Amish Carrots, Corporate Sticks

Ten days ago the New York Times reported how Amish farmers are being encouraged by environmental bureaucrats and activist groups to clean up the way they farm:

For now, [EPA]’s strategy is to approach each farmer individually in collaboration with state and local conservation officials and suggest improvements like fences to prevent livestock from drifting toward streams, buffers that reduce runoff and pits to keep manure stored safely.

“These are real people with their own histories and their own needs and their own culture,” said John Hanger, the secretary of environmental protection in Pennsylvania. “It’s about treating people right, and in order to treat people right, you’ve got to be able to start where they are at.”

Yesterday the Lancaster Intelligencer-Journal followed with their own story:

(Environmental group) PennFuture said it chose the 45 farmers invited to a June 30 luncheon at the township building based on high nitrate levels where streams were sampled and the location of farms that slope toward the streams.

The group hopes the farmers will take advantage of offers to have consultants do free on-farm assessments so they know what might be needed to comply with state and federal laws.

How kind that environmentalists and eco-crats want to play nice over tea-and-crumpets with the “small people” in Amish country. But I wonder how green pressure groups or the powers within Big Regulation would treat them if they conducted business as a large corporation — maybe it would sound like this:

  • “All other industries in Pennsylvania are responsible for the waste they generate and Longbeard Agriculture should be no exception.”
  • We cannot let Sen. Rightwinger be the roadblock that prevents our state forests from receiving the protection they deserve. We cannot let him protect Longbeard Agriculture from paying their fair share for the public costs associated with their agriculture.”
  • It could not be more clear that we need to stop investing in a cow-pie generating economy and kickstart a beef-free revolution.”

You get the picture. But since the Amish are a small group with no money, they are due all respect and should be met “where they are at.”

Everyone else can go to hell.