Students watch a video about the Faris Farm in Iowa, and learn about best farming practices and their effects on the environment. They then complete a graphic organizer comparing agricultural practice and environmental purpose.
This lesson is part of "Great States: Iowa 9 | Activities for Grades 8–12." This unit is comprised of activities for 8th grade and high school students. In this unit, students will explore the environmental, historical, and political factors that characterize the state of Iowa.
G.SS.Geo.9-12.16: Analyze relationships and interactions within and between human and physical systems to explain reciprocal influences.
An interactive whiteboard, projector, or another type of screen to show videos to the class
Class set of Environmentally Conscious Farming handout
- Distribute the Environmentally Conscious Farming handout to students.
- Explain to students that farmers have choices to make that can affect the environment negatively or positively. For example, if certain weed killers are used, they could harm the bee population. In this video, students will see examples of a farm that has implemented environmentally friendly practices. The Faris family has been farming on the same land in south-central Iowa since 1903.
- Play the video, Environmentalist Farmer | America's Heartland. [4:33]
- Have students fill in the graphic organizer based on what they learned in the video.
- Common outcomes between best farming practices and environmental conservation
- Terraced agricultural fields promotes water absorption vs. water runoff [1:05]
- Preserving topsoil benefits the farmer and the environment [1:55]
- Rotating grazing animals preserves the pasture grass, which improves the grassland and increases animal productivity [3:11]
- Planting soybeans between corn plantings enriches the soil, which improves corn production for next time and preserves the natural resources on which the environment and the farmer depend [2:01]