Students watch a video about how agriculture boosted Montana’s economy after the Great Depression and World War II. They learn about the ups and downs of farming in Montana in the post-war years, and answer questions about the video.
This lesson is part of "Great States: Unit 9: Industry – Mining, Timber, and Agriculture" where students will consider the major resources and enterprises that form the basis of Montana’s economy.
3.3: Describe and illustrate ways in which people interact with their physical environment (e.g., land use, location of communities, methods of construction, design of shelters).
5.6: Identify and describe examples in which science and technology have affected economic conditions (e.g., assembly line, robotics, internet, media advertising).
Helena District 5.6: Explore how science and technology affect the economy of Montana.
- Video: Montana Mosaic: Montana Industry – The Agriculture Years
- An interactive whiteboard, projector, or another type of screen to show videos to the class
- Class set of Agricultural Years handout
- Tell students they will be watching a video about how agriculture boosted Montana’s economy after the Great Depression.
- Distribute the Agricultural Years handout to students. Instruct students to take notes on changes in agriculture in Montana as they watch the video.
- Play the video, Montana Mosaic: Montana Industry – The Agriculture Years. [1:14]
- Have students answer the questions on the handout.
- While reviewing answers with the class, note that examples of the farming implements included tractors and combines, and even the use of fertilizers and pesticides. The machinery actually aided farm production during the war when there was a shortage of labor due to people serving in the military. However, after the war, these technologies made farming more efficient, and not as many farmers were needed to complete the work. This combination is how the industry struggled as it also boomed and continued to make money.
- The end of the drought, wet weather, high demands [0:08–0:34]
- Fewer and fewer farmers were needed due to better farm implements [0:57]