Often characterized as being old-fashioned and living off the land, Amish farmers in upstate New York stepped out of their comfort zones to learn new farming technology from the Cornell Cooperative Extension. The Amish have been program participants for the past five or six years.
Last week, 14 Amish were touring Finger Lakes Farms when their van was struck after a car tried passing a slow-moving tractor in Benton. Six of the Amish have died. Steven Eidridge, 42, the driver of the car has been charged with criminally negligent homicide and driving while intoxicated.
The group of Amish were studying ways to extend the growing season of fresh fruits and vegetables in Yates County when the accident occurred. Despite this setback, they plan to continue learning new technologies. One farmer, who is hospitalized for his injuries, indicated that the Amish community is already looking beyond the past and looking forward to continuing to learn new farming techniques from the Extension. They say their faith keeps them moving forward, and that they have no control over what happened. The Amish say it is part of a bigger plan and they have to accept that.
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