Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)



First Advisor

J. William Harris


As early as February, 1942, fears of an agricultural labor shortage began to be expressed in California. The Pacific Southwest Area Committee of the Young Men’s Christian Association asserts in a statement of policy on Emergency Harvest Camps, “The California State Chamber of Commerce’s Central Coast Council’s Agricultural Committee points out that ‘the removal of enemy aliens from coastal areas, the absorption of migrant workers into defense industries, and increased government quotas for the production of many crops has created a serious agricultural problem.’ (News release, February 28, 1942).”

In San Joaquin County 5,000 Japanese were evacuated. Most of these were farm workers. This made it necessary for 23,709 acres in production to be taken over by outside sources.

As most farmers in San Joaquin County had increased acreage in response to President Roosevelt’s and the United States Department of Agriculture’s plea for increased production to aid in the “food for victory drive”, the threatened shortage of farm labor was a matter of much concern to many of them.