Agriculture is another word for farming. It includes both growing and harvesting crops and raising animals, or livestock. Agriculture provides the food and many raw materials that humans need to live.
Humans first began to tame animals and grow small crops around 10,000 years ago. Many of these humans were wanderers who moved from place to place. They found their food in the wild. They hunted, fished, and collected nuts, berries, and roots. Then, people learned to keep some animals in herds. They stopped wandering and began to live in one place for longer times. They made homes and started to grow their own crops on the land around them. Growing crops was more stable than hunting and collecting food. Small camps grew into villages, towns, and cities.
Around 200 years ago the Industrial Revolution made big changes to agriculture. In the past, people used hand tools and animals to help them plant and harvest. The machines that were invented in the Industrial Revolution made farm work easier. Because of this, not as many workers were needed on farms. Many people moved away from farms to cities to search for jobs.
When crops are ready to be eaten, they are harvested. Farmers and workers use their hands or machines to collect all the crops. The crops are put in boxes to be sent to the market. Sometimes, the market is a small market where people from the area come to buy fresh food. Other times, the food is put onto large trucks and sent to supermarkets far away.
Today most agriculture is far outside big cities. In poorer countries many people still depend on their own small farms and herding to survive.
Adapted from “Agriculture”, Britannica Kids, Encyclopædia Britannica. 19 January. 2022. kids.britannica.com/kids/article/agriculture/352715