Student Activity based on the article “Farming on the Fringe” from the May/June 2010 Our Ohio magazine.
Academic Content Standard
(Social Studies: Economics: Grade 3): Students use economic reasoning skills and knowledge of major economic concepts, issues and systems in order to make informed choices as producers, consumers, savers, investors, workers and citizens in an interdependent world.
(Note: Key terms used from the National Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources Career Cluster Content Standards are in bold below.)
* Read the article with the students or to the students.
Have an adult or teacher read the article titled “Farming on the Fringe” in Our Ohio magazine or online.
* “3C Farming” refers to a road that connects three large cities in Ohio. What are those three large cities that begin with the letter C?
* The first farmer discussed in the article is Kim Rassi. What agriculture product did her grandfather produce?
* There are three reasons that Kim decided to specialize in raising alpacas. What are those three reasons?
* When the author of the article states “a light bulb went on,” what does she mean? How is this related to entrepreneurship?
* Who consumes the fiber produced by alpacas? (consumers)
* Bill Rosby operates a berry farm and garden center in Cleveland. What opportunity costs does Mr. Rosby face? (What does the article state about the pressure he feels to sell his land?)
* What goods and services does Rosby Companies produce?
* What goods and services are consumed by Mr. Rosby’s customers?
* How would you describe the market for Mr. Rosby’s goods?
* Is the city location of the berry farm/garden supply/recycling center an advantage or disadvantage for customers?
* Is there economic competition in the Cleveland community for strawberries? (Where else could a consumer buy berries?)
Corn, Soybeans, Wheat
* What city does Neall Weber farm near?
* Is Mr. Weber a consumer or producer of corn, wheat and soybeans?
* What special challenges does Mr. Weber face while farming close to a city?
* Do you believe it is important for people, not involved in farming, to understand who the people are that produce food? Do consumers who live around Mr. Weber’s farmland see farming in action?
* Motz Turf Farms Ltd. is located in a suburb of Cincinnati. Is this a good market location for turfgrass? According to the article, why or why not?
* Is planting grass for sale a production activity or a consumer activity?
* Why would a person or company consume or buy turfgrass? What need would they have for turfgrass?
Hands on at Home or School
Geography: Go to this Web site and print a map of Ohio. Draw a line on your map showing the road, “3C”? http://geology.com/cities-map/ohio.shtml (St. Rts. 62, 22, 42)
* Kim Rassi grows Alpacas in Brooklyn Heights. Can you find this Cleveland suburb on a map? (Location: South of Downtown Cleveland)
* Neall Weber farms close to Columbus. Locate Hilliard and Madison County on your map. (Ohio county map: http://geology.com/county-map/ohio.shtml)
* Visit the following Web sites for three of the producers:
o Vintage Alpacas: www.alpacanation.com
o Rosby Companies: www.rosbycompanies.com
o Motz Turf Farms:www.motzfarm.com
* Do you think the producers do a good job of marketing their products on the Web? Would you like to visit these farms?
* Specializing in a certain product can be good for producers. What is the special product each of the producers sells?
o Vintage Alpacas
o Rosby Companies
o Neall Weber
o Motz Turf Farms
* Identify the following activities as production or consumption.
o Buying gray alpaca fiber.
o Selling an alpaca to another farmer.
o Paying money to pick your own strawberries.
o Planting edible pumpkins to sell.
o Purchasing raspberries for your dinner.
o Grinding pieces of wood to sell for mulch.
o Harvesting wheat to sell to a flour mill.
o Buying a bushel of corn to feed your chickens.
o Planting grass to sell to a school to make a football field.
o Buying a piece of turf to fix your yard where grass died.
This Student Activity was prepared by Camille Kopczewski, who is coordinator of religious education at Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Grove City. She is a former sixth grade social studies teacher for South-Western City Schools. She has undergraduate and graduate degrees in education.