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National Content Standards

Below is a selected list of subject area content standards that correspond to the study of agriculture. More specific national and state standards can be applied depending on the lesson.

Economics Standard: Markets - Price and Quantity Determination

• Students will understand that markets exist when buyers and sellers interact. This interaction determines market prices and thereby allocates scarce goods and services.

English Language Arts

• Students conduct research on issues and interests by generating ideas and questions, and by posing problems. They gather, evaluate, and synthesize data from a variety of sources (e.g., print and non-print texts, artifacts, people) to communicate their discoveries in ways that suit their purpose and audience.

Geography Standard: Environment and Society

• How human actions modify the physical environment

Mathematics Standard: Problem Solving

• Build new mathematical knowledge through problem solving;
• Solve problems that arise in mathematics and in other contexts;
• Apply and adapt a variety of appropriate strategies to solve problems;
• Monitor and reflect on the process of mathematical problem solving.

Science Standard: Science in Personal and Social Perspective

• As a result of activities in grades K-4, all students should develop understanding of science and technology in local challenges.

• As a result of activities in grades 5-8, all students should develop understanding of science and technology in society.

• As a result of activities in grades 9-12, all students should develop understanding of science and technology in local, national, and global challenges.

Social Studies Standard: Production, Distribution, and Consumption

• Social studies programs should include experiences that provide for the study of how people organize for the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services.

Technology Standard: Technology problem-solving and decision-making tools

• Students use technology resources for solving problems and making informed decisions.

• Students employ technology in the development of strategies for solving problems in the real world.

"Agriculture is the most healthful, most useful and most noble employment of man." — George Washington

Having grown up on a family farm, there is something endearing about those memories of free roaming chickens, pigs cooling themselves in the mud, cows following a wagon loaded with hay, cornstalks rustling in the wind, and fresh apple pie. Farming practices have changed significantly over the past fifty years. Family farms have decreased and agribusiness has increased. New farming techniques have sparked environmental, health, and safety debates. Foods that were once considered seasonal are now available year round. Grocery stores feature sections of organically grown food and offer more choices from whole grains to special grades of meat. Uses for agricultural products have also changed. In 2006, nearly eighteen percent of the nation’s corn crop was used to produce ethanol, a renewable energy source. With agricultural commodities so readily accessible in the United States, it is easy to forget how the baked ham, green beans, pineapple, and roll with butter arrived on the dinner plate in some countries, but not in others. Learning about agricultural practices, economics, and the importance of farming will go a long way in helping students understand one aspect of global interdependence. Prepare your students for a trip to a working farm by visiting these Websites.

4-H Virtual Farm

Discover daily farming operations by choosing a type of farm to visit virtually. Choices include horse, aquaculture, beef, dairy, poultry, and grain farms. Meet the farmer, learn about the production process, study the vocabulary, and assess your knowledge. A combination of video clips, photographs, text, and games are the instructional tools for teaching basic concepts. This is a wonderful site if you are unable to visit a farm.

Agriculture in the Classroom

Each state has an Agriculture in the Classroom program designed to help students understand the role of agriculture in the economy and society. State contacts, Websites, and summaries of accomplishments are supplied. In addition, teachers can search or browse an extensive online directory that lists hundreds of educational materials about agriculture, locate state agricultural profiles, and use Science in Your Shopping Cart to teach secondary students about high-tech foods, biotechnology and careers. Students can access games and learn about issues in the Teen Scene or Kid Zone. This site is a good starting point for preparing curriculum.

Barnyard Palace

North Carolina State University Veterinarian Medical College has created a Website to show students how the school manages dairy cows, horses, poultry, goats, beef cows, goats and sheep. Click on the aerial map to view different animal areas at the farm. Learn about the value and care of each animal. Great photographs accompany the information. Select the General Ag and History page for games and more interactive fun.

Education in the Classroom

If you are looking for teaching materials or ways to become involved in agriculture, visit this Website.

National Agricultural Library

Search hundreds of articles by keyword or browse by subject. Topics range from livestock to crops and research. Several online exhibits and image galleries highlight the commitment to preserve and disseminate rare books. Popcorn: Ingrained in America’s Agricultural History, An Illustrated Expedition of North America: Bodmer and Maximillian in the American West, and Nursery and Seed Trade Catalogs are three outstanding examples. Original source material about individuals such as George Washington Carver, RSS feeds on a variety of issues, and the opportunity to ask questions further underscore the value of this site for students and librarians.

National Agriculture Day

Celebrate National Ag Day in your classroom or community. Each year the program promotes American agriculture and its essential role in maintaining a strong economy. The Agriculture Council of America and corporate sponsors maintain a Website where you can download the event planning guide, find background material, read fun facts, join a mailing list, and order Ag Day posters. One event idea is to organize a pizza party. Then, have students think about how ingredients from their favorite food come from farms and ranches and how each is processed and delivered to the grocery store or restaurant. Be sure to check the site for more information.

National FFA Organization

Founded in 1928, the Future Farmers of America brought together students, teachers and agribusiness to solidify support for agricultural education. The organization serves over seven thousand chapters, providing curriculum and news. FFA and Garfield have teamed up to provide middle school students with learning activities about agriscience. At KomicZone, students can create their own Garfield cartoon strip. In AgWhiz, students score points by answering questions related to agriculture. High school students in FFA are provided with information about chapter funding, program activities, community service, and scholarships. If you have never heard about FAA, check it out.

Pork Farm Story

Children ages six through fifteen are the target audience at Pork4Kids. Learn about pork as a product and how pigs are raised. Read stories about farm families.

Read to Feed

Exploring and feeding the world is the central theme of this site for elementary students. Sounds of barn animals greet you when you open the page so plan accordingly. A variety of activities are offered that teach geography, math and vocabulary as well as life in different cultures. Be sure to have students read the stories of Real Kids where they meet children from around the globe. These serve as a foundation for comparing farming in other countries.

USDA My Farm Games

Provides interactive computer games teach agricultural literacy to elementary school children from kindergarten through Grade 5.