Mecosta County residents share this area with one of the largest and most conservative Amish communities in the state.
Today, 120 Amish families reside near Stanwood and Lakeview living off the land. Their homes have no electricity, telephones or automobiles. Children attend one of ten Amish schools through 8th grade. Boys then develop farming skills at their father's side and girls learn homemaking skills such as child care, cooking, sewing and gardening.
Amish agriculture is draft horse powered. A typical Amish farmer farms 60-80 acres, milks 10-12 cows, raises feeder pigs, and laying hens. A large garden and orchard helps their self-sufficiency. Many Amish are craftsman, building fine furniture or operating a sawmill.
Milk from this are is processed into a variety of hard cheeses at a cooperative plant south of Lakeview.
What Anabaptists Believe
Adult Baptism - When ready to become "Amish" an 18 to 22 year old will choose to become baptized. In order to be baptized an individual must be mature enough to distinquish right from wrong, have heard the word preached, believe the message and confessed the faith.
Separation of church and state
Not swearing oaths
Personal accountability to one another within the community of believers
For more information on the Amish culture try these websites:
Amish frequently asked questions: http://www.800padutch.com/atafaq.shtml
National Conference for Amish religious freedom: http://www.holycrosslivonia.org/amish/
The Amish and the Plain People: http://www.800padutch.com/amish.shtml
About the Amish: http://www.religioustolerance.org/amish.htm
Safety and Health: http://www.ag.ohio-state.edu/~agsafety/ash/programs/am_events.html