Illinois agriculture boomed during World War I


By Tom Emery

During mobilization for World War I, a popular slogan was “food will win the war.” Illinois farmers took it to heart.

In both years of American participation in the war, Illinois agriculture broke records for yield and crop value. The success was part of a comprehensive organization of statewide resources, and farming was near the top of the list.

The U.S. declared war on Germany on April 6, 1917 and five months later, a statewide plan for Illinois food production and conservation was implemented. The plan was under the State Council of Defense, a fifteen-member collection of stat...

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