Module II: Corn, Beans, and Burgers: Issues in Sustainable Field Crop Production

5 to 15 hours

This module is designed to be taught in as little as 5 hours of class time. However, if you take advantage of the student project options and more in-depth activities, the unit will take up to 15 hours of class time. Thus, each section can be presented in one classroom hour, or it can be expanded.

This module builds on the concepts presented in Module I, “Introduction to Sustainable Agriculture.” If students are not already familiar with the ideas in Module I, teachers should begin by presenting sections 1 and 2 of Module 1. This material can be presented in two classroom hours.

Note on the title: This module is called “Corn, Beans, and Burgers” to draw attention to the fact that field crops in Iowa and Wisconsin (and most of the US) are used primarily for feeding livestock.

Guiding questions for Module II:

  1. How do Wisconsin and Iowa’s field crops fit into the food system?
  2. How do Iowa and Wisconsin’s field crops fit into the agro-ecosystem?
  3. What can farmers and consumers do to improve the economic, environmental, and social sustainability of Wisconsin and Iowa’s field crop production and use?

List of Contents for Module II:

Section A: Field Crops in the Food System

Section B: Real People, Real Farms – Case Studies

Section C: Field Crops in the Agro-ecosystem

Section D: Economics of Sustainable Field Cropping

Section E: GMOs – Boon, Bane, or in-between

Evaluation Materials

Career Pathway Content Standards