AP Environmental Class Visits Sustainable Farm

by Tabitha Turvin

Friday, November 15th, Susan Faibisich’s AP Environmental Science class went on a field trip to take a tour of Frederick County Landfill and to England Acres farm for a tour of the farm by Jeff England to see the animals and look at the machinery, as well as being served lunch by Judy England.

When asked what her favorite part of the trip was, Kayla Steele, senior, said, “Eating all the yummy food Judy England made,” Steele also said she would love to go back to the farm “to get more food and see the animals and also feed the goats again!”

When asking AP student, Justin Miller what the purpose of going was he said, “To see what a free range farm was like, and also learning best management practices (BMP).”

Susan Faibisich the teacher of the class told me “She has taken previous classes to three other local farms: Catoctin Orchard, Ruth Ann’s Grass Fed Beef [Walkersville’s own Darrenbacher family], and a more industrialized Mason-Dixon dairy farm.”

When asking Faibisich what the purpose of this trip was she said, “During class we talk and learn about sustainable agriculture practices. This field trip is the reality of what I try to teach. Students experience the farm and local seasonal foods by seeing how Jeff England works the farm and Judy England sells local produce, dairy, and their own butchered meats. When we send our money supporting our local famers we are making our own communities stronger as well as putting much healthier food into our bodies and helping our environment.

“Sustainability depends on an equal sharing of economics, environment, and social factors. Too many these days depend on an industrial system that sacrifices the social and environmental components all for the sake of economics. Too many people say this is the only way. This is not a system that Earth can sustain for very many generations and I want students to see there are other ways and there are good hard working people balancing all three factors.”

Over all the field trip was a fun but learning experience for the students. I would recommend anyone interested in these to take this course in the future.