Travel the USA—the AG-WAY!! Taking a virtual trip to learn about agriculture in the United States, with lessons in geography, science, math, reading, and writing Margaret Perret, Louisiana Farm Bureau St. Martin’s Episcopal School, Metairie, LA
Travel the USA—the AG-WAY!! Project Organization This unit came about when I bought an old Fodor map book, traveling the route of I-55, from its beginning near New Orleans to Chicago. Having recently met a teacher from Illinois with whom I was already sharing ag-related materials, I planned a trip for my class to “travel” north on I-55, learning about each state’s agricultural commodities along the way.
Our virtual trip took place over one week. We followed the route on a US mid-section desktop map. We also put together a long strip map, marking each day’s travels. On display in the classroom were maps of the country and the states we would study. We kept records of time and distance traveled, costs of lunch, dinner, and hotel rooms on our Travel Logs. Our hotel stays were in major cities along I-55 which always had a $10 per child charge!
To spice up this year’s project, each day’s adventure also took us to a farm to get a closer look at one aspect each state’s agricultural production. I GOOGLED farms in each state, then located them through the use of Google’s maps for directions and satellite photographs. Writing a short paragraph and drawing a picture of our experience completed each day’s activities.
Travel the USA—the AG Way! Travel Log Day # _____ Date: ____________ Departing: ________ at ____AM / PM Destination: ____________________ Arriving: _________ at ____AM / PM Distance traveled: __________miles COST: Per person Class Lunch $_______ $_______ Dinner $_______ $_______ Hotel $_______ $_______ Total $_______ $_______ ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
The Enchanted Learning website has maps and general information about each state. They also have many printable worksheets and quizzes on many geography topics. Use the State Profiles from the Ag in the Classroom website to learn information about each of the states along your route.
Use the information on the Agricultural Profile to complete the chart. Capital 3 agricultural commodities State: Major City 3 fun facts 3 state symbols
Our project led us north on I-55. Click here to see our route: Google I-55 LaPlace, LA to Chicago, IL The following slides focus on farms in each state of our “travels.”
Ride on the Great River Road to see sugarcane growing on Evergreen Plantation in Edgard, Louisiana, 70049! Evergreen Plantation Directions from I-55, LaPlace, LA to Evergreen Plantation, Edgard, LA Google Map: Evergreen Plantation, Great River Road, Edgard, LA
Pick pecans in Mississippi at Delta Pecan Orchard, RR2 Box 14 Hwy 3, in Tutwiler, Mississippi, 38963. Delta Pecan Orchard Directions from I-55, Jackson, Mississippi to Delta Pecan Orchard, Tutwiler, Mississippi Google Map: Delta Pecan Orchard, Tutwiler, Mississippi
Don’t forget the MILK!! Visit Sweetwater Valley Dairy Farm in Philadelphia, Tennessee. Sweetwater Valley Dairy Farm Google Map Directions from Memphis, TN to Sweetwater Farm, Philadelphia, TN Google Map: Sweetwater Farm, Philadelphia, Tennessee
Workers are busy at Peterson Farms in Decatur, Arkansas where they produce over 2 million chicks per week and sell 1.5 million broilers every week! That’s a lot of chicken!! Peterson Farms Directions from I-55, Memphis, TN to Peterson Farms, Decatur, Arkansas Google Map: Peterson Farm Hatchery 1, 1200 E Roller Ave, Decatur, Arkansas
Spend the night in the Guest House when you visit LaBoube Farms to see their Angus and Hereford Cattle! LaBoube Cattle Farm Directions from I-55 St. Louis, Missouri to LaBoube Farms, Hermann, Missouri Google Map: LaBoube Farms, 573-486-5100, Hwy H, Hermann, Missouri 65041
Visit the Richardson Farm in Spring Grove, Illinois to see the World’s Largest Corn Maze! Richardson Farm, Spring Grove, IL Directions from I-55 in Chicago to Richardson Farms, Spring Grove, IL Google Map: Corn Maze, Richardson Farms, Spring Grove, IL
Following are other ideas and websites to help you to add more excitement to your travels.
The USDA website has neat maps that show where each commodity is produced. Once you determine your virtual trip route, you can click on each of the commodities listed to see what is produced in each of the states along the way. This data can be used to complete the Commodities Graph. Number of US Farms in 2002 Dairy Cows Soybeans Corn Cotton Sugarcane Beef Cattle Broilers Tobacco Pecans Hogs and Pigs Vegetables Rice Sheep and Lambs Wheat
Add fun to your lessons with commodity AG-tivities! Click here for fun4H Virtual Farm tours! Other projects include: Cotton: Sock Babies—directions in handouts Poultry: Dyeing Easter Eggs Rice: Rice Babies—directions in handouts Corn: Popcorn Fun Soybeans: How Strong Are Soybean Seeds?—directions in handouts Naturally dyed Easter eggs Decorating Easter Eggs with Parsley Popcorn Activities
For our rice babies, pantyhose legs were filled with rice according to each child’s birth weight.
Click here for a Jelly Belly Factory virtual tour! A fun game helped determine Jelly Belly jelly bean flavors.
Other virtual across-country trip possibilities: Google I-35 Map, Laredo, TX to Duluth, MN Google I-95 Map, Miami, FL to Houlton, ME Google I-10 Map, Santa Monica, CA to Jacksonville, FL Google I-80 Map, San Francisco, CA to New York City, NY
An Agricultural Alphabet A lligators N uts—Peanuts and Pecans B eans and Beef Cattle O ysters and Okra C orn and Cotton P umpkins D iversity in our nation Q uilts of cotton E ggs R ice F ood and Fiber S ugar G eography T rees H ealthy meals U nderstanding agriculture I llinois commodities V irtual trips J ambalaya and Crawfish Pie W heat K umquats X tra fun L ouisiana commodities Y oung and old M aps Z eal for learning
Travel the USA—the AG-WAY!! Margaret G. Perret Louisiana Farm Bureau St. Martin’s Episcopal School School: 5309 Airline Drive, Metairie, LA 70003 Home: 508 Colony Place, Metairie, LA 70003 504-388-7019 email@example.com