Q) How is success judged on a Hutterite farm? (profitability, economics, ability to grow, lifestyle, or something else?)
A) A successful Hutterite farm could be described firstly as a place where you would want to raise your Family. Where children can be children, growing up riding horses, climbing trees, adventuring outside during the summer holidays, but also with the responsibility of certain chores such as helping in the summer garden, yard maintenance such as cleaning up or mowing grass, helping with livestock, feeding calves, gathering eggs or a many other things young people can do around the farm.... An atmosphere that is conductive to Christian life where it is as David mentioned in the Psalms 133. Behold, how good and pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity.
If we (Hutterites) can be sustainable that is all we truly want. Our goal is not necessarily to get rich; it is rather to sustain a lifestyle that is conductive to a Christian life for us and for our children.
Q) Do Hutterite colonies contribute to their local communities, and if so, how or what?
A) Hutterites contribute to their local communities is various ways. In times of need and disaster Hutterites are more than willing to chip in, such as a local neighbor having health problems and needs to get his crop in before the snow, or local disasters such as flooding with manpower and equipment.
Hutterites also are regular to the Red Cross with blood donations, also charities such as the Cancer Society and the National Institute for the Blind, local hospitals, Food-grains Bank and also international disasters such as the earthquake in Haiti.
You will also find many Hutterites on local volunteer fire departments and first responder teams.
Q) Is there lessons which non Hutterite farmers can learn from a Hutterite farm? Something that you feel non Hutterite farmers could benefit by doing?
A) Other than pooling our labour and property we have no big advantage over other farms. We pay taxes, are price takers when we buy and sell commodities like all other farmers. I believe farmers could get together and form a buying company to purchase multiple pieces of equipment or other farm inputs.
Farming is what we want to do, however it is tough adjusting ones heart and mind to the fact that it may not be possible and or profitable to do so. We understand very well that for the Hutterite community to sustain an agriculture livelihood, there will be challenges and up hill battles, just like for anyone else. With farming and the challenges that we face we recognize that more proactive planning will be necessary i.e. Cost of production, future marketing, working with consultants.
Q) Any other points you would like to make in this story about Hutterite farm operations? Any thing else you feel is important Country Guide readers should know about Hutterites?
A) In conclusion I'd like to say that we too are human and an imperfect people who from time to time make mistakes and we certainly don’t claim to be utopian, really we are all the same just living out the challenge in different ways. We labor, worship, relax, chat and have fun, wanting to live in peace with our loved ones, as well as our neighbors. I would like for my fellow man to know it is these similarities of the human existence that unites us. We are all God's children looking for ways to support each other through life's journey. When we behave this way we feel more connected to our Creator and that is truly the only way to experience any degree of freedom. Isn't that what you would want for your children?
Hutterites are a mosaic part of the multicultural Canada and we are thankful to call it our Home and Native land, Thankful for our freedom of Faith and livelihood. It also helps that Canada is the best country in the entire world.
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