The Importance of Agriculture

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An introduction to breadth and scope of agricultural commodities for children and adolescents.

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  • Agriculture helps meet our needs and the needs of millions of people in other countries. International Trade is buying and selling commodities by two or more nations.
  • Discuss lesson content. Summarize the content on the white board.
  • Agriculture provides jobs for more people than any other industry in the United States
    Approximately 16 out of every 100 people work in agriculture.
  • Advancements in fertilizers, crops and technology have resulted in the production of more food. Today, one American farmer feeds over 130 people.
    Consumers have a year round wide selection of agricultural products at the local grocery store. Even with all of the nutritious food available, however, most consumers do not make the right choices. Americans consume foods that are high in fat, salt and sugar.
    MyPlate is a tool to help people make healthy food choices.
  • Also, Nutritional Fact Labels must be present on all food products except raw single-ingredient products. Nutritional fact labels were created by our government to help consumers follow a well-balanced diet
  • Healthy eating choices depend on factors other than food:
    Read text concerning Food Pyramid.
  • Fruit.
  • Most citrus is sold as fresh fruit, and the rest is processed for juices.
  • As well as a thriving domestic market, the USA exports apples to many different markets around the world, including Europe, Taiwan, Mexico, Hong Kong, Indonesia and Thailand. By far the biggest variety is Red Delicious, and Macintosh and Empire are also key varieties. Other varieties grown include Golden, Fuji, Gala, Granny Smith and Pink Lady.
  • Each year in the United States 430,000 tons of nuts are produced.
    There are four major types of nuts of commercial importance. They are: almonds, pecans, walnuts and filberts.
    Nuts are removed from a tree by a machine that gently shakes the tree. The nuts are then picked up from the ground by a nut
    sweeper.
    List the items you’ve eaten in the previous day. What categories do they belong to?
  • Cotton is picked by large machines that use rotating fingerlike projections on rotating drums to remove the lint from the bolls. The lint is taken to a gin to remove the seeds. The seeds can be pressed and used for cooking oils.
    The cotton is cleaned and the lint is pressed into 500 pound bales. It is then graded and stored or sent to the mill.
  • Flax grows to a height of about 3 feet. Linen comes from the fibers, called bast fibers that make up the phloem of the plant. These fibers are removed by soaking the stems in warm water.
    When the phloem fibers are removed, they are rolled and later combed to be spun into yarn.
    The seeds of the Flax plant are pressed for linseed oil. This oil is used in making paints and varnishes.
  • Are two animal fibers used in making clothing. Rabbit and mink are two common sources of furs used in clothing. Sheep and goat fleece are sheared, cleaned, dyed and woven into thread.
    Angora goat fleece is woven into mohair. It is used to make soft blankets and clothing.
    Fur, from rabbits, mink and other animals, is used to make coats, hats, and other clothing.
  • Much of the cloth produced today is manufactured from petroleum. This process was developed in the first half of the 20th century. Petroleum is processed into long fibers that are used to make cloth such as rayon, nylon and polyester.
  • Blended clothing is a combination of artificial, or synthetic, and natural fibers. Blended cloth is durable, yet has the comfort of natural fibers. This also makes us less dependent on imported petroleum.
  • Forestry is the science of planting, caring for, and harvesting trees. In the United States, there are 736.7 million acres of forest land. Forestry products are made into many kinds of lumber, plywood, particle board, veneer and paper. These products are used in many ways – shelter being the most important.
  • At a saw mill, logs are cut into boards and graded for quality. Most logs are cut into lumber while still green – containing water. Lumber must then be seasoned, or dried.
  • Smaller trees are used to make paper. Paper is made by breaking wood into smaller pieces and cooking the pieces in a chemical bath. These smaller pieces are called pulp. The steps in making paper are:
  • The Importance of Agriculture

    1. 1. Understanding the Importance of Agriculture to Society Eric Stormer Virginia Cooperative Extension
    2. 2. Terms to Know • • • • • • • • Aquaculture Beef Conifer Deciduous Tree Exports Food Guide Pyramid Forestry International Trade • • • • • • • • Imports Lamb Mutton Natural Fiber Nutritional Groups Pork Poultry Pulp
    3. 3. Terms to Know, Cont’d. • • • • Quality of Life Seasoning Swine Synthetic Fibers
    4. 4. What is Quality of Life? • Quality of Life includes adequate supplies of basic needs like food, clothing and shelter. • Agriculture provides each of these things. • Americans spend only about 11% of their total income on food, leaving more money than many others for clothing, housing and entertainment.
    5. 5. International Trade • International Trade is buying and selling commodities by two or more nations. Commodities are either imported or exported.
    6. 6. Exports • Goods sold to or in another country are exports. • Agriculture exports include corn, rice, soybeans, wheat, poultry and cotton.
    7. 7. Imports • Imports are products bought from another nation. Imports include bananas, cocoa, vanilla, shrimp and coffee.
    8. 8. Agriculture’s role in Human Nutrition • MyPlate was developed by the United States Department of Agriculture. It is made up of nutritional groups, which are the main types of food recommended for consumption.
    9. 9. Factors affecting healthy food choices include: • • • • Age Activity Level Gender Body Size
    10. 10. Agricultural Products for Food • Grain - grains are grown throughout the U.S., with the greatest production region in the mid-west. • Grains are used for bread, pasta, rice, cereal and many other food products. • Wheat and rye are two important grains.
    11. 11. Citrus • Citrus - grown in California and Florida, and imported from Mexico and South America. • Citrus includes: oranges, grapefruits, tangerines, tangelos, lemons and limes.
    12. 12. Blueberries • Blueberries are predominately grown in Michigan.
    13. 13. Cranberries • Cranberries are widely grown in New England.
    14. 14. Apples • Apples are grown in Washington, New York, Michigan and California. • About half of the apples produced are marketed fresh and the rest are processed into juice, jellies, pies and other products.
    15. 15. Vegetables • Cool weather crops, such as lettuce and broccoli, are grown in northern states in the summer and southern states during the winter. • Most warm weather vegetables are grown in California and Florida. • Many vegetables consumed in the U.S. are imported from South America and Mexico.
    16. 16. Milk • • • • Dairy Foods are made from milk. Most milk comes from cattle on dairy farms. Another source of milk is from goats Leading milk production states are California and Wisconsin.
    17. 17. Meat - Poultry • Poultry includes any domesticated birds raised for food. • The most popular poultry are chickens followed by turkey. • Chickens also produce most of the eggs in this country.
    18. 18. Meat - Beef • Beef is meat from cattle. It is prepared into popular dishes like steak and hamburger.
    19. 19. Meat - Pork • Pork is the meat of swine • Swine is the plural term used to define hogs and pigs. • Pork chops, ham and bacon are three popular forms of pork.
    20. 20. Meat - Aquaculture • Aquaculture is the production of aquatic plants and animals for food. • Fish are being farmed in oceans, streams, lakes, ponds and raceways. • Fish are harvested, processed, and prepared for the fresh or frozen market.
    21. 21. Meat - Lamb • Lamb refers to meat from a sheep that is less than a year old. • Mutton refers to meat that is from a sheep that is over a year old. • Compared to beef, chicken and pork, Americans consume little lamb and mutton.
    22. 22. Nuts
    23. 23. Agricultural products used to provide clothing • Clothing is made from natural and synthetic fibers. • A natural fiber is from a plant or animal. • A synthetic fiber is made from petroleum and other substances.
    24. 24. Cotton • A shrublike plant, cultivated as an annual. • Requires long growing season, warm temperatures. • Leading production states include California, Texas, Arizona and the lower southeast.
    25. 25. Flax • Produces fibers used in making a high quality cloth, called linen. • Flax plants require climates with plenty of rain, and moderate temperatures. • Most of today’s flax is grown in Europe and New Zealand.
    26. 26. Kenaf • Kenaf is a relatively new crop used to make cloth and paper. • From Africa. • Grows quickly; 12’-14’ in as little as 4-5 months.
    27. 27. Jute is used to make Burlap
    28. 28. Hemp and Sisal • Are coarse fibers used to make rope, rugs
    29. 29. Wool and Fur
    30. 30. Petroleum
    31. 31. Synthetic Fibers • • • • Made from petroleum. Tend to be more wrinkle resistant and durable. Cannot match the comfort of natural fibers. Today, cloth is generally a blend of each.
    32. 32. Agriculture Provides Shelter
    33. 33. What is Forestry? • Forestry is the science of planting, caring for and harvesting trees. • In the USA, there are 736.7 million acres of forested lands.
    34. 34. Forestry Products • Are grouped by the types of trees harvested. • Two major types of trees are hardwood, and softwood. • Hardwood trees are deciduous – they shed their leaves during the winter. • Softwood trees are conifers – evergreen trees, usually bearing cones and needles.
    35. 35. Hardwood - Deciduous
    36. 36. Conifers - Softwood
    37. 37. Lumber • Is made from sawing logs into boards. Logs are the large stems of trees that require many years to grow. • Trees are felled (cut down) and cut into log lengths – usually 12 – 20 feet in length. • Are cut, while green, into boards, for seasoning – the natural or artificial drying of lumber.
    38. 38. Lumber
    39. 39. Paper
    40. 40. Paper 1. Pulp is screened and washed. 2. The mixture of pulp and water is spread over a mesh wire to drain. 3. The remaining mat of fibers is then rolled and dried. 4. The fibers bond together during the drying process.
    41. 41. The End Eric Stormer Virginia Cooperative Extension eric.stormer@vt.edu

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