In a recent poll seven percent of the U.S. adult population think that chocolate milk comes from brown cows.

A farm is a plot of land that use to grow crops and livestock to produce food. People that own and operate farms are called farmers. The practice of farming dates back thousands of years. Water is vital part of farming and is usually the major barrier to having a productive year for farmers. Having too little water will not allow the soil to be fertile enough for plants to thrive. Having too much water from flooding can also be a major problem it can wash away the plants and the nutrients in the soil. Today many farms are operated by major corporations that have farms that are ten time greater in size and capacity of the family farmer. The main bread winning crops are corn, potatoes, soybeans, sugar beets, and wheat. Technology has helped farmers be more successful. In the 1930s a typical farmer could produce enough food for up to four people. Today, every farmer can grow enough food to feed one hundred people.

Technology has helped the modern create much more available food based on even less available land. Crops are grown in closed indoor environments on shelves, in some cases. The climate is controlled, and this can result in much less required water as the water cycle nature keeps the water cycling between the plants and the controlled atmosphere. Robots now harvest crops which reduces inefficiencies and improves production. Computer modeling has improved farming intelligence. Farmers will now consult their models before planted and pick their most fertile areas of land before they even get started. These worksheets will introduce students to traditional farming and the advances that are being led by the technology revolution. We will look at the concept of genetically modified organisms and the culture that is for an against that technology. We also look at the beef industry and the production process. Students will also explore the concept of organic and community supported agricultural.

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Printable Farm Worksheets

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What Is a Farm?

A family farm is the oldest way of managing agricultural activities in the U.S. Once, all farms were owned and operated by families, and passed down from generation to generation.

What Is a Farm? Questions

Across the history of farming, farmers have solved the water problem by building reservoirs and canals to store water and channel if to their fields using pipes and sprinkler systems.

The History of Agriculture

Before the development of agriculture, people lived a primarily hunter-gatherer lifestyle, moving from place to place as they hunted wild animals and foraged for wild, edible plants.

QUESTIONS: History of Agriculture

By what time period were almost all the people on Earth dependent on agriculture?

Vertical Farming

Aeroponics was developed by the National Aeronautical and Space Administration (NASA). NASA defines aeroponics as "growing plants in an air/mist environment with no soil and very little water."

QUESTIONS: Vertical Farming

Aquaponics combines growing plants and fish together in the same ecosystem.

Farming Corn in the U.S.

Many thousands of acres of corn are grown at one time in this way. When only one crop is grown on a farm in massive quantities, it is called monoculture.

QUESTIONS: Farming Corn in the U.S.

Seeds are planted by another tool that attaches to a tractor called a row planter. The row planter makes long, narrow trenches in the soil, drops in the seeds, and covers them with soil.

Genetically Modified Organisms

The Green Revolution was not without its problems. In return for high yields, these crops required the input of chemical fertilizers, applications of pesticide, and irrigation.

QUESTIONS: Genetically Modified Organisms

Later, scientists came to understand how these new strains were developed. This understanding led to the next revolution in how food is produced: genetic modification.

Agriculture and Science

Today most food is produced by massive commercial enterprises that are able to feed many more people than farmers in the 1900s.

QUESTIONS: Agriculture and Science

Traditionally, farmers used herb-based pesticides, plucked insect pests off of plants by hand, bred stronger varieties, rotated crops, and used companion planting.

Industrial Beef Production and Alternatives

The ancestors of domestic bovines roamed grasslands, deserts, scrublands, and forests on every continent except Antarctica.

QUESTIONS: Industrial Beef Production and Alternatives

Today, cows are an industrial commodity. They spend the first six to eight months of their lives grazing in unnatural environments with no shelter from extreme weather.

What is Organic Farming?

The goal of organic farming is to produce food within a holistic system that is both sustainable and in harmony with the environment.

QUESTIONS: What is Organic Farming?

In order to use the word organic on their products, an organic farm must be certified organic by one of the certifying bodies.

Community Supported Agriculture

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a system in which customers can by local food directly from the farmer that produces it.

QUESTIONS: Community Supported Agriculture

CSAs typically operate as subscription services. The customer purchases a "share" that entitles them to a regular allotment of vegetables for the duration of the growing season. Customers pick up their shares at designated times and locations.

From Family Farm to Factory Farm

The USDA defines a family farm as "any operation selling $1,000 or more of agricultural products in a year." However, this is an outdated definition, since $1,000 used to be considerably more money than it is today.

QUESTIONS: From Family Farm to Factory Farm

Nearly a quarter of the farms that were in America in the 1970s are now gone, most of these midsized family farms whose livelihood relied on growing grain or raising livestock.