A Community Grows

Student Activity based on the article “A Community Grows” from the Nov/Dec 2011 Our Ohio magazine.


Academic Content Standard
(Social Studies: Economic Decision Making and Skills: Grade 7): In this education expander, students will explore how “individuals, governments and businesses must analyze costs and benefits when making economic decisions. A cost benefit analysis consists of determining the potential costs and benefits of an action and then balancing the costs against the benefits.”

(Explanation and key terms are from the Ohio Department of Education Social Studies 2011 Model Curriculum, updated August, 2011)

A Community Grows around the Chesterhill Produce Auction
Discussion points

  1. What factors inspired Jean Konkle to consider her entrepreneurial initiative of starting a produce auction?  (Identify two factors.)
  2. Did Jean Konkle have previous experiences that supported her business ideas? What experience did she have?
  3. Define a “produce auction” by describing who participates, where it takes place, and the goal of the auction.
  4. What factors may contribute to Morgan County, Ohio being economically depressed?  What makes Appalachian regions of Ohio economically at risk?
  5. The article states that starting Chesterhill Auction was daunting for Mrs. Konkle.  
  6. To start an auction house, who had to agree to be the producers for the business?
  7. How did she get support from the local government for this idea?
  8. What was done to involve area businesses in the project?
  9. Are there other organizations that she spoke with or involved in the project?
  10. Who were the consumers for the produce that would be sold at auction?
  11. Please list the costs of starting this business.
  12. How much money would 10 acres of land cost?
  13. How did the Konkles raise the money needed to start the auction house?
  14. Please define “grant” and explain why this was an important component in the cost analysis for starting this auction house.
  15. What did Mrs. Konkle do to market her business to those wishing to purchase goods?
  16. Was she successful at getting consumers to participate in the auction, according to the article?
  17. What are the benefits of a consumer going to the auction house rather than the grocery store?
  18. Please list the benefits of starting the Chesterhill Produce Auction.
  19. Can a benefit of this business be the fostering of a community?  Explain.
  20. What monetary benefits can be attributed to the auction house?

In your opinion, after reviewing the costs and benefits of this project, do the benefits outweigh the costs?  Was it a good investment for Mrs. Konkle?  Explain.

What organization purchased the Chesterhill Produce Auction?  Why do you think this organization purchased the business?

Mrs. Konkle was retired when she pursued the effort to begin a produce auction.  Explain how she can be a role model for other entrepreneurs.

Hands on at Home or School

  1. Write, draw or diagram the process of a produce auction.
  2. What are the months of operation for the Chesterhill Produce Auction?  Explain the limited months of operation. Explore the Rural Action Website and summarize the goals of this organization.
  3. Research the life style of the Amish and Mennonite Communities.
  4. Is this a lifestyle that appeals to you?
  5. Grants and scholarships are offered by many organizations to invest in the possibilities of the future for businesses and even individuals.  
  6. Explain the difference between grants and scholarships.
  7. Browse the Ohio Farm Bureau Scholarships to see if one might help you to achieve your dreams in the future.

Using a map of Ohio, locate:

  • Morgan County, Ohio
  • Ross County, Ohio
  • Highland County, Ohio

What are some similar features of these counties with regard to their populations?

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.