You will learn about the world’s population and the crucial role of agriculture in feeding the steadily increasing number of people. You will then see how climate and soils dictate the types of farms we see in different regions and countries. You will then “drill down” and look at individual farms around the world. We will talk about how the farmers manage these farms, and why they do what they do. We will finish off with a look at the exciting new technologies that are transforming agriculture and the sustainability issues that farmers are dealing with in the 21st century.
What will I learn?
The size of the world’s population and how quickly it is growing
Whether more people live in cities than in rural areas and why this is important
The quantities and types of food we produce around the world
How food production is becoming globalised and the implications of this for farmers and consumers
How climate, soils and fertilisers affect the way we farm
The crucial role of soil biology in our farming systems
How different cropping farms operate and the role of crop rotations
The big differences between pasture based and feedlot systems of animal production
Some of the issues associated with the intensive production of animals such as pigs and poultry
The arguments for and against organic farming and the use of genetically modified plants and animals in agriculture.
The vast array of businesses that are associated with agriculture
The new information technologies that are transforming the way we farm
How agriculture can have adverse effects on the environment
The challenges that might be posed by global climate change
Where could this lead me?
If you're wondering what your future could look like in this area, here are some potential careers you could head towards.
MOOCs stand for Massive Open Online Courses. These arefree online courses from universities around the world (eg. StanfordHarvardMIT) offered to anyone with an internet connection.
How do I register?
To register for a course, click on "Go to Class" button on the course page. This will take you to the providers website where you can register for the course.
How do these MOOCs or free online courses work?
MOOCs are designed for an online audience, teaching primarily through short (5-20 min.) pre recorded video lectures, that you watch on weekly schedule when convenient for you. They also have student discussion forums, homework/assignments, and online quizzes or exams.