Presented is an original WWII U.S. Crop Corps recruitment poster. Designed by Douglas, this poster was issued by the Office of War Information in Washington DC, in 1943. In the composition, a man holds a pitchfork while a woman holds a basket with vegetables. The text reads “Work on a farm… this Summer” at top and encourages viewers to “Join the U.S. Crop Corps, See Your Local U.S. Employment Service Or Your Local County Agent” along the bottom of the poster. The poster was issued to encourage citizens to work on a farm during the summer to ease the farm labor shortage of World War II.
With WWII underway, America fell into a farm labor shortage. Farmers departed for military service or to seek more lucrative work in war industries. The Bureau of Agricultural Economics reported that between April 1940 and July 1942 more than two million men left agricultural jobs. Concurrently, as the farmer population declines, wartime food production needs increased by over 32 percent.
In order to address the farm labor shortage, the USDA created the Crop Corps, an undertaking that enlisted city-dwelling women and teenagers to help out in the fields, harvesting, planting, and maintaining American farmland. Boys and girls aged 14 to 18 were recruited to work as Victory Farm Volunteers. It is estimated that 2.5 million teenagers worked as Victory Farm Volunteers. Similarly, women were recruited to join the Women’s Land Army. Close to 3 million women were working on farms by June 1943, providing about 27 percent of the nation’s farm labor force.
In January of 1943, President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered a nationwide address in which he underscored the important role to be played by American agriculture in the winning of the war. He told his audience that "food is the lifeline of the forces that fight for freedom.” Posters such as this one painted the U.S. Crop Corp as a patriotic duty.
Original color lithograph. Very bright coloration. Paper is healthy, save fold lines and light creasing from past storage. Poster is signed by Douglas in the lithographic stone. The text “OWI Poster #59. Additional copies may be obtained upon request from the Division of Public Inquiries, Office of War Information, Washington D.C.” is printed in the bottom left margin. "U.S. Government Printing Office: 1943-O-520467" is printed at the bottom right. Poster is sold unframed, as-is. Unframed Dimensions: 28" H x 20" W.