Environmental and Agricultural Science
The Food Industry Lesson Title:
NE Career Field/ Environmental and Agricultural Systems?Agricultural and Natural Resources?Food Career Cluster/ Products and Processing Systems
Overview: This lesson presents an overview of the major food commodity groups, different operations,
and careers within the food industry.
Student Learning Objective 1: Learners will identify the two major food commodity groups and examples of
Objectives: products within each group.
Objective 2: Learners will model the different operations that occur in the food industry through a
producer to consumer activity.
Objective 3: Learners will select one career within Food Products and Processing Systems
and prepare a poster presentation on the career, identifying the knowledge and skills
required, as well as the employment opportunities. Course Outcomes: Technical Content; Experiential Learning; Core Academics (Reading/Writing/Language);
Content Standards Food Science—AE 12.6.1; AE 12.6.2; AE 12.6.3 (NE L.E.A.R.N.S.):
Leadership A1: Work independently and with others to get things done; A3: Plan Effectively; A4: Identify and
Standards use resources; A5: Communicate effectively with others; B2: Interact and work with others; B5: (LifeKnowledge): Participate effectively as a team member; F5: Acquire new knowledge; J2: Think creatively
Key Terms: Grain Crops, Oil Crops, Sugar Crops, Citrus, Tree Fruits, Vegetables and Berries; Beef, Pork,
Lamb, Dairy Products, Game, Seafood, Poultry, Harvesting, Processing, Edible,
Transportation, Marketing, Retailer, Wholesaler, Distributor, Grader, Packer, Trucker,
Harvester, Producer, Consumer
Time: Two 45-minute periods for content materials. Additional time needed for career project and
thResource(s): Delmar Agriscience Fundamentals and Applications Text, 4 edition. Tools, Equipment, One poster board or freezer paper per small group, markers, various food products processed
and Supplies: in the state (provided by you or students), one tri-fold display board per two or three students,
computers with Internet access and colored printers, scissors, glue, and Assessment 1 and
Activity Sheet 1 (1 per student).
Early Work Day 1: Name the Agriculture industry that is responsible for the food on our plates.
Day 2: Name the two major food commodities in the U.S.
Day 3: Name the 4 operations within the food industry. Interest Approach: Purchase one ―gummy hamburger‖ for each student in the class. Hand one to each student and
instruct them that they are not to open it until you give them permission.
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? Do any of you know any individual who helped make this gummy hamburger? Chances
are some of the producers around here grew the corn, which was made into the corn
syrup – the number 1 ingredient. Or maybe he or she produced the soybeans, which
were processed into the plastic to keep it fresh? Did you actually know the person who
was on the assembly line when this gummy was put together? Probably not. Can you
think of any other jobs that were involved in the production of this and many other food
products? Excellent! Since you did such a great job offering answers, you may now open
and eat the gummy burger.
Summary of Content Objective 1: Learners will identify the two major food commodity groups and examples of
for Objective 1: products within each group.
? As you may have noticed, food is all around. Whether following our daily routine or
attending a social gathering, there is food to be found. The food industry is involved in the
production, processing, storage, preparation, and distribution of food. Our food, as well as
our pet and livestock feed, requires that a chain be followed from the producer to the
consumer. This unit deals with the different types of commodities, the operations involved
in the food industry, and many careers associated with the food industry.
Split the class up into 6 small groups (2-4 students per group). Each group will select a topic
on which to do a concept map related to information on pages 645 through 652 in textbook.
? Have any of you done a concept map in any of your other classes? For those of you
who aren’t familiar with concept maps, a concept map is a visual summary of the
content covered. You and your partner(s) will read a designated portion of the unit.
Then, your group will decide on a “concept” to use on a poster to share a summary of
the information with the rest of your classmates. The concept should relate directly
to the information in your section. This is something like a graphic organizer with a
little twist. You will have 30 minutes to complete the concept map. This is your time
to showcase your creativity!
? The topics to be covered are: Crop Commodities – pages 645 and 646; Meat
Commodities – Pages 646 and 647; Harvesting – Pages 648 and 649; Processing
and Handling – Pages 649 and 650; Transporting – pages 650 and 651; and
Marketing – Pages 651 and 652. For this little project, we will draw for topics.
Remember, we want your concept maps to be creative and interesting to your
classmates. What questions are there? Okay, let’s get started. One member of
each group can come forward and draw one topic. Another group member is to pick
up a poster and markers.
Information for the students’ concept maps should be similar to the following.
Crop Commodities in the United States
? Oil Crops
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? Sugar Crops
o Sugar beets
o Sugar cane
? Tree Fruits
? Vegetables and Berries
o Sweet Corn
Meat Commodities and Where They are Raised
o Western U.S.
o Mid-Atlantic States
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o Southern States
o Western U.S.
? Dairy Products
o Northern California
o Each state has native game
o Atlantic Ocean states
o Pacific Ocean states
o Gulf of Mexico states
o Mid-Atlantic states
o Southern states
o Taking a plant from where it has grown to maturity.
? Potatoes from the Garden
? Oranges from the Tree
? Soybeans from the Field
o Not under ripe
o Not overripe
o Just right
o Prevent Spoilage
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o Migratory Labor
o By Hand
Processing and Handling
? Cleaned, dried, weighed
? Ground into flour
? Changed into breads, cereals, cakes, pasta
? Separated by Size and Quality
? Changed into Stewed Tomatoes, Juice, Spaghetti Sauce, Catsup
? 90% of perishable food transported in refrigerated trucks
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? Perishable foods from far away such as pineapples and papayas from
? Less perishable foods such as wheat, potatoes, and beets
? Packing Houses
? Fish Markets
? Produce Terminals
? Retail Stores
? Convenience Stores
? Food Cooperatives
? Farmers Markets
? Pick-your-own Businesses
When students have their concept maps done at the end of the 30-minute time limit, they are to
share them with their classmates. You should facilitate the discussion over each section between
After wrapping up the concept map discussion, have learners return to their original seats. Then,
split the class into different groups of 2-4 again. Each group will choose one product to model their understanding of the operations within the Food Industry.
Instruct students that their homework assignment is to bring one non-perishable, processed, food
item made here in the state to work with during the next regularly scheduled class period. It will be
important for you to have several items on hand in the event that the students forget their food items.
Summary of Content Objective 2: Learners will model the different operations that occur in the food industry through a
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for Objective 2: producer to consumer activity.
Using the home-state processed food item of their choice, the partners have 20 minutes to come
up with a way to model their understanding of the food industry operations, which their product had
to go through to be available to us today. A poster is not an option. Ideas include a poem, song,
skit, etc. You may want to separate the groups enough to insure that they can’t overhear what is
going on. It will keep the ideas fresh and unique.
At the end of the 20 minutes, groups are to present their ―producer to consumer‖ model. Summary of Content Objective 3: Learners will select one career within Food Products and Processing Systems and
for Objective 3: prepare a poster presentation on the career, identifying the knowledge and skills required, as well
as the employment opportunities.
Again, students will work in groups of 2 or 3. The group members are to conduct research on
careers within the food industry. The final presentation will consist of a tri-fold display board, which
will be set up at a mini ―Food Industry Career Fair‖ within the classroom or in a ―common area‖ in
the school system! It is important that you allow time for students to conduct a ―walk-about‖ to
investigate the other students’ display boards.
A computer lab with internet access is required for this assignment. Hand out and read through
the Activity Sheet 1. While in the computer lab, the Nebraska Career Connections site contains
great information on a variety of agricultural careers. Check the website to become familiar with its
organization prior to class—learners easily can sign up for a free user name and password to
access the information. Learners may use other resources as deemed appropriate by the teacher.
Review: To review material in the unit, students will complete Assessment 1, which is attached below.
The answer key is also attached.
Extended Classroom/ Learners can interview an adult employed within the Food Industry. They could also search Laboratory Activity: for current job openings in the Food Industry in their community, state, or anywhere in the
Extended Learners may wish to become involved in the Food Science Career Development Event. FFA/Leadership
Extended Learners may wish to gain employment at a local grocery store, food processing facility, SAE/Experiential restaurant, or food science laboratory. In addition, the learner may have an
Activity: entrepreneurship SAE involving the growing, processing, and marketing of a food item such
as jams, canned or pickled vegetables, etc. Another option would be for the learner to
conduct a research SAE by job-shadowing individuals in the Food Industry. Assessment: Career Fair Project, guidelines attached. Feel free to give the learners a copy of the rubric,
which will be used for assessing the Food Industry career display. Assessment Answer Attached as Teacher Sheet 2.
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Assessment 1 Name ______________________________
Introduction to Environmental and Agricultural Sciences
Food Products and Processing – The Food Industry – Self-Evaluation
1. Approximately what percentage of the U.S. food dollar is spent on meals away from home?
a. 15 percent b. 25 percent c. 35 percent d. 45 percent
2. Which of the following products is native to North America?
a. soybeans b. wheat c. sunflowers d. peanuts
3. In the U.S., more than one-half of the fresh fruits and vegetables are grown in which states?
a. Montana, Oregon, and Washington b. California, Florida, and Arizona
c. New Jersey, North Carolina, and Georgia d. Arizona, Nebraska, and Ohio
4. Migratory workers would harvest wheat last in which state?
a. Arizona b. Nebraska c. Montana d. Ohio
5. When you spend one dollar for food, approximately how much goes into the labor required to harvest and
then process that food after it leaves the farm?
a. $0.94 b. $0.64 c. $0.34 d. $0.04
6. Approximately what percentage of all the jobs in the food and fiber system is related to wholesale and
a. 60 percent b. 50 percent c. 40 percent d. 30 percent
7. Superstores are likely to carry how many items?
a. 15,000 b. 1,500 c. 150 d. 15
8. One-celled plants that contribute to food spoilage are ________________________.
a. Fungi b. Nematodes c. Protozoa d. Bacteria
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Introduction to Environmental and Agricultural Science
Food Products and Processing – The Food Industry – Self-Evaluation, Page 2
_____ Harvester 9. Purchase food in large quantities
_____ Grader 10. Stores food until requested
_____ Retailer 11. Follows crop harvesting geographically
_____ Wholesaler 12. Sells directly to the public
_____ Migrant Worker 13. Takes the crop from the field
_____ Distributor 14. Is involved in the cleaning, sorting, and preparing a product
_____ Processor 15. Inspects food and determines how it will be sold
16. Three careers that you could pursue in the quality-assurance area of the food industry include
_________________________, ________________________, and _______________________.
17. Differences in how grocery stores are categorized are primarily determined by
__________________________ and ________________________________.
18. When buying food at a pick-your-own farm, the producer is also the _________________________.
19. A beef grade of ________________ would indicate very tender, juicy, and flavorful, with abundant
20. Grocers purchase their supplies through __________________________________.
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Teacher Sheet 1
Introduction to Environmental and Agricultural Science
Food Products and Processing – The Food Industry – Self-Evaluation Answer Key
Harvester – 13
Grader – 15
Retailer – 12
Wholesaler – 9
Migrant Worker – 11
Distributor – 10
Processor – 14
16. grading, inspection, and sanitation
17. number of items and physical size of facilities
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