A lesson in making decisions, balancing risks, and economics while raising a field of corn.
Students, that are divided into teams, try to earn the highest net profit they can by making wise decisions and attempting to reduce their risks. Students keep track of their yield, price per bushel, and overall costs throughout the game. First, they have to decide if they want to spend extra money to buy drought and pest resistant corn seed. Then, they begin playing the game by drawing planting, market, weather, pest, and harvest cards. A planting card that they draw may tell them that ‘Your land has flooded and you need to replant your crop. Add $200 to your cost to buy need seed and plant it.’ Or a planting card can bring good news such as ‘Perfect Planting! Due to rain and temperature, your crop is looking perfect. Add 25 bushels to your yield.’
With market cards come real-life economic examples: ‘China buys corn. China is eating more meat and needs more corn to feed livestock. Ad $0.50 to your price.’ Or markets can bring bad news like the card that says: ‘Argentina and Brazil have produced a bumper crop, raising the world supply of corn. Subtract $0.25 from your price.’
Each type of card that is drawn shows an ever evolving and changing profit. Most teams make money, however, some teams do lose money. We talk about possible choices that could have been made to increase profits. Should we have bought drought resistant corn? Was it needed this year? What will you change next year? We also talk about possible careers that they could have that would tie into our lesson. Some career options would be a genetic engineer formulating improved varieties of corn. Or, someone in computer art design making logos and labeling for the bags of corn. Another popular suggestion is a meteorologist trying to predict what type of year it will be an upcoming weather events. Overall, everyone has been amazed at all of the choices, factors, and peoples’ careers that can go into a single field of corn.
Help Support the Ag Literacy Project In Jasper County
The Jasper County Ag in Classroom project has continued to expand and is now reaching students in every classroom from Kindergarten to 6th grade in Jasper County. With a massive demand on the program, more materials are needed. Through the program and through the efforts of Lindsey Vogt, we are able to present to the students in this county lessons involving agriculture. We provide to the materials at no cost to the school system.
But, to do so we need your financial help. The Jasper County Farm Bureau® Foundation is the funding mechanism for the program. You can assist by making a tax deductible donation to the Foundation to help with the program.
Or, if you have grain stored at any of the local elevators consider this. Donate 10 bushels, or more to the Jasper County Farm Bureau® Foundation. All funds generated are used towards educating students in Jasper County.
For more information, contact the Jasper County Farm Bureau®.