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Mennonite-Amish Culture in the Pen-Mar Highlands, page 11

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terprise —dairying and livestock. I do not know what percentage of these farms are operated by the Amish.

The new generation of farmers, Amish and non-Amish, are learning an integrated agrarian culture through courses of Vo-Ag in the high schools. Here they acquire a knowledge of machine farming and a more scientific understanding of the soil.

There is a growing threat to the Amish way of life. It is not due to the intolerance of other Christian groups, nor to society in general. It is the economic change posed by industrialization. This makes it more difficult for them to compete with a faster moving and more expensive way of farming. The non-Amish farmer, many direct descendants of the first settlers, are specializing in a more commercial use of the land—whose goal is primarily monetary profit. He invests in every type of machine, doing away with the horse. All this must be financed. The machine takes the place of hired manual labor. So the farmer must impose on himself the burden of a heavy debt—all the work, the ability to operate machinery. In turn the machinery wears out or becomes obsolete. Horses last longer. The Amish rears his children to work—does not require hired hands except at harvest when each family helps the other. The Amish pay as they go. They are not under the heavy burden and the pressure of meeting payments—nor the anxiety associated with the break-down and expensive repair of machinery. Their overhead costs, the cost of financing, are nothing compared to the non-Amish farmer. Furthermore the non-Amish farmer, ordinarily having very little labor


Felix G. Robinson

Apple-butter booth at Springs Festival, 1962.


Collection Location:
Ruth Enlow Library, Oakland

Original Size:
22 x 15 cms

Maryland, History

Western Maryland, 1750-1963

Western Maryland Regional Library
100 South Potomac Street
Hagerstown, Maryland 21740

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