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Types of Agricultural Systems and Their Impact on Society and Environment

The Types of Agricultural Systems- Subsistence Agriculture and Commercial Agriculture

There are two main types of agricultural systems. They are subsistence agriculture and commercial agriculture. Subsistence agriculture is where the crops and animal products produced are used to feed the farmer and his or her family members. Subsistence farmers use a wide variety of techniques and produce a wide variety of crops all over the world. The four different types of subsistence farming discussed in Greiner (2018) include shifting cultivation, pastoralism, wet rice farming, and smallholder crop and livestock farming. Commercial agriculture is large-scale production and sale of produce, animals, or animal products for profit (Greiner, 2018). Commercialfarming is often called agribusiness. Greiner (2018)defines agribusiness as “The interconnected industry of food production involving farmers, processors, distributors, and retailers” (p. 250). The different types of commercial farming include plantation farming, commercial gardening, commercial dairy farming, mixed-crop and livestock farming, and commercial grain farming andlivestock ranching.

In previous units, we talked about industrialization and the globalization of production of goods and services and how that has impacted people and the environment. In this unit, we will discuss the changes that have occurred in agriculture and how these have impacted humanity and the natural environment. Agriculture has undergone many changes since it began, and is often discussed in terms of three stages. The stages of agricultural changes are the first agricultural revolution, the second agricultural revolution, and the third agricultural revolution (Greiner, 2018). The first agricultural revolution was the transition from hunting and gathering to the domestication of plants and animals. This was about 11,000 years ago. The second agricultural revolution occurred in the middle ages and ended in the late 1800s. The second agricultural revolution was associated with farming innovations like the metal plow head, crop rotation techniques, and other tools like seed drills (Greiner, 2018). The third agricultural revolution began in the 1900s and involves high mechanization of farming, greater use of chemicals and irrigation, and use of biotechnology (Greiner, 2018).

Biotechnology in agriculture, which is called agrobiotech, has had a big impact on modern agriculture. The key agrobiotech innovations have been cross-breeding, hybridization, and genetic engineering (Greiner, 2018). The infusion of biotechnology into agriculture has created a green revolution and gene revolution. When you hear the term green revolution, you will be tempted to think it has to do with sustainable farming since today we usually label sustainable initiatives as green initiatives. However, the green revolution does not mean sustainable agriculture.

Discuss the necessity and safety of genetically modified organism (GMO) foods.

Investigate the relationship between the natural environment and humans.

Discuss how GMOs used in agriculture are impacting the environment.

Discuss how GMOs used in agriculture impact humans.

Instructions Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) Field Study Assignment Perform some research about genetically modified organism (GMO) foods.

You can research GMOs online or at the CSU Online Library. Find a minimum of one source to cite in the assignment.

Go to the local supermarket and find foods that are genetically modified. After your research and field trip to the market, fill out the assignment worksheet. Click here  to access a copy of the worksheet.

Your responses to the questions should total a minimum of 600 words (not counting the instructions and questions). You are required to cite at least one source in the assignment.

All sources used must be referenced; paraphrased and quoted material must have accompanying APA citations.

Here are the questions below: Food & Agriculture Field Study:

Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) Worksheet Were you able to find GMO-based foods easily at the supermarket?

Were the GMO products clearly marked as containing GMOs? Explain.

Discuss both sides of the debate regarding the necessity and safety of GMOs.

How are GMOs used in agriculture impacting humans and the environment?

Discuss the position for and against labeling GMOs? What are your thoughts regarding labeling and the safety of GMOs?

Should there be laws governing the production and labeling of GMOs in the United States? Explain.

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