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									                                                                                     Canadian Mennonite April 19, 2010                19

Not as organic as we think
Edna Staebler research fellow examines ‘myth’
of Mennonite farming practices in Waterloo County
Story and Photo
by Dave Ro gal sk y
eastern Canada Correspondent
kItCheNeR, oNt.

C      ontrary to popular belief, Old Order
       Mennonite farming practices are not
as organically friendly as those of more
                                               to maintain an income, particularly those
                                               who are not engaged in supply manage-
                                               ment,” a practice that involves participation
                                                                                               Jim Reusser, left, a retired Mennonite
                                                                                               Church Canada pastor, discusses
                                                                                               Mennonite farming practices in the
modern Mennonites.                             in government quota systems, particularly       region with Chris Yordy, the 2009 Edna
    This was the finding of Chris Yordy,       for milk and poultry.                           Staebler research fellow, right.
the 2009 recipient of the Edna Staebler           At the same time, he noted that small
Research Fellowship. The $1,000 fellowship     Old Order Mennonite farms, with mixed
enabled the Waterloo North Mennonite           crops and livestock, “makes [them] in some      Development Research Centre investi-
Church member to study the question            ways more environmentally sustainable.”         gating how people in North Africa, par-
of sustainable agriculture among the              Of great interest to the gathered group      ticularly Egypt and Morocco, are coping
Old Order Mennonites, David Martin             was the pairing of capitalism with com-         with rising food prices. He now attends
Mennonites and Mennonite Church                munitarianism, as each farmer grows and         Village International Mennonite Church
Eastern Canada Mennonites.                     produces for markets, and at the same           being planted by Stefan Cherry (formerly
    His research—which he presented to         time is part of a community that includes       of Floradale Mennonite Church, Ont.).
the public at the Joseph Schneider Haus        barn-raisings and other community ef-              Joseph Schneider was one of three
Museum on Feb. 19—set out to prove his         forts. A modern example of this would be        Mennonite Schneider brothers who made
thesis, that “a Mennonite farmer’s belief      the Elmira Produce Auction Cooperative,         the trek from Pennsylvania to the German

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