Learning About Farming All Around the World

October 14, 2019

Jeannette Tuionetoa

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Many times when our kids think about farming they think only of America. When in fact, people have been cultivating crops for thousands of years and that did NOT start in America. Farm unit studies are super fun. But learning about farming all around the world brings an intriguing twist to your farm theme.

Learning About Farming All Around the World

Agriculture is crucial to feeding our world’s population and is actually a key component of a country’s economy. I was never really interested in where our food actually came from in America. All I needed to know was that I could go to the local grocery store, buy what I needed, and that’s it.

Moving to a different country (a second world country at that) has allowed me to realize just how crucial farming is to where I live, but also in every country. I live in a little country and most people here have rights to farmland that they can cultivate if they choose to.

My husband has started growing root crops, sweet corn, and is moving on to squash next year. It takes a lot of work for him and that is only for two different crops. Although this is not a big country, many people here believe they could never be a country in true poverty because they have the means to feed themselves if nothing else. That is how useful farming is.

A perplexing thing for me is that although small countries can grow their own food, there are some consequences that come along with being smaller. It means that in proportion to income, we would pay more for food than larger developed countries because the demand is high but the supply is low.

For instance, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) people in developing countries, like mine, spend the highest percentage of their income on food – about 40%. Pay is very, very little here yet the food costs so much it’s ridiculous.

Here is a little tidbit to make some Americans appreciate life a little more. In proportion to income, Americans pay the LEAST for food when compared to other countries. That is pretty awesome and I witness it when I visit the United States and see the amazing prices of the foods there. 

I say all this to say that farming is important and that we should teach our kids about it.

Growing up in New York made it almost impossible to relate to farm life, yet I wish I would have learned about and understood the importance of it. One-third of the economically active population gets its livelihood from agriculture.

There are farmers in America and all over the world making it possible for us to purchase foods in our local grocery stores and markets. Our children should know about how farming works all around the world. Farmers have the daunting tasks of trying to make more for less and less to meet the global demand of all types of fruits, grains, dairy, vegetables, and meats.

These countries have thriving farm livelihoods worthy to be studied in your homeschool.

Farming in China

China has the very biggest farm in the world in acreage. The Mudanjiang City Mega Farm in Heilongjiang, China manages 22,500,000, specializes dairy, and holds about 100,000 cows. To give you an idea of just how big that is, it is 50 times bigger than the largest dairy farm in Europe – 50 times. China is even home to the second-largest farm in the world called The Modern Day.

China’s rich soils make growing there extremely productive. It is the most prolific producer as it grows rice, wheat, potatoes, lettuce, onions, cabbage, green beans, broccoli, eggplant, spinach, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, pumpkins, pears, grapes, apples, peaches, plums, watermelons, sheep milk, chicken, pork, sheep, goat, peanuts, eggs, fish and honey.

Farming in Australia

 Australia holds the third-largest farm and holds some of the largest farms in the world. There are about 85,681 farm businesses in Australia. Each of those Australian farmers produce enough food to feed 600 people, 150 at home and 450 overseas. Australian farmers produce almost 93 percent of Australia’s daily domestic food supply. And you can tell! I travel to Australia at least once a year and the food there is just amazing and eating out is a delight. Everything I have ever eaten there tastes so fresh, especially the beef!

Farming in Brazil

Historically, farming has been at the center of Brazil’s economy and has a unique way of farming called “tropical agriculture.” Over 30% of Brazil’s landmass is used to grow crops. The country has yielded coffee, sugarcane, soybeans, corn, oranges, pineapples, papaya, and coconuts. Its warm, fruit-friendly climate allows the lush growth of these wonderful foods. Brazil also ranks second behind the U.S. in total production output of beef.

Farming in India

India is the second-largest food producer of the calorie content of the world. An issue unique to India is that many of its citizens are too poor to purchase the food it produces. If you have had a red or green chili lately, chances are it came from India. We love chilis in my home, but they are rare where we live. I have hopes to grow them myself one day.

Farming in Netherlands

The Dutch are the world’s top exporter of potatoes and onions and the second-largest exporter of vegetables overall in terms of value. More than half of the Netherland’s land area is used for agriculture and horticulture. The Netherlands have climate-controlled facilities, a completely innovative wave of the farmer that may shape the future of farming as we know. They’ve almost completely eliminated the use of chemical pesticides on plants in greenhouses.

This leads us to America. No country produces food as efficiently as the U.S. Food production is spread across much of our country, but the largest food-producing states are California, Iowa, Texas, Nebraska and Illinois. The U.S. is the world’s largest exporter of food. That is pretty incredible. My husband argues that farmers are some of the hardest working people around. That is worth us studying!

You might also want to check out the NEW Farm Notebook, a companion to Julia Rothman’s Farm Anatomy

Farm Notebook workbook cover

If you want to teach your children about agriculture, there are some great, free games and resources for learning:

Fun Farm Games for Kids

FREE Agriculture Games & Resources

FREE Agriculture Resources & Lesson Plans

Agricultural Commodities Worksheet

Farm to School Lesson Plans

If you want to explore a farm-themed unit in your homeschool, the resources below are a great place to start.

Farm-OpolyFarm-OpolyLittle Tikes 3D Farm Memory Match Up Board GamesLittle Tikes 3D Farm Memory Match Up Board GamesMelissa & Doug 20 Wooden Farm Magnets in a BoxMelissa & Doug 20 Wooden Farm Magnets in a BoxIELLO Fun Farm Board GameFun Farm Board GameDiscovery Kids Mindblown DIY Veggie Grow KitDiscovery Kids Mindblown DIY Veggie Grow Kittoy gardenGrow Your Own Little Garden Toy Building Playset – Growing Vegetables Farming Educational Activity for Kids – Includes Plastic Gardening Tools, Crops, Fruits, and Accessories (96 Pieces)


FREE Farm Printables & Resources:

FREE Farm-Themed Writing Prompts

FREE Farm-Themed Writing Prompts with Handwriting Practice

Farmschooling 101 | The Usual Mayhem

FREE Farm Preschool Worksheets | Preschool Play and Learn

Farm in the Dramatic Play Center| Pocket of Preschool

Tractor Painting! A Fun Easy Preschool Farm Process Art Activity | A Dash of Learning

Farm Fine Motor Pack | Gift of Curiosity

Animal Farm Unit – Free Ideas | Language Arts Classroom

Montessori-Inspired Farm Unit {Hundreds Of Resources} | Living Montessori Now

Homeschooling Farm Unit Study | The Frugal Navy Wife

National Geographic Kids On the Farm Sticker Activity Book: Over 1,000 Stickers! (NG Sticker Activity Books)National Geographic Kids On the Farm Sticker Activity Book: Over 1,000 Stickers! (NG Sticker Activity Books)Before We Eat: From Farm to Table (2nd Edition)Before We Eat: From Farm to Table (2nd Edition)Night Night FarmNight Night FarmCows Can Moo! Can You?: All About Farms (Cat in the Hat's Learning Library)Cows Can Moo! Can You?: All About Farms (Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library)Farm Animals Coloring Book: A Cute Farm Animal Coloring Book for Kids (Coloring Books for Kids)Farm Animals Coloring Book: A Cute Farm Animal Coloring Book for Kids (Coloring Books for Kids)My Big Farm Book (My Big Board Books)My Big Farm Book (My Big Board Books)


Farming unit studies are great for your homeschool as you can do them simultaneously with all of your kids. You can develop simple lessons for your young learners and have your older students do some research and write about how the experience might be in another country’s farming. Kids have great responsibility in farms, so don’t forget to include that tidbit when they are learning about the farming all around the world

Learning About Farming All Around the World

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