Agriculture – From Field to Table


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Published by Washington Agriculture in the Classroom

Today’s Children…



Tomorrow’s Leaders

ag•ri•cul•ture (ag´r  ´ kul´ch  r), n. growing 

plants and animals for food and other uses



Agriculture

 –

From Field to Table

e

e



Ag   School

@

Volume 14, Issue 1 2014/2015

Imagine you are a truck driver and your office is in Seattle.  Your boss gives you the following work 

schedule.  Trace your driving route on the map.  In the blanks, write the name of the highway you 

would use to get to that stop and how many miles you traveled. 

Arlington

Ault Field

Battle Ground

Blaine

Buckley


Burlington

Cashmere


Castle Rock

Central Park

Chelan

Clyde Hill



Colfax

Columbia Heights

Colville

Cottage Lake

Dayton

Deer Park



East Port Orchard

Elma


Enetai

Fairview-Sumach

Ferndale

Fords Prairie

Forks

Fruitvale



Gig Harbor

Goldendale

Lynden

Marietta-Alderwood



Medical Lake

Medina


Milton

Monroe


Montesano

Moses Lake North

Navy Yard City

Normandy Park

Ocean Beach

Okanogan


Omak

Othello


Otis Orchards-East Farms

Pacific


Parkwood

Port Angeles East

Port Orchard

Poulsbo


Prosser

Quincy


Raymond

Selah


Sequim

South Broadway

Steilacoom

Sumner


Terrace Heights

Tracyton


Tukwila

Union Gap

Union Mills

Walla Walla East

Wapato

Washougal



West Clarkston-Highland

West Richland

West Wenatchee

Winslow


Woodland

Anacortes

Bonney Lake

Camas


Chehalis

Cheney


Clarkston

College Place

Des Moines

Eastgate


Enumclaw

Ephrata


Fairchild AFB

Fairmont-Intercity

Fairwood

Fircrest


Grandview

Hoquiam


Issaquah

Lake Stickney

Lakeland South

Martha Lake

Marysville

McChord AFB

Orchards

Port Townsend

Poverty Bay

Richmond Beach-Innis Arden

Rose Hill

Sedro-Woolley

Shelton

Sheridan Beach



Snohomish

Spanaway


Sunnyside

Tanglewilde-Thompson Place

Toppenish

Town And Country

Tumwater

Veradale


West Pasco

Zenith-Saltwater

Auburn

Bellingham



Bremerton

Edmonds


Kennewick

Longview


Renton

Richland


Vancouver

Walla Walla

Yakima

Aberdeen


Alderwood Manor

Burien


Cascade-Fairwood

Centralia

Dishman

Dumas Bay-Twin Lakes



East Renton Highlands

East Wenatchee Bench



Ellensburg

Esperance

Fort Lewis

Hazel Dell

Inglewood

Juanita


Kelso

Kent


Kingsgate

Kirkland


Lacey

Lakeland North

Lynnwood

Mercer Island

Moses Lake

Mount Vernon

Mountlake Terrace

Newport Hills

North Hill

North Marysville

Oak Harbor

Opportunity

Parkland

Pasco

Port Angeles



Pullman

Puyallup


Redmond

Richmond Highlands

Riverton

Silver Lake-Fircrest

University Place

Valley Ridge



Wenatchee

White Center-Shorewood

Airway Heights

Albion


Algona

Almira


Asotin

Beacon Hill

Beaux Arts Village

Benton City

Bingen

Black Diamond



Brewster

Bridgeport

Bucoda

Carbonado



Carnation

Cathlamet

Chewelah

Cle Elum


Colton

Conconully

Concrete

Connell


Cosmopolis

Coulee City

Coulee Dam

Coupeville

Creston

Cusick


Darrington

Davenport

Dupont

Duvall


East Wenatchee

Eatonville

Electric City

Elmer City

Endicott

Entiat


Erlands Point

Everson


Fairfield

Fall City

Farmington

Friday Harbor

Garfield

Garrett


Geneva

George


Gold Bar

Grand Coulee

Granger

Granite Falls



Hadlock-Irondale

Hamilton


Harrah

Harrington

Hartline

Hatton


Hunts Point

Ilwaco


Index

Ione


Kahlotus

Kalama


Kettle Falls

Kitsap Lake

Kittitas

Krupp


La Center

La Conner

La Crosse

Lake Stevens

Lamont

Langley


Latah

Leavenworth

Lexington

Liberty Lake

Lind

Lone Oak


Long Beach

Lyman


Mabton

Malden


Mansfield

Marcus


Mattawa

McCleary


Mesa

Metaline


Metaline Falls

Millwood


Morton

Mossyrock

Moxee City

Mukilteo


Naches

Napavine


Nespelem

Newport


Nooksack

North Bend

North Bonneville

North Selah

Northport

Oakesdale

Oakville

Ocean Shores

Odessa

Oroville


Orting

Palouse


Pateros

Pe Ell


Pomeroy

Rainier


Reardan

Republic


Retsil

Ridgefield

Ritzville

Riverside

Rock Island

Rockford


Rosalia

Roslyn


Roy

Royal City

Ruston

Skykomish



Snoqualmie

Soap Lake

South Bend

South Cle Elum

South Prairie

South Wenatchee

Spangle

Sprague


Springdale

St. John


Stanwood

Starbuck


Stevenson

Sultan


Sumas

Sunnyslope

Suquamish

Tekoa


Tenino

Tieton


Toledo

Tonasket


Twisp

Uniontown

Vader

Waitsburg



Warden

Washtucna

Waterville

Waverly


Westport

White Salmon

Wilbur

Wilkeson


Wilson Creek

Winlock


Winthrop

Woodway


Yacolt

Yarrow Point

Yelm

Zillah


Prescott

Spokane

Tacoma

Bellevue


Everett

Lakes District



Seattle

OLYMPIA

10

103



104

105


105

105


106

108


109

11

112



112

121


123

124


125

127


129

14

14



14

14

14



140

141


142

153


155

155


16

160


164

165


169

172


173

174


174

18

20



20

20

20



20

20

20



20

20

20



202

203


209

21

21



21

21

21



21

21

211



22

220


221

23

23



231

231


231

24

24



240

241


243

25

25



26

260


261

261


271

272


28

28

28



28

28

283



3

3

302



305

31

4



4

401


404

410


410

410


411

500


503

503


504

504


505

507


507

507


508

510


512

522


525

530


530

542


542

6

6



603

7

7



706

8

9



9

9

9



904

101


101

101


101

101


101

101


101

12

12



12

12

12



12

12

12



97

97A


2

2

2



2

2

2



2

2

2



195

195


195

195


26

26

26



26

17

17



17

17

17



17

27

27



27

395


395

395


395

97

97



97

97

97



97

12

12



12

12

395



395

395


5

5

5



5

5

90



90

90

90



90

90

90



90

82

82 



82

0

200



100

Miles


50

75

1. Pick up raspberry jam from a processor in Everett. 



Highway _____  for about _____miles

2. Pick up fresh apples at a fruit packing plant in 

Wenatchee. 

Highway _____  for about _____miles

3. Deliver the apples and the jam to a supermarket in 

Spokane. 

Highway _____  for about _____miles

4. Pick up a load of wheat flour near Pullman. 

Highway _____  for  about_____miles

5. Drop off flour in Pasco; pick up sweet corn. 

Highway _____&_____&_____  for  about 

_____miles

6. Deliver corn to processing plant in Ellensburg. 

Highway _____  for _____miles

7. Pick up hay and deliver to port of Seattle for ship-

ment to Japan. 

Highway _____  for about _____miles

8. What is the total number of miles traveled? 

_____ miles

9. How many different highways did you travel? 

_____

10. How many cities did you visit?_____



AG    CLASSROOM

in

the

 

 

 2

Agriculture starts with the 

growing and harvesting of 

food, fibers, forests, and 

flowers.  



Agriculture is impor-

tant to each of us because 

we all eat food.  Farms and 

ranches produce the food we 

eat, the cotton t-shirts, jeans, 

and leather shoes we wear.  

Important ingredients such as 

fuel for our cars, soap, glue, 

many medicines, tires, books, 

and thousands of other things 

we use in our daily lives are 

also produced by farms and 

ranches. 

America’s farmers are the 

world’s most productive.  They 

produce 16% of the total world 

food production on just 10% of 

the world’s land.  US farmers 

grow more food using fewer 

resources than ever before.  

In Washington State 39,500 

farms create a $46 billion food 

and agriculture industry.  That 

represents 13% of our state’s 

economy.  We lead all other 

states in the production of 

raspberries, hops, mint oil, 

cherries, apples, pears, con-

cord grapes, and carrots for 

processing.



AGRICULTURE 

IS 

EVERYWHERE

Agriculture:  Is Science and Technology

Agriculture is the nation’s largest industry.  It is everywhere and involves 

more than 250 different ag careers.  Research and scientific discoveries 

have led to increased agricultural productivity.  The ag industry consists of 

about 24 million people who produce, process, transport, sell, and trade 

the nation’s food and fiber.  Fewer than 2 million people are actually farm-

ers.  Growers produce the raw products and other people turn them into 

the things we eat and use every day.  Consider all the jobs from the farm 

to your table, closet, or fuel tank.  Explore Ag careers at www.agriculture.

purdue.edu/USDA/careers

Genetic Science in Agriculture



Genes are distinct portions of a cell’s DNA.   Genes are coded 

instruc-


tions that determine a particular characteristic such as red hair or blue 

eyes.  Plants and animals also pass genetic traits to their descendants.

Farmers have been improving plants and animals since agriculture 

began by selecting the best individuals to use as parents for 

the next generation.  This process involves the crossing of 

thousands of genes with the hope of randomly passing on 

desirable traits.  It is a hit-or-miss process.  Unfortunately, un-

desirable traits might also result.  For instance, when farmers selected for 

heavily muscled pigs it also resulted in easily stressed pigs and meat that 

could be tough.

Using new technology, scientists can now identify the 

specific genes that carry a certain trait and that single 

trait  ca    n  be  passed  on.   This  more  precise  science 

eliminates passing along undesirable traits.

GMO refers to a living organism that has been genetically altered to 

change some trait.  In agriculture, the most widely modified trait 

is tolerance to herbicide (weed killer), followed by insect 

resistance.

Why do we use this technology?  It is precise genetic gain.  It 

results in higher yields, higher quality crops

yet it saves money because farmers use fewer and less 

toxic chemicals.

Corn, soybeans, and cotton are the most advanced in 

GMO technology.  In the future, using this technology 

we will be able to affect traits like drought resistance, 

nitrogen uptake, and nutritional quality.

Extensive food safety testing is required of all GMO 

crops before they can be grown for the public.

 

Food comes from farms:



Thank a farmer!

GMO (Genetically Modified Organism)



 

 

 3

Climate depends mainly on 

latitude. Latitude governs the angle of 

the suns rays, length of day, and even prevailing winds.  Washington 

lies between 45˚ North and 49˚ North.  That puts it in the temperate 

climate zones (between 30˚ and 60˚ latitude).  Our basic zones are 

Maritime and Steppe.  Maritime is generally along coasts and has 

large amounts of rainfall and moderate temperatures.  The Steppe 

Zone is located inland with an average rainfall of 10 - 20 inches.  It 

has hot summers and cold winters.  Within the Steppe Zone, Wash-

ington has two other zones: Desert, which has less than 10 inches 

of rainfall, and the Highlands.  The Highlands Zone is found in any 

mountainous area and temperature and precipitation vary with el-

evation, not latitude.  



Our different climate areas are a main reason 

our state produces such a wide variety of crops.  Use the precipita-

tion map to help answer the questions.

1.

  Outline Washington’s wettest area.  It is really a 

rain forest!

2.

  Which side of the Cascade Mountains gets the 

most rain?  West or East?

3.

  Where is the Maritime Zone? Where is the 

Steppe Zone?

4.

  Most of the wheat is grown in Eastern Washing-

ton.  Does that crop need a lot of rain?

5.

  Draw a circle around the desert.  Why is this 

area our most productive agricultural region in 

the state?  Hint: take a peek at page 4



6.

  Does this precipitation map give clues about 

where the Highland Zones are located?

Precipitation Map

46˚


49˚

latitude


latitude

AG DEPENDS ON CLIMATE

Some parts of Washington receive over 100 inches of rain each year.  As moist air from the ocean blows east it must rise over our 

mountain ranges.  The air cools as it rises.  Cold air cannot hold as much moisture so the clouds must release their moisture in 

the form of precipitation (rain, sleet, snow, or hail).  This results in an area that receives less precipitation on the other side of the 

mountains (the rain shadow).  Where are the rain shadow areas West of the Cascades?

Olympic Mountains 

Cascade Mountains 

Climate

DESERT


MARITIME

RAINFOREST

SNOW

WEATHER


HAIL

PRECIPITATION

RAINSHADOW

STEPPE


HIGHLANDS

RAIN


SLEET

TEMPERATE

N

V

I



N

F

Y



Y

F

H



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PUGET SOUND 

LOWLANDS


Most of our urban population is concentrated in this re-

gion, but there is rich soil in these lowlands that stretches 

from the Puget Sound to the base of the Cascades. This 

area is perfect for that fabulous milk maker, the dairy cow, 

as well as for raspberries, vegetable seed, produce, tulips, 

nursery products and shellfish.



The climate, physical features, and geography change as 

you cross Washington, dividing our state into distinct 

regions.

How many regions are there?

How many counties does our state have?

We also have deep-water ports.  Place the ports 

of Seattle, Tacoma, Vancouver, Longview, Grays 

Harbor, and Port Angeles on the map below.

COLUMBIA BASIN

 The dry region east of the Cascades is a huge lava plateau with rich 

soils.  The heart of the basin receives less than 10 inches of 

precipitation yet this region is our most productive agricultural 

region.  The reason is 



irrigation.  The Columbia River and its tribu-

taries provide water for a region that has ideal conditions for alfalfa, 

potatoes, corn, mint, grapes, apples, cherries, and many other crops.

Wahkiakum

Whatcom

Skagit

Snohomish

King

Pierce

Thurston

Lewis

Cowlitz

Clark

Skamania

Pacific

Grays

Harbor

Mason

Jefferson

Clallam

Klickitat

Yakima

Kittitas

Chelan

Okanogan

Ferry

Stevens

Lincoln

Spokane 

Adams

Whitman

Grant

Douglas

Franklin

Benton

Walla Walla

Columbia

Garfield

Asotin

Pend

Oreille

San Juan

Island

Kitsap

CASCADE 


MOUNTAINS

The Cascades have spectacular peaks and lots of 

timber and recreation areas. The lower elevations 

provide grazing areas for cattle as well as land 

that grows timothy hay and apples.

 

4

WILLAPA HILLS

The coastal hills are ideal f

or growing Christmas tr

ees. 


Trees are harvested in the fall and bundled in large 

stacks.  This region also pr

oduces cranberries, o

ysters, 


and is home to many farmers  mark

ets and community 

supported agricultur

e (CSA) operations.

OLYMPIC PENINSULA

The Olympic Mountains 

provide timber and recr

eation.  Forest 

products like an evergreen shrub named salal,

 are collected 

and shipped nationwide to florists.

  Lavender is a fa

vorite floral 

crop from this region.

 

Grown In Washington



Grown In Washington

~ Hooray! Washington is #1~

Washington leads the nation in the production of several crops 

(2011 crop data).  Identify the counties or regions that are 

named below.

 1  

Red Raspberries – 92.3% of US supply 



– Delicious and nutritious, grown 

for eating fresh, or in jams, jellies, or pies.  Raspberries can be harvested 

mechanically.  Whatcom county leads the state with over 90% of this crop.   

www.red-raspberry.org

 2 

 

 



Hops –79.2%

 – Hops are used to flavor beer.  The Yakima valley pro-

duces three-fourths of the state’s hops.  The dry climate along with lots of 

irrigation water from the Yakima River create ideal conditions for this crop.  

www.usahops.org

 3 


 

Mint Oil


 – Grant and Adams counties lead the state in production of mint.  

Every pound of oil will flavor 30,000 sticks of gum or 1000 tubes of tooth-

paste.  Of the total US supply, Washington produces:

78.7% Spearmint Oil    26.1% Peppermint Oil  (2

nd

 in nation)



 

4

  Sweet Cherries – 58.6%



 – Cherries are one of the fastest maturing fruits.  

In just 60 days blossoms mature into sweet and tasty fruit.  They are picked, 

packed, and shipped to markets in the U.S. and more than 42 countries 

around the world.  Leading cherry counties are Yakima, Grant, Chelan, Ben-

ton, and Okanogan. www.nwcherries.com

 

5



  

Apples–57.4% 

– Apples are the crop that consumers most often link with 

Washington state.  Five areas all share ideal growing conditions -- weather, 

soil, and water.  These areas can be seen at www.bestapples.com/growers/

regions/index.shtml  (Okanogan, Lake Chelan, Wenatchee Valley, Columbia 

Basin, and Yakima Valley)

 6

 



 

Pears – 47.9%

 – The pear has been grown by man for more than four 

thousand years.  Washington pears are picked by hand and are prized 

for their flavor and long storage life.  Yakima county has the most acres of 

pears, followed by Chelan, Okanogan, Grant, and Douglas. 

www.usapears.com

 7

  



Concord Grapes – 37.3%

 – These are the grapes used to make grape 

juice, jams, and jellies.  We also grow 23% of Niagra grapes which are used 

to make white grape juice.  All these grapes are harvested by machine.  Ya-

kima, Benton, and Franklin counties grow the most concord grapes.

 8 


 

Processing Carrots – 35.6%

 – Carrots provide 30% of the Vitamin A in 

the US diet.  Carrots are sliced or diced to be frozen or canned.  Benton, 

Franklin, and Grant counties grow these carrots.  Carrots for the fresh mar-

ket are grown in both Western and Eastern Washington. 



The climate, physical features, and geography change as 

you cross Washington, dividing our state into distinct 

regions.

How many regions are there?

How many counties does our state have?

We also have deep-water ports.  Place the ports 

of Seattle, Tacoma, Vancouver, Longview, Grays 

Harbor, and Port Angeles on the map below.

5

COLUMBIA BASIN

 The dry region east of the Cascades is a huge lava plateau with rich 

soils.  The heart of the basin receives less than 10 inches of 

precipitation yet this region is our most productive agricultural 

region.  The reason is 



irrigation.  The Columbia River and its tribu-

taries provide water for a region that has ideal conditions for alfalfa, 

potatoes, corn, mint, grapes, apples, cherries, and many other crops.

Wahkiakum

Whatcom

Skagit

Snohomish

King

Pierce

Thurston

Lewis

Cowlitz

Clark

Skamania

Pacific

Grays

Harbor

Mason

Jefferson

Clallam

Klickitat

Yakima

Kittitas

Chelan

Okanogan

Ferry

Stevens

Lincoln

Spokane 

Adams

Whitman

Grant

Douglas

Franklin

Benton

Walla Walla

Columbia

Garfield

Asotin

Pend

Oreille

San Juan

Island

Kitsap

BLUE MOUNTAINS

The Snake River skirts around the Blue Mountain 

range in the southeast corner of our state before it 

feeds into the Columbia River. Cattle graze among 

sagebrush and timber.  Wheat, barley, asparagus, 

onions, green peas, and grapes are grown here. This 

region also boasts the most inland seaport serving 

the 

Pacific Rim at Lewiston-Clarkston.

Concord 


Grapes

Cherries


Hop

Cone


Make Your Own Bar Graph:

(using the crop percentages given above)



APPLES

CONCORDS

SPEARMINT

HOPS

CHERRIES

PROCES

SING

 

CARROTS

PEARS

RASPBERRIES

Raspberries

Pears

Apples 


OKANOGAN 

HIGHLANDS

The Okanogan Highlands are rugged foot-

hills between the Cascades on the west, and 

the Rocky Mountains to the east. Here beef 

cattle graze among another valuable renew-

able resource, trees. Trees provide paper, 

pencils, furniture, and houses. This region 

also grows a variety of fruit trees.

Mint


Grown In Washington

Grown In Washington

 

Processing 



Carrots

WE ARE #1! 

100

90

80 

70

60

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10

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PERCENT IN ALL OF USA

  

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Washington is blessed with great 

soil and a climate for growing many 

different crops. That’s not all! Our 

mighty rivers and ocean ports 

help us move all kinds of products 

throughout the Pacific Rim at an 

affordable cost. That means that 

wheat trucked from Montana and 

potatoes grown in Idaho, as well as 

items  from our own state, can travel 

by water to ports around the globe.

A Water Stairway

The Columbia and Snake Rivers form 

a highway for boats and barges. This 

could not happen without a series 

of 8 locks and dams that make a 

stairway in the river. Between the port 

of Clarkston and the Pacific Ocean the 

rivers drop over 700 feet. Like a water 

stairway, the locks allow boats to move 

up and down the rivers.



A

 lock and dam work to-

gether. The dam holds back 

water creating a pool. The 

lock is a rectangular water 

chamber near the dam with 

watertight gates at each 

end.

T

o lower a boat or barge, 

the lock is filled with water 

to the upstream level. The 

barge moves into the lock. 

The upstream gate closes 

and water is drained out of 

the lock, lowering the barge 

to the downstream level. 

The downstream gate opens 

and the barge leaves the 

lock.

B

oats can also travel the 

other direction moving 

from lower to higher water 

levels. Through locks, boats 

can travel past dams, water-

falls and other obstacles.

 

6

3500 tons of wheat shipped on 

1 barge


That’s A Lot of Wheat!

In 2011, Washington farmers produced 10,072,800,000 

pounds of wheat.  How many tons is that?  Nearly 85% 

of  the  crop  is  exported.    Barges  are  the  most  efficient 

transportation to deep water ports.

= 117 Semi Trucks

= 35 rail cars


  

 

  Pumpkins are more than a just a pretty or scary face.  They are healthy to eat, have a rich 

history, and are also used as decorations.  Pumpkins are a member of the gourd family, which in-

cludes cucumber, honeydew melons, cantaloupe, watermelons, and zucchini.  They have been grown in North America 

for thousands of years and are grown on every continent except Antarctica.  

 

  Pumpkins are grown and processed into canned pumpkin and canned pie mixes. Pumpkins can also 



be grown for decorative reasons.  They can range in size from less than one pound to more than 

1,000 pounds (The current Guinness world record is 2,009 pounds).   A common use for them is to 

carve them into Jack-O-Lanterns, but did you know that the tradition originated in Ireland with the 

carving of turnips?

  Before corn was a staple food source for the Native Americans they used pumpkins to help them through the 

winters.  They discovered many ways to use the pumpkin in their diets.  They would boil, roast, or fry the inner meat. 

The blossoms were added to soups and the seeds made a tasty snack.  

  Eating pumpkins can provide your body with Vitamins A, C, K, and E.  It is also a good source of other minerals such 

as magnesium, potassium, and iron.  The bright orange color of the pumpkin tells you that it is full of beta-carotene.  

Beta-carotene is converted to vitamin A in the body, which helps bones, cell development, and also helps promote 

healthy eyesight.  

  There are many ways to get pumpkins in your diet or in your home.  You can visit a farmer’s market, look for them at your 

local grocery store, or visit a pumpkin patch in your area.  Take a look at pickyourown.org for you-pick farms near you.

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Pumpkins


Pumpkins

Pumpkin Life Cycle

  seeds 

sprout 


vines 

flower 


green 

orange


  Agritourism is growing in popularity across the US.  The term agritourism means any activity that attracts visitors to a farm 

or ranch.  The types of activities on the farm may include picking fruits and vegetables, riding horses, tasting honey, learning about 

cheese making, or shopping at the farm stand.  Agritourism provides farmers the opportunity to share and educate visitors about 

their way of life, and to earn extra money.



Pumpkin Poem

One day I found two pumpkin seeds.

I planted one and pulled the weeds.

It sprouted roots and a big, long 

vine.

A pumpkin grew; I called it mine.



The pumpkin was quite round and fat.

(I really am quite proud of that.)

But there is something I’ll admit

That has me worried just a bit.

I ate the other seed, you see.

Now will it grow inside of me?

(I’m so relieved since I have found 

That pumpkins only grow in the 

ground!)

                   Author: Unknown

Circle all the nouns

Underline the verbs

Cross out the adjectives.

Agritourism

Hi, we’re Bennett 

and Mally Huffman. 

We are 12 and 10 

years-old and we 

live on Huffman 

Farms, a pumpkin 

farm in Ellensburg, 

WA.

 We love growing 



up on our farm be-

cause it means hav-

ing lots of animals 

for our petting zoo. 

In the spring, we get 

to help deliver the baby lambs and bottle feed any-

body who needs extra milk. Spring also means pump-

kins! We each get to help plant, then we see all of our 

great pumpkins sprouting just weeks later. Our family 

also planted a corn maze this year, which has been a 

lot of fun to run through this summer. The best part 

of growing up on our farm though is seeing every-

one come out and have fun in the fall. We like telling 

people about our animals, leading hayrides, watching 

people pick their favorite pumpkin and seeing all of 

our friends. These are just a few of the reasons we 

like growing up on our farm. If we listed them all, we’d 

have a book.



              

Wheat Feeds the World

Wheat Feeds the World

What’s so special about wheat?  Wheat has been a staple in our food supply for over 12,000 years. All parts of the 

wheat kernel, from the outer bran to the inner germ, supply nutritious ingredients in a variety of breads, cakes, cereals, 

pastas and more.  Wheat is a delicious part of healthy eating, low in fat and high in complex carbohydrates that fuel our 

bodies with long-lasting energy. 

Who Grew My Soup?

Who Grew My Soup? written by Tom 

Darbyshire, tells a story of a young boy 

named Phineas Quinn and his curiosity 

about the vegetables that are in the 

soup his mom makes him for lunch.  He 

declares that he will not eat his soup 

until his ques-

tions are an-

swered about 

who grew his 

soup.  This 

leads Phineas 

on a journey 

from farm to 

farm, learning 

about amaz-

ing vegetables 

and the farm-

ers that grow 

them.

Farming 

Gail Gibbons delivers another wonderful 

book describing real-life and factual infor-

mation.  In this book you will read about 

what life is like on a farm throughout all 

of the seasons.  Every season is illustrated 

to show the different chores and activi-

ties that are done to provide food and 

crops for people.  This is a wonderful book 

that helps us 

understand 

where our 

food comes 

from and the 

hard work 

it takes to 

get it to our 

plates.


W h e a t 

was  first  grown  in 

the US in 1602 as a hobby 

crop.  The  first  Northwest  wheat 

crop was planted in 1825 at Fort Van-

couver,  Washington.  Today,  the  North-

west  produces  91  percent  of  US  white 

wheat.  Washington  is  the  4th  largest 

wheat  producing  state  in  the  nation 

with  more  than  2  million  acres  in 

production  (1  acre  is  about 

the  size  of  a  football 

field).

P

rodu



ct

i

on



M o s t 

wheat is milled into 

flour.    Thousands  of  years 

ago,  milling  wheat  into  flour 

involved  crushing  the  wheat  and 

other  grains  between  stones.    This 

was a difficult and slow process.  Those 

stones have evolved into machinery that 

turns the wheat into a fine powder.  At 

one  point  in  history  there  were  as 

many as 160 flour mills in Wash-

ington.  Today there are less 

than ten.

T h e 


bulk  of  Washing-

ton wheat, about 85-90%, 

is  exported.    There  are  three 

main modes of transportation used 

to get our grain to the Pacific Northwest 

ports along the Columbia River: trucks, 

barges and trains.  Over 60% of Wash-

ington’s wheat exports travel by barge 

from  ports  along  the  400-mile 

Columbia-Snake  river  system 

to Portland.

W a s h -

ington  wheat  is 

marketed  around  the 

world  especially  to  nations  in 

the  Middle  East,  Japan,  Taiwan 

and South Korea.  If 85% of it is ex-

ported, how much do we use domesti-

cally?      A  farmer’s  livelihood  depends 

on the wheat market.  Prices are con-

stantly changing depending on world 

supply  and  the  needs  of  the  con-

sumers.      Once  the  wheat  has 

been harvested and sold, it is 

time to think about next 

year’s crop

Production

Processing

Transportation

Marketing



Ag Library Corner

Max the Farm Dog

Follow Max the Farm Dog on Facebook 

and learn interesting facts about Ag-

riculture in Washington State.

Visit: 

www.myamericanfarm.org

 

to play on-line games and 

explore fun family 

activities.



It’s all about     agriculture.  

Wheat Facts

..The kernel is also the seed from 

which the plant grows.

…More foods are made with 

wheat the world over than with 

any other cereal grain.

…One 60-pound bushel of 

wheat provides about 42 pounds 

of white flour, 60 to 73 loaves of 

bread, or 42 pounds of pasta.

…A modern combine can har-

vest 2,000 bushels (60 pounds = 

one bushel of wheat) per hour

. …Assuming a sandwich was 

eaten for breakfast, lunch, and 

dinner, it would take 168 days to 

eat the amount of bread pro-

duced from one bushel of wheat.

Visit the Washington Ag in the Classroom web site at:  

http://www.waic.net/



 

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