Picture Courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/gabriolaisland/

For some reason there has been some significant discussion on Twitter lately amongst different farmers regarding the suggested negative impact that Hutterite Colonies have on agriculture.

For some its easy to pick on Hutterites. They dress differently than you and I. Hutterites live a lifestyle that is not appealing for many. Once you get past the shallow obvious differences, one needs to really try to get informed on some of the positives that colonies bring to our industry.

Many colonies are stable positive contributors to their local communities.  I can definitely tell you from my experience at Haney Farms that there are great farming colonies and there are some that are not as good.  This is no different than many of our other farming customers.

To suggest that Hutterite colonies are destroying the traditional family farm is ridiculous To suggest that colonies are panicking without the Canadian Wheat Board is just being uninformed.  Lamenting that  that there is advantages to colony life that make it impossible to compete with them is an over statement.

Do colonies have human resource advantages?  Yes.  Are some colonies very aggressive in their acre growth aspirations?  Yes.  Are some colonies now sending members to College and University? Yes.

Many non-colony farmers have just as much a human resource advantages with the whole family working on the farm.  It is always easier for family members to draw less income to help the farm through a tight financial period.  This is where large corporate farms actually have a disadvantage.

With commodity prices rising over the past decade, land values and the competition amongst farmers is going to naturally increase.  Many farmers don’t care for their colony neighbours because they create competition for land.  One of the major changes with rising commodity prices is that colonies and large farms are expanding outside of their traditional areas.  Lethbridge farmers seeding in Vulcan, or Red Deer farmers seeding in Yorkton is a new reality of agriculture.  Its not just colonies that are aggressively trying to expand.

Farming is a competitive business and with high commodity prices the competition for land is only going to increase from colonies, European immigrants and already large Canadian farms.  When an industry is profitable it attracts investment internally and externally.  Just one more thing to deal with as your own farm profit rises.

Are Hutterites perfect? No.  Is anyone perfect?  No  Should we be more tolerant of other cultures and people in general?  Always

47 thoughts on “Quit With the Hutterite Bashing

  1. Great article Shaun, Thanks
    It feels good to know that
    people know the other part of the stories.

    Thanks again Shaun.

  2. Very well written Shaun. Your insights are well thought out, obviously borne out of years of experience with this group of people. And they are just that, people. Nice work.

  3. Great Article, in my experience they are the most advanced people in agriculture and that includes all aspects from VR to marketing their product!!

  4. If you are a good farmer living beside a colony, treat your colony neighbour’s with dignity and respect and it will be returned in spades. A brilliant minister and boss, respected across western Canada, was a good friend. His knowledge of agriculture was deep, and his strategies around farming practices and challenges were thoughtful and brilliant. I have have been given a bottle or two of their best wine (not rhubarb, but made from the special grapes they order for ‘company wine’), lent a crew to move my household belongings 400 kilometers and the friendship of his immediate and extended family. That wonderful man is dead now, but I will forever be grateful for what he taught me about colony life, friendship and agriculture.

  5. Farming is a challenging occupation that requires men & women, money, machines & land. Colonies have one advantage in that each generation doesn’t have to buy the farm “again”. Many farms have grown rapidly thanks to grandpa not “cashing out” & our challenge is that each generation may have a different commitment to farming. Colonies are motivated to provide for 60-130 people on similar acreage that supports 2-4 farm families… even when you consider the intensive livestock revenue, their challenge has always been to build up the colony for the next generation of farmers.

  6. Great article Shawn, it is very refreshing to see a positive article about Hutterites on twitter. I am a Hutterite and I agree with everything you say about the need to quit with the bashing. While we are far from perfect in a lot of different areas, a lot of the criticism we get on social media is unfounded and not justified. Granted, we should get some level of criticism when it is warranted but a lot of the time it simply isn’t. Your article provides a lot of fair comparison and and brings common sense to the forefront on this issue.
    Thanks again for your efforts,

  7. As a Hutterite, I can’t help but think its partially our fault too, for maybe being a quiet people who would rather stay silent and unobtrusive than try to explain our culture and ways of life.  I think social media will be a important tool, and interaction with the general public and farming community could prove positive. 

  8. We 100% agree with RealAgriculture.com on this. It is all about tolerance and understanding…. Thank you Shaun, for writing this. We are proud to share your comments and thoughts.

  9. Very well written. It comes as a bit of a surprise that this bashing is going on though. I guess I have not noticed. Thanks for posting!

  10. Thank you!! It’s refreshing to see a non-Hutterite step up to the plate for Hutterites! I really enjoyed your article Shaun! Keep up the good work!

  11. We had a speaker at a Tractor demo meeting an as part of dealer/client relationship this person told us this”I come from Kansas and have farmed there for many years,I see farms getting bigger,causing family farms to disappear ,which in turn is likely the reason small towns get smaller or even become just signposts on the road to the big citys,My point is,in Kansas we have nobody to blame but ourselves ,here in Alberta,Sask and Manitoba ,you farmers are lucky,you have Hutterites to blame .”…….just food for thinking.

  12. There has been social engineering going on for many decades. My father was a county councilor for many years, he was told by bureaucrats in Edmonton at the time that if we wanted to survive in agriculture that we had better start living like Hutterites!! Granted there are colonies that treat their women with respect but there colonies that don’t. Colonies should be treated like any other corporation and taxed accordingly. They get special considerations from government, why? Look deeper folks before you jump on the band wagon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. FIRST OF ALL, NOBODY, unless you are born and raised in this culture, can ever comprehend it. So don’t even try, and think you have a clue, because you don’t. I was born and raised on a Hutterite farm, and what I remember is debt, debt, and more debt. And this was a 30,000 acre farm. We earned what we had, by working like dogs, 6 days a week, and sometimes on Sunday afternoons as well. We got up at the crack of dawn, every day, and worked till sundown, so we had food on the table. My mom never had a refrigerator, and she raised 10 kids. And you know what else, Hutterites should get of Twitter, because who really gives a hoot, pardon the pun, what other people say and think. Hutterites should live to please one, and that is the LORD JESUS CHRIST. That is what they profess. I know, because I am a Hutterite.

  14. There are many great hutterites, but also some one must be wary of.

    Just a point, if the entire population were hutterites and educated like most hutterites, where would the doctors that treat their illnesses, or engineers that design their equipment, come from?

    If there entire population were hutterites, and educated like most hutterites, agriculture would still be as it was 100 years ago and the world would be starving.

    Think about it.

  15. Personally, the actions of neighboring colonies are very disturbing. Land prices have been pushed outa sight by the colonies competing with each other, and land rents are doubling from 2 years ago because the colonies are going behind the backs of local farmers to their landlords and offering rents that maybe work for them, but will be harsh for individual farmers.
    Enough of your Hutterite petting, guys. My respect for many of them individually is high, but not for these undercutting behind the back land grabbing colony actions.

  16. Most of the negitave comments on here come from pure jealously. When a Hutterite does something good in a community you’ll never hear about it, but if they make a mistake it gets blown out of proportion. People make mistakes in this world, we’re all human you know. Where I’m from Hutterites have made mistakes and been in trouble with the law. The local newspaper used up 2 of their 10 weekly pages on that story. The next year the town was flooded and there must have been 150 to 200 Hutterites working all day and night all over town. Helping with everything from filling sandbags to moving people from their houses and even moved one family into the colony for a few weeks. All of this at no cost. The same newspaper had a page full of thanking voulenteers, in the middle of it was 4 words thanking the hutterites. In our community when there is a fire the Hutterite fire truck is always first on scene, with no bill in the mail. I remember when the Hutterites shop started on fire the a couple years ago, one firefighter from town said let it burn to the ground. So most of this purely comes down to jealously the way I see it.

  17. My respect for some individual hutterites is very high. But they have social problems that they themselves do not want to admit. Lots of drinking and stealing, I could care less about them driving up land prices and rent. I have non hutterite neighbors who have done that, I am sure that some one somewhere thinks I caused the price of land to increase.

    I have gone to hutterite weddings and hutterite funerals, I know them very well. My farm has land around 6 colonies, I have the Farm bosses number for all of them.

    I bid whatever I think my business can afford, If I can make money and bid higher then the next guy then I will. That is business, and I do not feel that the hutterites carrying out business is wrong, I dislike some of their methods of acquiring land, but I have had not Hutterite neighbors do the same thing. So I can not fault them for that.

    I do fault them for their social attitudes, they see themselves as superior we are the “welt mench” (worldly people) it is less wrong in their eyes to do something wrong to a non hutterite than to a hutterite.

    Their young Men scare me, they have access to the man power the equipment and the knowledge to wreak havoc on the country side, and the older generation can’t do to much about it. I once caught a young hutterite stealing gas, I knew he worked in the milk barn so I phoned the milk boss, and asked nicely what I could do that would help this young man within their culture and way of life. He told me quite frankly that not alot could be done as if the colony punished him to severely there always was the risk that he would introduce a pathogen into the pig barn or intentionally put antibiotics into the milk tank and cost the colony tens of thousands of dollars.

    If I called the police then I would then have to constantly make sure this kid did not come back with a bunch of his buddies and steal a bunch of cows or other inventory, out of spite. I have had this happen to neighbors who have called the police.

    As far as the comment about hutterites having alot of debt and working hard to pay it off. Is that not the reality of all farmers I know! I have a very very large amount of debt, and I work very hard, for what I have why would the hutterites be different?

    In short, there business practices are not always nice, but they are not worse than some not hutterites neighbors, but they have a lot of social problems and discipline problems that need to be dealt with.

    Also does anyone know how the tax code treats hutterites? I a have heard they get preferential treatment? I

  18. Hi Josh
    I am not sure which Hutterite Colonies you live around, but in all my years living in a Hutterite colony I have never met such a youth as which you speak of. We have a large amount of Hutterites in our area and not a single one has ever had that kind of problems with our youth. Now I know we are not perfect by far but I think not all Hutterites should be judged alike. Not all colonies are the same.

  19. Similar to other comments, the Hutterite Colonies do not drive up land prices. The business of agriculture is changing. We all know our break evens and what we need to sustain the number of families involved in the farming business. They are very good neighbours, and some of the best customers I worked with.

  20. I got one thing to say that people dont seem to understand .You all think we got alot of farm land here the deal we farm 20,000 acres but we have 68 people that comes to about 294 acres per person .Now let me ask you this how much have you got? i bet the average family farm has about 5000 with about 3 ppl that comes to 1666 acres per person.Now stop saying we got alot of land when in reality you the small farmers are the ones with all the farm land

  21. hutterites are very aggresive as they have a huge work force, and very cheap labour costs, for me as a young farmer i cannot compete with them as i am completely surrounded but 3 hutterite colonies, hutterites know they have the upper hand compared to a regular farm family, as many people say it will just be one day that hutterites are the only ones farming, as money is powerful. and when that happends one day, that will be a sad day in canadian agriculure, they are rich and powerful and money talks and they have more then enough. as a young farmer i feel my dreams of expanding and growing my farm are being cut short with the rich and powerful hutterites.

  22. Well Jake all i can say i am from an area where there are about 5 colonies within about 50 miles, some of them do not have the “very cheap labour cost that you mentioned” some have lost farm land and not to other hutterites, and they are not all rich and powerfull as there are quite a few with very large debt and money problems, and as far as hutterites go in agriculter there are few as advanced and as sucessfull as these people are,

  23. not all colonies are the same, just like not all farmers are the same. some are great but some have alot of issues.

    still no one has answered my question about how the tax code treats Hutterites.

    As I ponder the question I am starting to believe that Hutterites do not share an equal tax burden as the average non Hutterite Farm

    I draw a nice wage from my company I don’t claim poverty like many farmers. I make a nice wage I pay high income taxes on that wage When I buy a personal vehicle I can’t burn purple gas in it or write the purchase off.

    Many farmers do things like that but I choose to keep my personal life and purchases separate from my corporate life and purchases

    I also have to pay CPP and EI for my hired help. and pay them around 20 -30 per hour depending on their experience, they pay fairly high income taxes on their wages depending on how many hours a year they work for me.

    most of hired help has families, that are out spending alot of the money that is generated from my farm and paying GST on every purchase,

    I also own personal land that I rent back to my company. This land I have bought with after tax dollars. I also have to pay taxes on the rent I receive from my company for this land.

    I also pay corporate income taxes (taxes are a good thing it means my farm is making money) and as I start writing all of these things out I am getting depressed as I am realizing my farm pays alot of taxes in one way or another, and is a great economic stimulator for society as a whole.

    I use an accountant and keep my tax to a minimum, but me and my employees pay alot of taxes per farming individual.

    It takes me about 1600 ac per family including employees to have a viable operation. but a large portion of the earnings from that 1600 ac goes to the government in one form or another, If my employees did not have to pay income tax I bet I could make do with only 1000 ac per person.

    If we could combine our grocery shopping and my corporation built, maintained and payed for the utilities and housing for all of my employees and their families I could probably get by farming only 300 ac per person and pay alot less taxes.

    I would imagine that per person the average farm pays alot more taxes than our hutterite neighbors which in turn supports our hospitals, roads, military and other infrastructure that all of society including hutterites enjoy.

    am I wrong?

    does every hutterite pay income tax if so what tax bracket are they in? (a very very low one I would imagine)

    Do Hutterites buy personal vehicles and pay GST on these vehicles or are they all written off?

    I am sure they do not pay into CPP and EI

    how about paying taxes on investments such as stock market earnings or personal land?

    and the question I claim to know absolutely nothing about, how is a Hutterite colony taxed corporately in comparison to non Hutterite corporations. do they have an advantage in this regard as well?

    Any accountants out there that want to weigh in?

  24. Yes i can tell you how it works because i am a hutterite. Yes we do pay tax just like you do every thing we pay Gst on all trucks and everything we buy just like you do. We are not like the natives in any way . We pay income tax which is by all means very high. Every person get charged with income tax lol what do you think we are immortal or something of coarse we do pay. Yes we pay tax on our farm land why the heck wouldn’t we come on guys we are not living here for free by any means and you think we got money but to tell you every colony has about 2 to 5 million dollars dept. No we dont have to pay labor because it is a family business why would you charge your kin its family. we still have mortgage to pay on houses shop ext. All our money goes into one pot and we get every thing we need. we pay close to a million dollars a year on income tax. Yes that money goes to roads hospitals and ext. Half the land we do farm is rented from you the farmer who is old and can not keep going on. we pay about 16,600 dollars a year per person on income tax. Yes we make money because we dont only rely on farming we have a different things like feed lots or pig barns or chickens and stuff so when the price one is down there is always something that the price is up to make up for the subject that is down.

    to answer your question about personal vehicles we buy cars and trucks and they get farm plated that means they are insured as part of the company and there for we can burn dyed fuel in them,

    i Am not sure in what tax bracket we are in but i as you already know if you get 60 employees working for you and you could make them some how agree to all become one company or something off coarse you will have to pay less i don,t know if this makes sense or not.

    No we don’t invest into the stock market because its to much of a risk and no all the land belong to the company so no personal land every thing we own or have belongs to the company. No one person owns anything its all company owned.

    Yes we also pay taxes on the rented land .

    I hope this answer your questions JOSH . If you have anything else you wanna know i will be happy to tell you.

    where i am from we dont go out looking for land because we are very short handed the way we get the land is because the old farmers that cant go on any more and wanna quit they come to us.Do you know why? because the small farmer cant afford the price that old farmer wants for his land so he goes to the people that can because he want to make and get as much money for his land possible.. I am sure you would want to too…. We are committed to farming which is true but question is who else will? Sure you farm and have a family farm and wanna see it going but now a days you dont see any more kids staying at home wanting to farmers… Farming is hard its tough and for a young person they see and want to to make money in the fastest and easiest way there for they go to oil patch and so on .
    We have also had people leave our place because they dont wanna farm so they go to the oil patch. its just life we have to except that

    Do i wanna have small farms around? YES i do of coarse i do… I really enjoy going the elevator and sitting down with the farmers and just haven fun… Yes we do help out our neighbors help them seed if they are running late or help with the branding of the cattle … We also help the small farmer with farming advice hints and tips of how to get more bang for your buck….

    We are a group off people that dont have much of a education we drop out of school around grade 10.. But who needs a education to run a success full farm we got no education but in the end of the day we are profit able because we are committed to what we wanna do and that’s farming i really love it that’s all we got that’s all we know dont take that away from us we work every hard to succeed and achive to where we are today…… it is a challenge its hard and yes we have problems who those not … in the end we just love to farm…

  25. So… did you hear the one about the Hutterite the Dutchman and the Ukrainian sitting in the doctors office? Oops, you where trying to discourage prejudiced comments.
    Good article Shaun! I find peoples opinion of Hutterites or many other aggressive agricultural operations can change significantly based on whether they are trying to buy land or sell land. I think its mighty nice to know there is a buyer for your land when you decide to sell. I suspect there is older farmers in some areas of Saskatchewan that wished there was a colony close by interested in their land.
    I must say my experience with the local colonies has been good. they seem to be the first respondents to help fight a fire and often have come out in force to help with our harvest bee for the Canadian Food Grains Bank harvest day. They are a healthy part of our community.

  26. WOW Jake you are a very bitter person i actually feel sorry for you. ok so everybody says Hutterites land never comes up for sale well i guess youre kind of right, but if a dutch farmer sells land he will only sell to other dutch farmers, so really is there that much of a difference if the Hutterites buy the land? if the time comes when i have to sell my land i hope it’s a Hutterite colony that buys it, not so much because of the money, but it will be farmer to the lands full potential, these people truly are among the most succesfull farmers we do have, the future of farming is in very capable hands with them. Jake stop being so bitter towards them work with them learn from them.

    1. if you are a hutterite sir will you explain to me just how you pay income tax do you have a
      social security number does the colony have a pay role? to the best of my knowledge
      these are the things that are required for a company to file for income tax. unless you are
      self employed then you still need the sin number regardless of weather you are limited or other? as for paying g.s.t on your trucks and equipment these things are exempt for farmers you get that money back . how come you people where so opposed to having your picture on your drivers license? I could point out a lot of double standers in our system concerning this
      subjected. one more simple question would you bear arms to defend this country?

      1. Everyone have a SIN.
        The colony pays income tax, it is a corporation.
        There is no payroll. It’s a cradle to the grave deal. They’ll take care of you before, during, and after you are able to work. Show me another corporation that will do that.
        “You people” were against having a picture taken for religious reasons, which is no different than being allowed to vote with a burka or a bandana over your face, but for some reason that’s allowed.
        “Double standers”? No comprende.
        As far as bearing arms, I’ll roll my sleeves up any damn time I want to. 😉

  27. This is for Josh, as I don’t think anyone has answered his questions specifically. Andy did to some extent, but not the details. I’m a law student currently studying business associations, and am both really impressed with the efficiency of the Hutterite farms, and with how they’ve worked out the tax issue.

    Basically, Hutterite farms are “corporations”, but they don’t get taxed as corporations. If they did, they would all pretty much go bankrupt, since they wouldn’t be able to write off any salaries (like other corporations do), because they don’t pay salaries. Neither do any colony members get paid a salary, so it became difficult for the federal government to assess for income tax purposes. So they negotiated with the Federal government (back in the 60’s and 70’s) to pay a “deemed” personal income tax. So yes, Andy is right, each person of the colony over age 18 pays income tax. They take the profits of the corporation that year, divide that by the number of adult members, and that is the amount that is assessed for each member. So which tax bracket they fit into could vary from year to year, depending on how the business does that year.

    As for EI and CPP, no, they don’t pay. But that makes sense. EI and CPP and common pools for workers to claim when they are laid off or retire. Hutterite colony members never claim EI, and their elderly don’t claim CPP, so it makes sense they would be exempt. Other than that they pay all municipal property taxes, school taxes, etc.

  28. Good post maybe a little old but This whole discussion reminds me of when the dutch/germans/swiss etc started settling on Ontario farms in Irish/Scottish regions. The majority of these immigrates came with little money (contrary to the stereotype) and had to work hard to get established all while being being bashed by certain multigenerational farm families in the area. My parents where immigrates and I remember very well all the bashing that was said about my dads farming. Everything from we worked to hard, that we will never fit in with the community or we were not a benefit to anyone was said, when we rented more land or bought more land that would often result in someone trying to tell everyone we paid to much for something and we are ruining local agriculture for everyone because my dad never belonged here accorded to them.. 30 years later and now on to the 2nd generation it still happens everyday by the same people at the same coffee shops. All while these immigrate and progressive multigenerational farm families too are working away at holding on to and growing the family farm.

  29. Communal Income Tax Law certainly creates a different playing field, those benefitting have not gone negative,as for the rest of us, are we paying for this? We are not talking about gst or land taxes or the other add on taxes. Does every bag of potatoes and etc. get reported?

  30. Should they be able to divide their income equally among all members over 18 when they do not recognize women as equal?
    Do women have an equal vote in their society?

  31. For background, I’m a Chartered Accountant focused on tax matters. I have had no direct dealings with Hutterite taxation, but I am familiar with the income tax rules related to them (“communal organizations” is the term used in the legislation).

    As I read the rules, very quickly, they cannot benefit from the tax advantages of a corporation – all corporate activities are treated as the Colony’s activities directly. As incorporation can often provide a significant tax deferral advantage, I can see this being disadvantageous to the Colonies. If my read is off, then a corporation owned by the Colony would be no different than any other corporation.

    The communal organization is considered a Trust, and subject to the same tax treatment as any other Trust, with one exception. It can elect that its income be considered “payable” to each adult member of the Colony, in equal amounts. Income payable by a Trust to a beneficiary is taxable to the beneficiary, not the Trust, so this is not advantageous to the Colony. A business trust could be created to own any farm, and provided the income is payable equally to all beneficiaries, each would report equal income.

    One thing I have seen many farmers do over the years, which the Hutterites cannot, is pay their children for work done on the farm, a perfectly legal (provided the payments are reasonable for the services performed – ie similar to what one would expect to pay an unrelated third party for the same work) and very effective tax planning strategy. However, minors do not share in the taxable income of a Hutterite colony – the law attributes it only to members over the age of 18 and permits no salaries to any member of the congregation as a deduction. Thus, the Hutterites lack a tax planning opportunity available to other family farms. One which, I expect, could be pretty effective, as I understand Hutterite children are expected to work in the Colony businesses well before age 18.

    To the extent there is a tax advantage to the “communal organization” tax regime, I suggest it arises from the unusual fact that the members all enjoy equal access to the income, not from special tax treatment for the Hutterites. A partnership of 200 farmers, all of whom receive 0.5% of the income from the farm, would receive pretty much the same tax treatment (other than those farmers generating RRSP deduction room – Trust income does not). But it would require those 200 farmers to all agree that everyone will receive an equal share of the income. That seems to be a reasonable assumption for Hutterite colonies, where individual members do not decide what to do with the income, but contribute it all to the community. I don’t see that same “all are equal” viewpoint in many other businesses, even small family businesses. Any tax advantage to the Hutterites arises because their incomes are all equal, not because the tax system gives them a break.

    “Does every bag of potatoes get reported?” A person who farms for subsistence, with no expectation of profit, is not taxable on his farm operations – it is not a business. A lot of people with vegetable gardens in their back yard would otherwise be tax evaders. I’m not sure whether colonies segregate their “for members” operations from their “for profit” operations. It was, however, common to hear comments about livestock on family farms who “froze to death” when I articled – this meant they ended up in the farmer’s freezer. In either case, the result should be no revenue, and no claim for the related expenses, but I’ve seen very few pro rated expenses, or revenues for animals dying of “freezer burn” for any personal consumption on any farm returns I’ve reviewed.

    Are Hutterite vehicles farm-plated and burning purple gas? Probably. My understanding is that use of farm vehicles for personal use is not something the Hutterites would typically permit, and the business use of a farm vehicle is certainly deductible. Contrast this with a colleague’s discussion some years back of the great effort he had to make to persuade his “family farm corporation” client that the baby seats should be removed from the “100% farm business use” vehicles before the auditor came in the next week or so. I’ve seen a lot of really nice, clean, shiny vehicles with farm plates over the years – and I have some difficulty envisioning a sports car used exclusively for farm work. Ever seen a Hutterite driving a Cadillac or a Porsche?

    I doubt the segregation of business and non-business assets and expenses in Hutterite tax reporting is 100% perfect, but I don’t expect it’s markedly different than a cross-section of non-Hutterite business operations.

    Departing from finances and taxes, Liz mentions the rights of women. I remember the difficulty my mother had back in the ’70s discussing voting with a recent immigrant, who could not fathom the prospect of deciding for herself who to vote for – why, her and her husband’s votes might cancel each other out! She wasn’t a Hutterite – I doubt she had ever heard of a Hutterite – but she clearly did not have an “equal vote” in her culture either.

    By the way, child tax and universal child care benefits can be invested in the related child’s name, and any interest or other income is that child’s income. Do minors have an equal vote in those households, or our societies? If not, should the tax system be removed to eliminate any ability for minors to report income for tax purposes, separate from their parents? As noted above, that would be a cost for a lot of family farms, who pay children for work done on the farm. Probably not work they volunteered to do, or had a say in when and whether they would undertake it.

  32. ADDENDUM: http://louie-louieville.blogspot.ca/2012/08/hutterite-myths-fact-or-fiction.html notes that US Hutterites pay more taxes than average. The tax system for Hutterite colonies looks very similar to that in Canada.

    Of course, for those determined to bash the Hutterites, that also indicates that their operations are more profitable, per member, than neighbouring businesses. Someone actively looking for a reason to criticize can typically interpret the facts in a manner that finds the desired reason.

  33. Mr. Hugh Neison, clearly you are their accountant. They do get tax advantages, just because they don’t drive porche, doesnt mean they arent rich. They are very rich, much more wealthy then any farmer in their class. As a matter of fact look at their equipment, its all new and the best of the best, so in terms of farming, they do drive porche!
    Its amazing no one have filed human rights charges against them. Have you ever talked with a former hutterite?
    I am one! If you attempt to leave the colony, you do it with the risk of losing your life, other members threaten your life, beat you, threaten any of your family left behind. All done behind the closed doors of media, the police, and the public.
    Its like trying to leave a mexican drug gang, good luck!
    They also have very little respect for anyone outside the colony, as far as they are concerned, the colony is the only thing that matters, the general public is viewed as an obsticle. Outsiders illustrating temptations, or “fun” lives, hutterites view the colony as a country within a country, they have battled the government for decades attempting to evade tax, the war effort, or any other form of social system. Basically they want to live in Canada, but completely refuse to help out in any form, going as far as the supreme court of canada numerous times to detest our laws. This also is a clear indication of how powerful the colonies are, what common canadian citizen has ever had the funds to go to the supreme court for something they wanted to complain about.
    The urban canadians have no idea how powerful hutterites are in the farming community, they buy all the best lands, preventing it from returning to the market for the rest of time, this reduces canadian farm families, tax income, chokes towns out, unemploys real estate agents, and changes the landscape as they clear off every tree and yard to make way for their mega farms.
    Soon hutterite colonies will all join forces, building their own shipping terminals, bypassing grain terminals and marketing/exporting services within canada. They have no desire to contribute to the country of canada, only take. Never in history has a colony made a donation, volunteer, or do something out of the goodness of their heart (unless there was a catch/financial gain).
    Do your research folks, it is a large oppressive religious cult, which has been kicked out of country after country because they have undermined the local society and refused to follow laws. But like usual, us canadians are a bunch of bleeding hearts and are used to being pushovers. So you shouldn’t be surprised

    1. Jacob , I am a ex Hutterite and what u are saying could not be further from the truth. Never once was I threatened with my life or any members of my family left behind threatened as you are claiming. That would go against their way of thinking. I personally think you have been watching to much Amish mafia shows which are not real either. Yes I agree the Hutterites could work more on integrating in their local communities however no one is perfect. When I left the colony they were not happy with me leaving and they are always telling me to come back. I have worked with a lot of ex Hutterites and all have the same story. Hutterites are paccifists and threatening your life or anyone else’s life would go against their grain. Are Hutterites perfect ? For sure they are not but than who is ? Hope this helps for the people here who are trying to learn more about Hutterites.

    2. Oh my ,i took the time to read every reply all the way to the bottom of this than Jacob H pipes up and fill everybody’s head full of crap again..now we have to start over.geeeeesss .now let me explain ,Jacob H was a X Hutterite. And he hates his colony for the simple reason he’s the one that someone referred to a few posts back that they steal and never gets any punishment ,well people ,
      Jacob was one of them ,he stole all his life while he was on the colony ,never took any money to the financial boss ,stole egg from chicken barn,chickens from the freezer and sold it to his none Hutterite buddy’s.the moral of story here is the colony didn’t put up with his crap anymore and he probably lost his job and probably his truck that the colony supplied him with.and now he’s mad at the colony and leaves and in revenge tell all these lies about his own colony..happens every time ..so people like Jacob actually tell there live story without even noticing it..when the go and bash there own colony.only colony member can figure this out,,,weeeell maybe some other people to .

      1. And oh by the way our donations at year end for 2015 was $70000 .including .Stars,heart and stroke,cancer research.our community hall rebuild fund,Fort Mac fire for 2016,the list goes on and on ,don’t feed people a bunch of lies….cinding is menchlech obar Leign Es tauflish .

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