Several stories of interest about the Amish are running on the newswires today, so I thought I'd give you a quick sampler:
FRACKING: As an oil boom takes shape in Ohio's rural eastern counties (essentially Amish Country) many Amish are finding themselves being taken advantage of by big petroleum companies when it comes to leasing lands. I know a couple of families quoted in this New Republic article, so it was interesting to me to read. Lloyd Miller, the Amish gentleman quoted in the beginning of the article is a really fascinating and decent man who I've come to know pretty well. The oil issue is proving to be a divisive one among the Amish of eastern Ohio. Unless massive sums of money are involved, the Amish generally don't sue or use the courts for litigation and this has created situations that some of these oil companies like to exploit. Above is a photo that I took of Lloyd Miller's farm last time I visited. I wasn't are of his troubles with the petroleum companies.
AMISH ROMANCE NOVELS: The Wall Street Journal has a fascination with Amish romance novels because this is a topic they frequently write about. Here is another article about Amish romance novels and their popularity. I'm not sure which is more noteworthy, the Amish fiction craze or the Wall Street Journal's fascination with it.
AMISH CONFERENCE: Not sure if this is going to be an annual event or not, but the Young Center for Anabaptist Studies at Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania drew a wide range of panelists and attendees for what sounds like a fascinating coming together of all things Plain. Read more about the conference here. I'd love to attend next year.