Claude R. Wickard

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Claude Wickard
12th United States Secretary of Agriculture
In office
September 5, 1940 – June 29, 1945
PresidentFranklin D. Roosevelt
Harry S. Truman
Preceded byHenry A. Wallace
Succeeded byClinton Anderson
Personal details
Claude Raymond Wickard

(1893-02-28)February 28, 1893
Carroll County, Indiana, U.S.
DiedApril 29, 1967(1967-04-29) (aged 74)
Delphi, Indiana, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
SpouseLouise Eckert
EducationPurdue University, West Lafayette (BS)

Claude Raymond Wickard (February 28, 1893 – April 29, 1967) was an American Democratic politician who served as the secretary of agriculture during the administrations of Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman from 1940 to 1945.[1]


A Victory Garden is like a share in an airplane factory. It helps win the War and pays dividends too.

— Claude R. Wickard

Wickard was born on his family farm in Carroll County, Indiana, near Camden, on February 28, 1893. He was born to Iva Lenora (née Kirkpatrick) and Andrew Jackson Wickard. He graduated from Purdue University in 1915 with a bachelor's degree in agriculture, and he was chosen as "Master Farmer of Indiana" in 1927 for his improvements in stock feeding and farming.

He was elected from the Indiana Senate in 1932, and was appointed as Undersecretary of Agriculture. When Henry A. Wallace resigned as the secretary of agriculture in September 1940 to run for Vice-President in the 1940 presidential election, Wickard was appointed to the post.

Agriculture Secretary Wickard plowing Boston Common to promote the National Victory Garden Program (April 11, 1944)

He was on the winning side in Wickard v. Filburn, in which the U.S. Supreme Court decided in a case that the federal government could control wheat that was grown in one state for the personal use of a farmer.[2]

During World War II, Wickard headed the War Food Administration, promoting increased farmer production as a matter of patriotism. His slogan was "Food Will Win the War and Write the Peace." On January 18, 1943, Wickard banned the sale of presliced bread, possibly to save tools and wax paper, as required at the time. The ban lasted for less than two months, being rescinded in March 1943. He resigned on June 29, 1945, to become Chief of the Rural Electrification Administration, where he served until 1953. He ran unsuccessfully as a Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate in 1956, losing to incumbent Homer E. Capehart.

Wickard was killed in an automobile accident and died on April 29, 1967. Reportedly, he ran a stop sign at the intersection of Indiana State Road 18 and the U.S. Highway 421 near Delphi, Indiana, and his vehicle was hit by a crushed-stone truck. He is interred in Maple Lawn Cemetery in Flora, Indiana.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Miller Center-Claude R. Wickard". Archived from the original on 2015-09-06. Retrieved 2015-07-30.
  2. ^ Wickard v. Filburn, 317 U.S. 111 (1942).
  3. ^ Secretary killed in Indiana Crash

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by Democratic nominee for
U.S. Senator from Indiana (Class 3)

Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture
Served under: Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman

September 5, 1940 - June 29, 1945
Succeeded by