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The Government Takes A Hand

February 2024
1min read


“The problem of the Great Plains,” wrote President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1937, “is not merely one of relief of a courageous and energetic people who have been stricken by several years of drought during a period of economic depression. … The problem is one of arresting the decline of an agricultural economy not adapted to the climatic conditions because of lack of information and understanding at the time of settlement and of readjusting that economy in the light of later experience and of scientific information now available.” Together ranchers, farmers, and Department of Agriculture experts took stock of the desolation. They set up federal grass nurseries and developed new methods of reseeding. Nature helped. “This year, once more,” wrote Stanley Vestal in 1941, “the hopefulness and confidence of the people of the High Plains is justified. The drouth is over, the rains are falling, turning the Dust-Bowl gold and green again. A thousand pulpits resound with the words of the prophet Joel: ‘Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice: for the Lord will do great things.’” With aid from Washington and the Plains people themselves, He has.

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