The ground covered by recent studies on Brazil between 1930 and 1945 has fallen into two main schools of interest: one has concentrated on the political history of this period; the other on the background to Brazilian industrialization. With the exception of coffee and rice, Brazilian agriculture has remained relatively neglected as an area of research. Yet the importance of Brazilian agriculture both as a source for domestic consumption requirements and also as an export earner has constantly been presented as the explanation for the political evolution of Brazil in these years and the concomitant increased interest shown in the development of Brazilian manufacturing industries. This paper will concentrate on the Brazilian agricultural sector and will consider the nature of Vargas's agricultural autarquias — that is, the semi-autonomous administrative units Vargas established to supervise and direct the activities of selected areas of the economy and of society. It is hoped that, in so doing, it will contribute to a deeper understanding of how Getúlio Vargas governed Brazil between 1930 and 1945.