Sunday, August 2, 2015

A "Walking A" for Measuring Acreage.

This is an antique piece of what at one time was Federal property. It was known as a “Walking A” and used to measure farmers' fields in connection with the Federal Crop Insurance Corporations programs of the 1930’s and ’40’s. Field men would walk along the edge of fields, swinging the “A” and counting the number of 5 foot segments as they walked. They would measure at least two sides to  estimate  the size of the field. The program was administered in USDA by the AAA (Agriculture Adjustment Administration), PMA (Production Marketing Administration), ASCS (Agriculture Stabilization and Conservation Service) by their State and County Offices.
As aerial photography became more commonplace, areas were flown with cameras, and maps were available to show fields which could be measured with a Planimeter to determine acreage.  I bought this “A” at an Estate Public Auction several years ago from a fellow who had served several years as part of the Seward County Committee of that agency.  While I never used one, I have seen them used many times during my early farming days.  As simple as they are, it must have taken some ingenuity to be able to fold it up in such a compact package.  We plan to take it to the Seward County Museum in Goehner to see if it might become a part of the memorabilia displayed.  It is a bit of a symbol of the New Deal programs of the Roosevelt Administration to help balance agricul-tural production and demand.  Ag programs have changed considerably since the days of the “Walking A” with more emphasis on Sustainable Production and Conservation.

1 comment:

  1. I have subsequently learned that It was Paul M. Peterson's auction at which I bought the “A”. He was the County Chairman of the AAA for a number of years.