Souring Climate: An Exploration of Agriculture and Climate Change for High School Students
What would it be like if your favorite food was no longer available for you to buy at the store?
With climate change affecting farmers across the world, this could become a reality for certain types of crops. In Northern Michigan, cherry growing has been a way of life for many years. It has always been a risky business, but changes to the industry and climate have made it even riskier. Through this interactive case study, you will follow a young tart cherry grower, Frank, who is looking to get started in the business and continue a family tradition in Leelanau County, where fruit growing is a way of life. He faces a number of decisions that will impact his success in the long run, but only if he can stay afloat long enough to get there.
Students will explore how farmers like Frank are adapting to changing conditions and examine how these processes affect individuals and the farming industry as a whole. They will look at the myriad of factors affecting growers, from a changing climate to migrant labor to an increase in invasive species. Ultimately, they will answer the question "What adaptations must growers make in the face of a changing industry?"
This case study includes:
- a Teaching Guide that outlines relevant Michigan State Standards, a teaching plan, and extension activities
- Links to relevant audio and video clips, photos, graphics, and other websites
- Discussion prompts