During World War II, the United States needed to raise a sufficient military force while at the same time maintaining a sizeable farm labor force to meet increased wartime production goals. At a time when the word farmer was emphatically gendered male, and many farming communities resisted employing inexperienced outside labor, the nation’s agricultural sector focused on keeping as many young men as possible on the farm. The strategies the nation employed to secure both military personnel and agricultural producers played on a set of common themes regarding American masculinity. Visual images designed to persuade young men to stay on the farm echoed the iconography intended to recruit men into the military. Wartime propaganda portrayed both the ideal serviceman and the ideal farmer as white, muscular, and ready to use his powerful body to fight the war on the battlefield as well as in the farm field.

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