Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Head West Young Mr. Yoder
I know that title is a bit of a stereotype, but I swear, every time there is a story about the Amish on TV, the guy's name is Yoder. Makes me wonder about inbreeding, not that there's anything wrong with that. Just because I don't have any attractive cousins doesn't mean nobody else does.
I got a little off track there. What caught my eye the other day was a story about the new Amish migration. Seems the high cost of land in traditional Amish strongholds such as PA, OH and IN is leading Amish families to migrate westward, particularly to Colorado. Between 2002-2008, the Amish population in Colorado went from 0 to over 400. And more are coming. When an acre of cropland back East can cost $4-6,000 compared to an average of $1,200 in Colorado, it makes sense, especially for young families just starting out.
People I know in Ohio who live in counties with large Amish communities consider them to be good neighbors. The slow buggies on county roads and the horse shit on downtown streets can be a hassle, but are really a small inconvenience for most.
But here is the best part about the Amish. The average Amish family has 7 children, meaning that the total population doubles about every 20 years. For those worried about Hispanic or Muslim growth in America, more Amish families could provide a counter balance to the growth of those groups. So I'm recommending a mass conversion to the Amish faith. I wouldn't mind simplifying my life; I've always loved horses and I could be sort of an elder while the young folks do the actual farming. We'll have to negotiate that DVR thing though.