Lessons

Engage students with a first-hand glimpse into agriculture using lessons and activities that bring to life critical issues such as sustainability, the new science behind farming, and entrepreneurship. Designed for grades 9 through 12, the downloadable lesson plans are aligned with Next Generation Science Standards and agribusiness standards under the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc). Companion activities are provided to extend the impact of the program’s customized lesson plans.

Sustainability Practices in Modern Farming

Subject: Earth Science/ Environmental Science
90-120 minutes

With an ever-growing population and limited availability of resources, farmers and ranchers are continuously adopting more sustainable agricultural practices. In this lesson, students will brainstorm, develop, and test an innovative idea for a prototype that can help farmers and ranchers become more sustainable.

What’s Loam Got to Do with It?

Subject: Earth Science/Environmental Science
90-120 minutes

Learn how to use a classification system to categorize soil into four major types: clay, sand, silt, and loam. Then, conduct investigations and test hypotheses related to soil erosion to identify ways to combat soil erosion.

Geographical Factors that Influence Farming

Subject: Earth Science/Environmental Science
90-120 minutes

In this lesson, students will investigate the geographic factors that influence crops/products grown and evaluate the significance of the agricultural production area's proximity to the marketplace. Students will then analyze national data to determine how to optimize farms to the greatest benefit to consumers and the economy.

Marketing, Messaging, and Your Meals

Subject: Earth Science/Environmental Science
90-120 minutes

In this lesson, students will investigate how food products are currently marketed to consumers, as well as develop an understanding of the current requirements and industry practices around food labeling in the United States.

Day on a Cattle Ranch

Subject: Science/Engineering
30-45 Minutes

GMOs and Genetic Variation - GMO or “genetically-modified organism” is a broad term that refers to anything living that has been manipulated for a different set of genes. In this activity, students will explore the history of GMOs and examine the role that different types of GMOs play in feeding a growing population.

Day on a Produce Farm

Subject: Earth Science
30-45 Minutes

Less Drops per Crop - In this activity, students will explore sustainable water solutions used by farmers and the role that innovative technologies play in improving water efficiency.

Day on a Dairy Farm

Subject: Environmental Science
30-45 Minutes

Antibiotics in Agriculture - Antibiotics are a group of drugs that are used to treat and prevent bacterial infections. In this activity, students will investigate how antibiotics are a tool for reducing animal disease and treating bacterial infections.

How to Use Trash to Help Crops Grow

Subject: Earth Science/Environmental Science
30-45 Minutes

Farming for the Future - In this activity, students will research sustainable agricultural practices used by farmers and evaluate technological solutions utilized in sustainable agriculture.

Farming as an Industry

Subject: Environmental Science/Agribusiness
45-60 Minutes

Students will examine how agriculture has evolved into today’s modern farming and ranching industry. They will analyze data to construct explanations around environmental dependencies in agriculture, and investigate how agricultural products are developed in the U.S.

Educated Consumers

Subject: Earth Science/Agribusiness
45-60 Minutes

Students will investigate case studies that highlight the media influence of agricultural demand and the impact on farmers and ranchers. They will establish a common understanding of the term "trend" to examine how foods become popular and who decides this, if anyone, and how different groups of people respond.

Breaking Down Stereotypes

Subject: Social Studies/ Agribusiness
45-60 Minutes

Using strategies such as mind mapping, questioning, and group discussions, students will explore common stereotypes around farmers and ranchers. Students will compare traditional views of farmers and ranchers with real-world modern examples.

Challenges in Farming and Ranching

Subject: Social Studies/ Agribusiness
45-60 Minutes

Students consider the challenge that farmers and ranchers face and the impact of those challenges on the availability of food, the financial well-being of farms and ranches, and the ways in which new technology can enhance agricultural practices.

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