Vermont Dairy Farm Workers
Who worked on a dairy farm in 1941?
In 1941, William and Lulu Gaynor owned a dairy(related to milk and milk products) farm near Fairfield, Vermont. They had five children at that time. Jack Delano took photographs of the family for the Farm Security Administration. Look at the photos below. Who was working on the dairy farm? What jobs were they doing on the farm?
How has dairy farming in Vermont changed over time?
Both Porter Perrin and Luvia McLaren were ordinary Vermonters who worked on dairy farms. Their diaries are at the Vermont Historical Society library.
Today, around 6,000 Vermonters work on dairy farms. Some of these workers are immigrants(people who move from another country) from Mexico and Central America. Follow the links below to hear and see some of their stories.
Thinking About History
Historians ask questions to think deeply about history.
Do the photographs of the Gaynor family working on the farm look posed or natural? What choices do you think the photographer made when taking the photographs? What choices did the Gaynor family make when having their photographs taken?
Follow the links below to explore related topics.
Read the story A New Kind of Work from The Most Costly Journey
Listen to interviews with farm owners and immigrant farm workers from Mexico from The Golden Cage exhibit from Vermont Folklife
Watch videos from the project Who Farms? Oral Histories from Vermont's Diverse Community of Farmers
Listen to the podcast What's it like to be a migrant worker in Vermont? from Brave Little State
See more photographs of the Gaynor Family at the Library of Congress
Copy and paste this citation to show where you did your research.
Vermont Historical Society. "Vermont Dairy Farm Workers." Vermont History Explorer. Accessed December 5, 2023. https://blog.vermonthistoryexplorer.org/vermont-dairy-farm-workers