Hosanna Wagler plays with the hens on Goose Green Farm in Madison County, New York. Many aspects of farm life capture the imagination of children. Hosanna's father, Mervin Wagler, founded Goose Green Farm last year when he moved his family here to join the growing Amish community and begin farming. While he says the learning curve was steep, Wagler is increasing sales of poultry and living the life he wanted for his family.
While the number of farms in New York State decreased overall, the number of farms in Madison County grew by 13 percent, according to the 2012 USDA agricultural census. Part of this increase is due to a growing Amish community that is establishing small family farms throughout the county. Many of the Amish are younger, first-time farmers, reflecting county-wide statistics, and have left larger Amish communities in Ohio, Missouri and Indiana where land can be scarce and costly.