Focus On Your Home Life: A warrior women sees what is needed, keeps her eye on the good of all, and is ready to implement bold steps. She bands together with others to make things happen.
The woman in this photo, taken around 1917, was likely a member of the first Women's Land Army started by British women at the outbreak of WWI to ensure that England's food supply wasn't interrupted while so many men were away at war. It was so successful that it was taken up by American women in both WWI and II. The impact of women’s participation to keep America’s agricultural system operating and food on the table can’t be underestimated. The Labor Information Bulletin estimated that three million women made up 27 percent of the entire agricultural labor force, working on farms in 1943. The U.S. Women's Bureau reported that the percentage of women employed in agriculture rose from 8 percent in 1940 to 22.4 percent in 1945.
This" Land Lass" has a purposeful and competent look about her, how it might feel when you've accomplished something tangible and physical. I can't help but think about how the lives of "Land Lasses" might have been changed as a result. Farm work was physically hard, often messy, and required a whole new set of skills, especially for those who came from the cities. They were outdoors learning about the plants that sustain us and the care of a variety animals. They likely rose with the sunrise and went to bed with the sunset. Women drove tractors and operated machinery.
The Land Armies were also an example of women seeing a need and organizing to make it happen. The first Women’s Land Army in 1917 in England was entirely organized and run by women and continued to be grow and its contributions recognized through the grassroots efforts of women, which then spread to the U.S. and Australia. In a letter to the New York Times in 1942, a young woman volunteer wrote: "We can drive tractors. We can milk cows. We want to join up quickly in the farm production army. We are waiting to go. But we will not wait long, because there is too much to be done and we will find farms for ourselves. Let us get together and organize a Women's Land Army. Let us get together right away."
For more about the contributions of the Women's Land Armies: