Amish dairy farmers will face stiff penalties from the Environmental Protection Agency because of farming practices the agency considers destructive to the Chesapeake Bay.
“There’s much, much work that needs to be done, and I don’t think the full community understands,” said David McGuigan, the EPA official leading an effort by the agency to change farming practices in Lancaster County, Pa., the heart of Amish Country.
EPA hopes to steer the farmers toward new practices without stirring resentment that might cause a backlash from the Amish, who are notoriously wary of outsiders and of the government in particular.
“We are supposed to be stewards of the land,” said Matthew Stoltzfus, a 34-year-old dairy farmer and father of seven whose family, like many other Amish, shuns cars in favor of horse and buggy and lives without electricity. “It is our Christian duty.”