Sustainable Ag Curriculum

EVENTS

Food and the Wisconsin Idea

Date: June 29, 2017, 3:30pm
Location: University Club, 803 State St.
details

Diversified Organic Grain Rotations Field Day

Date: July 21, 2017, 9am-2:30pm
Location: Bickford Organics, Ridgeway, WI
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Farm and Sea Conservation Dinner: Michael Fields Agricultural Institute

Date: August 25, 2017, 6-8pm
Location: Michael Fields, East Troy, WI
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more events

SUCCESS STORIES

The Wisconsin School for Beginning Dairy and Livestock Farmers: Keeping the Dream of Farming Alive

As older farmers retire, fewer young farmers are stepping in to take their place. The number of beginning farmers dropped 20 percent in the last five-year census period, and the average US farmer now tops 58 years of age. more

CIAS Mini-Grants Support Graduate Student Research in Sustainable Agriculture

CIAS supports innovative graduate student research addressing the challenges faced by small- and medium-sized farms and food businesses. Awarded annually, our competitive mini-grants aid students as they initiate their research in sustainable agriculture and food systems. more


DIRECTOR'S BLOG

UW-Madison Highlights Partnership with Stoney Acres Farm

Kat Becker and Tony Schultz, who own and operate Stoney Acres Farm in Marathon County, are featured in a UW-Madison campaign to show how partnerships with citizens and businesses are furthering the Wisconsin Idea in each of the state's 72 counties. more

more blog

Sustainable agriculture curriculum materials

Posted March 1992

As one of its first projects, in 1989 and 1990, CIAS collaborated with the Wisconsin Rural Development Center and the Department of Public Instruction to produce a high-school teacher’s guide to sustainable agriculture. This guide and its supplement continue to be recognized as valuable resources for teachers who want to learn more about sustainable agriculture and teach their students key concepts, thinking skills, and hands-on skills.

CIAS has updated this curriculum. It is available free of charge on this web site: www.cias.wisc.edu/curriculum/index.htm. For more information about the original curriculum, read on.

Toward a Sustainable Agriculture: A Teacher’s Guide

This 152-page guide includes six teacher reference guide sections outlining the scope of sustainable agriculture, an instructional unit summarizing key concepts, and 21 learning activities. It was prepared by a task force of farmers, researchers, activists, extension staff, continuing and vocational education specialists, agriculture educators, and others. The first draft was field tested and reviewed by more than 100 Wisconsin agriculture education instructors.

Reference guide sections are:

  • Introduction to sustainable agriculture
  • Sustainable cropping and livestock systems
  • The economics of sustainable agriculture
  • Alternative agricultural enterprises: new ways to sustainability
  • Public policy issues in sustainable agriculture
  • Ethics and agriculture: can agriculture be good?

Learning activities cover:

  • Composting
  • Nitrate leaching
  • Role-playing a congressional debate over pesticide policy
  • Alternative marketing and marketing of alternative products
  • Sustainable agriculture on-farm research and demonstrations
  • Weed management lab
  • IPM lab
  • Plant disease
  • Career compounds
  • Mapping mania
  • Assembly and adjustment of front-mount row crop cultivator
  • Ridge tillage lab
  • Enterprise selection
  • Conservation tillage
  • Pesticide and groundwater protection lab
  • Economic impact of sustainable agriculture
  • Policies affecting farm sustainability/profitability
  • Career opportunities in sustainable agriculture
  • Community survey
  • Sustainable agriculture businesses
  • Ethical issues in agriculture

Resources for Teaching Sustainable Agriculture

This supplemental guide is included free with the teachers guide. It covers a variety of recommended and additional resources for teaching sustainable agriculture.

Published in 1991 (with a second printing in 1992), Toward a Sustainable Agriculture remains a valuable resource. It was chosen by National Geographic as the basis for its December, 1995, Geoguide publication, a lesson plan provided free of charge to its 26,000-member geography teachers’ network in conjunction with the magazine’s November, 1995, article on sustainable agriculture.

Lessons for Teaching Sustainable Agriculture

The Wisconsin Rural Development Center and Wisconsin Environmental Education Board formed a partnership to develop a collection of lesson plans that teach sustainable agriculture from an interdisciplinary perspective.

Lessons include:

  • Reduced chemical weed control (three activities)
  • Non-chemical pest control (two activities)
  • Introduction to economics (three activities)
  • Production of crops as energy sources (three activities)
  • Environmentally sound alternative crops (four activities)
  • Appendices include handouts and other materials of use to the busy high school classroom teacher.

To order:

An updated curriculum is available free of charge on this web site: www.cias.wisc.edu/curriculum/index.htm. If you wish to order a copy of the original curriculum, please order by mail (information below) or call (608) 262-5200.

Enclose $15.00 per copy (includes shipping and handling) made payable to UW-Madison – CIAS. Mail to:

Center for Integrated Ag Systems
1535 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706

Please include a note that tells us you are ordering the curriculum set. Let us know how many copies you want and the address you want them sent to.

The packet of teaching materials is $10 + $5 shipping and handling.