Agricultural Economy of Manitoba Hutterite Colonies

Agricultural Economy of Manitoba Hutterite Colonies

John Ryan
Copyright Date: 1977
Pages: 324
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt9qf265
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  • Book Info
    Agricultural Economy of Manitoba Hutterite Colonies
    Book Description:

    The Hutterite way of life originated in central Europe nearly 450 years ago. Today, Hutterite colonies are unique features of the agricultural landscape of Manitoba. This pioneering study, based on years of field research, presents a thorough account of every aspect of the agricultural base of the Hutterite way of life. Beginning with an historical account of Hutterite settlement, colony administration, and a description of day-to-day life, the study proceeds to a derailed description of the agricultural economy through which the Hutterites maintain their distinctive way of life.

    eISBN: 978-0-7735-9138-7
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. iii-vii)
  3. DIAGRAMS
    (pp. vii-vii)
  4. MAPS
    (pp. vii-viii)
  5. PLATES
    (pp. viii-viii)
  6. TABLES
    (pp. ix-xii)
  7. PREFACE
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
    John Ryan
  8. INTRODUCTION
    (pp. 1-9)

    This is a pioneer study of the agricultural economy of Manitoba Hutterite colonies. Although agriculture is a vital feature of Hutterite life, very little has been written on this topicper se.

    Literature on the Hutterites is quite extensive, but most of it is from the viewpoint of demography, history, religion, psychology, and sociology.¹ Furthermore, the bulk of the literature deals with the Hutterites in the United States, whereas the majority of them live in Canada. The most authoritative account of the Hutterites in Manitoba is by Victor Peters in his m. a. thesis and in his bookAll Things...

  9. CHAPTER 1 HISTORICAL BACKGROUND AND MAJOR CHARACTERISTICS OF HUTTERITE COLONIES
    (pp. 10-15)

    The Hutterites, or the Hutterian Brethren which is their full title, had their origin in Central Europe at the time of the Reformation. In their history of almost 450 years these people have been subjected to periodic persecution which invariably resulted in migration. These, migrations have led them from Moravia, Slovakia, Transylvania, Tsarist Russia, the United States, and eventually to Canada.* At the present time there are over 19,000 Hutterites**—more than two-thirds of them live in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta, while the remainder are in the United States, mainly in South Dakota and Montana.²

    Throughout their history the Hutterites...

  10. CHAPTER 2 HUTTERITE SETTLEMENT AND COLONY EXPANSION
    (pp. 16-52)

    As a result of their belief in communal living, Hutterites establish a village-type settlement, orBruderhof, on each colony farm. This settlement includes not only their living quarters but all the structures and facilities associated with the farm economy. Since the population of colonies varies from about 50 to 160 and the structures required for a mixed farming economy are numerous and usually extensive, the average colony settlement is indeed a significant feature of the landscape. Together with the colony garden and shelter belts, the settlement may occupy an area from 20 acres to as much as 150 acres.

    Considerable care is taken in selecting the site for...

  11. CHAPTER 3 PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT OF HUTTERITE FARMLAND
    (pp. 53-58)

    In discussing the physical environment of Hutterite farmland the main factors that will be considered are landforms, surface deposits, drainage, soils, and climatic elements.¹ As indicated on Map 15, it is possible to group the Hutterite colonies into eight district regions. Consequently a regional analysis seems to be the most appropriate procedure.

    Although the regions in which the Hutterite colonies are located are spread across most of the southern part of the province, the variation in the physical environment between them is not great. Since the agricultural productivity of the land is of prime concern in this study, the various...

  12. CHAPTER 4 POPULATION CHARACTERISTICS AND LABOUR FORCE
    (pp. 59-83)

    At the end of 1970 the total population of the 48 colonies in Manitoba was 4,666 people.¹ The colony with the smallest population was Interlake which had 48 people, while Bon Homme was the largest with a population of 161. Interlake is to some extent an exception because several years ago a number of families left the colony as a result of an internal disagreement. Glenway was the next smallest colony with a population of 55, but Glenway is exceptional as well because when the colony was established in 1966 only 40 percent of the founding colony’s population settled at...

  13. CHAPTER 5 COLONY ORGANIZATION AND MANAGEMENT
    (pp. 84-91)

    The administrative system of Hutterite colonies differs only in detail from the structure adopted by the Moravian colonies during the sixteenth century.² It is a complex organization that takes into account family autonomy and kinship groups, communal solidarity, and economic efficiency. The system is regulated partly by written codes and constitutions and partly by custom and tradition. The Hutterites have held to this system not merely because of reliance on dogma, but because the system has proved to be an extremely efficient way of operating abroad range of agricultural activities. To a large degree the durability and continued existence of...

  14. CHAPTER 6 FARMING PRACTICES AND GENERAL AGRICULTURAL POLICIES
    (pp. 92-101)

    All Hutterite colonies are engaged in large-scale mixed farming operations. This means that their economy is based primarily on the production of crops and the raising of farm animals and poultry. Their highly diversified operations include crop production, mainly wheat, oats, and barley, and enterprises such as the raising of hogs, beef cattle, dairy cattle, laying hens for egg production, broilers, turkeys, geese, ducks, and apiculture. Emphasis on enterprises varies from colony to colony and some colonies may not be involved at all in some of the above listed activities. For example, although hog production is important in all colonies,...

  15. CHAPTER 7 CROP PRODUCTION
    (pp. 102-138)

    For census purposes Hutterite colonies are classified as “institutional farms” and each colony is considered a single farm unit. Although it is true that each colony does operate as a single economic unit, there are basic differences between a colony and the average Manitoba farm. In addition to differences in farm size and the number and scale of various farm enterprises, the most outstanding distinction is between the number of people on a colony and an ordinary farm. With very few exceptions, all farms in Manitoba are “family farms,” that is, one family operates each farm. However, a Hutterite colony...

  16. CHAPTER 8 THE CATTLE ENTERPRISE
    (pp. 139-151)

    The number of cattle on Hutterite colonies as compared with the number on all Manitoba farms in 1968 appears in Tables 8-1 and 8-2. The 43 Hutterite colonies had a total of 2,712 milk cows and heifers or 1.7 percent of the Manitoba total. This is slightly more than twice their proportionate share if related to the amount of land that they own, i.e., .83 percent of Manitoba farmland (.87 percent if rented land is included). Their proportion of milk cows and heifers varied from a low of .7 percent in District E to a high of 7.9 percent in...

  17. CHAPTER 9 THE HOG ENTERPRISE
    (pp. 152-167)

    The hog enterprise is of major importance on every Manitoba colony. In 1968 the sale of hogs formed the single largest source of income on 31 of the 43 colonies.¹ Furthermore, this same proportion, i.e., about 70 percent of the colonies, have received their largest source of income from hogs for at least a decade.²

    Table 9-1 shows that on the census date June 1, 1968 the Hutterites had a total of 78,722 hogs on their colonies, or 15.0 percent of all hogs in Manitoba. This is obviously a major contribution to this sector of the province’s economy. When considered...

  18. CHAPTER 10 THE CHICKEN ENTERPRISE
    (pp. 168-182)

    The significance of the Hutterite chicken enterprise is graphically illustrated by Table 10-1. Hens for the purpose of egg production are their main area of specialty, while with the exception of a few colonies, the production of broilers is strictly secondary.

    On the census date June 1, 1968 the Hutterites had a total of 506,000 laying hens or 17.9 percent of the Manitoba total. Their share of the province’s laying hens ranged from 7.4 percent in District E to 63.5 percent in District C. In District A, the most productive agricultural region in Manitoba, the Hutterites accounted for 30.1 percent...

  19. CHAPTER 11 THE TURKEY ENTERPRISE
    (pp. 183-190)

    Although only 12 colonies were involved in the turkey enterprise in 1968, this operation was of major significance to both the colonies involved and overall Manitoba production. On 7 of the colonies involved, the turkey enterprise ranked first or second in importance in terms of total income received by these colonies.¹ In regard to overall Manitoba production, the Hutterites have long been acclaimed as major turkey producers.

    On the census date June 1,1968 the 12 Hutterite colonies had a total of 174,300 turkeys or 20 percent of the Manitoba total (Table 11-1). This table also shows that in 1968 the...

  20. CHAPTER 12 THE GOOSE AND DUCK ENTERPRISES
    (pp. 191-217)

    Although the goose and duck enterprises are not complex operations, their analysis is not simple because of the considerable number of variables. Most colonies operate either one or the other or both of these enterprises, but some have breeding flocks and others do not. The colonies with breeding flocks operate their own hatcheries, and they may either sell goslings or ducklings, or raise them to maturity, or do both. Hence the analysis of these enterprises is not as straightforward as their actual operation.

    In 1968 goose enterprises were conducted on 30 of the 43 colonies, and 23 colonies had goose...

  21. CHAPTER 13 THE APIARY ENTERPRISE AND OTHER ECONOMIC ACTIVITIES
    (pp. 218-223)

    The apiary enterprise and various other economic activities are of minor significance on most Hutterite colonies. However, since these activities are a source of income and they do involve expenditure of labour, they should nevertheless be considered.

    Table 13-1 shows the number of honeybee colonies operated in 1968 by Manitoba beekeepers and by Hutterite colonies. More than three-quarters of the Hutterite colonies operated apiary enterprises, and there were some in operation in every district. The 33 colonies accounted for 4 percent of all Manitoba beekeepers. The Hutterites had a total of 2,925 honeybee colonies (or hives) and this accounted for...

  22. CHAPTER 14 ECONOMIC SIGNIFICANCE OF HUTTERITE AGRICULTURAL OPERATIONS
    (pp. 224-243)

    Certain enterprises produce the largest sales income on practically all colonies. Table 14-1 lists the major Hutterite enterprises and indicates their order of importance as producers of gross sales income. On this basis, the three most important enterprises on most colonies are hogs, chickens, and grain, in that order. The table shows that in 1968 the hog enterprise produced the largest sales income on 31 of the 43 colonies, or on 72 percent of the colonies. On the remaining 12 colonies, the hog enterprise ranked second. The chicken enterprise, consisting of the sale of eggs, broilers, and periodically old laying...

  23. CHAPTER 15 SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS
    (pp. 244-257)

    On the basis of total agricultural operations, Hutterite colonies make more intensive use of their resources than average Manitoba farms. In fact, with the exception of part of one enterprise, the Hutterite colonies are more productive in terms of physical volume of output than Manitoba farms in every major agricultural enterprise. These conclusions are valid for comparisons on a per acre basis or on a comparison of the output per Manitoba farm with the output per Hutterite family.

    A basic indication of the intensity of use of farmland is the amount of land in crops and the amount of total...

  24. EPILOGUE
    (pp. 258-277)

    Four years have elapsed since this study was completed and the text written. In our present rapidly changing world, it would be surprising to observe no significant changes in that time, but in the basically stable Hutterite society, it is change itself that would be surprising in such a relatively short period. When revisiting some of the colonies, the author was quickly reassured of the durability, permanence, and the seemingly changeless nature of the Hutterite economy and culture.

    In revisiting the colonies there was no attempt to conduct a systematic study of any of the agricultural enterprises. Instead, a general...

  25. APPENDIX A. MANITOBA HUTTERITE COLONIES: DATES OF ESTABLISHMENT AND FOUNDING COLONIES
    (pp. 278-279)
  26. APPENDIX B. MANITOBA HUTTERITE COLONIES: NUMBER OF FAMILIES AND POPULATION PER COLONY: JULY 1, 1968
    (pp. 280-281)
  27. APPENDIX C. MANITOBA HUTTERITE COLONIES: POPULATION PER COLONY, DECEMBER 31, 1970
    (pp. 282-282)
  28. APPENDIX D. INVENTORY OF FARM MACHINERY, 1968: HUTTERITE COLONY “A”
    (pp. 283-287)
  29. APPENDIX E. INVENTORY OF FARM MACHINERY, 1968: HUTTERITE COLONY “B”
    (pp. 288-290)
  30. APPENDIX F. INVENTORY OF FARM MACHINERY, 1968: HUTTERITE COLONY “C”
    (pp. 291-292)
  31. APPENDIX G. MANITOBA HUTTERITE COLONIES: GROSS SALES INCOME, EXPENSES, AND NET SALES INCOME—TOTAL AND PER COLONY, 1968
    (pp. 293-393)
  32. APPENDIX H. MANITOBA HUTTERITE COLONIES: COLONY DIVISION INTERVALS FROM 1918-1975
    (pp. 294-296)
  33. APPENDIX I. MANITOBA HUTTERITE COLONIES: NUMBER OF FAMILIES AND POPULATION PER COLONY, DECEMBER 31, 1975
    (pp. 297-299)
  34. SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY
    (pp. 300-305)
  35. Back Matter
    (pp. 306-306)