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Science, technology, engineering and math in K-12
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The case for engineering our food

Pamela Ronald studies the genes that make plants more resistant to disease and stress. In an eye-opening talk, she describes her decade-long quest to help create a variety of rice that can survive prolonged flooding. She shows how the genetic improvement of seeds saved the Hawaiian papaya crop in the 1950s — and makes the case that it may simply be the most effective way to enhance food security for our planet’s growing population.

 

Tags: GMOs, technology, agriculture.


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Eden Eaves's curator insight, May 27, 12:57 PM

Pamela Ronald studies the genes that make plants more resistant to disease and stress. In an eye-opening talk, she describes her decade-long quest to help create a variety of rice that can survive prolonged flooding. She shows how the genetic improvement of seeds saved the Hawaiian papaya crop in the 1950s — and makes the case that it may simply be the most effective way to enhance food security for our planet’s growing population.

Jill Wallace's curator insight, May 30, 9:38 PM

Agriculture

Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, June 1, 9:44 AM

unit 5

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Urban Farmers Say It's Time They Got Their Own Research Farms

Urban Farmers Say It's Time They Got Their Own Research Farms | STEM Connections | Scoop.it
The University of the District of Columbia is the one land-grant university in the U.S. with an urban focus. It's leading research on growing food in raised beds, hoop houses and shipping containers.

 

Tags: agriculture, food, urban, unit 5 agriculture. 


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Eden Eaves's curator insight, May 24, 2:28 PM

Almost 80 percent of Americans live in urban areas and that means many people are wanting to grow their own food in the busy city life. To learn how to properly do this, these people turn to land-grant colleges and universities to give then helpful advice. Many colleges do help with urban and rural ares, but there is only one one in the entire country that is devoted singularly to urban farming; The University of the District of Columbia.

This is a great example of the distribution of agricultural and a great way to educate people on the proper way to cultivate and harvest your own food in small, limited spaces. It also proves that we really can prosper everywhere with the right tools and knowledge about urban farming.

Seth Forman's curator insight, May 26, 6:30 PM

Summary: This article goes into extensive detail about urban agriculture and new technologies and techniques that must be brought to urban agriculture.

 

Insight: This article relates to unit 5 because it talks about a new and modern form of agriculture that could become very important when considering the portion of the population living in urban and suburban areas. 

Michael Amberg's curator insight, May 26, 10:20 PM

This could help develop sustainable communities and promote organic growth throughout the country. Which could potentially improve the standard of living

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Quiz: Can you name a food just by looking at where it comes from?

Quiz: Can you name a food just by looking at where it comes from? | STEM Connections | Scoop.it
I map the food, you tell me what it is.

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How American Agriculture Works

How American Agriculture Works | STEM Connections | Scoop.it
There really are two different Americas: the heartland, and the coasts....

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Bob Beaven's curator insight, January 29, 2:38 PM

These maps are interesting, in the fact that the heartland of the United States differs so much from either coast.  Both the coasts, as seen in the first map grow fruits and vegetables.  The center of the country grows wheat, and wheat is the dominant  crop of the country.  This might account for the reason why fruits and vegetables are more expensive than grain based products.  The second map helps to drive home this point even further, of how different the coasts are from the heartland.  What I also thought was funny, however, was the author's comment that it looks like an electoral map.  Perhaps, the reason heartland states tend to side with each other and republicans is because of shared interests in the political arena.

Adriene Mannas's curator insight, March 22, 10:24 AM

Unit 5 Agricultural and Rural Land Use

 

This picture and article talks about the main use of the agricultural growth in the United States. It shows how most and almost all of the agribusiness is in the growth of feed and food for animals on the ranches rather than humans. The amount of money made is astounding with how far the table tilts toward animal feed.

 

This relates to Human Geography because agriculture is one of the main points. It shows how people use agribusiness and ow it leans more toward the consumption of animals rather than humans. 

Daniel Lindahl's curator insight, May 25, 1:22 PM

This link consists of two maps that show agricultural land use in America. Nearly all of the "breadbasket region" is used not to feed people, but rather to create feed for cows and other animals. 

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Feeding Our Hungry Planet

"By 2050, the world's population will likely increase 35 percent. But is growing more food the only option—or even the best? National Geographic investigates the challenges and solutions to feeding everyone on our planet, based on an eight-month series in National Geographic magazine.  Visit http://natgeofood.com for ongoing coverage of food issues as we investigate the Future of Food today on World Food Day."

 

Tags: sustainability, agriculture, food production, unit 5 agriculture.


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Truthbehere2's curator insight, October 17, 2014 10:30 AM

I think I might as well buy some land and plant my own huge garden for this crap coming up and have a fence around my yard too

Nancy Watson's curator insight, October 19, 2014 8:53 AM

Population increase is just part of the story. How do we feed everyone? How will we provide for the needs of everyone?  Can the earth sustain the use of her resources and the impact of our growing needs and output. First we must eat. Can we learn to do that wisely? 

Bella Reagan's curator insight, November 28, 2014 5:48 PM

Unit 2-Population

 

This video was about the growing population in the world and as a result the growing food demand. This video points out that even though more food production seems like the solution, instead other solutions are more logical. Solutions include reducing wastes, preserving forests, being more productive on current farms and more. It states that farming is a huge business but it goes towards more than growing food for people to eat but also for other things like animals and materials. The worlds population is growing and there needs to be a change in food industries to keep thriving. 

 

This relates to unit 2 about population since it is thinking of ways to adapt to the worlds growing population. By 2050 it is predicted that population will increase by 33% and something has to change about food in order for people to stay fed. There is too much food being wasted that if that could be decreased it could make a huge difference. The video made a good point that it's not that we need more food it's that we need to manage and prioritize production.  

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Sustaining Seven Billion People

Sustaining Seven Billion People | STEM Connections | Scoop.it

"With seven billion people now living on Earth, the ever growing demand is putting unprecedented pressure on global resources—especially forests, water, and food. How can Earth’s resources be managed best to support so many people? One key is tracking the sum of what is available, and perhaps nothing is better suited to that task than satellites."

 


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Tom Cockburn's curator insight, July 13, 2014 5:52 AM

Vital debate for the future

MsPerry's curator insight, August 12, 2014 7:44 PM

APHG-U2

Byron Northmore's curator insight, January 28, 8:24 PM

Love this imagery!

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Geography in the News: Pumpkins

Geography in the News: Pumpkins | STEM Connections | Scoop.it

"Halloween and Thanksgiving are just around the corner and pumpkins are already showing up at roadside stands. Jack o’lanterns, decorative displays and pumpkin pies are the main destinies of most pumpkins in the United States. Elsewhere in the world, however, the pumpkin is nearly exclusively considered a food crop or animal feed."


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Curcubitas!!!!

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Matthew DiLuglio's curator insight, November 27, 2013 4:25 PM

I have been a long-time fan of pumpkin coffee, and tomorrow I will probably have some with my cousins and family... Some areas of Asia allow consumption of dogs, other areas of the US allow consumption of roadkill, and that is different from what most people in RI are used to... So I guess, it's not really my business what other people and countries do with their pumpkin crops, as long as it doesn't negatively affect other people.  My neighbor has won some prizes, I think 3rd place in RI for largest pumpkin contests, which is pretty cool, because for several months, you can see their pumpkin garden from my backyard.  Those pumpkins are enormous, and made me wonder if there was anything being done to make the modified pumpkins more usable in food.  I know GMOs are a touchy issue, but to feed the starving people around the world, you have to wonder if one pumpkin at 2000 lbs could feed a village of people.  Lots of people that don't like GMOs probably do unhealthy things in other ways, so their huge activism movements really boggle me.  Labeling GMOs is one thing, but stopping genetic modifications seems as controversial as starting them, especially when some people can benefit from them.  Whatever, I guess pumpkins are cool for whatever people want to do with them, including smashing them... this week on RIC's campus I saw a smashed pumpkin.  The only thing that really popped into my head was not "what a waste," or "oh, those delinquents," but rather "that seems fun."  I did assume though, that no one was hurt by the smashing of the pumpkin...

Jessica Rieman's curator insight, March 19, 2014 5:14 PM

Although you wouldn't think it there are many different countries and specific regions that demonstrate the perfect cropping land and fertilization process to grow pumpkins. Out of the US power house pumpkin growing Illinois is named number 1. Along side California, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvainnia, Mississippi. But lets travel abroad to Africa, now me personally I wouldnt think that there are alot of pumpkin patches in Africa but there are many different places in Africa that pumpkins are grown. SOme of these places are Egypt with (690,000) and then there is South Africa with (378,776). I found these numbers quite interesting because one wouldn't think that there are pumpkin patches in Africa.

Pamela Shields's curator insight, August 29, 2014 10:10 AM

@Danyl †  so inspirational!

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Rethinking Agriculture

"Growing Power is a national nonprofit organization and land trust supporting people from diverse backgrounds, and the environments in which they live, by helping to provide equal access to healthy, high-quality, safe and affordable food for people in all communities."


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Steven Flis's curator insight, December 17, 2013 5:56 AM

with the increasing numbers of urban citizens in years to come the key to success in the city will be its ability to adapted to its growing enviroment. It would be nearly impossible for cities to exsit in the future with the current ways of agriculuture, there needs to be a change in the way things are done. Thats why this next gen way of agriculuture is going to take off in urban areas. with the ability to have full farms on rooftops the city will be able to self sustain itself more properly than it does in current times.

Jacqueline Landry's curator insight, December 17, 2013 6:40 PM

For the past three years I have had the luxury of having a garden in my backyard, it is a lot of work but there is nothing better than knowing where my food is coming from. I enjoy going in my backyard and being able to grab vegetables whenever I need them. I also go to farmers markets for vegetables that I don't grow in my own garden.  I would defeniately support local people to get good quality food. 

Lauren Shigemasa's curator insight, January 23, 2014 1:28 AM

a powerful way to increase access to healthy foods! this organization called Growing Power is using urban gardening not only to create a sustainable food source for its neighbors, but also provides a system so we can donate and send a week's worth of fresh fruit/vegetables to any surrounding community in need. so amazing!

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An Underground Pool Drying Up

An Underground Pool Drying Up | STEM Connections | Scoop.it

Portions of the High Plains Aquifer are rapidly being depleted by farmers who are pumping too much water to irrigate their crops, particularly in the southern half in Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. Levels have declined up to 242 feet in some areas, from predevelopment — before substantial groundwater irrigation began — to 2011.

 


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Seth Dixon's curator insight, May 20, 2013 12:29 PM

The article connected to this map from the New York Times can be found here.  "Two years of extreme drought, during which farmers relied almost completely on groundwater, have brought the seriousness of the problem home. In 2011 and 2012, the Kansas Geological Survey reports, the average water level in the state’s portion of the aquifer dropped 4.25 feet — nearly a third of the total decline since 1996."


Tags: wateragriculture, environment, consumption, resources, environment depend.

Michael Miller's curator insight, May 20, 2013 1:41 PM

The recent PBS special on the Dust Bowl also addressed this current problem and how some American farmers are not learning from past mistakes.

Bonnie Bracey Sutton's curator insight, September 2, 2013 5:58 PM

Really helpful information. Thank you. I had been wondering about this.Students should have an awareness of the water problems we have , and of various groundwater problems. Thank you.

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The Precision Agriculture Revolution

The Precision Agriculture Revolution | STEM Connections | Scoop.it

"Thousands of years ago, agriculture began as a highly site-specific activity. The first farmers were gardeners who nurtured individual plants, and they sought out the microclimates and patches of soil that favored those plants. But as farmers acquired scientific knowledge and mechanical expertise, they enlarged their plots, using standardized approaches—plowing the soil, spreading animal manure as fertilizer, rotating the crops from year to year—to boost crop yields. Over the years, they developed better methods of preparing the soil and protecting plants from insects and, eventually, machines to reduce the labor required. Starting in the nineteenth century, scientists invented chemical pesticides and used newly discovered genetic principles to select for more productive plants. Even though these methods maximized overall productivity, they led some areas within fields to underperform. Nonetheless, yields rose to once-unimaginable levels: for some crops, they increased tenfold from the nineteenth century to the present.  

Today, however, the trend toward ever more uniform practices is starting to reverse, thanks to what is known as 'precision agriculture.' Taking advantage of information technology, farmers can now collect precise data about their fields and use that knowledge to customize how they cultivate each square foot."

 

Tags: technology, food production, agriculture, agribusiness, spatial, GPS.


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MsPerry's curator insight, May 27, 9:29 AM

Ag Unit

Gareth Jukes's curator insight, May 27, 11:52 AM

Development and diffusion of agriculture-

This article explains how agriculture has developed and grown for thousands of years, and today with our technology, we can do what seemed impossible to the past peoples.

This article represents Development and Diffusion of Agriculture by showing how in our past years, we could mostly only do substinence agriculture, but today with technology, we can do so much more, with so much less people.

Gareth Jukes's curator insight, May 27, 11:59 AM

Land use/land cover change: irrigation, desertification, deforestation, wetland destruction, conservation efforts to protect or restore natural land cover, and global impacts-

This article explains how today we have the best technology we have ever created agriculture-wise, but with this, more land has been used. But thanks to precision agriculture, we can use data to determine where we can use the least amount of raw materials needed, thus helping protect more land than before.

 This article demonstrates land use/land cover change: irrigation, desertification, deforestation, wetland destruction, conservation efforts to protect or restore natural land cover, and global impacts by showing how with the technology today and precision farming, we can use less raw materials than ever before, thus helping lessen global impact.

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Teaching the Geography of Food

Teaching the Geography of Food | STEM Connections | Scoop.it

"Food. It’s something we all think about, talk about, and need. Food has been one major topic of interest at National Geographic because it connects all of us to our environment. The recent global population projections for the year 2100 just went up from 9 billion to 11 billion, making the issues of food production and distribution all the more important.  For the last 3 years I’ve stored podcasts, articles, videos, and other resources on my personal site on a wide range of geographic issues, including food resources.  I thought that sharing 10 of my personal favorite resources on the geography of food would be helpful to understand our changing global food systems."


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This is geography that everyone should know. POWERFUL!

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Claire Law's curator insight, April 26, 2:01 AM

Ten engaging resources on the geography of food

Kaiden-Leigh Cloete's curator insight, April 29, 11:15 PM

This topic connects to our agricultural unit. This article describes the explaining of food. Knowing where our food comes from is a big component in lit today, with all the GMO's going around we don't know what we r busy consuming daily. Having more information in our minds about food would help decrease the long term affects of genetically modified organisms, help maintain a healthy economy, provide more resources such as water, because if GMO's do come to an end then the water will not be as polluted as it is now due to the runoff from the remaining chemicals in GMO's, and also provide a healthy environment for everyone. 

Lydia Tsao's curator insight, May 26, 2:10 AM

I absolutely love this article. It touches on many of the most important and challenging issues facing food production in the world, ranging from food manufacturing ethics to global hunger. I think it's interesting how, although we all eat food everyday, we don't think about the many implications associated with the production and consumption of food. To more privileged people, food is not a big deal, as anyone can get food at any time of day. However, for people who are trying to solve the problems associated with food in the modern world or for people who are suffering from hunger and malnutrition, the information presented in this article is extremely important. Brilliant minds can come together to propose potential solutions for all the problems facing food distribution. I can't wait for the day every child can go to bed with a full stomach, and I am willing to do my part to help make that happen.

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How the Potato Changed the World

How the Potato Changed the World | STEM Connections | Scoop.it
Brought to Europe from the New World by Spanish explorers, the lowly potato gave rise to modern industrial agriculture

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Nancy Watson's curator insight, February 2, 4:35 PM

Part of the Colombian Exchane, the potato is a standard of many diets. 

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A hard look at corn economics — and world hunger

A hard look at corn economics — and world hunger | STEM Connections | Scoop.it
Corn is not what you think. For starters: Most of the time, it's not human food.

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Rachael Johns's curator insight, October 24, 2014 10:17 AM

The corn we are growing is not helping world hunger but is making the world more unhealthy. Most the corn that we grow is either going to be used as sweeteners or as feed for cows. When we feed this to the cows it is literally killing the cows that WE eat.

Nolan Walters's curator insight, October 25, 2014 11:29 AM

Most of the corn is not even going to us. Most of it goes to the animals, who eat it (which is cheaper than grass), which fatten them up for slaughter for humans.  Corn also gets turned into Corn Syrup, which fattens us.  The Corn industry is mostly to fatten up animals for meat for us humans in MDCs. 

Alex Lewis's curator insight, October 30, 2014 12:46 PM

The fact that we could use this land to grow surplus edible food instead of corn that isn't edible and goes to feed obese and unhealthy cows is sickening. There are millions of people dying in Africa and other LDC's from starvation, but we use our farmland to grow inedible corn and overfeed cows to the point of death. The corn is used to feed animals, and the animals are then slaughtered months, weeks or even days before they would've died of overfeeding. 

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Why The U.S. Chills Its Eggs And Most Of The World Doesn't

Why The U.S. Chills Its Eggs And Most Of The World Doesn't | STEM Connections | Scoop.it
In many countries, eggs aren't refrigerated and they're still considered safe to eat. But in the U.S., we have to chill them, because we've washed away the cuticle that protects them from bacteria.

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Diane Johnson's curator insight, September 22, 2014 9:26 AM

Interesting investigation for students

aitouaddaC's comment, September 22, 2014 5:16 PM
Amazing !
Gareth Jukes's curator insight, March 24, 10:38 PM

Variations of major zones and effects of markets-

 

This article describes why the U.S is one of the few countries that actually refrigerates their eggs. This is beacuse we had washed away the cuticle that protects eggs from bacteria. In other countries, they just leave eggs like how they were laid.

 

This article contributes to the idea of variations of markets by explaining how our country is one different from most of others by eggs. It also explains why we are one of the few that must chill the eggs, unlike other markets and/or venders.

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Video: Future of Farming

Video: Future of Farming | STEM Connections | Scoop.it
Mark Bittman speaks to Wes Jackson from The Land Institute, who predicted that a prairie-like system capable of providing food for humans would be viable within 100 years.
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Farming, agriculture are what drive the economy in many states. Pay attention to the ideas of the future.

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Smarter Food: Does big farming mean bad farming?

Smarter Food: Does big farming mean bad farming? | STEM Connections | Scoop.it
In Minnesota, ‘industrial’ operation shows effort to balance economic, environmental sustainability.

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Pranav Pradeep's curator insight, February 27, 2014 11:24 AM

Yes it does because in all large scale endeavors, regardless of what for, the quality is always sacrificed for the quantity because it becomes cheaper to produce and profits are greater.

Jason Wilhelm's curator insight, February 27, 2014 11:33 AM

The large-scale agricultural practices of modern America tend to lend to the bad image of commercial farming. However, the practices are actually helping feed more people in the US, but they also use genetically modified crops and other highly debated techniques.

Lauren Sellers's curator insight, May 20, 2014 11:45 AM

Yes it does because in all large scale endeavors, regardless of what for, the quality is always sacrificed for the quantity because it becomes cheaper to produce and profits are greater.

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An Underground Pool Drying Up

An Underground Pool Drying Up | STEM Connections | Scoop.it

Portions of the High Plains Aquifer are rapidly being depleted by farmers who are pumping too much water to irrigate their crops, particularly in the southern half in Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. Levels have declined up to 242 feet in some areas, from predevelopment — before substantial groundwater irrigation began — to 2011.

 


Via Seth Dixon
Bonnie Bracey Sutton's insight:

Really helpful information. Thank you. I had been wondering about this.Students should have an awareness of the water problems we have , and of various groundwater problems. Thank you.

more...
Seth Dixon's curator insight, May 20, 2013 12:29 PM

The article connected to this map from the New York Times can be found here.  "Two years of extreme drought, during which farmers relied almost completely on groundwater, have brought the seriousness of the problem home. In 2011 and 2012, the Kansas Geological Survey reports, the average water level in the state’s portion of the aquifer dropped 4.25 feet — nearly a third of the total decline since 1996."


Tags: wateragriculture, environment, consumption, resources, environment depend.

Michael Miller's curator insight, May 20, 2013 1:41 PM

The recent PBS special on the Dust Bowl also addressed this current problem and how some American farmers are not learning from past mistakes.