Scope and Content of Collection
Language of Material:
University of California, Davis Library, Dept. of Special Collections
Title: Raymond F. Roth Papers
Roth, Raymond F.
Identifier/Call Number: D-234
7.3 linear feet
Date (inclusive): 1936-1977
Date (bulk): 1940-1966
Abstract: Raymond F. Roth (1915-1991) spent much of his career working for farm
labor programs. After a brief stint from 1941 to 1942 working for the Farm Security Administration, Roth joined the U.S. Navy
during World War II. After his return to civilian life, Roth worked in different capacities for the California Department
Employment, Farm Labor Service. His work included the administration of migrant labor and housing programs for U.S. citizens
as well as Mexican Nationals in the Bracero Program.
Physical Location: Researchers should contact Archives and Special Collections to request
collections, as many are stored off site.
After graduating, in 1939, from the Nebraska State College at Kearney (now part of the University of Nebraska system),
Raymond F. Roth (1915-1991) moved to Oakland, California where he worked from 1939 to 1941 as an Assistant Department Head
Montgomery Ward and Co. In the spring of 1941, Roth began working for the U.S. Department of Agriculture in the Resettlement
Division of the Farm Security Administration. He oversaw maintenance and operations of various Mobile Labor Projects for farm
workers until December 1942, when he resigned to join the U.S. Navy.
Roth served as Assistant Supply Officer at Naval Air Station, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii for the U.S. Naval Supply Corp until
May 1945. From May 1945 to March 1946, he worked as Assistant Supply Officer at Naval Air Station, Quonset Point, Rhode
Island. By the end of his active military duty in March 1946, Roth attained the rank of Lieutenant Commander. He served until
1955 as an officer in the U.S. Naval Reserves at the Naval Reserve Training Center, Stockton, California.
Roth returned to work for the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 1946 as a Farm Labor Project Manager, managing farm labor
supply centers throughout California and Arizona for the Production and Marketing Administration. After the Department of
Agriculture ended the program in 1947, Roth took the position of General Manager for Westside Producers Cooperative, Inc.
Roth began his career with the California State Department of Employment, Farm Placement Service in July 1948 as a Farm
Placement Representative for San Joaquin County. Roth's work involved the migrant labor force, with an emphasis on the
Bracero Program for Mexican Nationals. In February 1952, he was assigned to a newly created Operations Review team, which
assisted area managers in determining if local offices were conforming to the Department's prescribed standards for
operation. In October 1953, he became the Farm Placement Supervisor for the northern half of the San Joaquin Valley. In
August 1959, Roth began work as Field Assistant for Farm Placement in the Department's Technical Section at the Central
Office in Sacramento. Roth was named Acting Chief, Farm Placement Technical Section, in March 1960. By 1961, he became Chief
of the Farm Placement Technical Section and responsible for administering the program throughout California.
In 1964, Farm Placement Service was renamed Farm Labor Service, and Roth's title changed to Chief, Farm Labor Service. In
1969, when the Department of Employment was renamed the Department of Human Resources Development, and Farm Labor Service
became Farm Labor Services Division, Roth was named Administrator, Farm Labor Services Branch. The objective of Farm Labor
Services was to expedite employment contacts between agricultural workers and employers to their mutual advantage and
satisfaction. Farm Labor Services had a joint obligation to serve the employer in need of workers and workers in need of
The Farm Labor Services Division was renamed the Rural Manpower Services Division in July 1971, and Roth became
Administrator, Rural Manpower Services Division. Needs had changed and advances in technology and mechanization in
agriculture had caused a decline in job opportunities. There were difficulties in serving rural areas due to remoteness of
many residents from offices providing complete services. Rural Manpower Services aimed to provide the agricultural community
with equitable access to manpower services, comparable to that available to residents of urban areas. Rural Manpower Services
delivered manpower services to both agricultural and nonagricultural workers and employers in rural communities.
In November 1972, the Department of Human Resources Development was renamed the Employment Development Department and
responsibilities for rural manpower services and urban employment services were combined in the Operations Branch, which took
on responsibility for both placement and insurance payment functions. The Operations Branch of the Employment Development
Department was divided into five regions, each headed by a Regional Administrator. Roth retired, circa 1977, as Regional
Administrator, Region I, the rural Northern California region.
Scope and Content of Collection
The collection includes reference files, publications, and photographic material on the Department of Employment, Farm
Labor Service and the Bracero Program. The collection also contains annual reports, speeches, correspondence, memoranda,
internal reports and bulletins, financial records, and training manuals. The Military Service series contains both Roth's
naval records and his wife Marcella M. Lantz's army records and includes training orders, medical records, transfer and
promotion records, certificates, and release documents. Items span the years 1936 to 1977, but the bulk of the collection
dates from 1940 to 1966.
The Raymond F. Roth Papers are arranged in five series organized by place of employment: 1. Montgomery Ward, 2. Military
Service, 3. Westside Producers Cooperative, Inc., 4. United States, Farm Security Administration, and 5. California State
Dept. of Employment, Farm Labor Service.
Collection is open for research.
In 1991, Marcella M. Roth donated this collection to the Library.
In 2004, Lola Aguilar, Special Collections Intern, processed this collection and created its finding aid, under the
direction of University Archivist, John Skarstad and Manuscript Curator, Melissa Tyler. In 2005, Tyler added a detailed list
of photographs and encoded Aguilar's finding aid.
[Identification of item], Raymond F. Roth Papers, D-234, Archives and Special Collections, UC Davis Library, University of
All applicable copyrights for the collection are protected under chapter 17 of the U.S. Copyright Code. Requests for
permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Special Collections. Permission
for publication is given on behalf of the Regents of the University of California as the owner of the physical items. It is
not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.
Subjects and Indexing Terms
Migrant Agricultural Laborers -- California
Mexican American migrant agricultural laborers -- Social conditions -- 20th century
Strikes and lockouts -- Agricultural laborers -- California
Agricultural laborers -- California
Agricultural laborers -- Labor unions -- California
Agricultural laborers -- Housing -- California
Seasonal Farm Laborers Program.
United States. Farm Security Administration.
United States. Dept. of Agriculture.
California. Employment Development Dept.
California. Rural Manpower Services Division.
Lantz, Marcella M.
Roth, Raymond F. -- Archives