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Why Ag in the Classroom?

Agriculture means survival. Over time, fewer and fewer people have close contact with farming and the total agricultural sector. They’re not aware of their own and society’s total dependence on agriculture. People must be agriculturally literate in order to make responsible decisions affecting this giant lifeline.

Teaching students to be agriculturally literate brings their learning to life. Helping students understand the farm-to-table connection is important in our consumer-driven society. That’s what the student Minnesota AgMag Series is all about.

About Your AgMag

The AgMag is a great supplement to your social studies, science, or language arts curriculum. The AgMag has a particular appeal to the study of Minnesota history and geography. You’ll get three issues per school year: October, January, and March.

AgMag Theme: The Many Faces of Agriculture

  • The Story of Minnesota Agriculture
  • Sharing Culture Through Food
  • The Many Faces and Stories of Minnesota Agriculture
  • How Did Agriculture Shape Minnesota
  • From Mill to Museum
  • Minnesota 6th Graders

Integration Ideas

Social Studies

  • Invite students to learn about when their families first came to America, or about their early American ancestors. Students could prepare a presentation on their ancestors’ experience, or write an informative article (like those on page 4-5) about their family’s story of living in or coming to Minnesota.
  • After reading about Pillsbury, Students could research and learn more about other important figures who played a key role in shaping Minnesota.

Glossary

Some words in your AgMag may be unfamiliar to your students. Many are defined in the articles. There is also a glossary on the AgMag website.

AGRICULTURE: Growing plants and raising animals that people use for food, clothing and many other things every day. It’s also harvesting those farm products and getting them to us so we can use them. Agriculture is the industry that grows, harvests, processes, and brings us food, fiber, fish, forests, sod, landscaping materials, and more. It uses soil, water, sun, and air to produce its products. The process starts on farms, orchards, gardens, and ranches with the growing and the harvesting of crops and livestock, then moves to processing plants before finally traveling as finished products to stores, farm markets, lumberyards, greenhouses, and more where consumers buy the products. Agriculture is connected in some way with almost everything we eat, wear, and use.

Quote from an Unknown Source: “Agriculture is not simply farming. It’s the supermarket, the equipment factory, the trucking system, the overseas shipping industry, the scientist’s laboratory, the houses we live in, and much more. It has an effect on the air we breathe, the ground we walk on, the water we drink, and the food we eat.”

Minnesota Academic Standards Connection

SubjectStandard CodeBenchmark
Social Studies6.4.4.23.2Identify the major Minnesota political figures, ideas and industries that have shaped or continue to shape Minnesota and the United States today. (The United States in a New Global Age: 1980-present) For example: Minnesota political figures—Hubert H. Humphrey, Walter Mondale, Jesse Ventura. Minnesota ideas—rollerblades, Post-it Notes, thermostats. Minnesota industries— mining (taconite); forestry; technology/ health/ biosciences (3M, Medtronic, St. Jude Medical, Mayo Clinic, United Health Group); agriculture and agribusiness (Cargill, General Mills, Land O’ Lakes, Hormel Foods); manufacturing (CHS Inc., Ecolab, Toro, Polaris); retail (Dayton’s, Target Corporation, Best Buy, Supervalu, Mall of America).
Social Studies 6.4.4.23.1Identify the push-pull factors that bring the Hmong, East African, Hispanic, Asian Indian and other immigrants and refugees to Minnesota; compare and contrast their experiences with those of earlier Minnesota immigrant groups in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. (The United States in a New Global Age: 1980-present)
Social Studies 6.4.1.2.1Pose questions about a topic in Minnesota history, gather a variety of primary and secondary sources related to questions, analyze sources for credibility, identify possible answers, use evidence to draw conclusions, and present supported findings.
Social Studies 6.3.4.10.1Describe how land was used during different time periods in Minnesota history; explain how and why land use has changed over time. For example: Land use might include agriculture, settlement, suburbanization, recreation, industry.
Social Studies 6.4.4.20.1Analyze how the rise of big business, the growth of industry, the use of natural resources, and technological innovation influenced Minnesota’s economy from 1860 to 1920. (Development of an Industrial United States: 1870-1920) For example: Technological innovation—Improved ground and water transportation increased commerce.”

AgMag Cover: The Many Faces of Minnesota Agriculture

Discussion Prompts:

  • What is Agriculture?

Page 2: Minnesota Agrilulture

Discussion Prompts:

What food, fiber, turf/landscape, or forest businesses are in your community? Do you know anyone who works for an agriculture business or on a farm?

Match it up Answers

Agribusiness: Raw Product, Processed Product

  • Gold’n Plump Chicken: Chicken, Packaged Chicken
  • Hormel: Hogs, Pepperoni and ham
  • Pioneer: Corn seed, Ethanol
  • Minn-Dak Farmers Cooperative: Sugarbeets, Sugar
  • John Deere: Iron Ore, Steel Farm Machinery
  • Kemps: Milk, Ice Cream
  • Faribuat Woolen Mill: Wol
  • Gedney
  • General Mills
  • Bushel Boy
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