Sarah M. | Emily
| Sarah M. | Gabby
| Emma | Dylan |
Maggie | Maggie
| Gabby | Mark |
Maggie | Abigail
| Sarah M. | Nico
On Friday, despite the cold, rainy weather,
our last stop was an Amish farm outside Tomah. You might be
wondering what in the world does an Amish farm have to do
with Hmong culture?
On our spring trip, we visited an Amish
farm. Aaron Yoder showed us around it.
We went through a muddy field to a small chicken coop. As
we approached it, a smell of millions of feathers flying,
and not cleaned up chicken poop.
Our bus lurched to a stop beside an
old barn and farmhouse where we met Aaron Yoder, the farmer
who lives there. He led us to the chicken coop, where in a
tiny room were 600 small black chickens. They were covering
every inch of the floor!
Aaron sells all these chickens to Hmong people who want to
use them for funerals or other ceremonies. Aaron lets the
Hmong butcher the animals right there on the farm. Aaron sells
the chickens for only three dollars apiece.
Aaron has a whole little barn room full
of chickens. You can see little black chickens laid all over
the ground. The Hmong prefer the black chickens. Aaron thinks
it is because that is the way they had them in Laos.
The Amish farm we went to was “Horse
and Buggy Amish.” They had no lights, no phones, no
cars, no air conditioning, no electricity. You might think
I’m lying but I’m NOT!
He sells chickens to the Hmong people.
He raises a special kind of chicken called special black chickens.
His chickens come from Asia.
The reason the Hmong people buy chickens from him is because
they are black chickens, the Hmong people like the meat, and
they are raised without things like antibiotics and chemicals.
Plus, the chickens are only three dollars apiece.
Aaron buys the chickens in town, raises
them on his farm, and sells them to Hmong people when they
have all grown up. Some of the chickens are butchered by the
Hmong; others are raised for eggs and more chickens.
It’s a lot of work to take care
of the chickens, especially when they’re young. In cold
weather, Aaron has to get up in the middle of the night to
put more wood in the wood-burning stove that keeps the chickens
When the chickens are small
they take a lot of care. He has to feed the animals, keep
them warm, clean the barn, and every few hours he has to go
and check on them, even at night.
have to keep heat for the baby chickens to keep them warm.
They need fresh air so they can grow bigger and taste yummy.
The Amish are pretty willing to raise
the chickens for the Hmong and sell to them. Other Amish farmers
sell hogs and cows and other animals. Aaron isn’t sure
whether the Hmong are comfortable with the Amish or not. All
he knows is that they will buy from them, and don’t
act like they are nervous around him.
Aaron also has three or four brown
horses with white strips on their noses, and in the barn there
are a whole lot of cows, a small calf, several big calves,
bunnies, and a dog!
I think it’s cool that the Hmong
can get their chickens from another culture like the Amish.
That’s when we got on the bus BECAUSE
IT WAS FREEZING!!!!! Then we headed back to Madison.