Virtual Field Trip: Wicked Old Farms and Fairs
Farming goes back thousands of years in New Hampshire's history, from the indigenous people who first developed it to the English settlers who brought new ways and different crops to America, and right up through today.
This virtual field trip looks at farming in the Granite State today, visiting a dairy farm in Westmoreland and Deerfield Fair, the oldest agricultural fair in the state.
A graphic organizer helps students record what they learn from the video, which, when combined with the activity, tackles the question: How did farms help build New Hampshire’s communities?
The video is 21 minutes.
Before You Take Your Virtual Field Trip . . .
Take a closer look at the word “agriculture” with students and ask them what they think it means. What is part of agriculture? Who depends on it? Who does the work of agriculture. Ensure that all students understand that agriculture involves all the processes and people that raise crops and livestock.
Discuss the big question
How did farms help build New Hampshire’s communities? Ask students how they think farms connect people and grow communities. What kind of experiences have students had with farms and farming life?
During Your Virtual Field Trip . . .
Organize facts and ideas
An optional graphic organizer is provided to help students identify and expand upon the three key ideas addressed during the trip. As they listen and watch, students can check off the key idea as they hear it mentioned. The chart below provides space for students to note supporting facts that relate to each idea. This graphic organizer could be used as part of a preview to the trip. It also works well as a review exercise after the trip and can be completed as a whole group or independently.
This graphic organizer helps students organize the information they learn in the virtual field trip.
Come See Life on the Farm
Farms have always been an important part of New Hampshire life, and agricultural fairs are a way to celebrate those farms, both past and present. Let’s visit a working dairy farm and the state’s oldest agricultural fair to learn all about farming in New Hampshire, and answer our big question: how did farms help to build New Hampshire’s communities?
After Your Virtual Field Trip . . .
You bought a farm!
In this activity, students imagine that the year is 1890 and they have bought a New Hampshire farm. They will name their farm, decide what it will produce, and think about what daily life would be like. Then, they will decide to take one product from their farm to an agricultural fair. They can either write a letter describing their experience at the fair or draw a poster for the event they will be competing in. After all students have described their competition, make a list of all the different farm products that would be seen at your classroom’s agricultural fair, and talk discuss which of these things students might still see today.
Want To Do More?
Go further with these extension activities
Find the farm products. Can students guess which crops and livestock are New Hampshire’s top five agricultural products today? Brainstorm a class list and then reveal this list based on data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture: miscellaneous crops (which includes fruits and vegetables, hay, and alfalfa), dairy products, chicken eggs, turkeys, cattle and calves. (Maple syrup comes in sixth!) Then, explore the New Hampshire Farm Products map created by the University of New Hampshire Extension to learn more about where different products are grown. The map can be accessed at https://arcg.is/15L1fa
Show farm changes over time. Using the “Timeline of NH Farms” activity in Lesson 1: “Evolution of Farming” of Unit 8: “Changing Times on the Farm,” help students develop a deeper understanding of how agriculture has impacted life in New Hampshire. Ideal for small groups or as independent practice, the activity combines labels with historic images.
The New Hampshire Historical Society thanks the following organizations for assisting in the making of this virtual field trip:
Londonderry Historical Society