They are only 5,000 strong but still have a huge economic impact in Montana.
A first of its kind study is looking at the impacts of the Hutterite community. Both the University of Montana & Montana State University participated in the study.
Hutterite communities are known for their farming but this new research shows they impact more sectors than just agriculture.
"The main outcome of our study is that the Montana economy as a whole is larger, creates more jobs, has more income, has more production, and has more people because of the Hutterite communities,” Research Director Pat Barkey said.
One statistic that really stood out to Barkey was that nearly 2,200 jobs are created both outside and inside the colony.
“Employment numbers are impacted simply because of the spending of the Hutterite communities that propagates throughout the state’s economy,” Barkey said.
Jobs are mainly created in the agriculture sector but construction, retail, and the business sectors all are significantly impacted as well.
But looking back at agriculture, Hutterites are the state’s largest producers of hogs and eggs. They produce 90% of the states output but that's not all:
“They have about a third of the dairy production state wide as well,” Researcher Joel Schumacher said.
And even with a majority of Hutterites living in north central Montana that's not the only part of the state that benefits.
“There are regions on the map that have no [Hutterite] communities in them but non-the-less they have some positive impact,” Barkey said.
This study proves Hutterite communities contribute to Montana’s economic pie as a whole.