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Table of Contents
Inquiry and Communication
Rich Learning Tasks
Agriculture, Leadership and Safety
The student will:
questions; interpret and analyze information gathered through research;
articulate assumptions; and
then communicate results of their inquiry
how farming changed radically during a particular span of time
some aspects of farm life that appeared to change very slowly during a
particular span of time
the contributions of agricultural leaders
agriculture as a socio-economic system, with both structure and control
mechanisms as well as public safety concerns
agriculture as a system of integrated technologies
and contrast after-school activities today vis a vis after-school activities
on the farm in the
1920s and 1930s
Input Information to Consider:
read the entries on this page (below), all pages that are linked to the Agriculture
and Food Supply main pages, as well as any relevant information that appears at other linked
pages at various locations in the text. There is also our Agriculture
Learning Unit. You should also go to Search This Site
perform searches using words such as "cattle", "barn",
Use your language and critical thinking skills to define other valuable search criteria.
Refer also to the Subject Index
and "Latest Issue" pages. With respect to
the Oral History Interview Project, read the McCowan Society Strategy
as well as one or two of the following sample projects:
Task Exercises -- Pick One Topic from Each Group Below:
one topic from each of the groups below and link them together in your research
paper. In completing your selected research assignments, be sure to address
two or three of the Expectations above. As usual you
must clearly state all of your assumptions.
Farm-Related Safety -- A Systems Approach:
- Consider the following statement by lifelong dairy farmer Neil
have to feed (cows) much better to get a lot of milk."
Identify some past practices in feeding dairy cattle. Articulate your
position on where the dairy industry should "draw the line" on
what is given to cows in order to get more milk.
- Discuss safety on the farm. Describe 5 hazards. Describe the risks to
humans that were associated with each of these hazards.
- In your opinion, what was the greatest safety hazard on the farm? List and
explain the criteria that you used in order to select the most significant
safety hazard. Now conceptually design a set of safety rules to follow or
some kind of physical guard or other safety controls that would help
minimize the risk. Describe the "top 3 things" -- the "no
matter whats" -- that the user would always have to deal with regarding
- Draw a mind map showing agriculture
as a socio-economic system, with both structure and control mechanisms as
well as safety issues.
a mind map showing agriculture as a system of integrated technologies.
are a farm worker. You work in the barn with the cattle where an old
stationary engine runs a conveyor system for cattle feed. The engine is
noisy, big and somewhat "in the way" when putting in straw for
bedding 2 of the cows. Your fork just missed the engine flywheel once. You
would like to convince the farm owner to replace the old engine with an
electric motor. He's a clever fellow who can fix anything and always has a
reason to stick with what's working. You know you'll never convince him just
by talking to him about it. So your plan is to first write down your
argument for making the change to electric motor. Your argument anticipates
what he will say. You must consider consequences for each decision path that
is taken. You write your proposal as a proper technical report -- "The
Benefits of An Electric Motor-Driven Feed Conveyor". (Note: Treat
this like the early stages of any design problem)
are an Industrial Design Consultant. You have been asked to design a new
type of stationary engine that will burn biogas on dairy farms. You know a
bit about engines. But now you need to know more -- a lot more -- about
exactly how and where stationary engines are typically installed and used on
farms. Safety is a major design criteria. Your first step is to design,
develop, test and then implement an Oral History Interview Project "Stationary
Engines: Their Safe Installation and Use on Farms". You will interview people who
have worked with stationary engines in Ontario agriculture. (Note: Treat this like any design problem -- you need a design
brief, an initial list of requirements ... etc.)
are a labour activist typically working on six month contracts with major
unions in Canada. You are approached by a group of farm workers who say, in
their letter, "If we are ever to get a farm workers' union in
Canada, it is now or never. We don't even get minimum wage".
Gee, you didn't know that. "What else don't I know about farmwork?"
you wonder out loud.
Your first step is to design,
develop, test and then implement an Oral History Interview Project "Farmwork
and Farmworkers -- A Systems, Interactions and Relationships Approach". You will interview people who
have worked in Ontario agriculture, for example, either as owner-operator or
as labourer. (Note: Treat this like any design problem -- you need a design
brief, an initial list of requirements ... etc.)
- Using any available resources (including people), describe the role of the
Ontario Milk Marketing Board (now known as Dairy Farmers of Ontario). Has the board
supported the family farm in Ontario? If so, how? What is the future of the milk marketing
board and why do you think this is so? Output the results of your analysis to a 300 word
essay. List your resources -- both who and what.
- You are invited to write a biography of Clark Young
for a prestigious publication. Clark Young was inducted into the Ontario
Agricultural Hall of Fame. Refer to the Clark Young Collection. You must
follow best practices for writing scholarly biographies.
- You are invited to write a biography of Alexander McCowan for a prestigious
publication. Alex McCowan was the founder of the orderly
milk marketing in Ontario. You must follow best practices for writing
scholarly biographies. Contact us for additional
Develop and Implement an Oral History Interview Project
- "Agriculture in Southern Ontario: 1950-2000"
- "Stationary Engines: Their Safe Installation and Use on Farms"
and Farmworkers -- A Systems, Interactions and Relationships Approach"
Scarboro Heights Record V14 #11
Until the Second World War, to talk about community in Scarborough, to talk about
economics, to talk about employment, was to talk about agriculture. The family farm was a
fundamentally important economic unit, not only in Scarborough, but in much of Canada.
Here's how the family farm started in Scarborough at the dawn of the nineteenth
Emigration to Upper Canada
A number of factors contributed to the great emigration from Scotland to Upper Canada in the early nineteenth
century: including central government assistance, local assistance, fast-talking land
agents and encouragement from friends. In general terms, the industrial and agricultural revolutions had radically upset the relative
socio-economic stability of the mid-eighteenth century. Emigration was viewed as a viable
remedy for overpopulation, unemployment and widespread poverty.
The first of the emigrants to settle in a particular locality in Upper Canada were
thrust back into a world of isolation. Initially, they were without neighbours and the
trials of surviving alone in a wilderness were awesome. As others arrived, a farming
community took shape. For a decade or so, the community operated much like the lowland fermtoun of the mid eighteenth century. While land
holdings here were generally independent of one another, cooperation was critical to the
social and economic welfare of the neighbourhood. Isolated from other settlements by the
thick forest, the local economy operated largely on a self-sufficiency, barter and
It is no wonder then that the amusement patterns in the early decades of an Upper
Canadian Scots' community were strikingly similar to the patterns in the old fermtouns.
Scarboro Heights Record V7 #1
Refer also to the Bibliography for Upper Canada