Amish Country News Publisher
Brad Igou first became interested in the Amish of Lancaster
County as a tour guide and came to know some Amish personally. He spent three
months living with an Amish family as he studied for his sociology-anthropology
major at Ithaca (NY) College. Brad helped with farmwork, attended church
services, visited one-room schools, and prepared papers for college.
After graduating with highest honors from Ithaca in 1973, Brad
spent three years in Costa Rica. As a Peace Corps volunteer, he developed
agriculture in rural areas of Guanacaste.
Later Brad was an English teacher in Japan for eight years. He
lived in Kyoto with a Japanese family, taught at a private Episcopal girls high
school, directed a local English language center, and wrote articles on Japanese
culture, art, and religion for the English-language publication Kansai Time
Back home in Lancaster, Brad was employed by Amish Country
Tours and started reading and compiling writings from the Amish periodical Family
Life. He has become president and co-owner of the
Amish Experience, a
center interpreting Amish culture to visitors. Brad was deeply involved in
writing and producing Jacob's Choice, presented at the Amish Experience
Theater. This multimedia story tells of an Amish boy's decision to join the
church and explores Anabaptist history, nonresistance, and adult baptism. The
Amish Country Homestead, also on the property at Plain & Fancy Farm on Route
340, is the only Amish house open for touring that has been designated a
Lancaster County "Heritage Site." He is still involved in
creating new and iunusual tours for visitors, most recently the acclaimed
Amish VIP (Visit-In-Person) Tour that gives visitors a chance to meet and
talk with local Amish where they live and work.
Brad is currently president of
the Amish Experience and has served on the board of the Pennsylvania Dutch
Convention & Visitors Bureau. In addition, he has been proud to be
president of the board of the Lancaster Community Concert Association for
In July 1993, Brad presented a paper "Traditional Family
Functions and the Amish" at the international conference on Amish society
at Elizabethtown College. He continues to compile information on the Amish and
as the publisher of Amish Country News, Brad contributes monthly articles
to this visitors guide.
In1999 Brad's Book The Amish in Their
Own Words was published by Herald Press. It is a unique book consisting of
writings by the Amish, allowing them to speak "in their own words." It
is available locally at the Amish Experience, Plain & Fancy Farm and the
Bird-in-Hand Bake Shop. It may also be obtained through Borders,
Barnes & Noble, from the publisher
(1-800-759-4447 or e-mail), and online at Amazon. You can read excerpts from the book in
the articles The Amish Speak.
In 2001, Brad was invited to speak on two panels
at the international conference "The Amish, Old Orders, and the
Media," presented by the Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies,
June 14-16, at Elizabethtown College.
In 2005, Brad was instrumental in
organizing and promoting the "Witness Tour" with the Pennsylvania Dutch
Convention & Visitors Bureau. The tour attracted visitors and media
coverage from around the world.
Since publication, Brad's book has
frequently been referenced in other works about the Amish, as well as in
the media, having been recognized as a unique contribution to literature
on the Amish. It also received the prestigious Angel Award.
Brad is currently working on a completely new second book of writings by
the Amish, similar to his first book.
Brad believes other cultures offer a
window and new perspectives on our own, and that respecting and
understanding different cultures should enrich our lives, not divide us.
That's what makes Lancaster a special place for him.