|My presentation is about the Midwest as a region for industry and
agriculture. I'd like to begin with the agriculture:
The Midwest is also called "The Breadbasket." Because of the fertile soil,
the farmers have a good grain crop. 80% of the land is used for
agriculture. For example, they produce wheat, oats, and corn. Corn is the
most important plant for the American agriculture and is as important as
iron for the American industry. The farm produce of corn is bigger than the
production of wheat, rice and other sorts of grain together. Some farmers
claim that they are able to hear the corn growing up in warm and silent
summer nights. Besides that, the farmers cultivate sugar beets, soybeans,
fruits and vegetables. An interesting aspect is that the region produces
20% of the wheat worldwide. The dairy farming is also typical for the
Now I want to say something about the farm situation:
In the past there were family farms which didn't have a lot of money. These
people were self-supporters, but they also produced for the markets. It was
necessary to choose the products which they could sell best and those of
which adapt to the climate of that region. At this time belts were formed
like the "Corn Belt" in the Midwest. The farmers had to take credits to buy
tractors, seed, fertilizer, or pesticides. For that reason, they were
forced to produce more and more but the output was too big and that's why
the prices of the products went down. Simultaneously, debt grew up, which
forced many farmers to sell their lands despite government intervention and
In the last 20 years, industry companies bought the farms and "factory
farms" as they were being developed. ( family farms became factory farms
mostly owned by corporations ) Factory farms are large areas of land which
are automated by machines, which produce crops for the market in large
amounts. They are managed like industry companies. Computers are put into
service and you only need one person to supervise 5000 cows. For example:
at the kuner feedlot. Apart from cows, pigs are also kept. Today there are
less familiy farms than in the past. These farms are mostly isolated and
stand alone next to the fields. There's often a big distance between the
neighbors, but in gerneral cattle breeding is only profitable for big
combines. They also have automatic tractors to harvest and water farmland
using GPS "global positioning system" guided by satellites. These tractors
are usually unmanned and are extremely accurate but well worth the high
investment to the factory farms.
Now let's turn to the other part of my presentation. On the basis of the
agriculture a lot of industry firms developed. For example: Minnesota Mining
& Manufacturing Co. and The Pillsbury Co.. St. Louis and Milwaukee became
centers of german beer brewery. Further examples of the industry development
in the Midwest like this are Caterpillar and Mc Cormick which produce
farming and construction machinery, Kraft a firm for cheese and food,
Nabisco for food and Oscar Mayer for sausage and meat. The urban areas from
Pittsburgh to Akron, Cleveland, Toledo, Dayton, Columbus and Cincinnati to
Detroit, Gary, Chicago and Milwaukee belong to the industry belt of the USA.
These towns are locations of the versatile industry. the car industry (
Gerneral Motors, Ford, Chrysler, American Motors ), paperproducts ( Kleenex
), motors ( Evinrude ), and electric products ( General Electric ) all
operate in this region. The heart of the american world of work beats here.
After a hard transitional stage of the adaption to the modern techniques,
the industries of the region have begun to recover using more efficient and
effective business models and technology. Above all, in the medium - sized
and small urban areas the Midwest at the moment are experiencing an economic
boom. The time if the industry belt was called "Rust Belt" is over.
Next, I want to tell you more about Detroit, the automobile capital of the
world. Detroit is also called "Motown". Between 1900 and 1930 the car
industry grew up very fast, but some years later it stagnated because of
the competition with the Japanese, the high prices of energy, obsolete
systems, unionized labor,the pressure and the financial stringency.
Today the crisis is over. There is a new and modern
resolve in the auto industry that offer lots of different car models.
Because of the big demand, over 200 million cars are produced, sold,
serviced and repaired today. In the past, the people only dreamed of having
a car of their own, but the first automobiles were difficult to drive,
often broke down, and they were very expensive to produce. Henry Ford was
the first person who implemented a process to effectively reduce production
costs. He used "flow production" method, which is an assembly line system.
He managed to cut the production time for his Model T from 14 working hours
to two. Consequently, there were lower prices and more customers. So
Detroit became an important industrial center for innovation and the
automobile capital of the world.
And finally, to sum up, I can say that the Midwest is a most important
region of industry and agriculture. There are a lot of different industry
branches which plays a big role for the whole world. Everybody knows the
products like Kleenex or the cars that are produced in the USA.
I've looked for information via internet (www. wikipedia.de ).
Moreover, I've used the english book, the dictionary and
my geography folder.
Do you have any questions?
Thank you for listening to me.