What is Agriculture?


Before we learn about specialty crops, let's talk about agriculture. What is agriculture? You may think agriculture is farming: growing plants and raising animals. That is true. But that is not the whole world of agriculture.

All over Minnesota (and the world!) there are farmers who raise plants or animals that become food or products for us to use. The system of growing, processing, and delivering these products to users is called agriculture.

Do you know how many ways agriculture is in your daily life, besides food?

  • Pajamas and bedding may be made with cotton — a plant.
  • Soap is made from fat from cattle and oil from plants such as palm, corn, and soybeans.
  • Most of the food we eat comes from agriculture. That includes toast with jam and honey, apple juice, and smoothies made from fruit and vegetables.
  • Paper comes from another agricultural crop — trees. Corn and soybeans may go into the soy ink in your books.
  • The tires on your bus, car, or bike are made from the rubber plant, and rope from cotton.


What is it?

  • Answer
  • Wheat! More wheat is planted in the world than any other crop. Wheat kernels are ground into flour that is used to make bread, pasta, cereal, tortillas, cakes, cookies, crackers, and more!



Fun Fact: Minnesota ranks 4th nationally in dry edible bean production. Dry edible beans include pinto, navy, Great Northern, kidney, and black beans.


What's orange and sounds like a parrot?

  • Answer
  • A carrot!