Tried, Tested and Transformed:

The Great War's Effects on Canadian Farmers

WWI: A War to Change Farmers' Roles in Canada

The Great War was a time that presented much change, challenge, and controversy to Canadian farmers, forcing us to rethink our roles, and our importance in our communities.

Pressed by the Canadian war-time government to increase production, and cultivate more land, we faced many expectations, and had many responsibilities. Challenging tradition, and even the government, we pushed for the acknowledgement our importance, and fought for our sons to stay on the farm.

We adopted new roles as unions, co-operatives, were formed to push for our fairer treatment, and better business. I even know of fellow farmers who formed a political party called the United Farmers of Alberta, which took power in the province of Alberta.

The Great War challenged us farmers, but it also lead to changes that would resonate within our own communities, and it ultimately allowed us to assume more prominent positions throughout Canada.

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A Book of Remembrance and Transformation

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This photograph, entitled Breaking Prairie Sod, is one of fellow farmers plowing a field by making use of a horse, and ox team. This image was taken in Camrose, Alberta, an area with some of the richest farmland in the prairies, and also one close to where my farm is located.

Tried | 1914 - 1918

The time of the Great War was one that presented many obstacles for Canadian farmers, and tested our resolve. We were expected to increase our crop output tremendously, and cultivate larger and larger fields. All the while, the number of available workers lessened, as conscription loomed over the population like crows to a crop field. Our sons were also being taken away! Despite this, we showed our patriotism by working hard to cultivate the land.

Scrapbook | Canadian Farmers Tried

Click to view my scrapbook of memories as a farmer from the years 1914 - 1918 in Canadian history. Get to know about how we were tried during the Great War.

Tested | 1919 - 1924

Still holding bitterness from the issue of conscription, Canadian farmers entered the post-war period with newly found skepticism and independence from our government.

With some farmers in debt as a result of the post-war recession, we turned to unconventional methods to solve our problems, joining unions, government lobby groups, and forming political parties. These methods ultimately allowed us to solve many problems, among which included produce tariffs, and falling wheat prices. We were also able to assume more noteworthy positions in our communities.

Scrapbook | Canadian Farmers Tested

Click to view my scrapbook of memories as a farmer from the years 1919 - 1924 in Canadian history. Get to know about how we were tested in the years immediately following the Great War.

Transformed | 1925 - 1929

The poor economic situation of post-war Canada caused many problems for farmers, leaving many of us in debt.

However, it has been nearly a decade since the start of the Great War, and a vast number of things have changed in the lives of Canadian farmers.

The economy has begun to improve, and we farmers are becoming more effective businessmen, forming co-operatives, and wheat pools. This has allowed us to increase our margins of profit, and invest more into increasing our crop outputs. Also, technologies are improving, allowing us to increase the efficiency with which land can be cultivated.

Scrapbook | Canadian Farmers Transformed

Click to view my scrapbook of memories as a farmer from the years 1925 - 1929 in Canadian history. Get to know about how we were transformed during the post-war period.

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The following photograph is one of two farmers posing alongside a tractor. Such a machine would have required significant investment on the farmers' parts, and some of this capital likely derived from the economic boom which occurred in the 1920s.