For the Amish, Big Agribusiness Is Destroying a Way of Life

It seems as though big agribusiness has some help:

...when I spoke with Brent Buchanan, the county's agriculture team leader for Cornell's Cooperative Extension, he said New York's regulations slant the game against the Amish. As Buchanan explained, tax exemptions go exclusively to farms selling over $10,000 in product. And while Swartzentruber farmers might grow a qualifying amount, they preserve more of their harvest for subsistence living, thus decreasing their nominal profit. "If they can't enjoy the same taxes as Englishmen, that's inherently not a sustainable business model," said Buchanan.

Ah, yes, government is involved in playing favorites. I'm shocked, shocked I tell you! OK, well, maybe not so much...

At first glance, the Swartzentruber Amish of St. Lawrence County, New York, look to be self-reliant stewards of a bucolic and unchanging landscape. Although their daily chores demand Olympic stamina -- regiments of mugwort-weeding and hay-bailing -- the Swartzentrubers still pause and wave politely to 18-wheelers passing through the county, which stretches from the Adirondacks to the suburbs of Montreal.

(link) [The Atlantic]

Update:The St. Lawrence Co. local paper has a tale to tell on the article. They left in in a comment and since I don't allow links in there I figured I be nice and move it up here for easier access. See the writebacks section for more.

20:48 /Agriculture | 2 comments | permanent link