Biomedical Ethics Class Visits Downing Farms

Catawba students in Dr. Megan Flocken's Biomedical Ethics class visited the local Downing Farm to explore sustainable agricultural practices in action.

Downing Farms, established by Tim and Jill Downing, is dedicated to sustainable farming methods, like crop rotation and use of non-Genetically Modified (GM) seeds. In Tim's introduction, he explained that GM is not unsustainable per se, but that most GM products, like seeds, are designed to make food more resistant to harmful herbicides and pesticides, which incentivize their continued use. Herbicides and pesticides destroy "weeds" and most other organic matter necessary for the ecological balancing act of a sustainably thriving agricultural area. The Downings' entire operation flourishes without use of pesticides and herbicides that are hamrful to humans and their environment.

As such, their farm is unique in our local ecosystem, as most agricultural operations in Rowan County are conventional (they use GM seeds and herbicides/pesticides).

Downing Farms is nearby Catawba College and they are happy to receive visitors. In their words, "As veteran educators in our community, we wanted to build a place where healthful food is grown, and children and adults can learn and enjoy working in nature to produce quality fresh foods."

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