Ag. Geo 3210 Midterm Review Questions
1. Identify and discuss the circumstances responsible for the industrial transformation of
agriculture in North America and Western Europe in the decades following WWII?
• After WW2 practices from Industrial production were applied to the production of food
and fiber – the mechanization of agriculture. Division of labor was also implemented
which resulted in a deskilled workforce, which allowed workers to be replaced easily.
Farm size increase and the number of farms decreased, which resulted in a structural
transformation of agriculture (Bowlers Transformation): intensification; where off farm
inputs increased, along with an increase of production per unit area, concentration; where
the number of farms decreased, but the size of farms increased, there is more corporate
management, and specialization; farms produce fewer commodities, but greater volumes
of each commodity.
• This leads to 3 options for producers: ‘go big, go niche, or go home’ Industrialize, niche
market, or sell.
2. What does it mean to think critically? Why are critical thinking skills important in the context
of studying agrifood systems?
Tom says I missed the technological treadmill, rising wages, expanding food supply
and depressed prices.
• To think critically means to analyze what you are thinking about, to not let emotions
hinder your ability to make rational decisions. A critical thinker will focus on the
argument rather than the person making the argument and will treat their first reaction as
temporary. Critical thinking skills are important in the context of studying agrifood
systems because people can make claims about agriculture and food production, and the
claim may be true, but we need to know the context around the claim. We need to think
deeper than just what they are giving us. Example of the NDP claim in 1972 about
farmland being turned into urban land at a rate of 26 ac/hr; it was true, but it was
wasteland, not productive farmland.
3. Compare and contrast Environmental Determinism and von Thünen’s Rent Theory in the
context of understanding geographic patterns of agricultural land use.
• Environmental determinism is the idea that the environment determines where crops are
grown and Von Thünen’s rent theory claims that distance to market determines the land
• They both have a claim that the