This time 79 years ago, agriculture played a key role in the success of D-Day


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79 years ago today, 155,000 troops landed on the beaches of Normandy prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice, but back home, agriculture played a key role in the success of the war, thanks to the determination and ingenuity of American farmers.

“Certainly, if you have to deal with just getting food to your troops, they’re not going to have the same level of energy or ability to withstand the stresses and trials of an invasion like that. There were restrictions on the use of rubber and steel which affected the use of farm machinery, so there was a lot of effort to help farmers understand how to better repair machinery that they already had to share machinery around different regions. To be sure, there was enough,” said USDA historical expert, Anne Effland.

One of the biggest shortages back home was labor as farmers had been drafted into the army. The nation’s women stepped up to the plate, mobilizing and heading to the farms to keep the food supply going. President Franklin Roosevelt even said there was enough food for the nation with some leftover to send overseas because of their efforts.