Unit 4: Agricultural Geography


Look at these tomatoes! Grown at City Farm in Chicago, these are some of the healthiest (and tastiest)
looking tomatoes you'll ever see. But, because of consumer trends and efforts by chain super markets
to "beautify" produce before it hits the shelves the average consumer might think they've gone bad.
Hydroponic Tomatoes are what you most likely see in the super market produce aisle. And although
they are appealing to the eye, their beauty comes at a price. These commercially grown tomatoes are
kept under a watchful eye in greenhouses and are lacking in vitamin C because they do not get the
full benefit of sunlight. They do not pull flavor from the soil and are lacking in taste! The journey from 
production to consumption provides the most interesting look into farm culture. The things discovered in
this unit might shock you!
Learn more about City Farm Chicago: http://twitter.com/cityfarmchicago
  
COURSE OUTLINE
Development and diffusion of agriculture   
         Neolithic Agricultural Revolution
         Second Agricultural Revolution
         Major agricultural production regions 
Agricultural systems associated with major bio-climatic zones 
         Variations within major zones and effects of markets 
         Linkages and flows among regions of food production and consumption
Rural land use and settlement patterns   
         Models of land use, including von Thünen's model
         Settlement patterns associated with major agriculture types 
Modern commercial agriculture: the Third Agricultural Revolution   
         Green Revolution and the beginning of the biotechnologic revolution
         Characteristics of the third revolution: blending of primary, secondary, and 
         tertiary activities, intensification of mechanization, and development of biotechnology
         Spatial organization of industrial agriculture
         Diffusion of industrial agriculture
         Future food supplies and environmental impacts of agriculture - hopes and fears
 
 
ARTICLES AND WEBSITES FOR REVIEW
Kiva Microloans
Focusing on helping woman farmers
http://www.kiva.org/lend

The Female Face of Farming 
Women are the backbone of the rural economy, especially in the developing world. Yet they receive only a fraction of the land, credit, inputs (such as improved seeds and fertilizers), agricultural training and information compared to men. 
http://www.farmingfirst.org/women_infographic/ 

United States Department of Agriculture
Interesting and comprehensive website on all things agriculture in the United States!
http://www.usda.gov/

Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food
This website talks about the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food program, where farmers are trying to lead a national conversation about food and agriculture to strengthen the connection between consumers and farmers.
http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome?navid=KNOWYOURFARMER 

Food Atlas
This interactive map let's you view and compare community access to food in different areas.
http://www.ers.usda.gov/foodatlas/

Food Deserts
Food Deserts are formed when people do not have access to transportation and do not have a grocery store within a reasonable walking distance. They occur more often than you might think.
http://www.ers.usda.gov/data/fooddesert/ 

Farmers Markets
Are you curious to see where Farmers Markets are located around you? Check this website for locations!
http://search.ams.usda.gov/farmersmarkets/

Chose My Plate
Mission to promote dietary guidance for all Americans, and Conduct applied research and analyses in nutrition and consumer economics.
http://www.choosemyplate.gov/ 

Can Farming Fish Take the Place of Catching Them?
This article provides an in-depth look at aquaculture and the potential threats it poses
to the actual fishing industry. They also discuss the rise of the FRANKENFISH! (bm, Bmm, BMM)

Polyface Farms
Take a visit to Polyface farms itself! Read some stories of people who travel to the famous farm for its wonderful produce and products!
http://www.polyfacefarms.com/ 
 

The Meatrix
Learn more about the Meatrix, the information it was based on, and how the industry is currently doing
http://www.themeatrix.com/ 

Price of Food Comparison
This line graph examines the change in prices of food (including tax) from the 1970s to 2008. Examine the key and take particular note to the products that have seen the most significant price change. Why do you think this has occurred? What do yo think this means for the future?
http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/05/20/whats-wrong-with-this-chart/

Farming Subsidies over Time
This graphic examines farm subsidies over time. When did subsidies reach their height? http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/graphic/2006/07/02/GR2006070200024.html

Food Inc Website 
This provides a lot of interesting information. Explore the site in relation to the documentary viewing and what we are learning in class.  
http://www.takepart.com/foodinc

Barbara Kowalyck on Huffington Post
You were introduced to Barbara in the documentary FOOD Inc. She introduced the idea for "Kevin's Law" which has not yet become an actual law. Here is a link to an article she wrote. Following a recall on ground turkey, she discusses how there is still a need for Kevin's Law to be passed, to stengthen the USDA, and also to hold it more accountable.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/barbara-kowalcyk/ground-turkey-recall-show_b_923838.html 

Center for Foodborne Illness (CFI)
The Center for Foodborne Illness Research & Prevention is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to preventing foodborne illness through research, education, advocacy and service.Dr. Barbara Kowalcyk is co-founder and CEO.
http://www.foodborneillness.org/

5 Dollar Dinners
In Food Inc there was a segment on how difficult it can be to feed a family with a limited income. Often times, families turn to the fast food window rather than the grocery store because of cost issues. This is a blog that suggests ideas for healthy dinners on a budget of 5 dollars per night!
http://www.5dollardinners.com/
 
OXFAM International
Oxfam is an international confederation of 15 organizations working together in over 90 countries and with partners and allies around the world to find lasting solutions to poverty and injustice. They work directly with communities and we seek to influence the powerful to ensure that poor people can improve their lives and livelihoods and have a say in decisions that affect them.
http://www.oxfam.org/
 
Where Weed-Killer Won't Work
The New York Times map on weeds that are resistant to chemicals.
http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/05/03/business/weeds-graphic.html?ref=energy-environment
 
 
MEDIA CLIPS FOR REVIEW
Apparently, Human Geographers that specialize in agricultural geography are major nerds. And they love explaining complex theories and concepts by spoofing of popular sci-fi movies! Here are a few for your viewing pleasure. While these are made in part for entertainment, they also touch on important themes we are learning about!

The Meatrix
Leo the pig is exposed to the truth about agricultural production by Moopheus in the United States and it is NOT pretty.








Store Wars
Cuc Skywalker tries to take back the (food) store from Darth Tater  

TEDtalks Mari Gallagher
This is a very informative TEDtalk. The information moves quickly so I recommend a second viewing. Mari Gallagher presents inportant information about Food Deserts, why they are important, and why we need to take action. Mari runs her own consulting firm that provides qualtitive and quantative analysis services and she is still focusing research on the effects of food deserts on communities. (Not to mention, waiting on that Thank-You note from the USDA!)



Svalbard Seed Vault
Here is the clip we viewed on the seed vault. Think back to the themese we discussed in class and the potential problems associated with the Green Revolution. The lessening of crop diversity can make generic crops more susceptible to disease. The Seed Vault keeps an extremely large number of seeds.  
 
 
Last Modified Yesterday at 8:54 AM