Working the fields


Tractors are generally only used for fieldwork by New Order Amish.  Typically, Amish of Old Order affiliations use horses (or, commonly, mules in settlements such as Lancaster, PA) to draw their field equipment.

Where do the Amish continue to get their horse-drawn plows and balers, a true anachronism at a time of mega-farms, with modern farmers spending tens of thousands on hi-tech equipment?  At one time, Amish farmers relied on buying pieces discarded as farmers modernized their wares.  When that source began to dry up, a number of manufacturers sprang up to service the Amish need.

I spoke with one Ohio producer last week who supplies horse-drawn equipment to farmers across the country and even overseas, with some of his shipments even ending up in places such as Africa and Australia.  I was surprised at the range of horse-drawn equipment he sells.  The market is there, and with the Amish and other Plain groups growing at such a fast pace, one that is likely to keep expanding.

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