“Defense Program Is Serious Handicap for Food Producers,” Muncie Post-Democrat, June 6, 1941,

The national defense program is causing Indiana farmers no end of inconvenience from labor shortage on the farm, according to Edmond C. Foust, director of information for the Indiana Farm Bureau, Inc.

This situation is brought about by two conditions: first, the farm boys leaving for army camps, and secondly, by others going to the defense industrial plants, says Mr. Foust.

“With the increase in power farming, the number of individually operated farms has shown a steady increase for several years. One farmer with a son or two has farmed adjoining lands. Now that the sons are gone, the farm operators find it impossible to compete with industrial labor wages for help. This may result in many acres uncultivated this season.

“The dairy industry is hit hard as hired help is leaving the farm every day. Dealers claim that the sale of milking machines has climbed beyond any season in recent years.

“Electricity on the farm meets its first great demand now, for it is used for such tasks as water pumping, milking, feed grinding, and other jobs formerly calling for additional man power. Should the war measures continue for another year, more land will be planted to grass in 1942 than during the past’ twenty years. This condition rates as serious when food production is important in the defense program.”