Coordinated Program of Department of Agriculture
A Long-Range Program of reconstruction, designed to check the rapid spread of wind erosion and to mitigate the effects of future droughts, is at present being undertaken in the “Dust Bowl” of the Southwest by the Department of Agriculture. The new program involves the coordination of separate programs being carried on in the region by four different agencies in the department—the Soil Conservation Service, the Agricultural Adjustment Administration, the Extension Service, and the Resettlement Administration. Early in June, headquarters were set up at Amarillo, Texas, and Roy I. Kimmel, who had been in charge of the rehabilitation program of the Resettlement Administration in the Southwest, was designated by Secretary Wallace as field coordinator of the regional program.
The region included in the present program consists of about 105 counties in Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas, with a total area of 140,000 square miles, or more than three times the size of New York state. Since 1930, the effects of the severe droughts which have afflicted this region have been aggravated by a new phenomenon—dust storms. These storms have not only caused great human suffering but have done incalculable damage to the soil, as well as to crops, buildings, and farm machinery. Some localities have been made uninhabitable, many thousands of families having been forced to abandon their farms and move elsewhere. Last January, in reporting on a survey of wind erosion in 25 counties in the heart of the Dust Bowl, Arthur H. Joel, of the Soil Conservation Service, wrote: