Most Old Order Amish still farm using horse-drawn plows. The horse-drawn plow, much like the horse-drawn buggy, is part of their desire to remain close to home and the land. I’ve seen sturdy draft horses pulling plows in most Old Order communities that I have visited. There are some church districts in Ohio, Oklahoma, and I think Kentucky that call themselves Old Order that do farm with tractors, but that is the exception rather than the rule. Tractors are more common in New Order churches and Old Order Mennonite churches. Thanks to Suzanne for sharing these photos with us from the Farm Science Review held every September in London, Ohio. This is late summer showcase of everything agrarian is held at the Molly Caren Agricultural Center, Ohio State University’s “farm campus” in rural Madison County. I’m not surprised that there would be a “plain presence” at the event. I can’t tell from the photos whether these are Amish or Mennonites. There is an Old Order Mennonite community near Frankfort and they probably do use tractors for farming and would find this interesting. But even Amish farmers who don’t use tractors would still be enthralled by the big machinery and, sheesh, these aren’t your dinky little John Deere’s, these are monster tractors!
Suzanne asked me whether these were Amish or Mennonites, without being able to see their faces it is tough to tell. But she did say that some of the men had beards, while others didn’t. So if I was going to make an educated guess, I’d say these are New Order Amish from the Belle Center area, but we’ll probably never know. If someone was there and does know, let us know!