Summary

The environmental impact of agriculture varies based on the wide variety of agricultural practices employed around the world. Some of the environmental issues that are related to agriculture are climate change, deforestation, dead zones, genetic engineering, water, pollutants, soil degradation, and waste. Developing a global food system that both achieves food security and reduces agriculture’s environmental impact is one of the foremost challenges of our time.

Agriculture & the Environment

A key challenge for the agriculture sector is to feed an increasing global population, while at the same time reducing the environmental impact and preserving natural resources for future generations. Agriculture can have significant impacts on the environment. While negative impacts are serious, and can include pollution and degradation of soil, water, and air, agriculture can also positively impact the environment, for instance by trapping greenhouse gases within crops and soils, or mitigating flood risks through the adoption of certain farming practices. Saskatchewan farmer Cherilyn Nagel talks about how pesticides and plant biotechnology help ensure her farm is more sustainable than ever. 

Canadian farmers are more efficient and innovative than ever, using increased precision and automation. And Canada’s food processing sector is strong, diversified and dynamic. View this video to learn how Canada’s agricultural and agri-food sector is poised for continued success. 

Guiding Questions:

What are the social, economic, and environmental impacts of feeding the world?
How does innovation in agriculture lead to improved sustainability?
How can my consumer choices affect sustainability?

 

What's being done on farms today? View these videos showcasing Alberta farmers and their environmental stewardship practices. 

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Let's Keep GROWing

Want to dig deeper into the topic? 

Download the lesson plan and accompanying student worksheet to engage students and challenge them to think critically about agriculture and the environment. 

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Teacher Lesson Plan

Lesson Plan Sample

Download

Student Worksheets

Additional Resources

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