The writers' grievances came in the form of angry letters, carried over bumpy rural roads to the newspaper office serving the Amish community.
In a world where news still travels at a mail carrier's pace, the farmers, preachers and mechanics responsible for filling The Budget threatened to go on strike if the 119-year-old Amish weekly went ahead with its plan to go online.
The writers, known as scribes, feared their plainspoken dispatches would become fodder for entertainment in the "English," or non-Amish, world. The editors hastily rescinded the plan shortly after proposing it in 2006, and today, only local news briefs appear on The Budget's bare-bones Web site.
"My gosh, they spoke in volume," said Keith Rathbun, publisher of The Budget, a newspaper mailed to nearly 20,000 subscribers across the U.S. and Canada. "I'd be a fool to not pay attention to it."
Far from impeding the newspaper's success, shunning the Internet actually solidified its steadfast fan base.
As other newspapers increasingly shed staff and reduce the frequency of their print editions in the face of growing competition from the Internet, The Budget is plodding along comfortably in the recession.
Subscriptions, which cost $42 a year and account for most of the newspaper's revenue, have dropped by just a few hundred in the past year. Advertisers — who are mostly Amish — are not fleeing to the Internet. And plans are in the works to add a couple of reporters to The Budget's editorial staff of about a dozen people.
Rathbun's most pressing concern isn't the threat of the Internet, but ensuring that his readers, scattered across remote stretches of farmland, get their newspapers on time.
"People call The Budget the Amish Internet," Rathbun says. "It's non-electric, it's on paper, but it's the same thing."
The Budget is the dominant means of communication among the Amish, a Christian denomination with about 227,000 members nationwide who shun cars for horse-drawn buggies and avoid hooking up to the electrical grid.