Many Amish and Mennonite communities are located throughout the four states that feed into the Four State Farm Show. The show offers an annual opportunity to enjoy time away, and the Amish and Mennonite markets generate a lot of business for some of the Farm Show’s vendors.
Many Amish and Mennonite communities are located throughout the four states that feed into the Four State Farm Show.
The show offers an annual opportunity to enjoy time away, and the Amish and Mennonite markets generate a lot of business for some of the Farm Show’s vendors.
Willis Detweiler said he and his family live in Chouteau, Okla., and come to the Four
State Farm Show each year.
“We get away for a minute or two,” he said of the trip, adding that it offers his family the opportunity to do some shopping and playing. “Just to get away from the farm.”
Detweiler said it falls at a good point in the growing season, with the corn and soybeans well on their way, and offers a fun get-away.
“I usually just take in this one and the one in Tulsa,” Detweiler said.
He added that it is fun to look at, and sometimes to find, items that utilize technology that is allowed by his Amish community.
“Large equipment, we don’t have much use for, but the smaller stuff we do,” Detweiler said. “Some of the technology we can’t use.”
Detweiler said he and Keith Porter, with Acme Energy, LLC, out of Macon, Mo. run into each other frequently.
Porter said he does quite a bit of business with members of the Amish and Mennonite communities, and explained some of the technicalities of which equipment is and is not used.
“Off-the-grid systems are usable, but the computerized stuff is considered more modern,” Porter said. “For Amish, they have to be off-the-grid systems.”
He said the solar well pump system, around which the men were catching up, runs only on the sun’s rays and therefore qualifies.
Porter added that the communities he works with are very green in all of their farming methods.
“They’re very green,” Porter said. “Everything is all-natural.”
For Edward and Ruth Zimmerman of Emden, Mo., the Four State Farm Show is an opportunity to sell their portable band saw mills to both members of their community and to non-Amish customers.
“Both communities (are customers),” said Edward Zimmerman. “It’s a mill that’s very suitable for farmers because most of them have some logs and they can cut their own lumber.”
Ruth Zimmerman said the two have been coming to the Four State Farm Show for about six years, and have had the sawmill business for almost 15 years.
“We also sell the accessories that go with the sawmill,” she said.
The sawmills run off of gas Honda and Suburu engines, which are permissible in the Zimmerman’s Amish-Mennonite community in northeast Missouri, and Edward Zimmerman said the business has taken off so much that a neighbor helps with building the units.
Page 2 of 2 - The saws, like the Farm Show, appeal to many different farming cultures and needs, even to the point of surprise.
“When we started we didn’t realize how much Amish business we would have,” Ruth Zimmerman said.