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State Historical Society of Iowa

Woman Seated on Tractor Pulling Farm Machinery, ca. 1939

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Black and white photo of a female farmer on a tractor.
Courtesy of State Historical Society of Iowa, Wettach, A.M., ca. 1939


The photograph shows a woman working on the farm during World War II. During this period, many women worked in agriculture as part of the Women's Land Army or Farmerettes. The group started in World War I as a response to the labor shortage from men leaving to fight the war. The organization was revived during World War II for the same reason. The type of invaluable labor provided was a huge part of the war effort. 

Source-Dependent Questions

  • With most men fighting in the war, what farming roles did women fill?
  • Why was it important that farms continued to produce goods while the war was being fought?