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Re: Amish Farming Draws Rare Government Scrutiny

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2006/9/9 17:18
From lancaster county
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Living in Lancaster i can shed a small amount of light on the subject.

Yes, large scale farm operations do more damage than small scale amish farms. The question is what do we consider small scale?

Some watersheds in Lancaster flow through 15 small scale amish farm operations before reaching their destination. Yes, they dont have as many cows, pigs or whatever as a large scale operations but the damage is still there.

Try to remember this land in my home county has been farmed forever. These people are in the business of farming not clean water.
Things do need to change.

Posted on: 2010/6/12 11:16
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Re: Amish Farming Draws Rare Government Scrutiny

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2009/10/15 13:45
From Eastern PA
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Your exactly right Sal, it's simple math. Whether it be (15) small 100 acre farms or (1) large 1500 acre farm, the nitrates, run off, etc will be closely proximate to each other in volume. I would actually argue that large scale operations may have stricter controls than the smaller farms due to state scrutiny of farms that receive subsidies.

Posted on: 2010/6/12 13:22


Re: Amish Farming Draws Rare Government Scrutiny

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2006/11/2 8:50
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Quote:

bikerfish wrote:
it's about time. just because they don't drive cars doesn't make them environmental saints. I'm tired of hearing about them not having to play by the rules just because of religous beliefs.


Are the environmental rules any different for Amish than for other people? If so, what are examples of this?

Posted on: 2010/6/12 16:15


Re: Amish Farming Draws Rare Government Scrutiny

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2006/9/9 17:18
From lancaster county
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Quote:
There is a great deal of predjudice against the Amish, as there is against any group or individual who does not conform. That predjudice is being displayed on this forum, unfortunately.


Dwight,

I agree with what you say here. I'm not even going to argue that with you at all. People need to try and remember that we could live in a country that we have the freedom to be individuals that conform, or do not. It is our choice and I love the fact I can worship as I please or say what I want.

However, with that choice also comes with a price. If you choose to put yourself out there as a group separate from "majority" society, your ways of life will be judged. Your faith, your belief systems and you will be scrutinized. Since we all have freedom of speech this is acceptable but that doesn't make it right.

If fact, I have worked on amish farms and met numbers and numbers of Amish farmers. Like any people they have jerks, sure but there are so many very good willed Amish in Lancaster County. I have been helped along side the road by an Amish man. He could have left me stranded. I have gotten free things like pies and quilts.

I have fished along side amish that were catching when I was not and invited me in their hole. I have access to a number of local creeks because they want everyone to enjoy the fishing. I have seen them do things of the community around these parts that far exceed what us "regular" people do.

There farms do destroy. So while they want everyone do enjoy the fishing, they degrade and destroy my local watersheds. Lancaster County easily could have had a lot more great limestone streams than it does now. The fishery would have brought people from Cumberland County easily. A lot of Lancaster Counties watersheds are in really bad shape, with no end in sight. For hundreds of years this land has been farmed, stripped, farmed and stripped for everything its got and it keeps producing. Lancaster soil is some of the richest soil in the world.

There has been a wave of farmers changing practices to be more watershed friendly, but not enough to make a difference. Trout Unlimited and other organizations (like DCTU) have helped some of Lancasters watersheds. There are just so many streams and so many problems. Its going to take forever to fix most the watersheds and then it will take forever from them to heal themselves.

Its it the fault of the Amish? Some, but in reality its all of our faults. They may have separated themselves to a degree from society, but we can't separate ourselves from being part to blame.

There still needs to be change on some front.

P.S.
I do wish they would help pay for the roads though.

Posted on: 2010/6/12 21:07
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Re: Amish Farming Draws Rare Government Scrutiny

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2009/10/15 13:45
From Eastern PA
Posts: 10291
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Quote:
I do wish they would help pay for the roads though.


Amish folks pay standard federal income tax, PA state income tax, municipality property taxes (at farm rates as every farm does) and even school property taxes though they do not receive any of the money back for their schools. I think people commonly believe that the Amish do not "pay taxes" as they do not contribute to social security/medicare if self employed as they do not directly derive benefits from those programs.

Posted on: 2010/6/12 22:46


Re: Amish Farming Draws Rare Government Scrutiny

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2008/8/24 20:26
From Mount Joy, PA
Posts: 2238
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Quote:

salvelinusfontinalis wrote:
P.S.
I do wish they would help pay for the roads though.


Boy, you're not kidding! The state just paved one of the roads near my house that was a virtual goatpath before. It is now widened with a fresh coat of blacktop and shoulders. Unfortunately, I know it won't stay this nice because of the number of farm vehicles and Amish buggies that travel it. I'm already seeing groove marks from the buggies. It's Musser Road which parallels Donegal Creek towards the headwaters which I'm sure you're familiar with.

Yeah, their buggies do more damage to a road than any conventional vehicle could ever do!

Posted on: 2010/6/12 22:49


Re: Amish Farming Draws Rare Government Scrutiny

Joined:
2009/10/15 13:45
From Eastern PA
Posts: 10291
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Quote:
Are the environmental rules any different for Amish than for other people? If so, what are examples of this?


No. No they are not. The environmental rules and regulations are more stringent and more enthusiastically enforced for larger farms than smaller farms. However it has nothing to do with Amish versus English farms. I am personally and intimately aware of the differences between small and large farm environmental compliance regulations. When we reorganized our 66,000 chicken and 800 cattle farms we chose divided our entity into two separate LLC's. One for land holding and large machinery, the other for operations. Over the last ten years we have acquired 11 additional farms. We combine all land and large machinery assets into one LLC, however operations are kept at a "local" level with the original farm families continuing operations. This allows operations environmental compliance to be held to a small farm standard. If more details are needed in the differences between the two are needed I am can certainly find out. One inspection that I know that is more relaxed for small farms is waste containment system inspections. This is very problematic in my opinion, particularly in hog waste lagoons.

Posted on: 2010/6/12 22:58


Re: Amish Farming Draws Rare Government Scrutiny

Joined:
2009/10/15 13:45
From Eastern PA
Posts: 10291
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Quote:
I'm already seeing groove marks from the buggies. It's Musser Road which parallels Donegal Creek towards the headwaters which I'm sure you're familiar with.

Yeah, their buggies do more damage to a road than any conventional vehicle could ever do!


That I agree with completely. Especially the "modern" Amish and Mennonites who are using tractors and mechanical farm equipment with METAL TIRES!!!!!

Posted on: 2010/6/12 23:01


Re: Amish Farming Draws Rare Government Scrutiny

Joined:
2008/8/24 20:26
From Mount Joy, PA
Posts: 2238
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Posted on: 2010/6/17 12:10


Re: Amish Farming Draws Rare Government Scrutiny

Joined:
2009/10/15 13:45
From Eastern PA
Posts: 10291
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Quote:
Calvin Keene, an English farmer who is a Bart Township supervisor, has this warning for regulators: "Everybody knows you're never going to sell anything in the southern end if you're going to force it."


Last line from the above linked article. That township should be so proud of it's elected official.

Posted on: 2010/6/17 16:41


Re: Amish Farming Draws Rare Government Scrutiny

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2009/5/8 23:25
Posts: 313
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I think that 500k should be used for a much larger beast, namely, monitoring flack fluid entering the bay and these farm streams. Some local neighbors should befriend the Amish, and print some information for them from the computer.

"Green" "meetings" with "consulting firms" just rubs me the wrong way.

Posted on: 2010/7/9 23:16


Re: Amish Farming Draws Rare Government Scrutiny

Joined:
2006/9/13 10:18
From LV
Posts: 7756
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Farming practices in general are the problem, not just Amish Farms. No till farming will help as would going organic. There is a much higher demand now for organic fruit and vegies than there ever has been and PA Farmers can change over and become profitable by changing over. All the grocery store now have organic products.

Posted on: 2010/7/12 18:17
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