Fresh Bid

Student activity based on the article “Fresh Bid” from the March/April 2009 Our Ohio magazine.

Academic Content Standard
(Social Studies – Grade 4): Economics: 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 Ohio’s Academic Content Standards are in bold below).

Discussion points

  • Read the article titled “Fresh bid” in Our Ohio magazine.
  1. In this article, people buy fresh fruit and vegetables at an open air warehouse auction. Use the article to describe the bidding process. (Second sentence)
  2. Define: Auction, Bushel (8 gallons or 60 pounds), Peck (8 quarts)
  3. Why do you think people buy foods at this auction, according to the article?
  4. Who attends the auction to buy food? (grocery store owners, individuals and even tourists!)
  5. Are the consumers the people buying the food or selling the food?
  6. The author states “Amish farmers who are limited by a shipping fleet that runs on hay and water.” Explain what the author means about the way the Amish transport their product to market.
  7. The author also states that some foods “aren’t suited for mechanical harvesters.” If food can’t be harvested by machines, how is food taken out of the field?
  8. According to the article, what are consumers (grocery store owners and individual buyers) looking for by buying produce at this farmer’s market?
  9. A “sense of social responsibility” is mentioned in this article. What do you think that means when a consumer is deciding how to purchase food?
  10. If you wanted to buy food grown in your county or close to where you live, (locally) what label would you look for in the grocery?
  11. A manager of the Owl Creek Produce Auction says that the company is in the “Tourist Trade, also.” What does she mean?

Hands on at Home or School

  1. Keeping in mind the article you just read, how do you think the Amish obtain and use their income?
  2. Why would the producer of cantaloupes, for example, want to trade with another producer for other foods or for money?
  3. Visit a produce market / auction in Ohio. Visit the Web sites of the markets mentioned in this article as well as others: Farmer’s Produce Auction
  4. Browse other Ohio produce auctions
  5. You are the consumer! Look in your grocery store for foods labeled as “grown locally.” What foods did you find?
  6. Do you believe that locally grown foods taste better? Are “freshness, flavor, quality and growing practices” important to you or your family as consumers?
  7. Do you believe that it is important to buy foods from local businesses? Is it “socially responsible?” How?


Geography: Map Use: Locate Holmes County on an Ohio map.

  1. Find Knox and Morrow counties in Ohio.

Language Arts: This particular author enjoys using alliteration in his writing which is repetition of consonant sounds at the beginning of words. “Pallet of pears” is one example. Can you find others?

Mathematics: A grocery store “gets a quarter of its in-season produce from the auction.” What percentage is a quarter?

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.