Iowa Hog Lift: International Diplomacy

Iowa Hog Lift: International Diplomacy

Target Grade Level / Age Range:

Grades 6-8

Time:

45 minutes

Virtual Learning:

Use this document to convert the lesson into a virtual learning module for your students. Use the steps outlined to create the different elements of a Google Classroom or other online learning platform. You can also send the steps directly to students in a PDF, present them in a virtual meeting, or plug them into any other virtual learning module system. 

Purpose:

Middle school social studies students will understand the need for global food security and some of the historical events that have showcased Iowa’s role in providing that food security.

Materials:

  • Computer with internet access, projector, screen

Suggested Companion Resources (books and websites)

Vocabulary (with definitions)

  • Typhoon: a tropical storm with winds faster than 74 miles per hour. Typhoons occur in the Pacific Ocean and affect southeast Asia. They are also known as cyclones (in the Indian ocean) or hurricanes (in the Atlantic Ocean).
  • Food security: is the condition in which all people, at all times, have physical, social and economic access to sufficient safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.
  • Diplomacy: the profession, activity, or skill of managing international relations, typically by a country's representatives abroad.
  • Tariff: a tax or duty to be paid on a particular class of imports or exports.

Background – Agricultural Connections (what would a teacher need to know to be able to teach this content)

Richard Thomas was an Iowa farmer stationed with the U.S. Air Force Tokyo when, in 1959, typhoons devastated Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan's most important livestock-producing region. Thomas responded to the disaster with an unprecedented idea – he suggested airlifting hogs from Iowa to Japan, convincing farmers to donate breeding stock and the U.S. government to back his idea. His efforts led to restoration of livestock herds in Japan while engaging Iowa farmers in a humanitarian effort that ultimately healed lingering wounds between former World War II enemies. Thomas, an unsung hero, was a catalyst for international diplomacy; his ability to rally support for an innovative solution to a crisis helped alleviate post-war food shortages in Japan while creating a lasting trade relationship and legacy of peace.

With assets of corn, soybeans, farmers and packing capacity, Iowa is the ideal location for pork production. The “Tall Corn” state also needs plenty of fertilizer to produce the bushels of corn and soybeans fed to pigs. Approximately 10 finishing pigs from weaning to market provide the nutrient needs of an acre of Iowa cropland on a semi-annual basis. Nutrients from one 2,400-head pig barn benefits a half-section of land (320 acres). One hog consumes approximately 9 to 10 bushels of corn and 100 pounds of soybean meal from birth to a market weight of 275 pounds!

Iowa Pork Industry Facts:

  • Iowa has more than 6,000 hog farms.
  • 94 percent of Iowa’s hog farms are family-owned enterprises.
  • As of 2015, 141,813 jobs were associated with the Iowa pork industry.
  • One in nearly 12 working Iowans has a job tied to the pork industry.
  • Of the Iowa hog farms, 39 percent (2,451 farms) have 1,000 pigs or less.
  • At any one time, there are approximately 20 million pigs being raised in Iowa.
  • Iowa producers market approximately 50 million hogs a year.
  • Nearly one-third of the nation’s hogs are raised in Iowa.
  • Iowa is the number one pork producing state in the U.S. and the top state for pork exports.
  • Exports of pork from Iowa totaled more than $1.1 billion in 2017.
  • Japan, Hong Kong, Canada, Mexico and South Korea are the leading customers for Iowa pork.

Interest Approach or Motivator

As students enter the class, focus their attention and ask what they know about typhoons. Solicit a couple of answers. Introduce the YouTube video Engines of Destruction: The Science of Hurricanes https://youtu.be/Xtu2_ziBI_w. Alternatively, you can use the YouTube video How Do Tropical Storms Form? https://youtu.be/4xI1cqyUf74 or Hurricanes 101 National Geographic https://youtu.be/zP4rgvu4xDE.

Ask students what they think happens to livestock during a typhoon? People evacuate, but do they take livestock with them? Often it is too hard to evacuate livestock. The animals are left to fend for themselves. Many modern buildings are structurally sound and can withstand major storms and keep animals safe. But in places with less technology, the animals can die.

Show one or both of the following videos: Typhoon Haiyan https://youtu.be/b-8yvpO4leY or Typhoon Hagupit https://youtu.be/qNGF9vbol6c. OR print the following two articles and have students read the articles in pairs and discuss.

Procedures

  1. Explain to students that in 1959 there was a major typhoon that destroyed much of Japan and nearly wiped out their swine industry. Should the U.S. help? In 1941 (only 18 years earlier) the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor which prompted the U.S.’s entry into World War II. Then, in 1945 the U.S. attacked Japan and dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The U.S. occupied Japan from 1945-1952 for demilitarization and democratization. Facilitate a class discussion posing the following questions and your own questions to students.
    1. How do you think Americans viewed Japanese in 1941? In 1945? In 1959? Today?
    2. How do you think Japanese people viewed Americans in 1941? In 1945? In 1959? Today?
    3. Share the story of Richard Thomas with students: Richard Thomas was an Iowa farmer stationed with the U.S. Air Force Tokyo when, in 1959, typhoons devastated Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan's most important livestock-producing region. Thomas responded to the disaster with an unprecedented idea – he suggested airlifting hogs from Iowa to Japan, convincing farmers to donate breeding stock and the U.S. government to back his idea. His efforts led to restoration of livestock herds in Japan while engaging Iowa farmers in a humanitarian effort that ultimately healed lingering wounds between former World War II enemies. Thomas, an unsung hero, was a catalyst for international diplomacy; his ability to rally support for an innovative solution to a crisis helped alleviate post-war food shortages in Japan while creating a lasting trade relationship and legacy of peace. https://hoglift1960.weebly.com/citizen-diplomacy-the-power-of-one.html or use the Iowa Hog Lift.pptx
    4. Display the story of the Iowa Hog Lift on a large screen or print copies for students to read and follow along. https://hoglift1960.weebly.com/when-pigs-fly.html
    5. Ask students: How did using airplanes help facilitate this project and make it possible? (it quickened response time able to repopulate herds quickly, airplanes made it safer for animal transport – only one pig died in route – could have been more if gone by boat).
    6. Ask students: What happened to the price of pork in Japan after the typhoon? (It went up. Because they had no supply and the same demand, the price increased.)
  2. Have students read the following articles. You can print copies for each student or display them on a large screen for students to read aloud together.
    1. Who Loves U.S. Pork? Japan Brings Home Our Bacon https://www.usmef.org/news-statistics/press-releases/who-loves-us-pork-japan-brings-home-our-bacon-14551/
    2. Japan's market for imported pork is large https://www.pigprogress.net/Finishers/Articles/2016/11/Japans-market-for-imported-pork-is-large-2909811W/
    3. Facilitate a class discussion. Pose the following questions and your own to students.
      1. After Japan rebuilt its swine herds, could they produce enough pork to meet demand for their population? (No, Japan only produces about 50% of the pork it consumes.)
      2. Where does Japan get the pork that it can’t raise itself? (They import it. Approximately three billion pounds of pork to Japan comes from the U.S.)
      3. Why is Iowa an important pig producing state? (Iowa has more than 6,000 hog farms. Iowa producers market approximately 50 million hogs a year. Iowa is the number one pork producing state in the U.S. and the top state for pork exports. Japan, Hong Kong, Canada, Mexico and South Korea are the leading customers for Iowa pork.)
  3. Trade and Tariffs. Share the picture with students Pork_Fig1.jpg. Provide students a copy of the table (Talking Tarrifs.docx) or have them draw a table in their notebooks and capture the data as you explain it.
    1. The U.S. tariff on pork is 0% for all World Trade Organization (WTO) members including China, Canada, Mexico, the European Union, and South Korea.
    2. China now charges between 45% and 70% more to import U.S. pork. Let’s assume that U.S farmers are selling their pork for $4 per pound (or 27.69 Chinese Yuan per pound). Let’s assume that Chinese people have to pay a tariff of 50% on U.S. pork. So, they actually pay $6 (or 41.53 Yuan) per pound. The Chinese government collects the difference. South Korea is selling their pork for $5 per pound (or 34.61 Yuan per pound). If you were a Chinese consumer, would you buy U.S. pork for 41.53 Yuan or would you buy South Korean pork for 34.61 Yuan?
 Price of pork sold by farmer Tariff Price of pork bought by Chinese consumer
U.S. $4 $2 $6
South Korea $5 $0 $5
  1. Do the Chinese tariffs help or hurt the U.S. pork industry? (hurt) 
  2. Do the Chinese tariffs help or hurt China? (help)
  3.   How can the U.S. address this problem? ( The pork tariffs were largely retaliatory for other tariffs that the U.S. imposed on Chinese goods and services. If the U.S. removed those tariffs, China may remove the tariffs on pork.)
  4. Japan is the largest customer for U.S. pork. In 2017, Japan and the European Union signed a free-trade agreement and it will eliminate the tariff they had on EU pork. Without a free-trade agreement, Japanese consumers will still pay a 4.3% tariff on U.S. pork. So, with $4 per pound U.S. pork (or 448.23 Japanese Yen), Japanese people will actually pay $4.17 (or 467.28 Japanese Yen per pound). EU pork is selling for $4.05 (or 458.83 Yen per pound). If you were a Japanese consumer, would you buy U.S. pork for 467.28 Yen per pound or would you buy EU pork for 458.83 Yen per pound?
 Price of pork sold by farmer Tariff Price of pork bought by Japanese consumer
U.S. $4 $0.17 $4.17
EU $4.05 $0 $4.05
  1. Does the Japan-EU agreement help or hurt the U.S. pork industry? (hurt) 
  2. Does the Japan-EU agreement help or hurt Japan? (help)
  3. How can the U.S. address this problem? (The U.S. could negotiate a free-trade agreement with Japan similar to that of the EU and the Trans Pacific Partnership.)

Essential Files (maps, charts, pictures, or documents)

Did You Know? (Ag Facts)

  • Hog production contributed $13.1 billion to the state economy in 2015.
  • The pork industry contributed $36.7 billion in sales in 2015.
  • Pork processing facilities generated $23.7 billion dollars in 2015.

Extension Activities (how students can carry this beyond the classroom)

Author(s) (your name)

  • Will Fett

Organization Affiliation (your organization)

  • Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation

National Agriculture Literacy Outcomes

  • T3.6-8.d. Explain how factors, such as culture, convenience, access, and marketing affect food choices locally, regionally, and globally.
  • T3.6-8.i. Identify sources of agricultural products that provide food, fuel, clothing, shelter, medical, and other non-food products for their community, state, and/or nation.
  • T4.6-8.i. Provide examples of science and technology used in agricultural systems (e.g., GPS, artificial insemination, biotechnology, soil testing, ethanol production, etc.); explain how they meet our basic needs; and detail their social, economic, and environmental impacts.
  • T5.6-8.a. Consider the economic value of agriculture in America.
  • T5.6-8.f. Highlight the interaction and significance of state historical and current agricultural events on governmental and economic developments (e.g., the building of railroads, the taxation of goods, etc.).
  • T5.6-8.g. Identify agricultural products that are exported and imported. 

Iowa Core Standards

  • S.6.18. Explain how changes in transportation, communication, and technology influence the movement of people, goods, and ideas in various countries.
  • SS.6.20. Analyze connections among historical events and developments in various geographic and cultural contexts.
  • SS.7.19. Explain how external benefits, costs, supply and demand, and competition influence market prices, wages, and outcomes.
  • SS.7.20. Investigate the impact of trade policies and barriers on a nation and its citizens.
  • SS.7.27. Analyze the role that Iowa plays in contemporary global issues.

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