John Cross


Agriculture; Dairying; Woodworking; Produce growing; Affiliations


This article explores occupation patterns of Amish households and settlements in Wisconsin. Wisconsin has seen dramatic growth in Amish settlements over the past 50 years. Using household occupation data reported in Amish directories, dairy producer license listings, and surveys of Amish leaders in 2012 and 2015, this article describes primary household economic activities. Key findings include (1) a rate of 58 percent of Wisconsin’s Amish households are employed in some type of farming, (2) 37.4 percent of all Wisconsin Amish households have dairy herds, and (3) in 32 percent of Amish settlements, woodworking jobs dominated. Maps visualize the proportion of households in each settlement engaged in dairying, produce growing, woodworking, carpentry, cabinet and furniture making, and sawmill work, suggesting some spatial patterns. The relationship between occupations and Amish affiliation is also explored.


The author wishes to thank the two anonymous reviewers for their helpful suggestions and the editor and editorial assistant for their assistance in improving the manuscript.



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