Think about some of the things you might eat every day. Cereal, milk, an apple, a ham and cheese sandwich. Have you ever wondered where all of these things come from? None of them would be possible without agriculture, which is the practice of farming. Agriculture doesn’t only involve crops (cultivated plants), but it also includes animals. In the past, people would live off the land by hunting or foraging for edible plants day by day. Today however, it is quite impossible to do that especially if you live in the city! To get around this problem, all around our country, farmers grow all kinds of crops and raise animals and poultry to provide food for us.
Farms are actually just one example of where agriculture takes place. Did you know that agriculture can even happen in your own backyard? There are many people who grow herbs or plants that bear fruits and vegetables on a small scale. It may just be one apple tree in their garden, but it is still a form of agriculture. Any place where people grow plants or raise animals specifically for food counts as agriculture. Even in a hot place like Texas, agriculture counts as their second largest type of industry! Since our population is growing so fast, it is important that agriculture thrives. For example, think about a standard jar of peanut butter. Did you know that you would need over five hundred peanuts just to create that amount of peanut butter? Let’s have a look at some of the different kinds of agriculture and the food that we get from it.
Within the agriculture industry, there are many different types of sectors. For example, you might have large scale farms that specialize in one type of produce, or instead grow several different types of things. Some farms might grow field crops or fields of plants that bear fruits and vegetables. On the other hand, some farms raise poultry and cattle for meat. You might come across a dairy farm too, where milk, cheese, and butter is made. Some farms make very different products like honey or maple syrup too. Finally, we also have gardens, where people grow their own herbs and plant products. Incredibly, over ninety percent of the foods that come from agriculture are created by farms as well as individuals. There are many different types of agriculture jobs, including animal nutritionists and veterinarians, botanists, plant pathologists, food scientists, and more!
- Agricultural Facts From Every State!
- Agriculture at the Farm
- How Does a Dairy Farm Work?
- Educational Honey Downloads
- Gardening Info and Activities for Kids
- What Are Some Agricultural Jobs?
- Discover Maple Syrup!
- Types of Field Crops
- Watch a Slideshow About a Farm
- A Dairy Farm Activity Book (PDF)
Farms raise a number of different animals and birds so that we can have meat to eat. Some of the cattle include cows for beef, goat for mutton, pigs for pork, lamb and so on. Chickens and turkeys are two types of birds that are commonly raised for their meat. Animals also give us many other types of products too. We get gelatin from pork, milk from cows and goats, and wool from sheep.
- Cows and Dairy Trivia
- Turkeys, Chickens and Other Farm Creatures
- The Sheep and Lambs Activity Pack (PDF)
- Sheep and Goats
- Resources About Farm Pigs
There is an enormous amount of crops grown all over the United States. Of all of them, corn is produced and sold the most. Some of the other top crops include soybeans, hay, wheat, and cotton. As you can see, not all crops are meant for eating. Some, like cotton, can be used to make cloth, while others like hay are used to feed cattle. Popular types of fruits and vegetables grown in the U.S. are apples, cherries, pears, potatoes, lettuce, and tomatoes.
- Farm Fruits and Vegetables
- All About Corn
- Facts About Different Crops
- Top Crops in the U.S.
- Apple Activity Pages
In most cases, the best types of foods are those that are fresh and natural, not canned or processed. However, fresh foods can also go bad quite easily if you don’t take care of them properly. When you buy fresh fruit and vegetables, store them in a paper bag instead of plastic and keep it refrigerated. One of the best ways to make sure that foods stay good is to keep them cold, whether at home or outdoors. For example, if you go on a picnic, pack your food in a cooler with frozen ice packs. Some items like oranges or apples can be safely left outside for a few days. If you want to harvest produce from the garden, ask your parents to help you, since not all plants can be eaten. Before eating, cooking, or preparing foods, always make sure to wash your hands and use clean utensils. When you are done, clean up after yourself and put everything in the dishwasher. Be especially careful when you handle raw meat since it might sometimes harbor bacteria that can make you sick. Use a separate knife and chopping board to cut it, and wash your hands before touching anything else!
- Keeping Foods Cold Activity Page (PDF)
- The Importance of Food Safety
- Food Safety Outdoors and Indoors (PDF)
- Cross Contamination Food Safety Poster (PDF)
- Food Safety Worksheets and Resources
Want to discover more about our fascinating agriculture industry and food sources? You can actually do that by playing some fun online games! We’ve compiled a few of these below. In the following links, you’ll find games about farms, agriculture, plants and crops, and food safety!