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AGR 139 SOIL MANAGEMENT | Complete Solution
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DIRECTIONS: Watch the documentary: DIRT! The Movie, then answer the following questions.  You can view the movie at this website: 

It is 86 min. long, so you may want to grab some popcorn & view it with your significant other or family on a weekend night (cheap entertainment!).  You will have to “endure” some ads spaced through the movie (sorry!)  It’s the only site where you can view the film for free. You can purchase this movie on multiple sites if you choose.

***Hint: Read the information below before you watch the film--it may help you understand things better.  Also, read over the questions you need to answer—that way you can take notes when that information comes up.

Dirt! The Movie is an insightful and timely film that takes you inside the wonders of the soil.  It tells the story of Earth’s most valuable and underappreciated source of fertility–from its miraculous beginning to its crippling degradation.

Definitions of Terms in the Film:

•    Agroecology - can refer to a science, a movement, or practice. Interdisciplinary in nature, agroecology uses and promotes farming methods that encourage organic practices suitable within a specific context. Agroecology emphasizes a partnership between scientific knowledge and traditional farming practices.

•    Biomimicry - is an emerging discipline that examines nature — its models, systems, processes, and elements and emulates or takes inspiration from them to solve human problems sustainably. 

•    Monoculture - is the agricultural practice of producing or growing one single crop over a wide area.

•    Mycelium - is the vegetative part of a fungus, consisting of a mass of branching, threadlike filaments. Mycelium plays a vital role in the decomposition of plant material on land and in water. Mycology is the branch of biology concerned with the study of fungi.

•    VOCs or volatile organic compounds - are organic chemical compounds that have high enough vapor pressures to allow them to evaporate or vaporize readily under normal conditions and enter the atmosphere. VOCs are a very broad set of chemicals and are used in such things as carpet adhesives, paint, and furniture coatings. VOCs may affect the environment or human health. 

•    Food sovereignty - refers to the right to produce food on one's own territory. It is a policy framework advocating the right of peoples to define their own food, agriculture, livestock, and fisheries systems, in contrast to having food largely subject to international market forces.  Government Policy, Globalization and the Soil U.S. agricultural policy has a tremendous impact on farming livelihoods, how food is grown, and what kinds of foods are grown. 

•    The Farm Bill is The Agricultural Act of 2014 aka the Farm Bill is an omnibus legislation passed by the United States Congress, and signed into law by President Obama on February 7th, 2014. Farm Bills are passed about every five years, creating and reauthorizing federal programs in a number of different interests. www.thefarmbill.com

•    Trade liberalization, which is central to globalization, means that a country’s own farm products may be more expensive than those imported from another country, undermining the domestic farm economy. As smaller farms fail, particularly in developing countries, they are taken over by large, multinational agribusinesses that use industrial farming methods. In the U.S., family farms are often sold to developers. In either case, the environment suffers.

QUESTIONS: Remember: full sentences; correct spelling & grammar; bold answers & start in a new line

1.    What do you think is the central question of the film? 

2.    The film shows numerous examples of humans’ mistreatment of the soil.  Name 3:

3.    Soil is intimately tied to two processes that are essential for life on Earth.  Name these 2 processes: 

4.    What are the major problems for the environment concerning the water cycle and soil?

5.    In regards to the carbon cycle, the major problems for the environment is: If the uptake and return of CO2 are not in balance, the carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere will gradually and steadily increase. This is currently happening due to two human activities.  What are they?

6.    The film presents inspiring examples of individuals “doing the best they can” to remedy the problems brought on by humanity’s mistreatment of the soil.  List one and explain what they are doing.

7.    In what ways are the ideas presented in this film similar to the ideals of Sustainable Agriculture? 

8.    Do you think we (American farmers) are killing the dirt? Why or Why not?

9.    What are some things you (as a farmer OR just a citizen of North Carolina) can do to help save and/or improve our soil?

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AGR 139 SOIL MANAGEMENT | Complete Solution
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1. What do you think is the central question of the film? What is the importance of dirt in our lives? 2. The film shows numerous examples of h...
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