Stewardship of the Land

John Bucher Herr has lived many different lives. He’s husband to Martha; father to Anthony, Ellen, Elizabeth, Hans and Hugh.
He is also grandfather to seven grandchildren. Music is only one part of his life. He is a chemist, builder, farmer, property manager, politician, investor and world travel guide. Since 1980 John has been a Red Cross volunteer at Lancaster General Health.

John Bucher Herr’s forefather, Hans, was a Mennonite bishop born in Zurich, Switzerland in 1639, and died in Willow Street, Pa. in 1725. In Switzerland, his people were killed due to their Anabaptist beliefs. Later, the killings stopped. The Mennonites were then allowed to farm the land but never own the land. But, in 1710, Hans and seven other Mennonites were able to purchase 10,000 acres, and to acquire religious freedom from William Penn in Pennsylvania! This land is located in what is now Lancaster County, Pa. They knew the land was fertile because the walnut trees were large and healthy. The house they built in 1719 near Willow Street, Pa. remains standing for visitors to view today. Hans Herr’s descendents have created and cultivated some of the finest farms in the world.

In the last forty years Lancaster County farm land has been assaulted on a grand scale because of poor zoning and planning laws. Most townships require by law that a building lot must be a minimum of 1-5 acres. Only the flat, fertile, non rocky farmland is allowed to be used for development. No high rise buildings are allowed in cities and towns. A better stewardship of the finest farmland in the world can be created by building on the marginal land only, using small lots. Let’s discuss the solution on this web page. Please feel free to write your comments today.