Cath Madden Trindle
(Farm Security Administration -Resettlement Act of 1935)
The Farm Security Administration was set up in 1937 to aid tenant farmers and to carry out rehabilitation work of the Resettlement Administration. The FSA established temporary housing for Dust Bowl refugees from Oklahoma and Arkansas who had migrated to California in hopes of finding employment. In total, the FSA loaned more than a billion dollars to farmers and set up many camps for destitute migrant workers.
The FSA succeeded the Resettlement Administration, which had been established in 1935 to administer rural rehabilitation and land programs begun in 1933 under the Subsistence Homesteads Division of the Department of the Interior and the Federal Emergency Relief Administration.
Records of the FSA are held in regional NARA facilities. Some have online indexes
In California, Riverside has 12 cf of records dated 1934-1944 for Cochise, Mohave, and Pima County offices, Arizona, and Orange County office, California. The records relate to paid-in-full rural rehabilitation loans and include Farm and Home Management Plans submitted by loan applicants. They contain information about the farm family’s assets, expenses, food consumption, income, and production. In San Bruno, 93 cf cover Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, and Utah. The records relate to construction and operation of migratory labor camps, farm loans, relief to low-income rural families, and rural resettlement and rehabilitation. There is correspondence, newsletters, architectural drawings, maps and photographs included with the textual files. The NARA facility at College Park has a collection of still pictures.
The records can add detail on individuals, families and the camps in which they lived.
In 1946 the Farmers Home Administration (FHA) was established within the Department of Agriculture to succeed the FSA. The FHA provides small farmers with credit to construct or repair homes, improve farming operations, or become farm owners, and gives individual guidance in farm and home management.
Besides NARA look for records in university, state and local collections.
- Archival Vintages for the Grapes of Wrath by Dan Nealand (Prologue – Winter 2008 Vol. 40 #4
- Correlation between the Grapes of Wrath and FSA Migrant Camp Reports
- Sights and Sounds of the Farm Security Administration FDR Library
- Dorothy Lange’s Documentary Photographs – Getty Library
- About the FSA Collection – Library of Congress
- US Discrimination from the Farm Security Administration – CCh