I started teaching a new Ag class that is titled "Global Agriculture" (was actually titled by the teacher I replaced in January) and it's evolving as the semester progresses. I'm really excited about the course, I'm learning a lot and I'm already getting great feedback from students, faculty members and parents. I have a greenhouse, chicken coop, land and an almost finished barn.
I'm looking for feedback, ideas, & resources to assist me. thank you in advance!!
The focus is on the history & evolution of Agriculture in America and around the world. I want to focus on how & why the Ag industry has changed, compare & contrast industrial agriculture with sustainable, organic, pastural etc...
Students have started reading The Omnivore's Dilemma. They have a reading guide to answer as they go.
I have a number of documentaries lined up to show: Food Inc, Food Matters, King Corn, The Botany of Desire, Fresh, The Future of Food, Temple Grandin, Ingredients, We feed the world,
I'm in need of video guides for Food matters, Fresh *not released yet, The Future of Food, Ingredients, We Feed the World
I need video suggestions for the Industrial side of the Ag Industry - ones that portray the challenge of feeding 6 billion people
So far we've covered the following topics/units:
- Agriculture in America (basic statistics)
- Early Agriculture History (America - settlers, American Indians, England, early inventions)
- Agriculture careers
Other topics I want to cover but still need resources for:
- Politics (Farm Bill, other Ag legislation)
- Corn (book is covering this, King Corn video)
- Ethical issues
- "Hot topics" - current events
- Slow food movement
- Ag around the world - ag practices, commodities, diets, global trade, etc....
- The Future
- Biotechnology (I've taught biotech in the past but am always looking for new stuff)
I'm also working on scheduling farm tours (mini field trips) in the area. Hoping to be awarded some grant money so we can go on many of these.
The goals of the farm tours are to strengthen the tie between the local schools and farms and to expose students to a variety of farming operations, techniques, food systems, farm ecology, environmental ethics and sustainable living. I hope that by observing local farms and tasting fresh food students can reconnect with the earth, appreciate where their food comes from and learn the importance of supporting our local farmers.