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"Sacred Farming" or "Working Out": The Negotiated Lives of Conservative Mennonite Farm Women

"Sacred Farming" or "Working Out": The Negotiated Lives of Conservative Mennonite Farm Women Kimberly D. Schmidt Kimberly D. Schmidt Sisters Barbara Zehr and Charlene Moser were born into a "plain" Conservative Mennonite family during the 1950s.1 In many ways, the sisters' family lineage and personal experience implicitly convey an intense commitment to the conservation of their Mennonite heritage. Their parents farmed, raised six daughters, and worshipped in the Conservative Mennonite Church of Croghan, located in Lewis County, New York.2 The Croghan church, originally Amish Mennonite, was established in 1830s when the first Zehr and Moser families fled the Alsace region in France in search of religious freedom and economic stability in North America. Charlene and Barbara's father, a bishop who oversees five local Conservative Mennonite congregations, is responsible for the continuation of the onehundred-seventy-year-old community. As their married names suggest, the sisters wed local Conservative Mennonite men. After they married, both couples decided to stay in Croghan and take up farming. The sisters live within a few miles of their childhood church, which they regularly attend with their families. Charlene and her husband operate a dairy and live on her "home place," the land and house where she was raised. Barbara has worked at Widrick & Sons, a John Deere implement http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies University of Nebraska Press

"Sacred Farming" or "Working Out": The Negotiated Lives of Conservative Mennonite Farm Women

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Publisher
University of Nebraska Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2001 by Frontiers Editorial Collective.
ISSN
1536-0334
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Kimberly D. Schmidt Kimberly D. Schmidt Sisters Barbara Zehr and Charlene Moser were born into a "plain" Conservative Mennonite family during the 1950s.1 In many ways, the sisters' family lineage and personal experience implicitly convey an intense commitment to the conservation of their Mennonite heritage. Their parents farmed, raised six daughters, and worshipped in the Conservative Mennonite Church of Croghan, located in Lewis County, New York.2 The Croghan church, originally Amish Mennonite, was established in 1830s when the first Zehr and Moser families fled the Alsace region in France in search of religious freedom and economic stability in North America. Charlene and Barbara's father, a bishop who oversees five local Conservative Mennonite congregations, is responsible for the continuation of the onehundred-seventy-year-old community. As their married names suggest, the sisters wed local Conservative Mennonite men. After they married, both couples decided to stay in Croghan and take up farming. The sisters live within a few miles of their childhood church, which they regularly attend with their families. Charlene and her husband operate a dairy and live on her "home place," the land and house where she was raised. Barbara has worked at Widrick & Sons, a John Deere implement

Journal

Frontiers: A Journal of Women StudiesUniversity of Nebraska Press

Published: Jan 4, 2001

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