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Agriculture and Life Sciences
On this page you will find several openly licensed Agriculture and Life Sciences textbooks along with supplemental material, interactive simulations, and other resources.
Discipline-specific pages are not intended to be exhaustive, but to showcase content that may be of interest to faculty considering adopting open educational resources for use in their classes. See also resources for Veterinary Medicine.
For more information about Creative Commons including license descriptions, please see the Creative Commons tab.
The Economics of Food and Agricultural Markets
Reviewer Comments: 1) "If you are looking for a textbook that manages to be both thorough and succinct, reducing agricultural economics to its core tenets without sacrificing eloquence or inspiration, then The Economics of Food and Agricultural Markets is for you!" Bailey Norwood, Barry Pollard, M.D. / P&K Equipment Professorship in Agribusiness, Oklahoma State University. 2)
"Dr. Barkley has produced an accessible electronic textbook that connects economic theory related to non-competitive market structures to contemporary, relevant agricultural firms and issues. His explanation of theory and quantitative applications are well-crafted to train university students in an economic way of thinking and to help them recognize how economic principles are at work all over the agricultural and food landscape. " Brian K. Coffey, Assistant Professor, Department of Agricultural Economics, Kansas State University.
Economics of Food and Agriculture
This is a heavily‐revised version of an introductory agricultural economics textbook, Economics of Food and Agriculture, that was originally published by Kendall Hunt in 1990. The material is intended for use as a series of classroom presentations for an introductory agricultural economics course. No mathematics prerequisites other than basic algebra are required.
About the Author: David L. Debertin is Professor Emeritus of Agricultural Economics at the University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky and has been on the University of Kentucky Agricultural Economics faculty since 1974 with a specialization in agricultural production and community resource economics. He received a B.S. and an M.S. degree from North Dakota State University, and completed a Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics at Purdue University in 1973. He has taught the introductory graduate-level course in agricultural production economics in each year he has been at the University of Kentucky.
Introduction to Permaculture
This free introduction to permaculture is meant for the novice and the professional alike, with no prior experience necessary. For the person new to permaculture design and land stewardship, this book will provide a foundation from which to build upon with subsequent training.
Soil and Water Conservation: An Annotated Bibliography
2019. This work highlights freely-available online resources covering various aspects of soil and water conservation, and is designed to be a resource for conservation students and practitioners. The thirteen chapters in the annotated bibliography are grouped into four sections, including History and Fundamentals, Conservation Practices, Conservation Implementation, and Careers. Types of cited resources include extension bulletins, USDA NRCS conservation practice standards, and other government reports and resources. Cited resources are generally concise, easily read, and meant for general audiences. Annotations and images are used to provide context for each resource.
Read more about this work at: https://acsess.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/nse2.20014 AND view the poster presentation: https://nactateachers.org/images/2020_Posters/2020-0092.pdf
Course materials: Lecture Videos, Interactive Simulations etc.
Soils Laboratory Manual - K-State Edition
The Soils Laboratory Manual, K-State Edition is designed for students in undergraduate, introductory soil science courses, and highlights the many aspects of soil science, including: soil genesis and classification, soil physical properties, soil-water interaction, soil biology, soil chemistry, and soil fertility. The lab manual includes 15 different laboratories, each one starting with an introduction and pre-lab assignment, followed by in-lab activities, and complimented by post-lab assignment. In-lab activities involve field trips, experiments, observation stations, or problem sets. Post-lab assignments include online quizzes, problem sets, or laboratory summary reports.
Credit in Agriculture
[Unit of study] This unit covers different types of loans that agricultural producers commonly use in the business of farming and ranching. It explains some key terms that are important to understand, and provides the equations and framework for setting up loans for short-term (operating loans and lines of credit) as well as amortized loans (equal principal payment loans and equal total payment loans).
Teaching Organic Farming & Gardening: Resources for Instructors
[Free online but not under an open license] Newly updated and expanded in 2015, this 700-page manual covers practical aspects of organic farming and gardening, applied soil science, and social and environmental issues in agriculture. Units contain lecture outlines, field and laboratory demonstrations, assessment questions, and annotated resource lists. Although much of the material has been developed for field or garden demonstrations and skill building, most of the units can also be tailored to a classroom setting.
The training manual is designed for a wide audience of those involved in teaching farming and gardening, including colleges and universities with programs in sustainable agriculture, student farms or gardens, and on-farm education programs; urban agriculture, community garden, and farm training programs; farms with internships or apprenticeships; agriculture extension stations; school gardening programs; organizations such as the Peace Corps, US AID, and other groups that provide international training in food growing and ecological growing methods; and master gardener programs.
Teaching Direct Marketing and Small Farm Viability
[Free online but not released under an open license] Teaching Direct Marketing and Small Farm Viability: Resources for Instructors builds on the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems’ first training manual, Teaching Organic Farming and Gardening: Resources for Instructors. It is based on USUC's experience
educating more than 1,500 apprentice growers in organic production, farm and business planning, direct marketing at a roadside farm stand, and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) management through hands-on training.
Public Domain Images
Project No. 10 Agricultural Engineering Archive
[Public Domain] Over 1,700 agricultural engineering images from Virginia Tech, Extension Service; Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE); and Virginia Tech Biological Systems Engineering dating (1905-1940s in Virginia)