Curriculum: Agriculture: Plant and Animal Production [§
Texas Legacy site hosts a variety of educational curricula, lesson
plans, keys and ideas, and supporting media, including video,
databases, transcripts and other material. Below you can find
the TEKS Agriculture standards for Plant and Animal
as described in section
119.28(c)(2, 3 and 4), with relevant
activities drawn from this archive.
The student seeks
attain academic skills and knowledge, to acquire knowledge and
skills related to food and fiber production and the workplace, and
develop knowledge and skills regarding career opportunities, entry
requirements, and industry expectations:
Excerpts of TEKS Text
(2) The student identifies the importance and influence of
soils, soil fertility, and soil conservation to society.
farmers and ranchers in the TexasLegacy.org archive, whether
they are in the Panhandle or the Rio Grande Valley, recognize
the importance of soils, and offer helpful experience and
insights to students.
insights about soil fertility and its importance, consider the
views of the Albany, Oklahoma rancher,
Walt Davis, or the
thoughts of Austin farmer,
Carol Ann Sayle.
As a warning about the consequences of ignoring good soil care,
watch the video about Lubbock singer and songwriter
Andy Wilkinson's memory of the Dust Bowl.
The student knows the importance of plants and their influence
one TexasLegacy.org narrator likes to note, all non-plant life on
the planet is basically parasitic, hitching a ride on the
photosynthetic abilities of plants. Plants ARE important,
and a number of archive narrators give many examples.
we move further into an urban consumer culture (see the segment
with San Antonio media expert,
Pleas McNeel), we can tend to lose touch with the close
underlying connection our society and economy retains with the
plant world. This link was more apparent in past
days, when our cities and businesses were more agricultural,
and tied more closely to farmlands. Please watch the
Mickey and Bob Burleson to understand how San Antonio,
San Marcos, Austin, Waco grew up as market towns to service the
great crop lands of the Blackland Prairie. Or, watch the
Marie Killebrew, about early settlement days for
ranchers in the Panhandle.
of these connections involve the foods, fibers and
shelter that plants provide. Some of these uses are
based on wild plants. As examples, please see Austin
Scooter Cheatham discuss cactus uses and Rio Grande City
Benito Trevino explain
yucca applications. Some of these important uses are
based on domestic crops, whether for cotton in fabrics (see the
Gary Oldham and O'Donnell marketer
Larhea Pepper), or fruit to eat (please watch Mission
should also be aware of the critical role plants provide in
absorbing, harvesting, and purifying water, both
giving us water to drink and protecting us from floods. San
Antonio landscape architect
Larry DeMartino and Johnson City rancher
David Bamberger explain how the grasses of our
watersheds, if properly managed, collect and store water.
San Antonio tree advocate,
Richard Alles, explains the critical role that tree
canopy plays in buffering the city from floods.
well, it is important that we understand the critical role of
plants, and the habitats that they make up, play in supporting
wildlife. San Antonio bird enthusiast
Susan Hughes and Austin citizen advocate
Mary Arnold talk about the role that plants in a single
yard, or vegetation in unspoiled acreage, can play in protecting
Finally, it is important to concede our at least partial
ignorance about plants' full role in our society, economy
and ecology. San Antonio naturalist
Fred Wills gives the example of the juniper, which has
been widely bulldozed without clear evidence of its harm.
(4) The student knows the importance of animals and their
influence on society.
Whether it is for food, leather, or a host of other materials,
or simply for their role in the ecosystem, animals have a
crucial role to play in our world, as TexasLegacy.org
participants can show.
Texas economy was first built on the backs of livestock,
including cattle (please watch Houston attorney
Terry O'Rourke's piece on the history of the cow in the
Texas landscape), sheep and goats (please see
Billy Pat McKinney's video excerpt). The livestock
industry continues to be a mainstay of rural economies and
culture, thought its operations are evolving. Some are
turning to grass-based artisan systems (please see the
discussions with Canadian rancher
Jim Bill Anderson, Nazareth rancher
Alan Birkenfeld, Nazareth educator
Darryl Birkenfeld, and Fredericksburg cattleman
Richard Sechrist). Other operators are turning to
industrial feedlot systems (consider the comments from
and Perryton farmer
Wildlife affords a wide variety of ecotourism
opportunities, including hunting, fishing, and birdwatching.
"Our Place in Nature", a half-hour compilation video on
ecotourism to get a better sense of this value to
wildlife. To get more detail, please take watch the three
following brief videos. As Comfort private lands advocate,
David Langford, explains, it is important to
realize how important hunting in particular is for
ranchers' income, and many rural communities' economies.
Likewise, as Harlingen birder and priest,
Father Tom Pincelli points out, birdwatching is
another significant source of income for many landowners and
towns, while Amarillo birder,
Kenneth Seyffert simply enjoys it as a pasttime.
Other enjoy, and will pay for, sportfishing - as Port
Walt Kittelberger explains.
As important as ecotourism is becoming, many animals contribute
essential services, and display great beauty, without our
even being aware of them. San Antonio microbiologist,
Ruth Lofgren, rejoices in the beauty of microorganisms,
while recognizing, with Albany, Oklahoma rancher
Walt Davis, the critical role they play as decomposers.
Aside from the products that livestock can provide, or the
income that wildlife can give, or even the essential ecological
services that microorganisms offer, study of animals can
be a great tool to understanding ourselves and our planet
better. As part of the animal kingdom, we share a natural
affinity and kinship with wildlife, and can learn a great deal
from their evolution, biology and behavior as explained by
Some would say that animals, whether livestock or wildlife, have
an importance to us as a responsibility, as a part of our
conscience, or as a duty of stewardship, since their fate often
lies in our decisions and behavior. Rockport naturalist
Jesse Grantham explains this feature of animals'
importance in our lives.