MARCH 25, 1943
NORTHAMPTON, Mass., Wednesday—The University of Connecticut, which we visited yesterday, has a large student body and many activities. After a general assembly, at which I spoke, we went over to see the short courses given to girls and women who wish to volunteer for work on the land. Two weeks is alloted to a specific subject. For instance, you take a dairy course or a poultry course, and really know something about the care of cows and chickens at the end of two weeks. If you want to continue, you may do so.
Women who are not giving a definite time to agricultural work but want to learn how to work on their own farms because their husbands have gone off to war, or because less labor is available, are allowed to take the course. They pay fifteen dollars a week. The dairy students get up at 4:30 in the morning and finish at 5:30 in the afternoon. They actually work with a very fine herd of cows, each girl having charge, at different periods, of four cows all by herself.
All of the girls told me they would feel quite capable of holding a job on the farm and that they were enjoying the course. Most of them come from small town or city backgrounds and some of them have never done any manual labor of this kind before.
Of course, until the government sets this up as a regular war service, there will not be a great number of women entering it. I imagine there is still a good deal to be done before we win over the farmers of this country to the idea that a girl can do as good work as a man. Necessity has forced this upon the farmers in Great Britain and, I presume, the farmers of Russia, China and many other countries as well. We lucky ones shall take a little longer to see that women, once they have been trained, are valuable and can release men, but we shall learn in the end.
We stopped for lunch at the YWCA in Hartford with Mrs. Alsop. Then we went to New Haven, where I met with a group of white and colored people, who have formed an anti-discrimination committee and are working to bring about better understanding between the many racial groups in the community.
By 3:00 o'clock I was at Mrs. Charles Windlow's house, where the high school and college press came to interview me. The Women's Committee for the Sale of War Savings Stamps and Bonds, came to tell me that they had made a wonderful record for their first five weeks of work. They presented me with a very patriotic and original red, white and blue corsage of War Savings Stamps.
The dinner given by the Yale Dames began at 6:30 in the YWCA. After it, a reception was held in the lounge and fifty of the Y's industrial girls passed in line, as well as the Yale Dames and their guests, who had attended the dinner.