The Topic: 
Farming

Easier - Farming was once the chief way of life in nearly every country. People cannot live without food, and nearly all their food comes from crops and animals raised on farms. Many other materials such as cotton and wool also come from plants and animals raised on farms. Not many people farm for a living any more, but farming remains the most important occupation in the world.
 
Harder - Prior to the twentieth century, the typical American family lived on a small farm. They raised hogs, cattle, sheep, chickens, and planted corn, fruits, garden vegetables, hay, and wheat. Everyone worked long and hard, but the results were often meager. Families barely harvested enough food for themselves. This situation began to change during the last half of the 1800's and it changed remarkably in the next century.
 
Scientific methods and labor-saving machinery have made farming increasingly productive. The development of improved plant varieties and fertilizers has helped double and even triple the yields of some major crops. Scientific livestock care and breeding have helped increase the amount of meat and products that animals produce. At the same time, the use of tractors and other modern farm equipment has sharply reduced the need for farm labor.
 
As farming has become less important as a way of life in the United States, it has become more important as a business enterprise. Today's successful farmers are expert not just in agriculture but also proficient in accounting, marketing, and finance. Farms that are not run in a businesslike fashion have great difficulty surviving.
  
 
Farms Around the World 
http://www.benicia.k12.ca.us/Henderson/fawproject.htm
A web-project based on the children's book, Flat Stanley by Jeff Brown. Students contacted farms or ranches around the world who have agreed to host their 'paper student' for a period of two weeks or so.
 
Family Farm
http://www2.kenyon.edu/projects/famfarm/whatis/whatis.htm
What is family farming? Where does our food come from? How do farmers relate to their environment? What is life like in a farm community? How has farming changed through history? What will shape farming in the future?
 
Kids Ag Page (Illinois)
http://www.agr.state.il.us/kids page/index.html
This website reminds you that agriculture is more than farming. Learn about crops and animals produced in Illinois and the ways in which they are used,.
 
Kids Farm (Colorado farm and ranch) 
http://www.kidsfarm.com/wheredo.htm
Includes pictures of the animals, the equipment, and some of the plants and food that grows around there.
  
Using the websites, get involved in a farming activity or project:
 
Create A Farm. After skimming two or three websites and learning about farms (Find out what a 'prairie skyscraper' is at Wheat Mania), create your own 'make-believe' farm or ranch. Some considerations are the geographic location and type of land and climate, the number of acres, needed constructions of sheds, buildings, etc., and the type of crops and livestock (if any?). Make a map or layout drawing or a model of your farm. Give it a name.
 
Interview Someone. Interview a person who has lived on a farm. Record the interview in some way; take notes or audiotape or videotape the process. Read the advice at Voices at the Timeless Coast. Visit Joanne Todd Rabun's Oral History Questions and Oral History, then prepare your own list of questions. Find out what farm life was like for them. Identify the geographic location, the type of farm, and the time period. Find out what they did for fun, what chores they liked or disliked, and what they did during the different seasons. Publish your results; place it in the local library.
 
Focus on the Future. Examine farming today at sites like Successful Farming: Agriculture Online, Death of a Dream, and What is Sustainable Agriculture?. Consider what form farms will be 50 years from now. Describe a farm in the year 2050. Include all important changes that you predict will take place. Share your ideas with others in a small group.
 
Chart Farm Products. Select an animal, fruit, or other plant crop. Pick a specific product group like soybeans, cotton, poultry, apples, rice, sunflowers, corn, etc. Diagram and label the production process from the farm to the market, identifying as many different products as possible. Show different varieties. Include drawings and pictures. Make it colorful. Create a display.
 
Visit a Farm. Visit a nearby farm or ranch. Take along all types of recording equipment. Audiotape farm sounds. Videotape farm activities. Photograph farm people, equipment, crops and animals. Show the world a unique farm in your area by adding your own farm website to the Internet.
 
Complete A Farming Webquest. Follow the procedures found at one of these online webquest activities: 
1) Barnyard Friends: A Visit to a Farm by Shannon Burnette (Grades K-3) http://www.plainfield.k12.in.us/hschool/webq/webq43/shannon.htm
2) Celebrating the Harvest (Grade 3-6) http://horizon.nmsu.edu/ddl/wqharvest.html
3) Farmer Brown's Backwards Farm (Grade K-2) http://curry.edschool.Virginia.EDU/go/edis771/98webquests/student
/srobertafitzgerald/farm_animal_webquest.htm
4) Farmers, Farmers Everywhere http://projects.edtech.sandi.net/hawthorne/farm/
5) On the Farm by by Eulalia P. Castelo (Grade K-2) http://projects.edtech.sandi.net/chavez/farm/
6) Wow! It's A Cow (Grade K-2) http://projects.edtech.sandi.net/brooklyn/cows/
 
Websites By Kids For Kids
Agriculture (1999 ThinkQuest Junior Project) 
http://tqjunior.thinkquest.org/5443/
This website includes information about the beginning of farming in Egypt, the raising of wheat and cotton, biographies of Eli Whitney and John Deere, a trip to the farm, and lots more.
 
Bio-industry (1998 ThinkQuest Project) 
http://library.thinkquest.org/21967/
There was a time when all food was produced on small family farms. In time the food production trend turned towards larger, mechanized farming operations. These farms rely heavily on equipment and chemicals.
 
Farming in Illinois (2000 ThinkQuest Project) 
http://library.thinkquest.org/J001571/
This award winning project talks about various kinds of farming done in Illinois from crops to animals. Explore how the animals are raised. What kinds of machinery help the farmer do his chores? Find out how different farm-oriented organizations interact with the community.
 
More Farming Websites
Agrelek
http://www.agrelek.co.za/
This South African Website focuses on useful information regarding the use of electrical technology in agriculture
 
California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom 
http://www.cfaitc.org/
Website of a foundation whose mission is to teach the importance of agriculture for the benefit of everyone. Includes ideas for students and teachers, 'Ag Weblinks,' and lots more.
 
Death of a Dream from PBS Online
http://www.pbs.org/ktca/farmhouses/
This is a companion website to the program that examined the current state of American agriculture and its future.
Related Websites:
2) Harvest of Risk http://www.agweek.com/harvest/
3) Secretary's Memorandum 500-6: Sustainable Development from U.S. Dept. of Agriculture http://www.usda.gov/agency/oce/oce/sustainable-development/secmemo.htm 
4) Sustainable Agriculture: Definitions and Terms from U.S. Dept. of Agriculture http://warp.nal.usda.gov:80/afsic/AFSIC_pubs/srb9902.htm
5) What is Sustainable Agriculture? at University of California, Davis, CA http://www.aes.ucdavis.edu/ex/programs/Prog_sust_ag.htm
 
eTemplates At the Farm  from MIKSIKE
http://www.miksike.com/unit/index.html
This interactive site from Canada involves interdisciplinary thematic lessons, in this instance using a farming theme.
 
Family Farms Around the World 
http://www.disknet.com/indiana_biolab/farms.htm
Links to 150 farm homepages give you a feel for life on the farm in 40 states and 18 countries around the world.
 
Farmbid.com 
http://www.farmbid.com/
At this online agriculture superstore you can check on the pricing of almost anything for farming plus get information on the current issues.
 
Farm and Ranch Business Center 
http://www.traderivers.com/farmranch/index.html
This site connects to link to commodity markets, commodity charts, crop reports, fruit and vegetable prices and reports, livestock reports, USDA NASS graphics, news and weather -- from local, regional and world sources.
Related Website:
2) Market Quotes http://www.farmerslivestock.com/market_quoutes.htm
 
Farm Safety & Health Information Clearinghouse at the University of Minnesota 
http://gaia.bae.umn.edu/~fs/
This is a comprehensive source for farm safety and health information.
Other Farm Safety and Health Information Sites:
2) Montana / Idaho AgrAbility Project and Farm Safety Program (Promoting Success in Agriculture for People with Disabilities and Their Families) http://www.montana.edu/wwwplow/index.html#index2
3) National Children's Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety http://research.marshfieldclinic.org/children/
4) Safety and Health at the N.C. Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services http://www.agr.state.nc.us/safety/
 
Successful Farming: Agriculture Online 
http://www.agriculture.com/
Website of the largest paid-subscription farm magazine in the U.S..
 
United States Department of Agriculture 
http://www.usda.gov/
News and information about the USDA and agriculture in general can be found at this huge site. Includes a history of American agriculture from 1776-1990s. American agriculture is always being counted, measured, priced, analyzed, and reported to give people the facts they need. Section below provides lots of farm statistics for kids:
http://www.usda.gov/nass/nasskids/nasskids.htm
 
Voice of Agriculture: American Farm Bureau 
http://www.fb.com/
Pick a topic on farming; look within 'Today's Ag' section for lots of 'Farm Facts' and even a 'Farm Quiz.'
 
Different Types of Farming
American Soybean Association 
http://www.soygrowers.com/
Here you can find out about soybean industries, plus many soybean facts and uses.
 
Beef.Org 
http://www.beef.org/
This comprehensive site has information on the issues, economics, and topics related to beef.
 
Breeds of Livestock from Oklahoma State University
http://www.ansi.okstate.edu/BREEDS/
This huge site has a wealth of information and photographs of breeds of cattle, goats, horses, sheep, swine, and other livestock.
Related Website:
2) Livestock Library http://www.ansi.okstate.edu/LIBRARY/ 
 
Breeds of Poultry from Oklahoma State University
http://www.ansi.okstate.edu/poultry/
Website for teaching and reference use; includes chickens, geese, ducks, and turkeys.
Related Website:
2) The Coop http://www.the-coop.org/index.html
 
CornCam from Iowa Farmer Today
http://www.iowafarmer.com/corncam/corn.html
An Iowa Farmer Today web camera is trained on a cornfield north of Prairieburg, in Northeast Iowa. With its lens you can watch the progress of a field through the growing season.
 
MooMilk 
http://www.moomilk.com/
Learn about milk and cows with Fun Facts. Then take the MooMilk Quiz to test your cowledge. Visit a dairy farm with more than 3,000 cows! (And there's also serious talk about the dairy business.)
 
Partnership with Nature: The Rice Farming Techniques of Lindbergh Family Farms 
http://www.lundberg.com/partnership/full.html
Learn about the growing and processing techniques have developed out of the Lindbergh family's deep-rooted beliefs about the land and surrounding ecology.
 
Wheat Mania 
http://www.wheatmania.com
Hang out with 'Wacky Wheat' in Kansas wheat country. Cruise a Kansas wheat farm, eyeball a prairie
skyscraper, chill out with 'Super Trivia', and check out the latest in 'Flour Power' fun and games.
 
Websites for Teachers
Classification of Animals (Grades K-2) 
http://omega.mpt.org/learningworks/teachers/ntti/k-5/farm.html
This integrated mini-unit is designed to use the technology of the Internet to provide opportunities for students to learn about farm animals.
 
Farming & Gardening at Mathline, PBS Teachersource
http://www.pbs.org/teachersource/mathline/concepts/farmingandgardening.shtm
This website includes three activities to exemplify the use of mathematics by gardeners and farmers.
 
Farms and Farm Animals (Grades 1-3) 
http://www.stf.sk.ca/src/tmc/p11222/p11222.htm
In this unit the primary focus is on farms, farm animals, their families, animal body parts, and the food products that we get from farms.
 
From Farm to Fork With Idaho Jones (Grades K-3) from Idaho Potato Commission 
http://www.idahopotatoes.org/education.html#farm
Here are three lessons on where our food comes from and how we get it.
 
On the Farm
1) Animal Babies on the Farm http://www.eduplace.com/ss/act/farm.html
More Websites:
2) The Farm (Grade-K)
http://curry.edschool.virginia.edu/curry/class/Museums/Teacher_Guide/Science/The.Farm.html
3) Farm Animals (Grade 1) http://curry.edschool.virginia.edu/curry/class/Museums/Teacher_Guide/Science/Farm.Animals.ht
ml
4) How Farm Animals help us. (Grade 1)
http://curry.edschool.virginia.edu/curry/class/Museums/Teacher_Guide/Science/How.Farm.Anim

als.Help.html

5) Springtime on the Farm.
http://curry.edschool.virginia.edu/curry/class/Museums/Teacher_Guide/Science/Springtime.on.th
e.Farm.html
  

farmer
livestock
eggs
grain
potatoes
agriculture
farm worker
gardening
barnyard
tractor
ranch hand
cultivate
plow
harvest
water
farmland
silo
prairie
grain elevator
crops
pumpkins
orchard
hay baler
weed
chores
till
barn
acreage
peanut
plant
haymow
wheat
safety
soil
seed
sheep
agribusiness
market
combine
ranch
cattleman
horse
vegetable
fertilizer
herbicide
cattle
wheat drill
irrigate
swine
soybeans
gardening
tool shed
drain tile
fence row
apples
corncrib
poultry
corn
wagon
farmstead

 
 
 
Created by Annette Lamb and Larry Johnson, 1/99. Updated by Nancy Smith 11/01