Resistance to a New Kind of Farm

Retired Knoxville Police Det. Art Bohanan’s neighbors are not thrilled by his plans to partner with Carson-Newman University to establish a body farm on his property. The plan is not to duplicate the world-famous body farm at the University of Tennessee, but to instead study the effects of bodies on the environment.

The prospect of studying groundwater pollution, airborne corpse dust, bacteria from decaying bodies, and toxic fumes from poison gas victims is not an appealing prospect to nearby farms with well water. They are organizing a protest to the college about locating such a facility in their New Market neighborhood and have hired a top-tier Knoxville public relations firm.

The proposal is to use a seven-acre site on Bohanan’s farm that will be studied by graduate students at Carson-Newman. The proposal will go first to the Jefferson County Planning Commission where residents plan to raise objections.

Bohanan is a nationally recognized figure, known for using Scotch tape to capture fingerprints at crime scenes, a technique adopted by under-funded local police crime labs nationwide.

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