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Von Thunen Model

A model that explains the location of agricultural activities in a commercial, profit-making economy. A process of spatial competition allocates various farming activities into rings around a central market city, with profit-earning capability the determining force in how far a crop locates from the market.

Township and Range System

A rectangular land division scheme designed by Thomas Jefferson to disperse settlers evenly across farmlands of the U.S. interior.

Metes and Bounds System

A system of land surveying east of the Appalachian Mountains. It is a system that relies on descriptions of land ownership and natural features such as streams or trees. Because of the imprecise nature of metes and bounds surveying, the U.S. Land Office Survey abandoned the technique in favor of the rectangular survey system.

Longlot Survey System

Distinct regional approach to land surveying found in the Canadian Maritimes, parts of Quebec, Louisiana, and Texas whereby land is divided into narrow parcels stretching back from rivers, roads, or canals.

Commercial Agriculture

Term used to describe large scale farming and ranching operations that employ vast land bases, large mechanized equipment, factory-type labor fores, and the latest technology.

Koppen Climatic Classification System

Developed by Vladimir Koppen, the ____________ is a system for classifying the world's climates on the basis of temperature and precipitation.

Climatic Regions

Areas of the world with similar climatic characteristics.

Livestock Ranching

The raising of domesticated animals for the production of meat and byproducts (leather, wool).

Mediterranean Agriculture

Specialized farming that occurs only in areas where the dry summer Mediterranean climate prevails (grapes, olives, figs, citrus, fruits, dates, etc.).


General term for the businesses that provide the vast array of goods and services that support the agriculture industry.


relating to rural matters

Agricultural landscape

The land that we farm on and what we choose to put were on our fields. Effects how much yield one gets from their plants.

Agricultural location model

An attempt to explain the pattern of agricultural land use in terms of accessibility, costs, distance, and prices.

Animal domestication

When animals are tamed and used for food and profit.


rearing aquatic animals or cultivating aquatic plants for food


the branch of engineering science in which biological science is used to study the relation between workers and their environments

Collective farm

a farm or group of farms run by the government, as in a communist state

Intensive Agriculture

A form of subsistence agriculture in which farmers must expend a relatively large amount of effort to produce the maximum feasible yield from a parcel of land.

Extensive Agriculture

consists of any agricultural economy in which the crops and/or animals are used nearly exclusively for local or family consumption on large areas of land and minimal labor input per acre


the business of a dairy

Debt-for-nature swap

Forgiveness of international debt in exchange for nature protection in developing countries

Double cropping

Harvesting twice a year from the same field.

Primary activities

Economic activities in which natural resources are made available for use or further processing, including mining, agriculture, forestry, and fishing.

Secondary activities

economic activities concerned with the processing of raw materials such as manufacturing, construction, and power generation

Tertiary activites

Service industries. People engaged in this type of work do not directly gather or process raw materials.

Quaternary activities

economic activities concerned with research, information gathering, and administration

Quinary activities

The most advanced form of quaternary activities consisting of high-level decision making for large corporations or high-level scientific research

Environmental modification

Changes in the ecosystem resulting from human activities such as the use of pesticides, soil erosion, desertification.

Shifting cultivation

The use of tropical forest clearings for crop production until their fertility is lost. Plots are then abandoned, and farmers move on to new sites.


A type of agricultural activity based on nomadic animal husbandry or the raising of livestock to provide food, clothing, and shelter.


a building where livestock are fattened for market

First agricultural revolution

Dating back 10,000 years, the First Agricultural Revolution achieved plant domestication and animal domestication

Green Revolution

term used to describe the transformation of agriculture in many developing nations that led to significant increases in agricultural production between the 1940s and 1960s.

Hunting and gathering

The process of living that involves hunting for meat, gathering edible produce, and traveling frequently.

Intensive subsistence agriculture

A form of subsistence agriculture in which farmers must expend a relatively large amount of effort to produce the maximum feasible yield from a parcel of land.

Livestock ranching

the raising of domesticated animals for the produciton of meat and byproducts (leather, wool)

Market gardening

The small scale production of fruits, vegetables, and flowers as cash crops sold directly to local consumers. Distinguishable by the large diversity of crops grown on a small area of land, during a single growing season. Labor is done manually.

Paddy rice farming

The cultivation of rice on a paddy, or small flooded field enclosed by mud dikes, practiced in the humid areas of the Far East.

Planned economy

economy that relies on a centralized government to control all or most factors of production and to make all or most production and allocation decisions

Plant domestication

genetic modification of a plant such that its reproductive success depends on human intervention

Plant agriculture

in agriculture; use genetic engineering to incorporate traits such as improved nutritional content, delayed ripening, resistance to diseases and pest, better taste, and the ability to withstand harsh environments


A resource that cannot be remade quickly or cannot be remade at all

Rural settlements

settlements where most of the population is engaged in primary economic activities such as farming and fishing




a relatively dense settlement form.

Carl Sauer

Geographer from the University of California at Bed defined the concept of cultural landscape as the fundamental in graphical analysis. This landscape results from interaction between and the physical environment. Sauer argued that virtually no land escaped alteration by human activities.

Second agricultural revolution

tools and equipment were modified, methods of soil preparation, fertilization, crop care, and harvesting improved the general organization of agriculture made more efficient

Suitcase farm

an American commercial farm in which no one lives, and work/harvesting is done by migratory workers.

Survey patterns

lines laid out by surveyors prior to the settlement of an area

Third agricultural revolution

Currently in progress, the Third Agricultural Revolution has as its principal orientation the development of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO's)

Tragedy of the commons

situation in which people acting individually and in their own interest use up commonly available but limited resources, creating disaster for the entire community


The seasonal migration of livestock between mountains and lowland pastures.

Truck farm

a farm where vegetables are grown for market, the intensive production of fruits and vegetables for market rather than for processing or canning; synonyms horticultural farming, market gardening

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