently has nonagricultural employment for youth been on the up-grade in 
this State, and the increase that has been felt has been the indirect result of 
defense spending rather than the more rapid improvement brought about by 
direct defense employment. 

The National Youth Administration field staff in Nebraska interviewed numer- 
ous community leaders and personnel officers in various sections of the State, 
from whom information concerning the migration of youth from Nebraska was 
obtained. The great majority of migrants were boys, going either to defense 
centers or to military service. About 6,000 young men have been drafted since 
last November, and about 2,000 more have enlisted. A number of girls received 
civil-.service appointments outside the State, but they comprised a compara- 
tively small proportion of the total recent youth migration. As nearly as 
could be determined, the major portion of the migrants obtained employment 
at their destination, a great number having had positive assurances before they 


Towns and cities, particularly the former, have contributed more heavily to 
the recent youth uiiKration from Nebraska than have the farms. This is 
prolmbly because of the more favorable farm conditions this summer and 
because of the greater availability of some type (jf preparatory training for 
industrial work o]tt'n to the urban youth. Tlie type of vocational training 
available to farm youth dues not operate to their advantage in seeking defense 
employment. Indirect evidence from Work Projects Administration studies 
In various defense centers indicates that persons from farms encounter the 
greatest difficulty in finding jobs in defense industry. In Wichita, Kans., for 
instance, workers who migrated from the open coinitry had an unemployment 
rate about five times that of migrants from large cities. Moreover, many 
farm youth who are now anxious to get defense employment are interested in 
it chiefly as a temporary measure. A number of National Youth Administra- 
tion representatives have found that farm youth are planning to return to 
the farm after the emergency, a factor which will be of considerable imporlauce 
in post-defense economic adjustments. 

Of late, youth migration to other States to Uxke defense jobs has slowed up 
somewhat, many youth preferring to wait for the increased job opportunities 
anticipated with the beginning of defense work in Nebraska. It is exi)ected 
that the defense employment pictui'e will be changed considerably after the 
opening of the Martin bomber plant at Omaha, and a shell-loading plant near 
Wahoo. The former company has been awarded an Army contract for $166,- 
000,000, which will have a decided effect on employment as soon as operations 
get under way. To date, Ofli e of Production Management estimates that 
plant expansion to total about $14,000,000, largely from public funds, has been 
approved for Nebraska. Although these amounts are small compared to other 
States, the inllui of these moneys will do much to alter the youth employment 
situation in the State. 


Neither the rural nor the urban employment situation in Nebraska was an 
encouraging one for youth during the thirties. Dust and drought drove out 
many farmers, and the youth who remained in the State with their families 
had little to look forward to. The private employment opportunities for them 
were frequently intermittent and at low wages. In urban areas employment 
opportunities were scarce, and although the close of the decade witnessed better 
conditions than were prevalent during the height of the depression, in l'J40 
employment prospects were considerably fewer than they had been in 1930. 
Despite the heavy migration from the State during the past decade, there were 
still upwards of 75,000 persons in Nebraska who were unemployed or on public 
emergency programs in 1910. 

Although in 1940, 14 out of every ICO workers in Nebraska were without 
jobs, and 4 more were working without pay in agriculture, labor market condi- 
tions have improved somewhat during the past year, and more particularly 
during the last 6 months. For a brief time during the summer the demand 
for farm labor was very high, but even so it is reported that the anticipated 
great shortage of labor did not occur. What shortages there were were easily 
handled through a somewhat raised pay rate, increased use of family labor, 
and further mechanization. During the winter months, however, the supply 
of agricultural workers exceeds the demand by nearly 30 percent, and seasonal 
unemployment is the result. Both the wheat and the corn labor peaks which 
bring the greatest demand for seasonal labor are now passed. As a result 
there is a large reservoir of youth labor in the agricultural areas which can be 
mobilized for work in defense provided the requisite training is supplied. Such 
a transfer of youth from farming to defense work probably could be effected 
without too seriously affecting the agricultural labor supply. 

One of the major factors causing the migration of youth in Nebraska is the fact 
that Nebraska farms, on the average, utilize substantially less hired labor than do 
farms throughout the country. This, coupled with a yearly cash wage which is 
30 percent below the admittedly low average for the country, does not make the 
prospect of employment as hired labor in agriculture an encouraging one for Ne- 
braska youth. of the threatened labor shortages in the summer months 
wages were somewhat increased in 1941, but with winter unemployment an almost 
absolute certainty for hired workers, it is inevitable that youth should seek em- 
ployment elsewhere. At the present time defense work offers the major opportu- 
nity, particularly for boys. 

Many Nebraska youths would prefer becoming full-time farm owners and 
operators to any otlier permanent occupation. To this end, much fine vocational 
training is being supplied now by the State, particularly in the agricultural 


schools. The number of youths who will be able to have farms of then- own, how- 
ever, is small in proportion to the number who are yearly coming of age on the 
farms. Exact information on this point is not available for Nebraska, but iu 
Warren County, Iowa, where the agricultural situation is not loo different, a 
recent study indicated that 3 out of 5 youths who ai-e now coming of age and 
would like to have farms will not be able to own and operate one. Only 40 per- 
cent of the need for farms is being tilled by retirement of older farmers. Nor can 
subdividing bo looked upon as a solution. The number of farms in Nebraska is 
now smaller than at any other time since the turn of the century, and, conversely^ 
there has been a trend toward larger farms. Mechanization, which gained great 
strides after the last war, is nnich more feasible on the larger farms ; hence, a 
reversal of this trend cannot be anticipated. 

Of the youths in Nebraska who at the present time are operating farms, only 
5 percent are full owners, another 3 percent are part owners, and the remaining 
92 percent are tenant farmers. This situation is much less favorable for Nebraska 
youth than that prevailing throughout the country as a whole, where 17 percent of 
the youth farm operators are full owners. It would appear that a considerable 
number of the 14,0C0 farm youths estimated as employed as unpaid family workers 
will have little opportunity to change their status. Nebraska farms are also heav- 
ily mortgaged, considerably more than farms on the average in the United States. 
The combination of all these factors does not present an encouraging picture for 
the youth in the rural areas of the State. 

Exactly how the farm situation will be altered due to defense stimulation and 
the present plans of Secretary of Agriculture Wickard for increased farm produc- 
tion in 1942 and 1943 cannot be stated with any degree of precision at the 
present time. There will probably not be much shift in wheat production in 
the immediate future, though changes in the more eastern corn-iiroducing sec- 
tions of the State are expected to increase the seasonal need for agricultural 
labor. Increased prices, stimulated by the defense situation, will undoubtedly 
offer an incentive to some youths to remain on farms rather than seek employ- 
ment in defense industry. However, the largest reservoirs of youth labor will 
still be found in the rural areas. 

Urban areas in Nebraska have not suffered the population losses which have 
occurred in the farm regions during the past decade. The long periods of 
drought and low farm prices not only brought on a great exodus of people from 
the State, but also caused a shift from rural to urban areas within the State. 
Although the State as a whole lost population between 1930 and 1940, the urban 
places gained about 6 percent in population during the decade. There were losses 
in some of the small towns, but metropolitan Omaha increased to 241.333 popu- 
lation. This represents an increase of 4.6 percent in the city proper, and 36.8 per- 
cent in the suburban area. These increases were larger than the natural increase 
of the population, and represent migration into the area. Thus it appears that 
while the depression undoubtedly hit the urban areas hard, the economic situa- 
tion was probably more promising in the cities than it was in the rural areas. At 
the present time there is still a reservoir of unemployed in the urban areas, but the 
rising demand for labor, particularly in the Omaha region, has greatly improved 
the economic prospects for youth in the Nebraska cities. In the past, industry 
has not bulked large in the total employment situation in Nebraska. In 1940 all 
industries in Nebraska employed only about 28,000 persons in industrial occupa- 
tions, or 5 percent of the State's workers. The principal manufacturing indus- 
tries in Nebraska have been meat packing, printing and publishing, baking, flour 
milling, and butter production, in order of importance. Much of this has been 
centered in Omaha, particularly the meat packing. Employment opportunities 
in this industry, which employed about 5,300 workers, or almost a fourth of the 
industrial workers in the State in 1939, has until recently remained fairly con- 
stant. At present, however, the Cudahy plant at Omaha is planning to increase its 
personnel by 900. At this time there are also increased opportunities for em- 
ployment in retail trade, which employs about 14,000 in Omaha. However, much 
of these increased opportunities are due to the customary seasonal demand for 
such workers. 


Until recently there has been little or no upswing in nonagricultural employment 
opportunities for youth in Nebraska. At the present time, however, defense con- 
tracts totaling about $170,000,000 have been awarded for defense work in Ne- 
braska. The major portion of this, .$166,000,000. will be spent in the execution of 
Army contracts at the Martin bomber plant in Omaha. 

TTie awarding of these contracts has materially changed the employment pros- 
pects for youth and can, if utilized, remove some of the forces impelling youth to 
60396 — 12— pt. 22 16 

g594 OMAHA ukakinos 

migrate out of the State. Reports iiitlicate that in tlie next few months at least 
11,000 additional workers will be added in tlie Omaha area, a total almost equal 
to the number of industrial workers in the entire State prior to defense. 

Most of the atldiliiinal defense employment will be eoneentrated in the Omaha 
area where the Martin bomi)er plant anticipates omployini^ 17,0<M» workers when 
in full i)r()(hK-li()n. The Omaha slct-l works plans to hiro about 'MH) additional 
workers by July 1042, while the Union racific Railway will also be needing 
workers. The Cudahy meat canning plant is soon to go on a 24-hour basis and 
will add some 900 ad<]itional semiskilled and unskilled male workers, most of them 
under 2.1 years of age. 

Of the 17,000 workers to be employed in the Martin plant, only about 500 will 
be women. These will be employed in office work only, and no difficulty is 
anticipated in filling jobs. 

The nature of the demand for male workers, on the other hand, indicates that 
there will be a considei-able shortage of skilled workers and of administrative 
and technical persoimel. Only 00 administrative applicants are regist(>rod in the 
employment service in this area, compared with an estimated need of 2,r)()0 such 
workers in the Martin plant alone. The shortage of skilled workers in the area 
is almost as severe. Although the Martin plant anticipates hiring 3,000 skilled 
workers, there were only 1,1100 applicants for .skilled work at the employment 
service in the area, and of these, about half are considered unqualified for the 
work or otherwise unavailable because of health, old age, etc, 

Although the employers prefer to use local labor, it is expected that the shortage 
will compel them to bring in workers from the outside, since the time is too short 
for training the local labor for available administrative, skilled, and technical 

The bulk of the additional jobs will be in the .semiskilled and unskilled cate- 
gories. The IMartin plant anticipates using 6,000 semiskilled and 5,000 unskilled 
workers when in full production. Although there is a sufficient reserve of un- 
employed workers in the area to meet this demand, many will require training 
before they can be utilized in the bomber plant. Since there are no age restric- 
tions in hiring, it is expected that a large number of young and inexperienced 
workers will be hired provided the youth have some defense training. At the 
present time, about 52.") workers in the Omaha area are receiving intensive train- 
ing courses, of whom 325 are on National Youth Administration defense projects. 

The number receiving training in the area, however, falls far short of the 
number needed by the plant. Thus it becomes apparent that, unless additional 
training can be put throueh very rapidly, the large number of potential 
workers available within the State will not be able to benefit to any great extent 
by the improved employment conditions. In the past the industrial training 
available to Nebraska youth, either through actual employment or special train- 
ing, has been very limited. This has been particularly true in the rural areas 
from which so much misration has taken place. Thus the youth in the State 
who are anxious to take their place in defense industry are iniable to do so 
because of their lack of the necessary skills. Though the plants which will 
soon swing into full operations prefer to use labor from Nebraska, they will be 
forced to bring in numerous workers. 

The supply of defense workers in Nebraska is further limited by the compe- 
tition for local skilled workers by defense industries outside the State. Cali- 
fornia and Kansas aircraft industries, for example, have been recruiting skilled 
workers in the Omaha area. 

Unless youth in Nebraska can get the training required to fit them for de- 
fense work within the State, they will undoubtedly continue to migrate in the 
hope of securing jobs elsewhere. IMinimizing the migration of inadequately 
trained workcn-s. however, will be a definite gain to the defense program, and 
every effort should be expended to see that adequate training be made available 
to the thousands of potential youth workers thronshout the State who need such 
training. It is pi'obable that insuflicient time and funds will prevent a com- 
pletely adequate handling of the present employment situation in Nebraska; 
and migration, both to and from the State, will probably continue. The present 
needs, however, are just an indication of the needs of the future, and if the 
defense program is to move forward as it must, steps should be taken at the 
present time to train available workers to fill these needs. 

D;'fense trainimr is now being made availnble to Nebraska youth throucrh a 
number of agencies the chief of these being the local school system, the Ofiiicet 
of Education, the Civilian Conservation Corps, and the National Youth 




At the present time there are two high schools in the Omaha area which are 
operating day trade classes, and it is estimated that by running 24-hour shifts 
about 400 persons can secure training from this source. There are vocational 
training opportunities available to youth in connection with the consolidated 
high schools, which are distributed throughout the State, but the major portion 
of the training given is directed toward work in agriculture or home economics, 
and very little is of such a nature as to in-epare youth adequately for work in 
defense plants. About 4,000 youth in Nebraska are being given some type of 
agricultural training, compared to a total of about 500 boys who are receiving 
vocational education in trade or industry. These figures include youth who are 
getting training on a part-time basis, as well as those on full time. Much of the 
curricula in these trade training centers, however, is devoted to such skills as 
printing and carpentry which do not have direct application in the defense 
plants now going up in the area. 

The training now being given to youth to prepare them for defense work Is 
largely concentrated in the Omaha region, and the facilities are much too limited 
to fill the demand for trained workers. It will facilitate meeting this demand 
if training courses are established in other parts of the State to prepare those 
who are migrating into the Omaha region. Some training of this type can be 
accomplished through the school system, but the present set-up of the State school 
system, largely dependent upon local property tax ivturns, is not one to facilitate 
rapid expansion of defense training for youth. If the work is to be done ade- 
quately it will undoubtedly be necessary to expand Federal training programs. 
It must be remembered that if our defense effort continues to expand according 
to present plans, a much larger number of qualified workers will be needed in the 
future than is indicated by the present plans of specific companies in the State. 
The youth in the rural regions will be the best source for such workers, provided 
proper training is made available in time. 

The Oflice of Education is conducting courses in vocational training for rural 
and nonrural out-of-school youth in various States. Information as to exactly 
how many are now being trained in Nebraska is not available at present but by 
March of 1941, only 974 youth 17 to 25 years of age in Nebraska had been able to 
take advantage of these courses. It is estimated that about 88 percent of these 
were rural youth. Much of the training has been of such a nature as to be useful 
in farm work, with emphasis on farm mechanics. This training, however, is also 
undoubtedly of some use to those youth who migrate to find defense jobs. 

The Civilian Conservation Corps has shops scattered around the country which 
are providing direct training for youth who want to go into defense industries. 
The number of youth from Nebraska who are receiving such training, however, 
is not known at the present time. In addition to this type of training, the Civilian 
Conservation Corps is providing workers for assistance on Army cantonments 
and defense construction. 

In an effort to meet present labor demands, and to prepare for future demands, 
the National Youth Administration is now training 2,591 young persons in 
Nebraska. These youth are getting work experience on National Youth Adminis- 
tration projects currently operating in 82 of Nebraska's 94 counties. Of the 2,591 
youth employed in November, 707 were on special projects of the youth work 
defense program, acquiring special skills and experience qualifying them for 
specific defense occupations in which shortages were expected, while 1,884 were 
on the regular work experience type projects. 

Project facilities are provided in all but 12 counties of the State, and 11 resi- 
dent projects are maintained to make available training opportunities to the less 
advantaged rural youth. The more populous counties, of course, have many more 
youth on National Youth Administration projects than do the sparsely populated 
ones. Defense projects are being operated in 6 counties — Buffalo, Douglas, 
Kearney, Lancaster, and Sarpy ; 2 of these, the ones in Sarpy and Buffalo Counties, 
are resident projects where 167 youWi workers live and woiic, with deductions 
made from their earnings for cost of subsistence. The other 4 defense projects 
provide work and training for 540 youth workers who live at home, giving a total 
of 707 youth preparing for defense work through National Youth Administration 
facilities. As shown in the accompanying map, National Youth Administration 
defense project sites have been conveniently located with respect to defense 
industrial plant sites. The potential employment demand in the Omaha area 
is complemented by the location of the largest National Youth Administration 
defense project in Douglas County, and a resident defense center in adjoining 
Sarpv County. Similarly, defense-training projects have been located in Hastings 
and Lincoln, both of which have been awarded contracts for defense work. 



To (hito, liiiiilatidiis of funds have i>rovtnitO(l the National Youth Adniinistr.i 
tioii training' of rural youth in the outlyiu},' ari-as U>v th'ft'iise work, with thi 
exception of those who are hein^' trained on the resident i»rojects. In ndditioi, 
to the siM'cifK' (lefonse IrainiiiK in-ojecls, the National Youth Administration has 
regular projects operating in S2 counties thrmigliout the State. Many rumi 
youih are receiving training and work expericMice on these projects, and thin 
exp(>rience Is of great value in fitting them f(jr hoth farm and industrial johs. 
In view of the fact that many of these youth are already migrating, however, 

.9 o 


UJ — 
I- "3^ 

O t 

Q O 

Z o 


U) w 

^ ^ ^ 


and In view of the future need for trained workers, an extension of defense- 
training facilities into the rural areas would greatly aid in the mobilization of 
workers for national defense. 

Most of the National Youth Administration defense training and work experi- 
ence is concentrated in production activities. The types of experience offered on 
National Youth Administration defense-production projects varies, but machine 


and metal working predominate. Radio and electrical training are also given, 
as well as pattern making and miscellaneous production such as drafting and 
map making. 

Some indications as to youtli migration as well as the subsequent careers of 
National Youth Administration youth may be derived from the monthly record 
of separations from the projects. Of the total number of youth who have left 
National Youth Administration projects in the past 18 months, slightly more than 
1,000, or about a tenth, have been known to leave the State. As there are usually 
a number of youth who leave for unknown reasons, the total number of National 
Youth Administration youth who have migrated is probably substantially larger. 

Of those National Youth Administration youth whose destination In terms of 
their present work is known, by far the largest proportion went into military 
service. Voluntary enlistments took 50 percent, and Selective Service another 
17 percent. National Youth Administration youth have proportionately contrib- 
uted more to military service than have youth on the average throughout Ne- 
braska. Because half of the National Youth Administration youth in the State 
are less than 20 years of age, voluntary enlistment has been a much more im- 
portant factor than Selective Service among the j-easons why youth leave the 
National Youth Administration projects. About 9 percent of these National 
Youth Admini-stration'youth migrants went directly into defense employment in 
other States, and another 14 percent went into industry that was not strictly 
defense. Civil service drew away about 7 percent, and it is probable that most 
of these jobs were concerned with defense work. Two percent left to fill the 
need for agricultural workers in other States. 

Considering all the youth who have left the National Youth Administration 
projects in the past 6 months, the group who left to take jobs in private employ- 
ment, many of them defense jobs, bulked the largest by far. About 50 i)ercent 
of the youth who have left the Nebraska National Youth Administration program 
since ,Tune 1, 1941. have done so to enter private industry. This is a substantial 
increase over the preceding year, when about 37 percent left to take private jobs, 
due undoubtedly to the upswing in employment in the past few months and the 
development of National Youth Administration programs to train specifically 
for defense jobs. 

Thus, insofar as funds have permitted the National Youth Administration 
program has been training Nebraska youth to take their place in defense 
industry. Training for specific defense jobs has been made available to more 
youth through this source than from any oth'er in the State. The Bureau 
of Employment Security has found that youth under 25 years of age offer 
the best source for trainees. They also have been the quickest to be placed, 
and hence offer the best investment to the national economy in return for the 
cost of their training. 

It is quite evident that the amount of training being given to Nebraska 
youth falls far short of that necessary even to supply the workers needed in 
the very immediate future in Omaha. That the need for trained workers in 
the next year or two is going to be multiplied many times is very evident from 
the trend of our effort today. All the available workers will be needed 
for defense industries, and if they ai-e to operate efficiently they must be 
trained before they come on the job. That youth migration to defense indus- 
tries has been taking place from Nebra.ska, and that it will continue to take 
place, is fairly evident at the present time. The Nation today needs trained 
workers as it has never needed them before. It is probable that in the future 
increased training for girls will be necessary; very little defense training is 
now available to them. No source of available workers can afford to be over- 
looked. The greatest reservoir of potential workers is in the rural areas of 
our country, and an extension of defense-training facilities into the rural areas 
would greatly aid in the mobilization of workers for our national defense. 


The economic forces which caused many Nebraska youth, both rural and 
urban, to migrate from the State during the thirties, have not been sufficiently 
altered by the defense situation to slow down radically the tendency for 
Nebraska youth to seek employment opportunities outside the State. In the 
past the uncertainty of agricultural employment, coupled with low wages even 


To date, liniitatfons of fuiuls hiivt- ijifvcnfcd tho National Youth Administra- 
tion frainint; of rural youtli in liic oullyiiiK an-as for dcfiMisc work, with the 
wiu'u worli was available, did not cMcoura^^c Nebraska rui'al youlb to reniuiu 
in the Stale as liired labor; tlie opiuirtunilies for liiidiiiK a ijerniancnt place in 
tli'e aKri<ultural econnniy by owniiif? a farm were even more seriously restricted. 

Ke<'ently, defense employment opportunities, real or fancied, in otlier States, 
have drawn on Nebr.iska's lartie youth lalxtr supply. Tlie small am(»unt of 
Industry in Nebraska ofl'ered limited prospects for this type of employment, 
and youth preferred to chance employment f)Ut of the State. Youth, though 
untrained for work in other areas, have continued to migr.ate. VVitli iniem- 
ployment rates high f<»r untrained workers, particularly those from rural 
areas, many have been disappointed in their efforts to seonx' work. The 
migration has been, and much still continues to be, undirected and aimless. 

With large-scale defense industries in Nebraska just starting oi)erations, the 
State now needs many of these workers who have been migrating. Some youth, 
who would ordinarily migrate, are waiting to try to get defense jobs there. The 
major need, however, is for workers with at least a mininuuii degree of skill and 
training. Hence, with a large reservoir of youth labor in the State, particularly 
In the rural areas, employers are being forced to bring in additional workers from 
out.'^ide the State adequate training has not been sujlplicd t(» local workers. 

The various defense training agencies are now attempting to cope with the 
problem, but limited funds have prevented their reaching all but a very small 
proportion of thfrse needing training. There are many jobs of the semiskilled 
variety opening up in Omaha, and inexperienced youth will be able to secure em- 
ployment if the present training facilities can be expanded rapidly. The need is 
especially great in the rural areas, from which youth continue to migrate even 
without adequate training. 

With the present necessity to push the defense program forwaid with full speed, 
it is quite evident that the pre.sent specific needs for qualified workers in a par- 
ticular area are merely an indication of the tremendously larger numbers that 
will be required in the future. There is a large reservoir of youth in Nebraska, 
particularly in the more rural area.s, who are ready and willing to take part in 
our defense effort ; and it is imperative, if we are not to experience crucial short- 
ages of workers in the future, that the proper training be made available to them. 

Exhibit 2, — Statement by Donald G. Hat, Rural Sociologist. 
Bureau of Agricultural Economics, United States Departivient 
OF Agriculture, Lincoln, Nebr. 



The national-defense effort is providing an outlet for the generally recognized 
population jjressure of rhe Midwest. The area is contributing manpower to 
the increasing armed forces of the Nation, and sending labor to the defense 
industrial activities. The lack of mpjiy industries within the Midwest has 
generally necessitated migration from the area in oi-der to participate in indus- 
trial defense work. 

This migration to defense work follows closely the distress migration of the 
1930's which was particularly strong in the D.ikotas and Nebraska. The im- 
proved farm economic and crop conditions of the late thirties and the beginning 
forties had reduced this distress migration. 

The residence disti-ibution of population in Nebraska and the two Dakotas 
in 1940 (table 1) indicates the predominance of nn-al population in these 
State.s. Rural population, and particularly the farm population, is charnc- 
trized by a natural increase that is considerably above replacement need.s. 
A desirable adjustment toward more extensive farming in the area calls for 
fewer farms and feW'r farm people. Such an adjustment, together with 
considerable natural increase of population, calls for economic ojijtortunities 
outside of agriculture in these States. The reduction in farm population since 
1930 has contributed toward the long-time adjiistments recommended in a 
way that will require further adjustments in the future, for the nonfarm 
j)opulation of these States has increased both relatively and absolut(>ly. Roth 
the farm and nonfarm population are dependent upon agriculture ; and aside from 
the development of public-assistance programs, no major noimgricultural sources 
of income have been developed. 



Unless general e<-on»iniu' opiioi'tunity iss maintained in the post-defense period 
there will probably be a serious problem of population pressure in the Midwest. 
Reduced employment activity may send defense workers and their families 
back to areas of limited opportunity, and is even more certain to retard needed 
migration from such area.s. 

Table 1. 

-Residence disWilution of population of Nebraska, South Dakota, and 
North Dakota, 1940 


South Dakota 

North Dakota 







514. 148 
305, 828 
495, 858 


642, 961 

158. 087 
484, 874 
178, 204 
306, 670 


641, 935 
131, 923 
182, 514 
327. 498 







Data from reconnaissance labor surveys/ seasonal labor demand surveys,' and 
reports from county and State labor subcommittees of the agricultural planning 
program during the spring and summer of 1941 indicate the general nature 
of the recent defense migration from the area. 

Farms, villages, and cities are contributing manpower on a general propor- 
tional basis to the armed services. The drawing off of farm manpower for 
industrial defense work apparently began largely in the spring and early 
summer of 1941. For work in the industrial defense effort, workers are ap- 
parently selected carefully as to age and occupational training. Young, single 
men, with mechanical skills acquired in agricultural work apparently make 
up the bulk of the farm migrants to work. It is probable that the farm 
families moving to Industrial defense work are largely younger operators who 
are less well established in farming. Young, single men with mechanical train- 
ing and some skilled experience form a large number of the migrants from 
villages and cities to defense work. Many family heads, generally younger men, 
who have been employed in skilled and semiskilled work in the villages and 
cities, are also migrating to defense industries. This has necessitated that the 
village and city shops draw on local laborers to replace .such migrants. 

As in the case of the distress migration of the thirties, migration to defense 
work apparently includes a large movement to the west coast. 

It is probable that the more disadvantaged parts of the Midwest, in respect 
to educational facilities, are less able to provide laborers who are satisfactory 
in the industrial defense effort. Usually these areas have comparatively more 
surplus population. At any rate, the demands upon both rviral and urban 
areas for manpower for the national-defense effort again focuses attention 
on the need of equalizing the educational training between rural young people 
and those in urban areas. 

Then, there is a definite need of reliable information as to chances for 
defense employment. Although many use the facilities of the Fedei-al-State 
Employment Service, there are reports of unsatisfactory movements of people 
who get their information as to defense opportunities by rumor and per.sonal 


As a result of the migration of younger persons out of the area there will 
be an increased proportion of the population in the older age group. 

An immediate result of the migration of Midwest manpower to other areas 
has been a reduced supply of laborers for resident work. However, there had 
been a considerable re.servoir of manpower not fully utilized prior to the defense 

1 Counties representative of the corn area : Atchison County, Mo., and Cuming County. 
Nebr. Counties representatire of the spring wheat area : Brown County, S. Dak., and 
Traill County, N. Dak. 

» PiTO counties in central Nebraska and two counties In southeastern South Dakota. 


effort. The area is heavily agricultural, so that farm work will particularly 
feel the impacts of the out-inovciuriit. While there has been occasional local 
shortaRCs of farm laborers, there has been no evidence of a general lack of 
laborers in Nebraska and Hie Dakotas in 1!>41. The drawing off of nianpower to 
defense activities, both Hie armed s(>rviics and defense industrial work, has of 
course decreased the labor supply, both on farms and in the villages and cities of 
these States. A further drain upon the available labor supply is in prospect 
for 1942. 

It has been generally reported by county labor subcommittees that apparent 
shortages of seasonal laborers have tended to increase the use of family labor 
in the case of small farms, and for further mechanization in the case of larger 

Farm mechanization in the small-grain area is far advanced. The farm equip- 
ment most frequently reported used in recent years is not far behind the most 
effective farm equipment available. 

The estimated hours of man-labor needed to produce a bushel of wheat has 
decreased about 60 percent in the last 60 years, or from 17 man-hours in 1880 
to 7 in 1!)30.= 

Migratory labor has been characteristic of the small-grain harvest work. It has 
been estimated that a minimum of 100,000 transient laborers were used in the 
wheat harvest in (he l!)20's.* The need for these transient laborers in the wheat 
harvest has rapidly diminished with the increased development and application of 
efficient mechanical devices. This process of mechanizing (he wheat harvest, ai 
typified by the use of the grain combine, is at a more highly developed stage in 
central and western Kansas than in North Dakota. In 1938 about 90 percent of 
the wlu>at acreage in Kansas was combined, whereas only 25 percent of the North 
Dakota wheat acreage was combined.' 

It has been estimated that about 25,000 transient laborers obtained work in the 
North Dakota wheat harvest in 1938. However, it is likely that even with some 
increase in efficiency in the distribution of farm laborers within the State, there 
■would have been no harvest work for any transient laborers. This was the 
situation in North Dakota, the leading spring-wheat State, where mechanization, 
as represented by the combine, was at only a 25-percent stage of development 
in 1938. 

Tlie wheat harvest is still characterized by urgency on the part of the farmers 
to complete the entire harvesting job within a relatively short time, in order to 
avoid loss in quantity or quality of the crop. This no doubt is a principal factor 
in creating employment for any transient laborers, Insofar as the North Dakota 
wheat harvest is concerned. 

Labor subcommittees in Nebraska and tbe Dakotas report increased use in 
1941 of the "transient combine." This comparatively new type of harvest 
arrangement, use of the "transient combine," involves a complete crew and com- 
bine which moves as a unit considerable distances to harvest wheat. A common 
arrangement is for the transient combine to start work in the winter-wheat 
harvest in June and then move northward with the progress of the harvest. One 
transient combine operator states that, "On the average, three with the combine 
can do as much in 1 day as 17 or 18 men would do under the old way of cutting 
■vrith the binder and threshing." 

Diffictilty in obtaining new farm machinery, due to defense demands, will slow 
the purchase of new equipment. However, the actual or feared labor shortages, 
because of labor migration to defense work, will probably cause farmers to 
mechanize further whenever possible. This will be particularly true of large- 
farm operators. 

It is probable that any farm-labor shortages will be met in part by increased 
farm hiring of unemployed and underemployed village residents, greater use of 
exchange labor and familv labor, increased mechanization. increa.sed partnership- 
owned and operated machines, and more use of the contract machine, inchnling 
tbe transient grain combine. These ways of meeting labor shortages will be 
used principally in wheat and corn areas. 

' Tpchnnloa-icil Tronfis nnd N.Ttional Poliry. Nnlionnl Kosotircps Committee. .Tnne 10.S7. 
* Losoohior Don D. TT.Trvost Labor Probloms in the Wheat Belt. U. S. Department of 
Aprioiiltnro P."llptiii 1020, 1022. 

•Men and Machine;? in the North Dakota Small Grain TTarvest. (Report in progress.) 


Exhibit 3. — Statement ry the Farm Loan Division of the Metro- 
politan Life Insurance Co. in Response to Questions Submitted 

Question 1. 

How many acres of farm lands did the Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. hold 
in Iowa and Nebraska during the period from 1934 to present? 


The Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. acquired about 2,425 farms in Iowa at 
an estimated cost of approximately $42,000,000 and 375 farms at a cost of 
approximately $5,000,000 in the State of Nebraska. This land was acquired 
subsequent to the land inflation period of the early 1920's. 

We do not have a break-down of figures showing acreage acquired from 
January 1, 1934, to date as requested. 

Question 2. 

How was this land acquired? 

The land was acquired through foreclosure or by deeds given in lieu of 

Question S. 
What were the acreage sales during this period? 


The Metropolitan has sold approximately 1,500 Iowa farms that it acquired 
for about $25,000,000. 

We are unable to give acreage figures. 

The sales of Nebraska farms have been few, only about 35 for approxi- 
mately $300,000. Poor crops in Nebraska due to drought have interfered with 
Nebraska farmers being able to accumulate sufficient funds with which to make 
reasonable down payments on the purchase of farms. It is our opinion that 
Nebraska farms will sell very rapidly with a return of normal weather condi- 
tions to that State. 

Question 4- 

To whom was the land sold? How many acres sold to established land- 
owners who wished to increase their holding? How many acres were sold to 
tenants who thus became owners? 


We estimate that over 90 percent of the Iowa and Nebraska farms sold by 
the Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. have been sold to farmers or to persons 
whose principal interest is in farming. Over 70 percent of all farms sold by 
this company in Iowa during the past 5 years and 10 mouths have been sold 
to tenant farmers and former owners. 

The following analysis of sales made in Iowa by this company from January 1, 
1936, to November 1, 1941, more accurately answers this question. 

Sales of Iowa farms — Jan. 1, 1936 to Nov. 1, 19Jfl 


To tenant farmers, former owners, or members of their families who 
generally remained upon the company's properties after fore- 
closure 1, 075 73 

To owners of uneconomic units adding to their holdings 47 3 

To owners of uneconomic units who sold their farm and purchased 

a more satisfactory operating unit for the family 24 1% 

Purchases made for members of the family, sons, daughters, fathers, 
brothers, etc 33 2 

To residents of villages or cities returning to the farm (usually farm- 
ers who had moved to town) 24 1% 

To owners of fair-sized economic units who bought additional land 

(additional acreage bought usually because of family growing up)_ 114 8 

All others, some reports incomplete. (Purchasers, men of varied 
occupations : storekeepers, lawyers, doctors, retired farmers, in- 
vestors, etc. In some cases no information was reported to us as 
to occupation and business of purchaser) 167 11 

Total 1, 484 100 


Onr nimlj'Sis shows that we havo sold a surprisingly small acreage of laud to 
ostalilislii'd owners who are increasing their holdings to go into large-scale 

On I lie other hand many farmers who own small uneconomic miits have pnr- 
chas(>d additional ai'reage to give them a farm of more practical size. Usually 
such farmers have been leasing nearby unimproved acreages. In the same 
class are farmers who owned a small uniM-onomic unit which they were successful 
in selling, and have purchased a farm of more practical size. 

Question 5. 

Wlint factors do you hold responsible for the increase in land sales between 1939 
and 19J0 and 1941. 


Reasonably good prices for farm commodities and average or better thau 
average crops. 

Our records indicate very few sales have been made in 1939, 1940, and 1941 
in areas whei-e crops were poor. 

Question 6. 

What provisions were made by the Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. for the 
cultivation of land not sold to farmers? 

An steer. 

All farms owned by the Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. are very carefully 
rehabilitated as to buildings and fences and they are operated with expertly 
planned crop rotations for the purpose of building up and maintaining the 
fertility and productiveness of the soil. 

Question 7. 

"What is the policy of the Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. with respect to the 
sale of land? What are the terms upon which land is sold? 


The Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. has encouraged and aided tenant farmers 
to become landowners. A high percentage of its farms have been sold with 
small down payments as low as 10 percent and in special cases less, to farmers 
of exceptional ability and good character. Sales are made on an amortized 
basis and usually purchasers are given 26 years to pay for the property. 

Question 8. 

In accordance with your experience in Iowa and Nebraska, and your analysis 
of the sales of laud, what is the future outlook for the size of farms in these two 


The Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. has been more successful in selling the 
smaller farms than it has the larger farms, as indicated by the following 
figures : 

Total Iowa farms acquired containing 200 acres or under 1, 608 

Total number of such farms sold to Nov. 1, 1941 1, 179 

Percentage sold 73 

Total Iowa farms acquired containing 201 acres or over 810 

Total number of such farms sold to Nov. 1, 1941 269 

Percentage sold 33V^ 

The family-sized farm ranging from 120 acres to 200 acres, has been most 
popular from a sales standpoint. 

Large farms have been more diflScult to sell and often difficult to rent. 

The extremely small farms, uneconomic units, it appears, are gradually being 

The fulure outlook for the size of Iowa and Nebraska farms, in our opinion, is: 

1. The small uneconomic units, particularly farms of 40 acres and less, will 
probably disappear gradually. 

2. We believe tlie family-sized farm, that is, farms from 120 to 200 acres, 
will continue to ijredominate in Iowa, with farms of a slightly larger average 
acreage in Nebraska. These farms on tlie whole are well estalished, highly 
improved with buildings, are satisfactory economic units, and it is unlikely 
that any material change in size of such fai'ms will occur in the aggregate. 


3. The so-called larger farms are likely to decrease la number, as many of 
them will be divided into two or more units. This process will probably be 
slow, but it is evidenced by the fact that at this time an occasional complete 
new set of buildings is being constructed on unimproved portions of some of the 
larger farms. 

4. Our experience and observation leads us to believe there will be little 
change in the average size of farms in Iowa and Nebraska in the near future. 
Many of the smaller uneconomic units will disappear, but on the other hand, 
some of the larger farms will be divided into two or more farms. 

Exhibit 4. — Statement by Charles INIcCumset. President, Federal 
Land Bank of Omaha 

Omaha, Nehe., 
November 19, lOJfl. 
This statement is prepared for presentation to the committee at its Omaha 
hearing, the 25th of November, and is organized, as suggested in your letter to 
me of November .5, around the three following points : 

(1) Trend of land sales as shown by comparisons of sales, acquisitions, and 
inventory this year with the preceding year — supporting material broken down 
on a State basis and summarized for this district as a whole. 

(2) Trend of land prices this year with our evaluation of any present infla- 
tionary tendencies, and also of those factors discouraging inflationary increases 
in land values. 

(3) The relationship of these trends, influences, and factors to migration 
problems and tendencies. 

The Federal Land Bank of Omaha serves the States of Iowa, South Dnkota, 
Nebraska, and Wyoming, and our observations and related statistics will be 
confined to conditions in those four States. 


Factual information regarding these trends is given in exhibit A, attached to 
this statement, the statistics being broken down on a State basis and summarized 
for the district as a whole. 

A. Sale.t. — Sales made during the first 10 months of 1941 exceed those made 
during the calendar year of 1940 in all four States of the eighth district except 
Wyoming. That exception is due to the very limited Wyoming inventory available 
for sale during 1041. 

The sale of 3,810 whole farms and ^5' part farms during the first 10 months of 
1941 compares with 1,447 whole and 15.5 part farms during the same period in 1940 
and with the sale of 1.781 farms during the full calendar year of 19-10. 

Much of the increase in farm sales is attributed to an intensified effort to sell 
land during the current year. Our sales force was doubled in 1941 and sales 
throughout the year have reflected this increased sales effort. 

The increased sales effort appeared justified by improved moisture conditions 
and the resulting improvement in crop production. Results of such increased 
efforts were, of course, influenced by greater ability of farmers to buy through 
increased production and improved price levels for the commodities they had tc 
sell; by renewed faith in their communities as producing areas, and by the 
realization that farms they might be interested in purchasing were not likely 
to be available at lower than present prices within the reasonably ascertainable 

B. Acquisitions. — Total acquisitions, as indicated on exhibit A, were 1.202 farms 
in 1940 ns compared to 899 during the first 10 months of 1941. Due to the lapse of 
time which occurs between break-down of loans and actual acquirement of the 
related .security, a comparison between foreclosures instituted and voluntary 
deeds tendered may be more significant statistics in measuring the declining 
trend in acquirements. During the first 10 months of 1941, 1.513 foreclosures 
were instituted or deeds accepted, as compared with 2.240 duritig the same 
period of the preceding year. It mny be of merely incidental interest to note 
'hat approximately 60 percent of the acqiiirements during each of these periods 
was represented by vountary deeds rather thnn through foreclosures instituted. 

C. Inventory. — A comparative inventory of farms (including loans called for 
foreclosure, real estate subject to redemption and owned outright) for the periods 
being considered is as follows : 


Inventory changes 

[Xunibcr of farms] 

Jan. 1, 

Dec. 31, 


Oct. 31, 
















3, 20S 



— 3ft4 

South Dakota 

— 1 806 


— 723 


— 18 







— 2,911 

A break-down by States is reflected on exhibit A. 


The Agricultural Finance Review published by the United States Department 
of Agriculture. Bureau of Agricultural Economics, in its May 1941 is.sue gave 
the following comparison of farm real-estate values in the four States of the 
Eighth Farm Credit District: 








BoutlvDakota . .. 






The 1941 land values given above are as of March 1. Since that date there 
has been an apparent strengthening of real-estate values in all of our four States 
listed. A brief discussion of the present market situation in each State 
follows : 

A. Iowa. — Real-estate values here have continued to show improvement 
throughout 1941 due to better farm income in all parts of the State (note 
exhibit B), which has increased purchasing power; reduction in inventories 
of farms available for purchase; a stronger demand for farm homes on the 
I>art of tenants and farm owners who wish to enlarge their units, or acquire 
land for members of their families. 

Farms sold by our institution during the first 10 months of this yt . 
averaged in Iowa 101.99 percent of the land bank appraisers' previous estimaii 
of recovery or market value. 

It should be explained at this point that land-bank appraisers, when ap- 
praising a property, arrive at two values — a present market or "recovery" 
value, and a normal agricultural value. Loans are based against the normal 
value while acquired farms, of course, are necessarily sold on the basis of exist- 
ing present market values. 

In a recent study made here, covering appraisal consistency as to normal 
values in north central Iowa and measuring market price changes since 19.'i5, 
our sample of 100 farms analyzed (actual loans and appraisals) indicated that 
the average market value attributed by appraisers was 88 percent of the normal 
value. The normal value had remained practically constant since 1935. but 
the market value attributed by the appraisers had increased approximately 10 
percent. This study covered appraisals late in 1940 and while it is reasonable 
to expect that the same appraisers might now show a slightly higher market 
value and a normal value still substantially constant, the point to be made 
in this present statement is that the sales made in Iowa during 1941, being 
101.99 percent of appraisers' market values established largely prior to 1941, 
were nuule at prices still below the apparent normal value of the land. 

B. South Dal-ota. — Present land values are still far below normal values as 
based upon the 1909-14 average. This condition is due in part to the drought and 
depression period of 1930 to 1939, as well as to the several economic reaction which 


followed the previous World War. Althongli there has been such improvement 
in the past 2 years, the larjie number of farms available for sale by the South 
Dakota Rural Credit Board, as well as by corporate and private owners, has been a 
sufficiently depressing influence that the market has as yet failed to regain much, 
if any, of its lost position. Some recent improvement in real-estate values has been 
noted in the better agricultural counties of the State, but, as a whole, values 
still remain on a relatively low level. High land taxes are a price-discouraging 
factor in parts of the State. 

There is a greater spread between market or recovery value and normal value 
as attributed by appraisers to lands in Nebraska and South Dakota than exists 
in the case of Iowa farms. Sales during 1941 in South Dakota were moreover 
only 96.48 percent of appraisers' previously established recovery or market 
values, indicating a much wider latitude between present sales prices and the 
apparent normal value of the land than is true in the case of Iowa sales. 

C. Nebraska.— 'What has been said of South Dakota is likewise largely true 
of Nebraska, although taxes are not so important a factor in Nebraska values. 
Nebraska land prices were further depressed by a disastrous drought which 
affected a large part of the State in 19i0. While values have begun to improve 
in the extreme east (agricultural) portion of the State, as well as the extreme 
western part (livestock), in the main real-estate values have not experienced the 
general improvement experienced in other parts of the United States. 

The Nebraska sales in 1941 were at 95.84 percent of the appraisers' recovery 
or market values. 

D. W Homing. — Due to relatively good crops in the past 2 years in Wyoming, 
as well as relatively high prices for livestock, real-estate values in Wyoming 
have .shown steady improvements since January 1, 1940. This is reflected in 
the small Federal land bank inventory now available for sale. 

Wyoming sales during 1941 were 112.06 percent of the appraisers' recovery 
or market values. 

D. General. — Exhibit C, attached, is a break-down of sales by States and by 
type of purchaser. This exhibit brings out the fact that most of the sales 
in this district have been to tenants and present farm operators. 

Exhibit D is attached as a ready reference source of information as to values 
by counties in the four States comprising this district. 

Exhibit E, showing increasing size of farms in each of the four States of 
the district, is attached because of the trend indicated and the possible effect 
of that trend on farm population. 

E. Factors tchich may tend to stimulate inflationary values. — With reference 
to the real-estate situation in this district and particularly to inflationary as- 
pects which may affect the present and future value of real estate, it is believed 
the following factors have a bearing on the situation : 

(1) Higher farm income from both grain and livestock. 

(2) Returning confidence in the stability of agriculture. 

(3) Speculative war fever. (Not as yet of much influence.) 

(4) Lower interest rates on farm mortgage loans. 

(5) Growing scarcity of farms in better areas. 

(6) Greater desire in this period of uncertainty for the safety and security of 
farm ownership. 

F. Factors ichich may tend to limit inflationary values. — 

(1) This generation of land buyers distinctly remembers the disasters which 
followed the last war boom. Many of them were themselves "badly burned." 

(2) Much corporate land in many areas is aggressively seeking private owner- 

(3) A large majority of present-day buyers are acquiring land, not for specu- 
lation, but for permanent homes. 

(4) Tendency on the part of major lending agencies to follow the example of 
the Farm Credit Administration and base farm loans on the earning power of 
the individual farm with "normal" (1909-14 average) prices for the fannTs 

(5) Increased taxes will tend to reduce net farm income and nonfarm income, 
thereby limiting the amount of surplus cash available for land speculation. 

(6) Higher price for labor and materials bought by farmers will reduce the 
farm's net income. 


(7) TliP various odufatinriMl programs on tln» iiiiiiortaiice of dobf reduction 
may liavo somo rostraiiiiiiR influoiicr' on values. Not the least of these programs 
is that of tJie Farm Credit Administration, inelndiiif,' th(^ opportunity now offered 
land hank horrow(>rs to establish a linancial reserve with the hank on wliirli 
interest will be accrued and credited at the same rate borne by their loans. 


It would seem proper to use as a background against which to reflect the in- 
fluence of any present trends the longer time trend of 193(M0 in the matter of 
movement of agricultural population in this district. 

Changes in population of rural and urban areas, 1930-40 



Total for State... --- 

Tot^l for incorporated i)laces - 

Totjil for farm and unincorporated villages 
South Dakotn: 

Total for State --- 

Total for incorporated places. 

Total for farm and unincorporated villages 

Total for State.. - 

Total for incorporated places 

Total for farm and unincorporated villages 

Total for State 

Total for incorporated places 

Total for farm and unincorporated villages 

in 1940 

. 538, 268 
, 000, 637 

642, 961 
299, 100 
343. 861 

777, 224 
538, 610 

250, 742 
140, 390 

Change 1930-40 

jain or loss 





92, 039 
24, 710 



72, 703 

. do 



25, 104 
87, 233 


25, 177 

24, 898 












While no figures are available as to the movement of population in this area 
since January 1, 1941, better crops and commodity prices have, it is belilevied, 
materially stabilized rural population. 

The fact that such a large number of farm sales are being made to tenants 
would tend to anchor this portion of the population to the areas involved. 

Although there has been an apparent movement of labor population from towns 
and cities to defense areas, it is felt that this movement does not extend to the 
same extent to the farming areas except as applied to farm labor, of which there 
is reported a growing scarcity. 

Procedures developed for servicing loans of land bank borrowers who encounter 
difficulties is a stabilizing influence reflected in part in reduced acquisition of 
farm properties by the bank. Many borrowers have been carried during the past 
year by means of a variable payment type of extension under which the bor- 
rower is assured tenure for 5 years if he turns over to the bank each year the 
approximate equivalent of what he would have to pay a landlord were he a 

tenant. . , , . . , 

The entire loaning system of the Farm Credit Administration under which loans 
are based on normal earning power, with provision for variable payments in time 
of difficulty, and with incentive provided for creating reserves as "future pay- 
ment funds" during good times which draw interest at loan rates but whitch 
cannot be used for any other purpose than ultimate debt reduction tend to stabilize 
agriculture on the one hand and to anchor the borrowers to their farms. 

Respectfully submitted. 

• Chas. McCumsey, 

President, the Federal Land Bank of Omaha. 



Exhibit A. — The Federal Land Bank of Omaha — Federal Farm Mortgage Cor- 
poration at Omaha — Farms oicned or in process of acquirement during selected 






Inventories, Jan. 1, 1940: 

Loans called for foreclosure 







Real estate owned subject to redemption 


Total - 






501 (45) 





Sales (owned outright) during 1940 

1, 781 (190) 

Inventories, Dec. 31, 1940: 

Loans called for foreclosure 










Real estate owned subject to redemption. . . 
Real estate owned outright. 









Additions, first 10 months of 1941 . 


2, 119(206) 




Sales (owned outright) first 10 months of 1941 . . . 


Inventories, Oct. 31, 1941: 

Loans called for foreclosure 









Real estate owned subject to redemption. __ 
Real estate owned outright 



271 j 3,208 




Numbers in parentheses represent part sales and are not included in the totals. 

Charge-offs, redemptions, and loans paid off in foreclosure have been deducted from the additions. 

Exhibit B. — Cash income from farm marketings and Government payments 
during the first 8 months of 1939, 19^0, and 19Jfl, and during the calendar years 

[Thousands of dollars.] 

1937-40, inclusive 


1941, January to .-i^ugust, inclusive... 
1940, January to .\ugust, inclusive... 

1939, January to -\ugust, inclusive... 

1940, January to December, inclusive 
1939, January to December, inclusive 
193S, January to December, inclusive 
1937, January to December, 4incluive 


407, 196 
70S, 226 
633, 554 
513, 561 


102, 402 
86, 703 
70, 695 
150, 207 
107, 037 
98, 852 


188, 996 
172, 848 
152, 900 
277. 850 
240, 388 
203. 930 
251. 910 


28, 719 
25. 789 
22, 860 
57, 167 
53, 074 
40. 255 
51. 102 


861, 130 
738. 256 
653, 651 
1. 193, 450 
1, 045. 995 
898, 833 
915, 425 

Exhibit C. — The Federal Land Bank of Omaha — Federal Farm Mortgage Cor- 
poration at Omaha — Types of purchasers acquiring land in 1940 and the first 
10 months of 1941 


















Iowa .. 



















South Dakota . . . 

329 35. 41 
129 34.22 
37 48. 05 

1 08 




Wyoming . 

o 50 











First 10 monthfofl941 

South Dakota .. ... 

















J, 404 


504 35. 8fl 















The above statistics are based upon sales-division records, 
tions after sale. 

They do not take into consideration cancela- 


Exhibit D. — Avkragb Vamib ok Farm Land pkh Ari«; by Cocntods, 1930, 1935, 

AM) 1940 

This report t-oiisists i)rimjirily of i»n>s(>iitation in map f(jrm of recent census 
fi.miros of avorajro valuo of farm land and Imildin.^.s per acre, by counties. 

In the accompanyintr maps, the fijiures for each county represent tlie average 
vahie of land and Imiidinjis per acre for all farms in the county for 1930, 1935, 
and 1940, readini,' in order from bottom to top. 

In obtaininK these values, the census enumerator asked each farmer for 
his opinion of the market value of the farm he was operating. The vahies 
were obtained from both owner-operators and tenant-operators. In other 
words, they represent the fai-mers' ideas of ibe value of land on April 1 of 
the year indicated. If owner-operators had a tendency for bias in some direc- 
tion.' it is likely that this has been offset by the ideas of value held by tenants. 

The limitations in the use of county averages must be recognized, of course. 
Within any county there are wide variations in value which are lost in aver- 
age figures. Averages, therefore, are useful mainly for showing trends and 
general variations and levels. 


One of the most significant features shown by these maps is the regional 
differences in trends of value. 

With a few scat:ered exceptions in the range country, every county showed 
siibstantial decreases in value from 1930 to 1935. Teton and Fremont Coun- 
ties, Wyo., and Dewey County, S. Dak., had values in 1935 equal to those in 

From 1935 to 1940, however, virtually a solid block of counties in central, 
r.orthern, and eastern Iowa .shows increases, whereas the rest of the district, 
with a few exceptions, had further decreases in value. On the Iowa map all 
counties except two north and east of the line marked had higher average 
values in 1940 than 1935. The two exceptions are Winneshiek and Davis where 
the average values remained the same. 

In Nebraska values increased from 1935 to 1940 in a few counties where 
there is a considerable amount of irrigated land or other special circumstances. 
Tncn^ases occurred in Scotts IJluff, INIorrill, Grant, and Rock Counties. In a 
number of other western counties such as Cherry, Sheridan, Dawes, and Sioux, 
values have been relatively steady in the past 5 years. 

Only two counties in South Dakota increased in value since 1935. In Law- 
rence the mining activities undoubtedly contributed to this trend. In Yankton 
the shriukatre in values from 1930 to 1935 was so much greater than in ad- 
jacent counties that the subsequent increase from 1935 to 1940 may represent 
a correction of a previous downward movement that was overdone. 

Several counties in Wyoming reflect improvement in values since 1935. These 
are Sublette, Fremont, Hot Springs, AVashakie, and Sheridan. Irrigation de- 
velopments and favorable livestock prices both have contributed to this trend. 

On a State-wide basis, values liave been maintained since 1935 in Wyoming 
about as well as in Iowa. This is reflected in the following State indexes of 
values per acre, prepared by the United States Department of Agriculture 
(1912-14=100 percent). 

Mar. 1 : 





























Mar. 1: 






















Aside from information regarding trends in value, revealed by these figures, 
they Indicate differences in general levels of values. 

Scott County, Iowa, with $123 had the highest average value per acre of any 
in the district in 1940, with Douglas County, Nebr., second, and Grundy County, 



Iowa, third. The lowest were Harding, S. D.ik., aud Sweetwater, Wye, with 
$2 per acre. 

In Iowa the counties having averages in 1040 of $100 or more per acre are 
shaded. Those having averages of .$35 or less also are shaded. 

(Research Division, F. C. A. of Omaha, May 15, 1941.) 

Exhibit E. — Effect of Increase in Size of Farm 

Various economic and other forces (mechanization, increase of grassland to 
control erosion and improve land use, crop acreage control programs, etc.) 
are operating to increase the size of the farm. The resulting displacement of 
farms strengthens tlie demand for the remaining farms. 

The extent of the displacement from 193;") to 1940 may be indicated by the 
following data from the United States census: 

Average number of acres per fartn 










1 610 4 

1940 ... 

1, 866. 2 

Nmnier of farms 






221, 986 



83. 303 
72, 454 

10, 849 



12, 554 


17, 487 
15, 018 


The total decrease for the four States was 34,540 farms. If this trend 
continues as it probably will for a few years, there will be further strengthen- 
ing of demand for the remaining farms. 

Exhibit 4a. — Statement by United States Department of Agricul- 
ture, Forest Service, Prairie States Forestry Project, Lincoln, 


People tend to migrate whenever they become dissatisfied with their lot. 
The fact that there may be some extraordinary inducement, such as an indu.s- 
trial boom, does not the premise — for every participant in a gold rush, 
there are thousands who are content to remain where they are. 

The Great Plains region has long been noted for the fluidity of its rural 
population. There Imve been three general types of population movement. 
First is that represented by the farmer who tries unsuccessfully for perhaps 
a period of years to make a living from the land, finally gives up in dis- 
gust and moves away to some other .section of the country to start over again 
in farming. This type of migration had Its greatest expression when the region 
was first settling up, but it has ccme to public attention again during the recent 
drought years. 

The second type is represented by that tide which flows and ebbs between 
town and country in accordance witli the rise and fall of economic conditions. 
The migrants flow to the country during periods of economic depression, where 
they naturally find only the poorer farms available, and where they eke out 
a scanty existence until economic improvement beckons them again to" industry. 
This tide, which ran strongly toward the farm during the past several years, 
is now flowing in the other direction. 

The third type is represented by the great mass of tenants who are perpetu- 
ally moving from place to place within the region in search of farms of better 
60396—42 — pt. 22 17 










productive capacity, or with hotlor liviiiK comlitions, or Itoth. NctMllcss to 
say, aside from the human values involved, a miKraut farming population 
is good for neither the agricultural iiulustry nor the land. 

Tli«> lree-i>lantin.ii- pro^^ram of tlu' Prairie States forestry project, a unit 
of the United Sta:es I^oresl Service, is designed to improve holh the economic 
and social lot of the Plains farmer; to make of the region a true home- 
land rather than one merely to be tolerated lu'cnuse it oiTers a living. There 
is a great deal of (-vidence that trees tend to produce that effect. It will he 
recalled that the early explorers promptly duhhed the Great Plains region 
"The Great American Desert," a characterization which it cari-ied even in 
textbooks for a long time. This characterization was based not upon the 
tiualities which are usually associated with deserts — the region supported 
a most luxuriant llora and a wealth of animal life — but its treelessness, its 
laclv of cover, seemed to those observers to bar it forever as a suitable habitat 
for civilized man. When population pressure finally forced the pioneers out 
onto the grassy upland they went with a great deal of reluctance and nuich 
foreboding, and the chronicles of the times are full of lament regarding the 
lack of fuel, house logs, and rails for fencing. But of nnicli greater iioignancy 
was the undercurrent of fear of the naked elements — the sweeping wind, 
the unchecked sun, the dangerous blizzards of winter. Insanity, especially 
among women, is .said to have reached an alarming peak. 

Pioneer settlers on the Plains made heroic eflorts to establish trees and 
did establish a great many. As a matter of fact, the proportion that lived 
is surjjrising, considering the ditficulties inherent in getting trees to live in this 
envii-(iiun<Mit. The larger proportion of them failed to survive, however, and by 
that human quality which finally allows people to develop a tolerance for almost 
any condition, later generations learned to more or less get along without trees. 
But they have never become resigned to the lack of them. 

To what extent migration of farmers out of the region stems from social 
considerations, of which trees or the lack of them form an essential part, we 
have not had any means of checking, but perhaps such migrants are impelled 
by very much the same sort of reasons as those which cause people to migrate 
from place to place within the area. There is some quite convincing evidence 
that trees, or the lack of them, influence not only length of tenure in con- 
nection with a given farm, but also the class of tenants which can be obtained. 
For example : 

1. When the Prairie States forestry project first started, a survey was made 
among farmers in South Dakota and Nebra.ska to find out what they con- 
sidered certain kinds of tree plantations to be worth to farms. Since it 
was desired to break the information down by classes of benefits, farmers who 
were engaged in record-keeping projects in cooperation with the agricultural 
colleges were largely selected and a lot of good information was collected on 
the economic side. But in addition to that was the generally expressed opinion 
that a farm with trees on it is more desirable merely from the standpoint of 
physical and mental comfort. 

2. Land banks and other lending agencies, who own or have control of a 
great many farms in the region, almost universally recognize the part which 
trees play in improving the desirability of Great Plains farms, 'riiey are 
ready subscribers to the shelterbelt planting idea, and most of them require their 
tenants to care for belts planted in cooperation with this project. A survey 
among such companies revealed that they have a very definite conception of 
the value of trees in improving the value of the property for leasing or sale 

3. The Farm Security Administration a couple of years ago circularized 
some of their loan clients regarding the value of trees to farms, and received 

.an almost 100-percent response to the effect that trees improve the value of 
such farms. 

4. A survey conducted in Nebraska by means of a questionnnaire to shelter- 
belt cooperators, solely to determine the effect of shelterbelts on wildlife popu- 
lations, yielded in addition a large amonnt of entirely voluntary comment upon 
the value of the trees to the farm in general. 

5. Occasionally, of late, advertisements offering farms for sale have listed, 
amonir the assets, sholterbeUs recertly planted on the land: ard local banks 
and other businesses, interested in the stabilization of the agricultural industry 
and popnlation. eenerally endorse tree-nlanting programs. 

The shelterhelt-plantinq proffrom. — The shelterbelt-planting program of the 
Forest Service was started in 1934, when the combination of a great drought 




and bad economic conditions brought to the attention of the country the serious- 
ness of the agricultural situation in tlie riains. Actually, the conditions which 
the program was expected to help correct had been building up for a long 
time and were merely brought to a head by this unusual combination of 

The project is on a cooperative basis, the Government and the farmer sharing 
in the cost. The program was set up in the Dakotas, Nebraska, Kansas, Okla- 
homa, and northwest Texas, and a planting program has been carried on every 
year beginning in the spring of 1935. The following tabulation shows the work 
that has so far been done. These figures represent the total planting work which 
has been done, minus those plantations which have failed and been removed from 
the record. 


Miles of 

of farms 


of trees 


North Dakota 

2, 867. 25 
3, 697. 75 
2, 960. 88 
2,788. 75 
1, 693. 87 


3C, 478, 775 
39 870 980 

South Dakota 



34 134 641 


27 291 234 


19 748 219 

Project total 

16, 104. 63 

26, 375 

187, 905, 508 

Among the benefits derived from planted trees on the Plains are the prevention 
of wind erosion, a very serious problem, especially in the areas of light-textured 
soil, and the blowing out of young crops and newly planted seed. AVindbreaks 
also reduce evaporation from the soil and transpiration from vegetation, thus 
conserving soil moisture and protecting crops from the withering effects of hot 
winds. They reduce livestock lo.^ses due to exposure and reduce the amount of 
feed required during the winter. They protect buildings and equipment from 
damage and deterioration, and reduce the amount of fuel required to heat the 

Trees, whether in shelterbelts, farmstead windbreaks, or wood lots, yield a con- 
tinuing supply of wood products, such as fuel and fencing material, which are 
needed on every farm and the purchase of which is a constant drain on the 
farmer's income. Such products also find a ready market throughout the region 
and they have the outstanding advantage that, unlike other crops, they need not 
be harvested at any specific time and thus are like money in the bank. Many 
a Plains farmer was tided over the depression by the wood he could cut from 
the trees planted on the place a generation before, or the posts he could harvest 
from his Osageorange hedge. 

Trees and shrubs produce a suitable environment for wildlife, largely lacking 
on the Plains since removal of the original cover. The environment for insecti- 
vorous perching birds — very valuable to Plains agriculture — is vastly improved, 
and the plantations furnish a haven for game birds. Even deer and smaller 
mammals are beginning to use the shelterbelts as runways to escape the confines 
of their present river-bottom ranges. 

Adequate tree protection tends to encourage greater diversification in farming, 
and of particular importance is the fact that windbreaks permit the growing of 
farm gardens, home orchards, and fruit patches. Plains farms are notably lack- 
ing in these vital self-subsistence elements, and the reason is that on the prairie 
uplands it is almost impossible to grow vegetables and fruits without adequate 
shelter from the winds. 

And then, of course, there are the purely aesthetic values of trees in a nor- 
mally treeless environment. They are really enormous and have a profound 
influence upon the degree of contentment and, hence, of stability of the farm 
family. A farmstead exposed to the broiling suns of summer and the howling 
blizzards of winter is not a comfortable environment, and the barren rural school, 
often without windows in the north and west sides to compensate for the lack of 
protection against winter winds, must place a fearful handicap upon education. 
Even the rural cemetery, marked in the distance by its white gravestones against 
the brown earth instead of by a grove of trees, must produce at least a sub- 
conscious desire on the part of the Plains dweller to leave his bones in a more 
sheltered spot. 


Many radical political philosopliics have had their hirtli in (lie I'laiiis country 
and Ihcy have prohahly steninied from physical and spirit nal discomfort as well 
as from' economic- vicissitudes. Many a I'lains fanner has pulled up and left 
because he was burned out mentally as nmch as starved out physically, and not 
improbably lack of trees had something to do with it. It seems to have over 
been so. As far back as 188;) the Kansas Horticultural Society said in its annual 
report, "Those settlers who planted shelterbelts and groves are fixtures on their 
land, while those who never planted trees have pulled up stakes and gone 

ExiimiT 5. — Stateiniext ry ITnitkd States Department of Agricul- 
ture, Soil Conseiivation Skumce, Lincoln, Nehk., December 2, 

Hon. John H. Tolan, 

Chaiiiiian, House Committee IiirefttifKititui yaiiovdl 

nefoise Mifjrafion, House of Representatives. 

Subject: Migration of families to defense areas. 

Dkar Mr. ToLiVN : Immediately upon receipt of your communication of October 
15 transmitted to Dr. H. H. Bennett, Chief, Soil Conservation Service, and 
relaj-ed to this office by Mr. D. S. Myer, Acting Chief, covering effect of migration 
of families to defense areas we prepared and forwarded inquiries to persoiuiel 
in the five States in this region. Not knowing on what particular suhj >cts the 
committee might desire information we requested that data be assembled and 
returned by November 5 on live questions which to us seemed iiertinent. Copies 
of these are attached. 

It has occurred to us that since the material we assembled was not presented 
at the hearings in Hastings or Omaha, that you might like this data for your 
flies. Accordingly, we are transmitting copies of our letters from INIontana, 
Norih Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming that have been prepared in response 
to the inquiries from this office. Information from Nebraska has not been 
included as we assume that this State was amply covered in the hearings. 

Question 4 perhaps needs some explanation. This was prompted because of 
several cases in North Dakota and Montana of farmers with better than average 
mechanical ability, some of whom were on relief and who did not have the where- 
withal to get to' defense areas but whose families would be greatly benefited 
through employment in defense activity if they could be given help to reach 
defense plants. The answers to this question brought out considerable difference 
of opinion. 

Should you have any questions concerning any information submitted herewith 
we will appreciate your informing us. 
Sincerely yours, 

A. E. Jones, 
(For A. E. McClymonds, Regional Conservator.) 

Miles City, Mont., October 30, 19J,1. 
Mr. E. H. Aicheb, 

Chief, Regional Institutional A(l)nstments Division, 

Soil Conservation Service, Lincoln Nehr. 
Subject: Migration of families to defense areas. 

Dear Mr. Aichee: Reference is made to your request for information as to the 
effect of the national-defense program on the migration of families, and I will 
attempt to answer your questions in the same numerical order as they appear in 
your request. 

1. Considerable migration has taken place. What records are available indi- 
cate the age group to be 30 to 45 years. 

2. Not to any extent. A limited amount of county help, but nearly all are 
family assisted. 

3. Yes. Any effort to assist misfit young farmers is worth while. Although 
they may not be permanently located in national defense, they would undoubtedly 
be better (pialified to make a living when they return to their home area. 

4. In our more densely populated areas a limit(>d amount of money should aid 
in the solution of the family relocation and tenure problems. There is little, if 
anv. need for such a jirogram in Custer County. 

5. Definitely. There is very little spending in Montana, with a conse- 
quent migration due to higher wages in defense work. 


A few words of explanation may clarify the situation as it exists in south- 
eastern Montana. Located in Miles City Is a Work Projects Administration 
vocational training school which is sponsored by the Montana State Board of Edu- 
cation. Three courses are taught : Welding, auto mechanics, and drafting. These 
courses are open to all people in the State. However, practically all students are 
from the 15 southeastern Montana counties. The referrals must come through 
the Montana State Employment Service and an investigation is made as to their 
former experience, and a consistent effort is made to make these more or less 
refresher courses, but exceptions are made. To date they have turned out 96 
trained people, 40 of whom have secured employment within the defense industries. 
They are endeavoring to maintain contact with all, but have been unable to do so. 
There are 60 in training at the present time. This age group is approximately 
30 to 45 years. This school unquestionably cares for many of our farm cases. In 
■discussing this with the Work Projects Administration representative today he 
thought that the majority of cases came to the Work Projects Administration from 
the rural areas. 

There is considerable concern manifested by the agricultural defense committee 
in Custer County relative to the migration of skilled and unskilled labor to defense 
work. It is the primary thought that we must keep enough skilled and unskilled 
labor to meet the local needs to insure maximum production of agricultural prod- 
ucts, as requested by the Secretary of Agriculture. There has been some labor 
shortage during this season, and there will be a greater shortaga next year. 
Exemption of farm boys from the Selective Service System should be given care- 
ful consideration, and this same consideration should be extended to our perma- 
nent agricultural workers, if we are to maintain the high standard of production 
requested. Th's is some deviation from the questions asked, but I hope that it 
clarifies our collective thinking. 
Very truly yours, 

Lyle R. Darrow, 
District Conservationist. 

Roundup, Mont., 
November 1, 191^1. 
Mr. E. H. AiCHER, 

Chief, Regional Institutional Adjustments Division, 

Soil Conservation Service, Ldncoln, Nehr. 

Subject : Migration of families to defense areas. 

Dear Mr. Aicher: Reference is made to your recent request for information 
pertinent to migration of people as a result of the national-defense program. The 
following report is submitted as a result of contacting the National Youth Ad- 
ministration office, Montana Employment Service, Extension Service, Farm Se- 
curity Administration, and observations made in traveling through our project 
area in Musselshell. Petroleum, and Fergus Counties. 

According to information submitted by the National Youth Administration 
office here at Roundup, 19 boys have been sent to Helena, Mont., to the National 
Youth Administration defense training school being held there. A part of these 
boys have now completed their training and are on the job in defense industries 
on the west cctist. A defense project located at Roundup, one of three in the 
•S'ate, has from 16 to 20 boys enrolled who are receiving defense training. Of 
the number being trained under the National Youth Administration program, 
approximately 25 percent are rural boys, the balance being from Roundup and 

The Work Projects Administration trainee program, according to the local State 
reemployment office, has 5 men on defense jobs at present, 12 in training, and 2 
additional approved for training. The Work Projects Administration school is 
likewise located at Helena, Mont. The local State employment office offers the 
following additional information : Nine miners from Roundup have gone to Butte ; 
2 Roundun youths have passed the Lockheed test and are eligible for employment 
by that industry : 1 plumber has gone to Alaska : 1 painter and 1 nowder man and 
4 carpenters to the west coast to work in defense industries. Six families have 
left Rmndup to different areas carrying on defense activities on the possibility 
of getting work. Ten families have come to Roundup to work in the mines as a 
result of increased activity from the program. 

As far as can be determined, only one rural family in Musselshell County is 
leaving to take part in national defense ; none from Petroleum ; and approximately 
six in Fergus County. 


From n casujil obstTvaticni in other towns in our arra, it would soi'ni a like 
shift in population, on a siualltT scale depi'mliuK on population, is takiiiK place 
as in Roundup. However, for the most part, very little shift is being made by 
rural people to take jiarl in defense industrie.s. 

Keferenee is made to specilic (pieslions raised by Mr. Aidier : 

1. If sueh mifiration has taken place, was it anions the younj,'er group or the 
middle agedV Applyiiif; this (piestion to rural people, it has applied to the middle 
aged and over, group; namely, tool makers and other skilled workers. Hence, 
very few young people are so <pialilii'd, especially thosi- in rural areas. 

2' Has any effort been made to help mechanically minded rural people to get 
to national defense production areasV No effort that we know of except as 
broadcast over the radio and in newspapers for needs of skilled workers. 

3. Should an i ffort be made to assist misfit young farmers who are mechanically 
minded to get located in national-defense workV It would .<eem that there are 
possibilities along this line. However, a.s above-mentioned, in thctse instances 
where rural families have left to take part in defense industiies they have been 
mechanically inclined and have had pn-vious experience in the line of work they 
are going to do. 

4. If funds were made available to help get certain rural ni(>chanically minded 
folks to national-defense areas would it help solve some of our family relocation 
and tenure problems and at the same time assist the family to a better living? 
It is doubtful if nnich could be hoped for in this connection. For the most part 
the problem of family relocation has to do with older people. In most instances 
these people are too old to learn a new trade. The young people are being given 
this encouragement and opportunity through Government-sponsored programs and 
by private indu.stry in .some instances. 

' 5. Has the lack of defense production plants in this region had a bearing on the 
number of migrants from our rural areas to defense industrial areasV It likely 
has to this extent: .Migration has been confined to skilled workers. Were defense 
industrial areas located in this region there would possibly be more demand for 
unskilled lalior. 

In conclusion it would seem that migration has been confined mostly to skilled 
labor and these people were located in urban areas. Those skilled in mechanics 
who are residing in rural areas know of the possibilities and have gone to indus- 
trial centers or are going, or have had the opportunity to go. 

The so-called misfits in agriculture would likely be misfits in industry, even 
though they qualified as to age and were trained. 

Very truly yours, Cuktis J. Spalding, 

District Conseri^ationist . 

Department of Agricultxire, 

Soil CoNSE3iVATiON Service, 
Chinook, Mont., November G, 194i- 
Mr. E. H. AiOHE3t, 

Chief, Regional Institutional Adjustments Division, 

Soil Conservation Service, Lincoln, Nebr. 

Dear Sir: In answer to Mr. Anderson's request concerning migration of fami- 
lies to defense areas, I find the following information for Blaine County: 

1. The migration which has taken place was from the younger group. About 
six families from rural areas have moved. 

2. Tlie only effort that has been made to help mechanically minded rural people 
to get into national defense work has been the Work P-rojects Administration and 
National Youth Administration schools at Helena. Seven Work Projects Admin- 
istration men have gone to this school and to the present date 18 National Youth 
Administration youths have gotten into the defense industry by this route. 

3. The opinion seems to be that this type of assistance is sufiicient to take care 
of those who wish to get into industry. 

4. Opinion seems to be that there are sufiicient local opportunities for farn) 
families that no special effort need be made other than what already is being 
done by the F]mployment Service. 

5. Lack of defense production plants in the area seem to have little bearing on 
the migration from the area. Those who have desired to get in defense industry 
have done so. The remaintler have had sufiicient opportunities at liome that they 
are not interested in moving from the area. 

Trusting that this will give you the desired information, I remain. 
Very truly yours. 

Fred A. Mallon. Work Unit Leader. 


TE3JRY, Mont., October- 29, 19U- 

E. H. AlCHER, 

Chief, Regional Institutional Adjustment Division, 

Lincoln, Nebr. 
Subject : Migration of families to defense areas. 

Dear Mr. Aicher : In reply to Mr. O. Leon Anderson's memorandum of October 
28, 1941, which requested us to prepare what information we could regarding the 
migration of families to defense areas, we have prepared the following : 

1. ITie younger people are migrating as it is easier for them to leave. The 
older people own property and have other ties that keep them here. 

2. No financial aid has been given to any of these persons. Approximately 32 
persons have completed or will complete training in the National Defense Train- 
ing School in Miles City from this area. At the present time there are about 
125 men working on Work Projects Administration on the reclamation project 
here in Prairie County. This is probably one reason why the older men have 
not left the area. It is estimated that between 25 and 30 young men have left 
the area for defense jobs without any assistance or training. 

3. An effort should be made to help young misfit farmers who are mechanically 
minded, to get into defense work, but it does not apply to Prairie County. 

4. It would not help in Prairie County as no problem exists. 

5. Yes. The lack of defense plants in this area has been the reason why the 
young men have gone to the west coast. The reclamation project is a defense 
project but it employs only Work Projects Administration labor. 

The above information was obtained from the county agent and the National 
Reemployment Ofiice and such information that was available at the Land 
Utilization Division here at Terry, Mont. 

The land-utilization program has taken nearly all the misfit families there 
were in the area and they are resettled in other areas where they are not misfits. 
Yours very truly, 

C. Max Hughes, Work Unit Leader. 

Plentywood, Mont., November 3, 1941. 
Mr. E. H. Aicher, 

Chief, Regional Institutional Adjustments Division, 

Soil Conservation Service, Lincoln, Nehr. 
Subject: Migration of families to defense areas. 

Dear Mr. Aicher: In response to a letter from Mr. O. Leon Anderson, area 
conservationist, under date of October 28, I am submitting the following infor- 
mation for soil-conservation district MT-SCD-1, which includes all of Sheridan 
County : 

1. If such migration has taken place, was it among the younger group or the 
middle aged? Answer. It is estimated that between 100 and 200 men have left 
the county to take work in defense production. A large percent of these men 
would be classified in the younger group. 

2. Has any effort been made to help mechanically minded rural i)eople to get 
to national-defense production areas? Answer. No. 

3. Should an effort be made to assist misfit young farmers who are mechanically 
minded, to get located in national-defense work? Answer. No ; any young farmers 
who are mechanically minded are needed here as practically all farming is by 
power operation. 

4. If funds were made available to help get certain rural mechanically minded 
folks to national-defense areas would it help solve some of our family relocation 
and tenure problems and at the same time assist the family to a better living? 
Answei'. Yes ; if one considers all population in the county as rural. 

5. Has the lack of defense production plants in this region had a bearing on the 
number of migrants from our rural areas to defense industrial areas? Answer. 

Very truly yours, 

W. H. Davis, Jr., Work Unit Leader. 


Bismarck, N. Dak., November 3, lUJfl. 
Mr. E. H. AicHER, 

Chief, Regional Institutional Adjustments Division, 

8inl Cdnneivniiitn Service, Lincoln, Nebr. 
Subject: Migration of families to di>fonse areas. 

De.\r Mu. Aiciieu: This will acknowledge receipt of your letter of October 24, 
addressed to State coordinators and area conservationists, in regard to the above- 
mentioned subject. 

This matter was discussed with Area Conservationist Lloyd and it was decided 
that one reply would answer for both ollices. Information was also received 
from the State employment bureau and as a result I wish to make the following 
auswers to your questions. 

1. If such migration has taken place, was it among the younger group or the 
middle-aged V 

A. Two of the larger industries engaged In defense production contacted the 
State employment service requesting that they assist in an effort to secure a 
large number of mechanically minded young men who were physically fit and 
citizens of the United States and who would accept employment with their firms. 
The Dupont Co. and tlie Lockheed Airplane Manufacturing Co., as a result of 
this, secured approximately 975 young men who left the State to accept employ- 
ment. About 150 left for employment with the Dupont people. These were all 
the younger group, of which 55 percent were from farm families. In addition 
to this it was estimated that approximately 1.0(X> others had left the State seeking 
employment in the defense industries without being contacted by the State em- 
ployment service. Of this latter group, 95 percent were from the younger class 
of farm boys. 

2. Has any effort been made to help mechanically minded rural people to get 
to national-defense production areas? 

A. The only concerted effort that we know of that has taken place in this 
State, was through the State and Federal employment services. 

3. Should an effort be made to assist misfit young farmers who are mechanically 
minded, to get located in national-defense work? 

A. It is our opinion that an effort should be made, if it is not too costly. 

4. If funds were made available to help get certain rural mechanically minded 
folks to national-defense areas would it help solve some of our family relocation 
and tenure problems and at the same time assist the family to a better living? 

A. Yes. If this were done, it would naturally assist in solving some of the family 
relocation and tenure problems. 

5. Has the lack of defense production plants in this region had a bearing on the 
number of migrants from our rural areas to defense industrial areas? 

A. The fact that we have no production plants in the State of North Dakota has 
limited the number of migrants to defense industrial areas due to the fact that 
many do not care to take a chance of spending the money necessary to travel to an 
industrial center at a great distance and then nm the risk of not finding employ- 
ment. Had there been defense production plants located in the State, a greater 
immber of the young men from farm families would have taken a chance on 
applying for jobs near home where the expense incurred to apply for a position 
would not have been so great. 

Hoping that this is the information you wish, I am. 
Very truly yours, 

A. D. McKiNNON, State Coordinator. 

Brookings, S. Dak., Novembet S, 19/fl. 
Mr. E. H. AiCHER, 

Chief, Regional Institutional Adjustments Division, 

Soil Conservdtion Serviee, Lincoln, NebV. 

Subject: Migration of families to defense areas. 

De.\r Mr. Aichicr: Upon receipt of your letter of October 24 we made a survey 
of all the operating units in South Dakota to get an.swers for the five questions 
you listed in connection with migration of families to defense areas. Following 
Is a .sunmiary of the answer received : 

1. If such migration has taken place, was it among the younger group or the 
middle aged? 



The majority of younger people, probably IS to 25 years of ase, have migrated. 
One area reported 12 in one eoniniunity; another area reported one-fifth as many 
going in defense activities as in the draft. 

2. Has any effort been made to help mechanically minded rural people to get 
to national-defense production areas? 

Four areas replied no special activities had been carried on. Eleven other 
areas reported efforts have been made by reemployment offices, American Ijegion, 
Veterans of Foreign Wars, local training schools in vocational and agricultural 
high schools, Work Projects xVdministration State training schools at Aberdeen, 
Brookings, and Vermillion, State social-security set-up, and by representatives 
of companies making inquiries. Civil service announcements of examinations 
have been given consideralile publicity. 

3. Should an effort be made to assist misfit young farmers wlio are mechan- 
ically minded to get located in national-defense vporlv? 

All answered "Yes," but most with some qualifications such as training should 
be given before leaving. They are needed at home because of labor shortage. 
The most capable have already left farms and to determine misfits would be a 
more difficult job. 

4. If funds were made available to help get certain rural mechanically minded 
folks to national defense areas would it help solve some of our family relocation 
and tenure problems and at the same time assist the family to a better living? 

There is a divided opinion on this question. The majority feel that this would, 
be helpful. Statements are made, however, such as, "Tliis is only temporary.'' 
"Not especially."' "This would make opportunities for better management." "All 
available are needed at home because of present depletion." "There is need for 
mechanically minded folks in agriculture to remain here." "Wages may appear 
attractive but some who have left have returned." "Even with lower wages at 
home standards of living are higher." 

5. Has the lack of defense production plants in this region had a bearing on 
the number of migrants from our rural areas to defense industrial areas? 

Unanimous answer is "Yes." 

The general summary would indicate there has been considerable migration, 
especially of younger people, that there are agencies established in the State which 
have done considerable work and are in a position to help those who are mechan- 
ically inclined to get into defense areas. Opportunities have been set up for 
training and that training before they go to defense areas is desirable. Probably 
the greatest migration has already taken place in some communities to the extent 
that there is a labor shortage. This condition may only be temporary and agri- 
culture may have a more difficult situation confronting it when this present 
emergency is over. 

We hope this information reaches you in time for the summary you are making. 
Yours truly, 

Ross D. Davtes, State Coordinafor. 

Rapid City, S. Dak., November 4, 19Jfl. 
Mr. E. H. AiCHER, 

Chief, Regional Institutional Adjustments Division, 

Soil Conservation Service, Lincoln, Nebr. 
Subject : Migration of families to defense areas. 

Dear Mr. Aicher: I have discussed this topic with several individuals, includ- 
ing a secretary for the selective service. My answer to your questions are as 
follows : 

1. Migration has taken place among all ages. In Pennington County, 3,100 men 
are registered for draft under selective service. Of this number, approximately 
450 men between the ages of 21 and SB have submitted changes of address. Most 
of them are migrating to the west coast to work in shipyards and airplane fac- 

2. No effort has been made to help mechanically minded rural people to secure 
work in national-defense industries. 

3. It is the opinion of those I have interviewed that mechanically minded 
farmers who have not as yet secured employment in defense industries do not 
have enough ambition to be worth-while employees in these industries, and should 
production be curtailed they would become charges of the community in which 
they reside. Farm machinery, crops, and livestock prices are all high. Any 


farmer wlio has an iiinl)iti(Hi !•• cliiiiiL,'*' liis occupMiion li;is cillicr doiio so <ir 
docs not caro to do so. 

4. I bc'liovo this qvu'stioii is virtuiilly ans\vt'i-(Ml in No. li. 

5. No doubt the lack of di'f(>nst' prodnclioii plants in this region has a hearing on 
the number of men who left their respective eomnnmities to work in otlier areas. 

Very truly yours, 

TI. F. Ta(;ge, Area Conservationist. 

CAsi'KK, Wyo., Norrnihcr .',, }9',J. 
To: Mr. E. H. Aieher, Chief, Regional Institutional Adjustments Division. 
From: Thomas E. Doughty, area conservationist. 
Subject : Migration of families to defense areas. 

Your memorandum of October 24 has been a subject for a portion of our recent 
staff meeting. In reply to the five questions you have raised in this meraorandura 
we report the following : 

1. Some migration among the younger group of people has taken place in this 
area. This migration has been to Denver. Oolo., and to the west coast. 

2. We feel that some effort has been made to help mechanically minded rural 
peoi)le get to national defense production areas. This effort has l)een in the 
form of suggestions. 

3. It is the opinion of the area staff that we should assist mi.^fit young farmers 
who are mechanically minded to become established in work. 

4. If funds were made available we feel that any help we could give to rural 
mechanically minded people to get into national-defense areas would solve .some 
of our family relocation problems and. at the same time, help the families to earn 
a better living. 

5. The lack of defense-production plants in this region has had a hearing on 
the number of migrants to industrial areas. 

Department of Agriculture, 

Soil Conservation Service, 
Lineoln, Nehr., Octoher 2Jf, 1941. 
To: State coordinators and area conservationists. 

From: E. H. Aieher, Chief, Regional Institutional Adjustments Division. 
Subject : Migration of families to defense areas. 

Attached are copies of two letters, one addressed to Dr. Bennett from Congress- 
man John H. Tolan, chaii-man of the House Committee Investigating National 
Defense Migration and the second from Mr. D. L. Myer to Mr. McClymonds con- 
cerning hearings to be held in Lincoln. 

In order to have some first-hand information which will be representative of 
the region to give to this committee when it reaches Lincoln, we are requesting 
that you make such determinations concerning the migration of rural people to 
national defense production areas as can be done conveniently and quickl.v and 
let us know your findings. We would suggest that among other points you wish lo 
report on that you cover the following: 

1. If such migration has taken place, was it among the younger group or the 
middle aged? 

2. Has any effort been made to help mechanically minded rural peo]»le to get 
to national defense production areas? 

3. Should an effort be made to assist misfit young farmers who are mechani- 
cally minded, to get located in national defense work? 

4. If funds were made available to h(>lp g(>t certain rural mechanically minded 
folks to national defense areas would it help solve some of oiir family relocation 
and tenure problems and at the same time assist the family to a better living? 

5. Has the lack of defense production i)lants in this region had a bearing on the 
number of migrants from our rural areas to defense industrial areas? 

Reply should be here by November 5. 

E. H. AlCHKR. 


Department of AoRicur/ruRE. 

Soil C'onskrvation Sisrvice, 
Washington, D. C, October 20, 1941. 
Mr. A. E. McCLYMOxns. 

Regional Conscrrator. Soil Conservation Service, 

Lincoln, Nebr. 
Dear Mr. Mc( 'lymonds : Enclo.sed is a copy of a letter from Congressman 
John H. Tolan. chairman (jf the Committee Investigating National Defense 
Migration, stating that a series of hearings are to be held in Nebraska and 
Missouri during the latter part of November and indicating that the committee 
may request the assistance of this Service. 

We have assured Congressman Tolan that he can count on the wholehearted 
cooperation of you and members of your staff. 

D. S. Myer, Acting Chief. 


House CoiiMnTEi: Investigating National Defense Migration, 

Washington, D. C, October 15, 1941. 
Mr. Hugh H. Bennett, 

Chief, Soil Conservation Service. 

Department of Agriculture, Washington, D. C. 
Dear Me. Bennett : This committee is planning a series of hearings in Nebraska 
and Missouri late in November to determine what effects the national-defense 
program is having on migration problems of the Middle West. 

Mr. E. H. Aicher and Mr. Willkie Collins of your Lincoln office gave us much 
valuable information at our Lincoln hearings of year. Our investigators 
will be in Lincoln soon and this committee will greatly appreciate any advice 
and cooperation your office there may be able to give them. 
With all good wishes, I am 

John H. Tolan. Chairman. 

Exhibit G. — Defense Dislocations and Migration in Selected 


The House Committee Investigating National Defense Migration sent the 
questionnaire given below to a number of communities which were reported to 
be facing dislocations because of priorities and material shortages. Excerpts 
from replies to this questionnaire which indicate the magnitude and character 
of the particular dislocations are given following the questionnaire. It is to 
be noted that the conditions described in these excerpts may have changed since 
the time they were submitted to the committee. 

(Questionnaire described above is as follows:) 

I. The characteristics of the community : 

(a) Indicate area covered in the following survey. 

(b) Population of this area as of 1940 (also more recent estimate, if 


(c) Estimated employment as of September 1941. Specify approximate 

number employed in the area in each major industry grouping 
including : 

(1) Manufacturing. (4) Finance. 

(2) Trade. (5) Other industries (specify). 

(3) Transportation. 

(d) Indicate approximately how many of the people who work in the 
town live in the surrounding area : also indicate the number of 
people from your community who work outside of it. 
(e) Unemployment and relief, specify number unemployed and number 
receiving relief, also number receiving other forms of public as- 
sistance, for the following dates : INIarch, June. September, Decem- 
bei*, 1040; March, June, Septeml)er. 1941. It is suggested that this 
information be supplied on the appended tabular form (table 1) 
and attached to your general statement. 



11. EfTods of defense jiroKiiiiii cm eniiiloyiiieiit in the (•(unininiity : 

(a) List the iirineipal ni;unil'ii<tuiiiif; lirnis in your conuiiUMity. For 

cju'h linn list the i)rinfiii:ii iirodiicts and k'ivc fiKnres on eniploy- 
menl broken down into nondefcnse (normal civilian) and defense 
work for the following: chiles: ^hir<li, June. Septemh-r, Decemher, 
I llMil; ^hireh, .June. Scplemiti'r, T.ill. For tliese same companies, 

if possible, ^ive estimates of exiiected noiidefense and em- 
ployment for the following; dates: l>ecenii>er 1!)41 ; I\hirch, June, 
VJA2. It is suirncslcd that this information be supplied in the 
appended tabular form (laiile 11) and altaclicd to ynur jicnera! state- 

(b) For each company that has already laid olf or expects to lay off 

workers engaged in nondefcnse production give the date of eadi 
hiy-olf, tlie number of persons laid off and the reason (material 
shortages, allocation programs, etc.). For each of these com- 
panies indicate the number of persons that are expected to be 
remployed in defense work by the same c(tmi)any or l)y some other 
company. In this connection stale what training programs are in 
operation or are being planned. Are there any factors such as 
age, sex, skill, or race which are preventing the reemployment of 
many of these laid-off workers? If so, specify the number allected 
and the reasons. 

(c) What local. State, and Federal assistance may be expected to be 

given to those laid-off workers who will not be reemiJloyed? 

(d) How will the above iniemployment affect other local business activity ; 

also, how will it affect the Income and tax structure of the 

(e) Are there any prospects of the above unemployed being alisorbed by 

nearby industries within the commuting area? If so, indicate the 
number that c^an be expcx'tcd to obtain such employment and in what 
plants and communities. 

III. Defense-contract problems : 

(a) What problems have the firms in your commuinty encountercMl in trying 

to obtain defense contracts? Discuss particularly those companies 
who have already or will have to curtail their regular production. 

(b) Have there been any over-all surveys of the existing plant and equip- 

ment in the area to determine what proportion of it can be used 
for defense purposes? If so, what do surveys .show? 

IV. The defense program and migration : 

(a) Has there been any migration into your community because of rising 

defense production? If so, estimate number ancl kinds of workers 
who have come in and the number in their families. Have com- 
munity facilities been adequate for the in-migrants or have there 
been shortages in housing, school facilities, etc.? Is there any fur- 
ther migration into your community during the coming year 
expected? If so, estimate the number and kinds of workers. 

(b) Has there been migration from your community to other defense areas 

during the past year? If so, estimate the number of workers who 
have left. 

(c) Wijl present or expectcHl unemployment in nondefense industries result 

in further migration from your comnuniity? If so, indicate number 
who are expected to leave. 


Report by John W. Mclntyre, Mayor, November 12, 1941 

Attleboro's population is 22.054. North Attleboro, which adjoins Attlc>boro, 
has a population of lO.nOO. Both communities are largely dependent on the 
jewelry industry for employment. Between the two there are about 15,('()0 em- 
ployed in jewelry work. Aliout one-half of thes(> are women. It is estimated that 
approximately 2l> percent of tlie employees could b(> utilized for defense wcu'k if 
it could be secured. The jewelry industry works with comparatively soft metal, 
and the machinery is not heavy enough to handle steel. The degree of precision 


required in manufacturing jewelry does not compare with that required in 
defense work. Accordingly, our tool-making equipment is not satisfactory. 
There are a great many locally owned small businesses employing from 10 to 100 
which could not be changed to defense work. The jewelry business is a style 
business, and not a mass-production business. 

While there will be a great deal of unemployment resulting from the virtual 
cut-off of the necessary metals, I do not look for a great deal of actual migration 
excepting among the skilled workers such as dye cutters and tool makers. Al- 
ready some of this has taken place because of the higher wages paid in the defense 
industries. Some of the men may be able to get employment within connnuting 
distance by automobile at Newport, R. I. (about 45 miles). The female workers 
will be very hard hit since apparently there is an oversupply of persons able to 
do ordinary assembling work. 

There has been no indication that the factories will be able to utilize substitu- 
tions such as plastics or metals that are not on the shortage list, and I am con- 
vinced that this will be quite impossible on any sizable scale. Particularly is 
this true of plastics since it will be impossible to get the presses or molds at this 
time, and in any event, such ordinary production would call for very little employ- 
ment. I suppose there is no relaxation of the strict rule against use of brass and 
nickel. That they would have to fall back on the Work Projects Administration 
and the local welfare seems a little ironic in the face of the increase in the national 
income and the increased taxes which are to be imposed. 


Report by Edith G. Fox, Borough Secretary, November 12, 1941 

Mifflinburg Borough covers an area of 1 square mile. Population at last census, 
2,030, which is probably the present figure. 

I cannot tell you or estimate number of employed, except the information on 
employment sheet which I enclose. Men from surrounding country come into 
town part of the time, and a number of our men work in Milton and Watsontown. 

Relief employables in borough for November are listed. Our relief is taken 
care of by public assistance county board at Lewisburg. The county commis- 
sioners care for some types. Up to this time, defense problems have had little 
if any effect on these figures. I will get information available to me and send 
the table No. 1 soon as possible. 

Effect of defense problem on this community has been the employment of more 
men in some cases, and laying off of others where material has not been available 
as in silk mills. 

Problems in getting contracts for trailers and truck bodies at Mifflinburg Body 
Co., I believe, have been in getting materials. Am not sure if orders of any 
amount have been given them. The company has made an effort at Washington 
and likely gave the necessary surveys. 

Some new families have come into the town during defense work but others 
have moved out to work at other places. The movement so far as your survey 
is concerned is of no account. 

Number employed at the ilifflinburg Silk Mills at peak was 125 and 2.5 just 
before shut-down. If they can get silk or rayon, they will begin work. 


Report by F. R. Wentzel, Chief Burgess, November 15, 1941 

I have listed the industries that are affected by the rearmnmant program. 
You will notice on my report that we have already about 400 out of employment 
in our small community and no prospects of any of the enumerated industries 
opening in the near future. 

The nearest defense industry in our locality is about 25 miles fropi our local- 
ity. That mill is in Danville and I understand Bethlehem Steel is going to close 
in that place. That means they will have all the help in the other industries 
that they can employ. 

The assistance that the people can get in the district is unemployment com- 
pensation for 13 weeks and from then on only direct relief. 

The local business activity in our district will be awful in this district imless 
we arp able to get some defense project until the silk industry is improved. 
G0396 — 42— pt. 22- 18 



Must pcojilo h.'ive no inoiioy saved ami will nut he able to i)a.v taxes, rents, and 
their eurrent bills. 

We tind that tlie men in onr place that were able to u»'t employment in other 
plaees are movinK llii'ii' families to other places, such as York, WilliamsiM)rt, 
Allenlown, IMiiladeli)liia. and those are the thiiif^s that are K"iiiK '<> make con- 
ditions worse here. They are heint; replaced by other families that have nothing 
to do. In a few years we shall have lost our skilled lielp and what will become 
«»f the small conununitiosV 

It is unfortunate that we are a silk district and the mills are not e(|nii)ped 
to liaiidle defense contrads. I do not know whether or not there has been a 
survey here but tliere is not nnu'h to survey in silk indu.stries. 

From the rate tlu-y are miKratinu' 1 would .ludge tliat in a few yeai-s all the 
skilled men will he livinj? in the nu'tropolilan areas. 

The only salvation for connnunities such as these if they are to survive is 
for the (lovi'rnment to place some industry here where we have the help and 
the housins facilities. 

Dkc'k.mhkk 17, T.Ml. 

Seven miles from here then* is a large motlern building, containing four or 
live hundred thousand square feet of floor space suitable for mass production 
in many lines, and we have the people here with iilenty of homes that should 
be held together. In h survey you would find peojjle of all trailes, yes, thousands 
of persons not able to find regular employment, and, if anything, slightly above 
the average intelligence. 

I hope you can recommend this territory, containing about 50,000 people, for 
some industry, because we need the industry and the country needs the products 
that our people can produce. 


Report by W. W. Walker, Mayor, November 20, KHl 

Power curtailment threatens to cause the lay-off of a large numbei- of em- 
ployees of the Imperial mill (employment 250 to 300). The aluminum mill 
(average employment approximately 100 in 1940) is virtually closed down due 
to shortage of material. Unless defense contracts are granti'd same will be 
closed. There is no outlet for this labor here. Most of it will have to migrate. 
Work Projects Administration has been cut to almost no consequence. A small 
road project is about all that is left. The only thriving industry at present is 
the creamery. 

The Enterprise Aluminum Co. is in its last week due to lack of material. 
They are making every effort to get some defense subcontracts but so far have 
failed. They now have bids in for fuse loading. If the aluminum plant is 
closed this \vill affect the tax structure since they were granted a 5-year 
exemption and taxes will fall due to the city and State and county next year on 
approximately a quarter million property (the entire tax digest for the city 
is a little less than a million at present). 


Report by Eugene von Schallern, Mayor, November 22, 1941 

On September 20th, as mayor, I called a meeting of all the heads of all fac- 
tories here, consisting of the Barlow & Seelig Manufacturing Co.. makers of 
the Speed Queen washing machine, emplojing approximately 500 men ; the 
Ripon Knitting Works, manufacturers of socks and gloves, employing approxi- 
mately 150 men and women; the Ripon Advertisers IManufacturing Co., the 
largest manufacturers of cloth advertising in the United States, employing 130 
men and women ; the Ripon Foods, manufacturers of cookies, employing ap- 
proximately 15(1 men and women. 

At this meeting, the question of unemployment resulting from priorities and 
material shortages was discussed fully. The following conclusions were arrived 
at: The Ripon Knitting Works were employed 85 percent with a defense contract 
for jute socks for the Army and were cooperating 100 percent with the Federal 
Government and there was no unemployment expected. The Ripon Foods and 
the Advertisers Co. had no defense contracts but expected no material short- 



ages or subsequent unemployment. However, since this meeting, I have been 
informed the Advertisers Manufacturing Co. are expecting some shortage of 
materials and are trying to get a defense contract. 

I then suggested that all the factories in Ripon do everything they could to get 
■Government contracts for the defense of our country and to alleviate unem- 

Now comes our last hut biggest problem, the Barlow & Seelig Manufactur- 
ing Co. This company employs approximately 500 men, most of whom are 
married and own homes here and represent 50 percent of the workers here 
and 59 percent of the pay roll of this community. This company manufactures 
washing machines, and wa.shing machines being considered nonessential, conse- 
quently materials for their manufacture have been curtailed, they being used 
for defense. The outlook as far as manufacturing washing machines is as 
follows : By January 30, 1942, all available material will have been used up 
and unless defense contracts are secured, this factory will close. 

Through the efforts of the State employment office and others Ripon has been 
designated a distress area, one of the five cities in the Middle West. Our city 
council voted to give the mayor authority to do anything to help alleviate this 
unemployment situation. I have had the complete endorsement and help of the 
local Congress of Industrial Organization union members, but unfortunately have 
had no cooperation from the heads of the Barlow & Seelig Manufacturing Co. 
They have stated that they do not want any outside help, although after 6 
months' work have only obtained defense contracts to employ approximately 
90 men for the coming year, and these contracts were given to them by the 
Ordnance Department of the Army. 

It is my opinion that this company will not take defense contracts unless they 
are assured a liberal profit and will close this factory unless they get exactly 
what they want. As for example, they bid on a defense contract' for a chemical 
bomb. Their bid was approximately $4. This is one of the many defense 
contracts on which they have bid and have been too high. This information I 
obtained at the Office of Production Management office in Milwaukee. 

I offered to go to Washington, D. C., with company officials to try and obtain 
materials and defense contracts. They refused to go, so I went anyway. Hav- 
ing influential friends in Washington, and Ripon being a distress area, was able 
to make contracts of great value to the company. 

However, on my return to Ripon, the heads of this company refused to 
cooperate and consequently haven't any substantial defense contract to take 
care of the workers in their plant. 

Gentlemen, it is not the fault of the Federal Government that this fac