Our Safe Food Supply - Case Study 3
A  WebQuest for Grades 8 - 12, WebQuest Agricultural Series by Missouri Farm Bureau and Missouri State University 

This WebQuest is intended to accompany the DVD, "Agro-Security - Safeguarding the American Food Supply."



We Americans enjoy an abundant food supply. Everyone who is involved in agricultural production must cooperate to keep our food supply safe and to keep those who might seek to harm it from having success. This WebQuest is intended to cause you to think about how a company that might not even seem particularly agricultural might deal with potential risks to our food supply.

Your task is to read a Case Study and write a one to two page paper explaining how you might deal with potential risks at the Safe Drive School. You will then debate some of your findings with your classmates.

Step 1: View the DVD, "Agro-Security - Safeguarding the American Food Supply," for ideas.

Step 2: Visit some of these web pages for other tips.


Step 3: Read the following Case Study.

Dan Sherman is the Director of Safe Drive, a truck drivers' training school on the outskirts of Des Moines, Iowa. He has owned and operated the school since 1980. Safe Drive has a very good reputation in the industry. Dan’s company has specialized in training drivers for well known food companies. Not only are his drivers taught save driving skills, they are also trained to make sure that their perishable cargoes will remain safe and secure. Many agricultural food and chemical companies seek graduates from this driving school because of its excellent training program. In addition to driving skills, the training program also emphasizes work ethic and integrity. Over the last decade the school has expanded considerably. Five more branches of Safe Drive were opened including two more in Iowa and one each in Ohio, Georgia and Colorado.

It was late evening on Friday. Dan had completed his work for the day and was reading the newspaper. A news report on a truck drivers training school in rural Missouri caught his attention. The school director had alerted the FBI that 20 of 26 students at the school had “Middle Eastern-origin types of names.” Although Dan had tried to keep a close eye on the day-to-day operations of his schools, it had been increasingly difficult due to the growth of his company. Dan wondered whether such suspicious situations had occurred or could happen in any of his school’s branches. Was he required to alert the FBI just because the names were “Middle-Eastern origin type?” Could such reporting have adverse affects on his business? Would such reporting be consistent with the integrity which he emphasizes so much in his training program? Dan could not concentrate any more on the newspaper because he knew that his drivers sometimes transported hazardous agricultural materials. He decided to call the supervisors of each of the branches early tomorrow and discuss the issue.

Step 4: Put yourself in place of Dan Sherman, Director of Safe Drive.

Step 5: Write a one to two page paper explaining what three or more issues you need to discuss with your company supervisors and why you think the group needs to discuss said issues. Explain why or why not the issues pertain to your company. Also, be sure to include answers to the following questions in your paper.

A. How would you approach this issue with your supervisors? Write a paragraph on your discussion points. Include such issues as: 1) Should we be concerned about number of drivers with different names or ethnicities? 2) If yes, what should be done, who do we notify? 3) What information can be legally released? and 4) Are there any real risks?

B. Suppose one of the school branches actually has a number of students with “Middle Eastern or other ethnic origin type names.” What if, however, the school is located in the outskirts of a large city where people of diverse backgrounds live. Would you still ask your supervisor to report this to the FBI? Argue from both sides of the position.

Step 6: Your teacher will divide the class into groups for a debate. The groups will be debating the following:

RESOLVED: That companies should actively report names and information about potential employees who have unusual names or ethnicities to the proper authorities.

The group labeled "Yeas" will research their argument that companies should pay close attention to the names and ethnicity of potential employees. Their job will be to debate the pros of how this practice might better protect our country's food supply. The group labeled "Nays" will research the negative effects that of reporting what some have called "profiling." Included on this side of the debate would be the socioeconomic aspects such as hiring of qualified drivers. What effect might it have on the morale of company employees?

Step 7: Groups will face off in debate fashion with one team from each category represented. You will need to complete at least a 20 minute debate. You will be graded as per the Rubric below. The "Yeas" group will argue in favor (pro) of the resolved. The "Nays" will argue against it (con).

Congratulations, you now understand workforce diversity and the sensitive issue of profiling in the workforce.


Rubric For Evaluation

7 pts.
5 pts.
2 pts.
0 pts.
Identification of the Issues Paper is well written with identification of 3 major issues. Paper is well written with identification of 2 major issues. Paper is well written with identification of 1 major issues. No issues of importance were discussed.
Discussion Points Paper provides a discussion of all 3 points. Paper provides a discussion of 2 points. Paper provides a discussion of 1 point. No discussion of the points.
Written Arguments Discusses both sides of each of the 3 major issues. Discusses both sides of two major issues. Discusses both sides of one major issue. Did not discuss both sides of any issue.
Actively participated in the research, preparation and delivery of the debate. Teamwork was evident. Debaters were respectful of each other's views. Shows evidence of research, preparation and delivery of debate. Good teamwork. Some attempt at research, preparation and delivery of debate. Little evidence of teamwork. No attempt.


Irwin photos.


This page was developed by Drs. Arbindra Rimal and Lyndon Irwin and is maintained by Missouri Farm Bureau.

Please address questions to Diane Olson at Missouri Farm Bureau.