About the Course - CROP*4260 & PLNT*6450
Department of Plant Agriculture

Instructor

C.J. Swanton
Rm. 214 Crop Science Building
Phone: ext. 53392
Email: cswanton@uoguelph.ca 

 

CROP*4260 Crop Science Field Trip
The Midwest Tour

UNDERGRADUATE

A field study designed to increase the student's knowledge of agricultural production and agri-business. Students will tour a selected area of North America prior to the fall semester, visiting cash crop and livestock farms, supporting industries (e.g. processing, manufacturing) and markets (e.g. elevators). A fee of approximately $1100.00 per student to cover the cost of transportation and accommodation will be assessed.

Prerequisites

12.50 credits including AGR 2470 , + a cumulative average of 65% with instructors consent is required.
It is important that students identify their interest in taking this course by contacting the instructor in February/ March.

Course Objectives

To increase the student's knowledge of agricultural production and agri-businesses by visiting cash crop and livestock farms, supporting industries and markets.

Course Content

Over a two week period students will travel by bus through the American Midwest as far west as Denver Colorado and as far south as the boot heel of Missouri. During that time they will have the opportunity to visit and talk with top crop and livestock producers. They will be exposed to crops and livestock that are common in Ontario but also to ones that are less familiar such as rice, cotton and catfish. In addition they will learn about US government programs and visit agribusinesses such as the Chicago Board of Trade and an elevator on the Mississippi.

Course Presentation

The course is structured as a field tour. Students will be encouraged to discuss and present the results of each days activities. During the tour, students are responsible to prepare a critique and to keep a daily log. Upon return to the Guelph campus, students are required to submit a major essay exploring key differences between Canadian and American agriculture.

student Evaluation

Essay - 80%
Critiques - 10%
Logs - 10%

 

PLNT*6450 Plant Agriculture International Field Tour
The Midwest Tour

GRADUATE

A field course designed to increase student's knowledge of primary field and animal agricultural production systems. To explore the environmental and political issues related to international agriculture and to understand the role of agri-business in the rural economy. Tthe tour is open to all graduate students at the University of Guelph. A fee of approximately $1100.00 per student to cover the cost of transportation and accommodation will be assessed.

Prerequisites

There are no prerequistes for graduate students. Course Credit 0.25

Course Objectives

The objective of this course is to provide graduate students with an exposure to and an understanding of primary plant and animal agriculture. Issues to be covered will include: primary production, agro-ecosystem health, agri-business and the politics of American agriculture. The course will help students put their own research into perspective of the bigger picture of agriculture.

Materials to be covered

Over a two week period students will travel by bus through the American Midwest as far west as Denver Colorado and as far south as the boot heel of Missouri. During this time, students will have the opportunity to visit and talk with innovative people involved with agribusiness, crop and livestock production. Students will see crops and livestock that are common to Ontario as well as rice, cotton and aqua-culture. During the trip students will gain an appreciation for the “power’ of American agriculture. They will visit the Chicago Board of Trade, view grain trade along the Mississippi River and learn about the influence of the American Farm Bill in setting world prices.

Course Presentation

This course is structures as a field tour. Students will be encouraged to explore themes and issues that are relevant to each of the stops on the tour. During the tour, students will be responsible for a daily log which will include answering specific questions. Upon return to the Guelph campus, the graduate students will hold weekly meetings to explore the themes and issues raised on the tour. Each student will then prepare a literature review on his/her chosen topic and prepare a seminar for presentation.

student Evaluation

Field notes and daily - 35%
Leadership and participation - 15%
Monitor responsibilities - 20%
Theme based seminar - 30%

Reason for Course Offering

The fundamental reason of offering this course is to help graduate students gain an appreciation for the magnitude of agriculture in North America and to be able to explore where they and their research project can contribute to the betterment of agriculture in North America.