Grains, Seeds and Hay

During various sessions, the students learn about the different agricultural crops that many of the animals are fed. During the farm machinery session they trace the life of one selected crop, from planting to harvest. The students and leader also discuss what the different crops become after production, and some of the unique products and places that they appear. 

Some of the crops grown in Canada are barley, corn, hay, oats, soy beans and wheat.

In the field

Barley Corn Oats Soybeans Wheat
All of the above crops are harvested by combine or still by hand in some countries.


After the crops are harvested this is what they would look like in the palm of your hand
Barley Corn Oats Soybeans Wheat
The above photos are courtesy of Cereal Research Centre of the A.A.F.C. website:

After the crops are harvested they are sent to processing plants which turn them into items which we use and eat on a daily basis. 



The Ontario Corn Producer's Association's website at has a lot of great information about corn and the life cycle of corn from planting to harvesting and then manufacturing.

For education resources from Corn Producer's website please click on the following link:

Ontario Corn Producer's Association - Educational Information

Wikipedia - on Corn


Barley is a wonderfully versatile cereal grain with a rich nutlike flavour and its gluten content gives it an appealing chewy, pasta-like consistency. Its appearance resembles wheat berries, although it is slightly lighter in color. Sprouted barley is naturally high in maltose, a sugar that serves as the basis for both malt syrup sweetener and when fermented, as an ingredient in beer and other alcoholic beverages.

Wikipedia - on Barley


Oats, known scientifically as Avena sativa, are a hardy cereal grain able to withstand poor soil conditions in which other crops are unable to thrive. Their fortitude seems to be transferred to those who consume this nutrient-dense grain. After all, when we think of a satisfying and enriching way to start the day, one that gives us strength and lasting energy, we oftentimes relish the thought of a hot bowl of oatmeal.

Interested in how Oats are processed? Click on the following:

Wikipedia - on Oats


The Chinese name for soybeans means "greater bean," and this amazing legume could not deserve a more fitting title. After all, what could be greater than a bean that offers such a wealth of nutritional value in addition to its culinary versatility?

Like other beans, soybeans grow in pods, featuring edible seeds. While we most often think of them as being green, the seeds can also be yellow, brown or black.

Wikipedia - on Soybeans


Wheat is the most important cereal crop in the world and ubiquitous in our culture. Bread, pasta, bagels, crackers, cakes, muffins and other wheat containing products line our supermarket shelves and fill our grocery baskets. It is luck for us that this popular grain is available throughout the year.

Wheat, in its natural unrefined state, features a host of important nutrients.

Check out the kids section at

What to view in depth the parts of a kernel of wheat?  Check out the following site:  or a cross section view of the kernel is also available at the following site:

Wikipedia - on Wheat


Hay is a crop grown to feed cattle, goats, horses and sheep.  Hay is harvested during the summer months.  It is cut down and dried in the sun.  After drying, it is raked to expose the lower layer to the sun as well and then baled using either a round or square baler.  (To the right is a picture of a hay field after the hay has been cut.)

Below are 3 types of Hay

Wikipedia - on Hay

Alfalfa Oat Timothy

Other Useful Agricultural-Links:

View a video on Soils and Crops from a past Agricultural Education Day
(3.26 Mb, MPEG Format, click here if you have problems)

Main Beef Bees Chickens Dairy Machinery Alpacas Grains & Hay Horses Pigs Sheep Curriculum