Learning Activity: Research Paper

The history of the food and agriculture industry and how it impacts our lives and our health.

Students will do an extensive research project on the history of the farming industry and its impact on our culture, our lives and our health. Their report should answer the following questions or areas:

  1. Discuss how the farming industry in Ohio has changed over time.
    1. Is farming/agriculture an industry that brought people to Ohio? Explain.
    2. What differences has technology made for farming?
    3. Discuss who has typically farmed throughout Ohio’s history.
    4. Discuss where farming occurs. What are the agricultural regions in Ohio?
    5. Make a timeline to present your findings for a-d.
  1. Describe how the farming industry has affected cultural practices of people who have come to Ohio.
    1. Ohio has a lot of migrant labor. Discuss migrant labor and its affect on cultural practices in Ohio.
    2. Have people come to Ohio specifically for opportunities in agriculture?
    3. How do non-farming families participate in farm culture? (ex. State/county fairs)
  1. Discuss why land in Ohio is good for farming.
    1. What is the climate?
    2. Why is the land/soil good for farming?
    3. What is grown or raised in Ohio?
  1. Explain the impact of farming on the physical environment.
    1. pesticides
  1. Why do you think less people farm to today than in the past?
  2. How does farming remain an important part of our lives?
  3. What role does farm life play in the value system of people in Ohio?

*This assignment is very time consuming. If you do not have the time to complete the assignment in its entirety, use the following suggestions to simplify it.

1. Break the students into groups of seven students and have them work as a team. Each student in the group can answer one question. They can combine their research into a presentation. A written paper would be optional.

2. Break the students into seven different groups and assign a different research question to each group. The group can then present to the entire class and share what they learned. Again, the written paper would be optional.

3. Have the students interview someone in agriculture to briefly answer the seven questions. They can write down the answers they receive and share them with the class rather than write a report.

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