Amish Acres

Amish Acres® Historic Farm and Heritage Resort is Listed in the National Register of Historic Places. It is America's most complete Amish heritage experience featuring historic interpretation, culinary and performing arts, lodging, and shopping.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Amish Marketing 101

Most people who don't live in Amish communities tend to think of them as a static culture because of their voluntary choice to not bring modern convieniences into their homes. Few things are more nostalgic in America than an horse drawn black Amish buggy along a gravel country road. Yet a series of events involving Amish entrepreneurs surrounding Nappanee this past week illustrates how change is as much a part of their lives as it is in ours, the difference is in how we each manage change. Those of us who are not Amish tend to react to change while the Amish tend to observe change, choose those that will strengthen rather that weaken the cohesiveness of the community.

Nearly 150 Cottage industries now surround Nappanee, mostly involving woodworking skills, are fast becoming accepted as a way of maintaining economic viability on the farm, involving multi-generational skills, and finding markets outside of traditional agricultural products. The Nappanee Community and Economic Development director and visionary, Larry Andrews, has organized these entrepreneurs to receive business training that helps insure success for these ventures. Most recently a series of classes has taught elementary marketing skills to those eager to learn. These classes are being made possible by a grant of $90,400 through cooperation with the Elkhart County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Elkhart County Economic Development Corporation, and Learning Generation Intitiative from the Indiana Rural Development Council, along with $5,000 from the community foundation. These focused cooperative efforts are bringing economic development and vitality in unexpected ways and places. Now you can add Shingle Shops to Silicone Valley and the Research Triangle.

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