These 15 Rare Photos Show Arkansas’s Farming History Like Never Before
Arkansas has a rich agricultural heritage, for sure. We’re basically famous for our rice and poultry these days, but the advancements in agriculture have certainly changed what that industry looks like today. Below you’ll find fifteen pictures taken in the 1930s that show the faces, landscapes, and technologies of Arkansas’s agriculture way back in the day. These pictures will have today’s farmers thanking the good Lord for how far we’ve come.
1. In 1935 the practice of sharecropping was still ongoing, and families struggled.
2. Plantations were still in existence in the 1930s too, like the Stortz Cotton Plantation in Pulaski County. Pictured here is the lunch break of the field workers on that plantation.
3. Arkansas is primarily known for its rice production these days, but in the 1930s cotton was still an important cash crop.
4. We use huge trucks to move things around now, but bringing in the cotton back then meant hitching up a wagon.
5. Thankfully, child labor laws mean children no longer work our fields.
6. The youngest cotton chopper in this image was only eight.
7. Most of our harvesting processes are helped along by machines now, so homemade knee pads are no longer a necessity for those in the agricultural industry.
8. Moving crops around no longer requires the use of mules.
9. Harvesting equipment today doesn't require a farrier.
10. Old barns are seen as quaint these days, but it used to be those wooden monoliths served a very important function.
11. Cutting hay no longer looks like this image from 1938:
12. The landscape of the Delta is no longer dotted with shacks where hardworking families live.
13. Today the Delta doesn’t have to worry so much about devastating floods, either.
14. Some things haven’t changed all that much. The need for storm cellars, for example.
15. The endless look of the Delta fields also remains virtually the same.