Subsistence and Commercial Activities. Owing to their use of highly mechanized farming techniques, a large work force, and fertile land, Hutterite colonies are very efficient and productive. Barley, wheat, oats, and hay are major crops, used primarily to feed the colony livestock with the excess sold for cash. Beef and dairy cattle, pigs, chickens and eggs, geese, turkeys, and sheep are raised and their products used in the colony and sold. The colonies are carefully planned and managed business enterprises with most decisions made in consideration of the supply and demand of the external economy.
Industrial Arts. Production of crafts for sale is no longer important, although bookbinding, clock repairing, tinsmithing, shoemaking, furniture making, and other industrial arts are sources of income for some colonies.
Trade. Although the colonies are largely self-sufficient, they are integrated into the U.S. and Canadian economies through the sale of farm products and services and the Purchase of equipment and raw materials. Cooperation in the loaning of services and materials is common between colonies located nearby, and especially between parent and daughter colonies.
Division of Labor. All people able to work are expected to do so. Work is allocated on the bases of age, sex, and authority patterns. In general, men do the income-producing work, while women handle the domestic chores.
Land Tenure. All land, buildings, and productive equipment is purchased and owned by the colony. A fairly detailed though flexible set of rules govern the distribution and ownership of material goods by individuals. Personal property is defined by the Hutterites as something given to the individual by the colony for the person to use, not to own.