Hog Farming Source of Rift Between Mennonites and their Neighbors

August 12, 2001

Source: The New York Times

On August 12, 2001, The New York Times reported on the on Finger Lakes region of New York. "Best known for its...bucolic beauty, [it] has become the hog farming capital of New York. But with that distinction has come controversy...casting an awkward spotlight on the people most associated with the animals, Mennonite farmers." Many of their neighbors are complaining that the stench produced by the pigs "has adversely affected the quality of life, the environment, the wine business and the tourism industry...Like their better-known Anabaptist brethren, the Amish, most Mennonites work as farmers, craftsmen or skilled laborers...Until recently, the relationship between the Mennonites and the outside community here was amicable...But hog farming has strained the relationship. While most Mennonites say they cannot fathom why people have complained about rural odors in a rural area, hog-farm critics say that the Mennonites have different values, rooted in a not-so-modern world."