Career, Agriculture & Technology

Index - CAREERS, AGRICULTURE & TECHNOLOGY - Learning Activities
(Career Planning, Agriculture Economics, Agronomy, Range, Grain, Soil, Food, and Animal Science, Horticulture, CAD - Computer-Aided Design, Construction, Welding, Industrial Production.)

LESSON PLANS are full format, formal Lesson Plans.  Others are brief format Learning Activities.

Curriculum Standards are in process of being added to ALL ACTIVITIES - by early July.

No
Topic
Main Subject Area
Related Subject Areas
1
Career opportunities in your local area
career education
social studies, economics; business
2
Tele-commuting careers (working from home computer)
career education
social studies, economics
3
Jobs related to natural resource management
career education
science
4
Careers in recreation
career education
Physical education and health
5
Careers in health care
career education
Physical education and health
6
Planning personal career path for employment in the Flint Hills
career education
language arts, writing
7
Starting a farm or ranch enterprise
career education
agriculture education, animal science, agriculture economics; social studies, economics; language arts, writing
8
Occupation of the Flint Hills cowboy or cowgirl
career education
agriculture education, animal science, agriculture economics; social studies, economics; language arts, writing
9
Different business models of ranch land use and beef production in Flint Hills ranches
agriculture education, animal science, agriculture economics
business; social studies, economics; language arts, media
10
Concepts in Range management
career, agriculture and technology, animal science, agronomy
science, botany; mathematics
11
Design a small portable livestock shed
career, agriculture and technology; animal science, construction, CAD, welding
mathematics
12
Design a set of livestock loading pens
career, agriculture and technology; animal science, construction, CAD, welding
mathematics
13
Use (GPS) to map infestations of the noxious weed Serecia Lespedeza
career, agriculture and technology
social studies, geography; agronomy; science, biology
14
Marketing and distributing produce from a market garden
career, agriculture and technology, horticulture, agriculture economics, food science
business, entrepreneurship, accounting; mathematics
15
Bison livestock industry
career, agriculture and technology, animal science
business, entrepreneurship
16
Raising and marketing of grassfed beef
career, agriculture and technology, animal science, food science, agronomy
business, entrepreneurship; family and consumer science, food science, culinary arts; language arts, writing
17
Science, culture, and economics of the horse
career, agriculture and technology, animal science
science, zoology; business, entrepreneurship; social studies, history; language arts, writing
18
Science and culture of cattle in the Flint Hills
career, agriculture and technology, animal science
science, zoology; social studies, history; language arts, writing
19
Technology and physics of lifting oil
career, agriculture and technology, industrial production
science, physics; math
20
Small scale, single-residential wind generation of electricity
career, agriculture and technology, industrial development
family and consumer science, family finance; science, biology, ecology
21
Applications of solar energy in the Flint Hills
career, agriculture and technology; science
family and consumer science; business, family finance
22
What is sustainable agriculture?
career, agriculture and technology, agronomy
science, biology, ecology; business, entrepreneurship; language arts, writing
23
Prescribed burning: process of burning a pasture
career, agriculture and technology, agronomy
science, biology; writing

Flint Hills Learning Activities to Integrate Flint Hills Into Existing Curriculum



Careers, Agriculture, and Technology


(Career Planning, Agriculture Economics, Agronomy, Range, Grain, Soil, Food, and Animal Science, Horticulture, CAD - Computer-Aided Design, Construction, Welding, Industrial Production.)
Purple Bunched Flowers

1. Career Opportunities in Your Local Area

  
Students will inventory career opportunities within their local area. What are the primary sectors of employment? What skills are needed in these fields of employment? What resources are required to enter these fields? Students will make recommendations to local economic development agencies for ways to increase job potential. (career education, social studies, economics, business)

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2. Tele-Commuting (Working from Home Computers)


Students will investigate the employment potential for tele-commuting (working from home computers) in rural areas. What jobs can now be performed on a home computer? What people in your community are telecommuting to their work-places? If they need to physically commute part of the time, how often do they have to drive to work? What are the personal savings involved in working from home? Students will write an occupation profile for a job that can be done from home in their area: job description, education and training, job outlook, work environment, salary and benefits, and related fields. (career education, social studies, economics)

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3. Jobs Related to Natural Resource Management


Students will explore jobs related to natural resource management and the tallgrass prairie. What levels of government provide careers in outdoor work? Consider areas such as range management, soil conservation, water quality, wildlife, hunting and fishing, farm management, and environmental protection. Investigate career opportunities at local or county level. If possible, interview a local person in these positions: Natural Resource Conservation Service, K-State Extension Service, County Noxious Weed Control Officer, Kansas Department Health and Environment, Conservation Division, Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, U.S. Fish and Game. What kinds of work do these people do? What education is required? What are the advantages and disadvantages to such a job? (career education, science)

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4. Careers in Recreation


Students will explore possibilities of careers in recreation in the Flint Hills. Who in your community is involved in recreation as a career? What jobs are there in the schools? Do you have a local community recreation program? Who administers it? Who works there? Are there any fitness or sports centers in your area? What types of jobs are available in those? Would this be a entrepreneurial opportunity? What outdoor recreational opportunities exist in the area? Do you have any camps, guest ranches, parks, or tourist enterprises that would need recreation leaders? Students will create a poster or map with clusters of recreational opportunities at sites in the Flint Hills (career education, physical education and health)

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5. Careers in Health Care


Students will explore the possibilities of careers in health care in the Flint Hills. What are the nearby health care facilities in your immediate community? county? Within commuting distance? What kinds of jobs do they offer? How many people are employed there? What sorts of training are required for these jobs? What are typical work schedules for these careers? Which jobs are in direct patient care or laboratory work, and which are in administration, accounting, information technology, etc.? What are the demographics of your community? Would health care be a field with a strong future in your area? Students will research two health care professions within their area, compare the training requirements, salaries, working conditions, etc., and choose the one they feel they would find most rewarding. (career education, physical education and health)

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6. Plan a potential Personal Career Path for Employment in the Flint Hills


Students will plan a potential personal career path for employment in the Flint Hills in a field that would interest them. Students will brainstorm a list of careers which exist in their communities. They are encouraged to identify careers which are unique to the Flint Hills. Through both general research and local interviews, they will create an outline containing the following for this “Flint Hills job”: job description, education and training, job outlook, work environment, salary and benefits, and related fields. They will classify the career cluster of the job through Kansas Career and Technical Education models (PDF)  (career education, language arts, writing)

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Agriculture & Technology



7. Starting Out as a Young Farmer or Rancher


What is involved in starting out as a young farmer or rancher? How can a young person become involved in agriculture today? Do you know the business from experience in a family operation, or do you need to apprentice with a local farmer? How could you set this up? How can your local County Extension Agent help you? What agriculture organizations have programs for young farmers to network and receive advice and assistance? What other special training and education do you need to compete in the complex field of agriculture today, and where could you get it? What are the economics of a farm or ranch start-up? Do you have any established producers who would be willing to partner with you? Can you trade your labor for use of equipment and land with an older farmer or rancher? Do you have access to land for leasing? How can you raise capital for equipment and livestock purchases? What enterprises do you want to pursue in your operations? How can you diversify to spread your risk? Where and how will you market your products? What collateral, niche enterprises could help diversify your operation? What do you have time do realistically accomplish? Students will investigate one or more aspects of the field of agriculture and write a summary or mini-business plan describing a way to enter this career area (career education, agriculture education, animal science, agriculture economics, social studies, economics, language arts, writing)

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8. Occupation of the Flint Hills Cowboy or Cowgirl


Students will explore the unique occupation of the Flint Hills cowboy or cowgirl. What do they do? Where do they work? Who actually qualifies for this title? What special skills do they have? What knowledge of cattle and the land do they hold? How did they learn these skills - what training have they had? What livestock and equipment do they own? How dangerous is their work? Are they full time ranchers and ranch owners? How is this work seasonal? Are they part-time help who have other jobs, and if so, what kinds of other jobs? What are their economic challenges? Students will write a summary outline of this occupation: work description, working conditions, training and education, salary and benefits, job opportunities, related occupations (career education, agriculture education, animal science, agriculture economics, social studies, economics, language arts, writing)

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9. Different Careers & Business Models of Ranch Land Use & Beef Production in Flint Hills Ranches


Students will examine the different careers and business models of ranch land use and beef production in Flint Hills ranches. Students will define the following terms: cow, calf, bull, steer, heifer, yearling, stocker, breeding stock, critter. How is the Flint Hills ranching culture different from that of other areas to the west? Why do most Flint Hills ranches mix farming crops with raising cattle? What is the difference between a “cow-man” and a “pasture man.” What is “custom grazing”? Students will create a video or power point presentation to explain different models of Flint Hills ranching to a visiting tourist. (agriculture education, animal science, agriculture economics, business, social studies, economics, language arts, media)

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10. Range Management


Students will define and explore concepts in range management. What is rangeland? What is a “range site”? How important are soil types? Can you see a copy of your county’s Soil Survey book? How do horses, goats, and cattle graze differently? What is a “stocking rate”? Why can’t managers simply say 4 acres per steer? Will a large steer, cow, or horse eat more than a small steer? Why do range managers use animal units? What is an “animal unit”? What are the different recommended grazing systems in your area? Interview a rancher regarding his/her opinion on the advantages and disadvantages of different grazing systems. Students will examine Natural Resource Conservation District and Extension Service publications on grazing management systems. Students will calculate different stocking rates for various sizes of pasture and animal unit numbers. (career, agriculture and technology, animal science, agronomy, science, botany, mathematics)

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11. Design of a Small Portable Livestock Shed


Students will examine possibilities for design of a small portable livestock shed for cattle, horses, sheep, or goats. Students will research space, feeding, shelter, and other needs for the livestock they choose. Students will examine an actual local building site for initial placement including level ground, drainage issues, wind, etc. Students will create a design for (and if possible build) an appropriate portable livestock shed. (career, agriculture and technology, animal science, construction, CAD, welding, mathematics)

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12. Design a Set of Livestock Loading Pens


Students will design a set of livestock loading pens. Students will evaluate a local ranch site and owner needs for a set of pens. Where should the pens be located? Is there room for a semi-trailer truck to back in and turn around and get out? How big is the pasture(s) being served? How many cattle will need to be held? What various sorting pens and lanes are needed? Where should the loading ramp and chute be located? ? Where should livestock gates be located, what size, and which way should they open? Will you need some smaller human gates for convenience and safety - where, what size, and opening which way? Will you build any solid shields along the loading lanes to calm animals and facilitate loading? How can the pens be designed to cause as little stress as possible to the cattle? (Students may wish to explore the Grandin website for examples.) Students will use CAD to design an optimal set of loading pens for the site and needs of the rancher. Students will price materials and labor and create a bid for such a project. (career, agriculture and technology, animal science, construction, CAD, welding, mathematics)

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13. Using GPS to Map Infestations of the Noxious Weed Serecia Lespedeza


Students will explore the use of global positioning systems (GPS) to map infestations of the noxious weed Serecia Lespedeza. How could use of a GPS device aid land managers in surveying areas of invasion, determining an appropriate control plan, applying and returning in subsequent years for monitoring? Students will learn the basic principle and operation of a hand-held GPS device. Students will acquire a map of the area to be surveyed for recording of locations. What type map would be best? Aerial photo, orthophoto, or topographic? Students will review the appearance and characteristics of the invasive plant Serecia Lespedeza. Students will survey the pasture on foot to locate Serecia Lespedeza plants, recording the locations on their maps through the GPS system. (career, agriculture and technology, social studies, geography, agronomy, science, biology)

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14. Marketing & Distributing Produce From a Market Garden


Students will explore alternatives for marketing and distributing produce from a market garden. What is “Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA)”? What are “community gardens”? Private “market gardens”? What is a “subscription service” for vegetables/produce? What is involved in establishing a “vegetable/produce stand”? How do Farmers’ Markets work? Students can interview people involved in these enterprises. Market analysis: What demographic group likes to buy local food? Would any grocery stores or restaurants be interested? Can small, local growers compete with prices of large-scale commercial growers? What are costs of delivery? What community colleges in Kansas offer training in this area of sustainable farming? Students will estimate a cost of goods sold for produce. Students will create two marketing-distribution plans and compare the profitability of each. (career, agriculture and technology, horticulture, agriculture economics, food science, business, entrepreneurship, accounting, mathematics)

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15. Bison Livestock Industry


Students will explore the bison livestock industry today. How are bison used commercially today? Are any raised in your area? What is the nutritional profile of bison meat? Why is it popular? How much does bison meat sell for? What and where is the market for bison? What are the nutritional needs of bison? What are the differences between raising cattle and bison? What are the risks involved in raising bison? Students will interview a bison grower. Students will create a business plan for a bison ranch. (career, agriculture and technology, animal science, business, entrepreneurship)

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16. Raising & Marketing of Grass-fed Beef


Students will explore the raising and marketing of grass-fed beef. How is this beef product different from that of cattle fed grain in feedlots? Why is this beef much lower in fat? What are the flavor claims of grassfed beef producers about their products? What are the health claims of grassfed beef producers, and how does grassfed beef challenge the quality grading system of the USDA which gives a higher grade to more fattening beef products? What is the history of grassfed beef in the Flint Hills? During what period was grass-finishing the original, dominant production model for Flint Hills beef? When did grain-feeding become the popular production method and why? What is a “niche” product? How might raising grassfed beef again be an opportunity for smaller beef producers? Can consumers buy local grassfed beef direct from ranchers in the Flint Hills? What retail establishments offer grassfed beef? What are the challenges of distributing a perishable food product? What cooking methods are most successful with very lean beef products? Students will write a brochure advertising the nutritional advantages of grassfed beef. (career, agriculture and technology, animal science, food science, agronomy, business, entrepreneurship, family and consumer science, food science, culinary arts, language arts, writing)

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17. Science, Culture, & Economics of the Horse


Students will explore the science, culture, and economics of the horse. What are the physical parts of a horse? What are common diseases of horses? How did horses come to North America? How did Native Americans use horses? What tack, breeds, and riding methods did they use? What are the different horse breeds that are commonly found in the Flint Hills? How many horses are in your county? What percentage are used for work and for pleasure? What local events feature horses? What does it cost to buy and care for a horse? What local tourism activities involve horses? What efforts are being made to create riding trails in the Flint Hills? How could horses be utilized in a business venture? Students will write a history of horses in North America. Students will create a budget for owning a horse. Students will create a business plan for a horse “dude ranch.” (career, agriculture and technology, animal science, science, zoology, business, entrepreneurship, social studies, history, language arts, writing)

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18. Science & Culture of Cattle


Students will explore the science and culture of cattle in the Flint Hills. What are the physical parts of a cow? Explain the unique digestive system of a cow. What are common diseases of cattle? How did cattle come to North America? What are the different cattle breeds commonly found in the Flint Hills? What local cattle breeders are in your area who sell purebred seedstock? What are the advantages they claim for their particular breed? What local events in your area feature cattle? Students will create an illustrated diagram of the physiology of cattle. Students will write a history of cattle in North America and the Flint Hills. (career, agriculture and technology, animal science, science, zoology, social studies, history, language arts, writing)

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19. Technology & Physics of Lifting Oil


Students will analyze the technology and physics of lifting oil out of the ground through a pump jack: weight, counterweights, force, pressure, torque, etc. Class may invite a local oil lease owner or employee oil field pumper as guest speaker. Students will create a poster - diagram of a well above and below ground, and describe the production process. Students will use physics to create formulas to describe these physical forces. (career, agriculture and technology, industrial production, science, physics, math)

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20. Small Scale, Single-Residential Wind Generation of Electricity


Students will explore the development of small scale, single-residential wind generation of electricity. How does the system work - what processes? How is the electricity generated and stored? How much can be created - is it enough for modern lifestyles? Can you live “off the grid” and avoid power lines to your rural home (and the fragmentation they cause)? What are some of the challenges of this type of system? What is the cost? How much money is saved from paying for electricity from the utility provider? Are there other benefits besides saving money? How is this different from industrial wind development? Is the location in pristine prairie or in an already-disturbed area? What is the height and impact on aesthetic view-shed of neighbors? Will there be an impact on wildlife? Students will try to locate and interview people in their area who have or are utilizing wind power on a small scale. Students will research small wind systems for individual homes and create a written and graphic description of how they work. Students will create a T-chart comparing the impact of industrial wind energy vs. small scale wind energy. Students will identify needed equipment and costs, and create a budget for installation of a residential wind power system. (career, agriculture and technology, industrial development, family and consumer science, family finance, science, biology, ecology)

21. Solar Energy


Students will explore the potential for residential and commercial / farm and ranch use of solar energy and in the Flint Hills. What kinds of work can be done with solar energy? Do you know of any ranchers already using solar collectors to pump water in remote pasture areas? Are any local residents using solar to heat water or generate electricity? Can you live “off the grid” and avoid power lines to your rural home (and the fragmentation they cause)? What are some of the advantages or disadvantages these people have discovered? Do the systems save money over the long run? Are there other reasons to use renewable energy besides saving money? Are any of the state universities doing research in this area? Students will investigate design options, and make a proposal for a system to use in a home or on a farm/ranch. Students will include a budget of comparative utility costs over a five-year period. (career, agriculture and technology, science, family and consumer science, business, family finance)

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22. Sustainable Agriculture


Students will define and explore concepts of sustainable agriculture. What does “sustainable” mean? What aspects of modern industrial agriculture today are not sustainable over the long term? Why? How might smaller-scale, less energy-intensive forms of agriculture be practiced in the Flint Hills? How can we look to the history of the agriculture in the Flint Hills for answers? What are the opportunities for young farmers who may have less land or money? What are the challenges of distribution of locally-raised foods in a low-population area? Students will research answers to one or more of the above questions, and prepare a definition essay on the potential for sustainable agriculture in the Flint Hills (career, agriculture and technology, agronomy; science, biology, ecology; business, entrepreneurship, language arts, writing)

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23. Burning a Pasture


Students will examine the process of burning a pasture. How is this done? What tools and equipment are used? How many people are needed? How is the wind a critical factor? What techniques of back-fire and head-fire are utilized? How are patch burns conducted? What governmental agencies must be notified before burning a pasture? Discuss the dangers of burning (wildfire, personal injury, traffic accidents)? How can these be prevented? Students will write a process paper describing the steps in burning a pasture. (career, agriculture and technology, agronomy; science, biology, writing)

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