When I met with Professor Andelson last week, I mentioned to him our plan to make a "Sim-esque" simulation, and he lent me his copy of SimFarm. I've been playing around with it and it's pretty neat. It's not a whole lot like what I've envisioned our game to be, but it's probably closer than SimCity or other such games. In this game, you are given an empty plot of land to begin with. It's your job to buy whatever seeds/equipment/chemicals, etc. you want and try to make a productive farm. You can choose the type of farm that you have, as well as the what markets you sell your crops in. You also have to watch out for droughts, changing markets, and other occurrences.
It can be played without the CD, by the way, so if you're interested in checking it out, we can put it on your computer when I next go to Fairfield.