Agricultural Adjustment Act

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In 1933, the United States Congress approved and President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed into law the Agricultural Adjustment Act. This legislation was part of Roosevelt's New Deal program. Its intent was to reduce the number of crops that farmers produced and the number of livestock sent to slaughter. Fewer crops and animals would mean that prices for agricultural products would rise, increasing farmers' abilities to pay off debts and enhancing their purchasing power. To convince farmers to reduce production, the Agricultural Adjustment Act authorized the federal government to pay subsidies to farmers for growing fewer crops and raising fewer animals. In 1936, the United States Supreme Court declared the Agricultural Adjustment Act to be unconstitutional. The U.S. Congress reinstated many of the act's provisions in 1938, and portions of the legislation still exist today.

The Agricultural Adjustment Act greatly improved the economic conditions of many farmers during the Great Depression. In Ohio, income from farming increased from just over 157 million dollars in 1932 to almost 356 million dollars in 1937. The Agricultural Adjustment Act helped farmers by increasing the value of their crops and livestock, helping agriculturalists to reap higher prices when they sold their products.