Starting a Farm: Land Use

Note to Teachers: you will need a zoning map for your county for this activity if you chose to answer question 4.

No matter what type of farm you choose, you have several pieces of information to collect before you actually begin farming. These include, but are not limited to: land cost and zoning rules, soil types, use of pesticides, seeds, livestock, buildings, and equipment.

No matter where you live, land is set aside for certain purposes. The purposes are decided by government officials and can include the titles residential (houses), farming, industrial, business, roads and conservation.

This section will help you understand what zoning means and the different types of things land can be used for. The Family Farm Project owns this page.

Go to the Hilliar Township map.

Study Question(s)

  • Match the following terms with the type of zoning areas they would be required to build in.
    a nature park residential
    a house farming
    McDonalds industrial
    a farm business
    a power plant conservation

  • On the Hillar Township map, most of the land is zoned for what purpose?
  • How might this map be different from a zoning map of New York City?
  • Find a zoning map of the area in which you live. Ask your teacher how he/she would like to search for these. On the map, how much of your county is zoned for agriculture?

This section will help you understand how much land can cost in different parts of the United States. It is a pdf file, so it may take some time to load. National Cattlemen own this page.

Go to the Cattle Learning Center.


This page gives some examples of what acres of land might cost in different places in the United States in 2007. At the very bottom of the page, you will find a green chart with 2007 Agriculture Land Prices. Please study this chart, and then answer the following questions.

Study Question(s)

  • Why do you think cropland costs more than pasture land? Before you answer questions 2 and 3, go to USDA Maps. It will help you understand the different regions of the United States.
  • Why do you think cropland would be much more expensive in the Corn Belt than in the Northern Plains?
  • If you wanted to buy 300 acres of cropland in the Corn Belt, how much would you have to pay?



Posted by leesindet on Jul 21 2009
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