Risk and Reward

Lesson 2 - Sustainable Agriculture: Economics

Lesson Plans


Lesson Two PDF  (pdf 348.99 KB)
Lesson Two PowerPoint  (pptx 6.96 MB)

Online Learning Experience

Voluntary National Content Standards in Economics

Content Standard 2: Decision Making: Students will understand that effective decision making requires comparing the additional costs of alternatives with the additional benefits. Many choices involve doing a little more or a little less of something: few choices are “all or nothing” decisions.

Content Standard 7: Markets and Prices: Students will understand that a market exists when buyers and sellers interact. This interaction determines market prices and thereby allocates scarce goods and services.

Content Standard 8: Role of Prices: Students will understand that prices send signals and provide incentives to buyers and sellers. When supply or demand changes, market prices adjust, affecting incentives.

Content Standard 13: Income: Students will understand that income for most people is determined by the market value of the productive resources they sell. What workers earn primarily depends on the market value of what they produce.


Grade Level: 9-12

Lesson Length: 60 minutes

Learning Objectives:

Participants will:

  • Explain farm business profitability and viability and its relation to economic sustainability
  • Understand how agriculture reflects other economic decisions
  • Understand how agriculture contributes to local, national, and global economies


Materials and Equipment Needed:

  • Economic Sustainability PowerPoint
  • Paper and writing utensils for students
  • Paper cups (2 per student)
  • Risk and Reward Activity Sheet (1 per student)
  • Risk and Reward Activity Sheet: Die Answer Key (for teacher only)
  • 1 Die
  • Tokens or beans (to represent money), OR play money in $20 increments (enough that each student has the equivalent of $400)
  • Access to the internet


Cross-Curricular Connections:

Use these suggested adaptations to make learning across the curriculum easy!


Conduct a weather assessment for the local area over a 3-month span (future). Consider historical data and future casts. Choose an area of production agriculture to layer over this weather assessment. Analyze the effects of the weather on the production.



How can technology in agriculture alleviate risks? Have students work in teams to design an app that would help alleviate risk (internal or external) for someone in production agriculture.



Many agriculture crops can be stored to preserve the quality of the crop for feed, or to wait for a more favorable market. Design and build a prototype of for corn storage facilities. Research best practices and needs for corn storage.



Want to ramp up the stakes? Use the game in the lesson, but add multiple acres and additional starting money to the game. Add additional factors such as interest rates for farm loans, etc. to add complexity.