AGR*1110 Introduction to Agri-Food Systems

course node page

The following description is for the course offering in Fall 2018 and is subject to change. It is provided for information only. The course outline distributed to the class at the beginning of the semester describes the course content and delivery, and defines the methods and criteria to be used in establishing the final grades for the course.
 

This introductory course provides an overview of Canadian and global agri-food systems. Students will be introduced to many different facets of agriculture, including primary production (conventional and organic) of commodity, mid-value and high-value crops, and livestock. Students will explore the agri-food system by tracing consumer end-products back to primary production. Modern, industrial agri-food systems as well as subsistence farming will be discussed. The course incorporates an experiential learning component in which students will explore a new agri-food opportunity for Ontario by designing and assessing the value chain.

Instructors:

Teaching Assistant:

Austin Bruch, Brett Hilker, Kamal Khadka, Caleb Niemeyer, Avery Richer

Credit Weight:

1.00

Course Level:

  • Undergraduate

Academic Department (or campus):

Department of Plant Agriculture

Campus:

Guelph

Semester Offering:

  • Fall

Class Schedule and Location:

Please refer to Web Advisor for class schedule and location.

Learning outcomes:

By the end of this course, you should be able to:

  1. have an awareness of the complexity and breadth of the Canadian agri-food system

  2. have an understanding of basic statistical analysis of a large data set and graphic representation of data

  3. have further developed your written communication skills through one-on-one interaction with a teaching assistant

  4. have gained experience in visual and oral presentations

  5. have gained an introduction to the contrasts of subsistence versus commercial agri-food systems

  6. have gained critical analysis and problem-solving skills to help tackle real-world problems in the agri-food system

Lecture Content:

Topics to be covered in lectures include:

  • Agriculture & Society
  • What makes up an agri-food system?
  • What does the Canadian agri-food system look like and how does it compare to the US, the EU and California?
  • Economics, policy and trade
  • History of modern agriculture
  • Overview of animal agriculture
  • Supply managed - dairy systems
  • Supply managed - egg production
  • Supply managed - poultry production
  • Non-managed - beef production
  • Non-managed - pork production
  • Non-managed - small ruminants and alternative species production
  • Non-managed - fish production (Aquaculture)
  • The role of animal agriculture in feeding 9 billion
  • Ancient and modern political and geographic history of Africa and African agriculture
  • Tropical subsistence farming
  • Subtropical/dryland subsistance farming
Labs & Seminars:

Course Assignments and Tests:

Assignments and Tests
Contribution to Final Grade

Midterm 1

24%

Midterm 2

24%

Final Exam

36%

Food Journal Entry 1

6%

Food Journal Entry 2

6%

Statistical Analysis of Journal Entry 1

12%

Graphing of Food Journal Entry 1

8%

Writing Assignment

16%

CAFI - List of 3 export ideas

2%

CAFI - Interim two-page report

10%

CAFI - Powerpoint or YouTube Presentation 

10%

CAFI - Evaluation as "Dragon's Den" Panel Member

2%

CAFI - Final Essay

40%

CAFI - Website Entry

4%

Final examination:

Please refer to Web Advisor for exam schedule and location.

Course Resources:

Required Texts:

None

Recommended Texts:

None

Lab Manual:

None.

PDFs of required readings will be posted on Courselink, in addition to all lecture notes, instructional course materials and grades: https://courselink.uoguelph.ca.

Course Policies:

Grading Policies:

Late Policy

Late Policy/Medical Illness/ Royal Ag Winter Fair: Assignments are NOT accepted late, except without a medical note or extreme circumstance (death in the family). If you are showing (only) at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, and will therefore miss an exam or assignment, please notify the relevant TA (for assignments) or relevant instructor (for an exam) at least 2 weeks in advance.

Please allow 24 to 48 hours for a response to your query. Keep in mind that even before you complete your university degree, you will be corresponding with people who may become your employer. Practicing professional email communications right from the start is a good habit to get into.

Copies of out-of-class assignments

Keep paper and/or other reliabl/Medical Illness/ Royal Ag Winter Fair: Assignments are NOT accepted late, except without a medical note or extreme circumstance (death in the family). If you are showing (only) at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, and will therefore miss an exam or assignment, please notify the relevant TA (for assignments) or relevant instructor (for an exam) at least 2 weeks in advance.e back-up copies of all out-of-class assignments: you may be asked to resubmit work at any time.

Course Policy on Group Work:

Not applicable.

Course Policy regarding use of electronic devices and recording of lectures:

Presentations which are made in relation to course work—including lectures—cannot be recorded or copied without the written permission of the presenter, whether the instructor, a classmate or guest lecturer. Material recorded with permission is restricted to use for that course unless further permission is granted. If the instructor provides a recording of the lecture (aka “podcast”), these recordings are also solely for the use of the authorized student and may not be reproduced, or transmitted to others, without the express written consent of the instructor. Please note that if provided, podcasts are an optional additional tool for assisting with your learning and there is no guarantee a podcast will be available for every lecture.

Course Policy on email:

Email is used as an important source of updates about this course. All official email from the instructor will be sent to your University email account (@uoguelph.ca). It is expected that you are checking this email account on a frequent basis. University policy prevents instructors from replying to a non-U of G email about anything to do with this course. The instructors for this course are involved with other courses as well, just as you are. If you email a course instructor and would like a timely response, please keep in mind that over 1,000 other students may also be emailing the instructors about this course and other courses – it can be a lot of email in a day. In order to facilitate an answer to your email, please consider the following guidelines:

  • correspond with the instructor using your official University email only (@uoguelph.ca), emails from other addresses could be screened as spam
  • if the answer to your email query can be found in the course outline or other material posted on the AGR-1110 CourseLink site, you might not receive a reply
  • include the course code (AGR-1110) in the subject along with a few relevant key words indicating what your message is about
  • include your full name and student number in the email signature

Please allow 24 to 48 hours for a response to your query. Keep in mind that even before you complete your university degree, you will be corresponding with people who may become your employer. Practising professional email communications right from the start is a good habit to get into.

Other Course Information:

University Policies

Academic Consideration

When you find yourself unable to meet an in-course requirement because of illness or compassionate reasons, please advise the course instructor in writing, with your name, id#, and e-mail contact. See the academic calendar for information on regulations and procedures for Academic Consideration:

Academic Misconduct

The University of Guelph is committed to upholding the highest standards of academic integrity and it is the responsibility of all members of the University community, faculty, staff, and students  to be aware of what constitutes academic misconduct and to do as much as possible to prevent academic offences from occurring.

University of Guelph students have the responsibility of abiding by the University's policy on academic misconduct regardless of their location of study; faculty, staff and students have the responsibility of supporting an environment that discourages misconduct. Students need to remain aware that instructors have access to and the right to use electronic and other means of detection. Please note: Whether or not a student intended to commit academic misconduct is not relevant for a finding of guilt. Hurried or careless submission of assignments does not excuse students from responsibility for verifying the academic integrity of their work before submitting it. Students who are in any doubt as to whether an action on their part could be construed as an academic offence should consult with a faculty member or faculty advisor.

The Academic Misconduct Policy is detailed in the University Calenders:

Accessibility

The University of Guelph is committed to creating a barrier-free environment. Providing services for students is a shared responsibility among students, faculty and administrators. This relationship is based on respect of individual rights, the dignity of the individual and the University community's shared commitment to an open and supportive learning environment. Students requiring service or accommodation, whether due to an identified, ongoing disability or a short-term disability should contact the Student Accessibility Services (SAS), formerly Centre for Students with Disabilities (CSD), as soon as possible.

For more information, contact CSD at 519-824-4120 ext. 56208 or email sas@uoguelph.ca or visit the Student Accessibility Services website: http://www.uoguelph.ca/csd/.

Course Evaluation Information

Your ratings and comments are important.  Course evaluation data are used to assess and enhance the quality of teaching and student learning at the University of Guelph.  Student course ratings and comments are used as an important component in the Faculty Tenure & Promotion process, and as valuable feedback to help instructors improve their teaching effectiveness and to improve the delivery of the course.

Your responses will not affect your grade.  Course evaluation data are distributed to individual instructors after final grades have been submitted to the Registrar, following the completion of each academic semester.

Please be honest, respectful, constructive and thorough.  Instructors and review committees place great value on student course ratings and read all comments provided in course evaluations. It is helpful to provide comments on the strengths of the course, in addition to the areas for improvement.  Please refrain from personal comments unless they relate to teaching and learning.

Click here for the University of Guelph Course Evaluation System