What a 2018 Manheim Farm Show Week!
Thanks to all our volunteers, exhibitors, auction bidders & buyers and visitors
Mark Your Calendars for the 2019 Manheim Farm Show: Oct 7-11, 2019
NEW Livestock Rule For 2019: (posted 11/10/18)
Attention 2019 Youth Dairy Beef Exhibitors: All dairy beef calves for the 2019 Manheim Farm Show must be 100% Holstein breeding and must weigh a minimum of 600 lbs at weigh in at the Farm Show.
The 65 year mission of the Manheim Community Farm Show is to promotes agriculture, crafts and competition in a friendly environment that encourages family values and cooperation.
Consider what we believe to be the positive strengths of the Manheim Community Farm Show:
- Farm Show creates the opportunity for neighbors to meet neighbors and old friends, which is something desperately needed in our society.
- Food stands earned over $120,000 profit last year that stayed right here to help our community no-profit organizations.
- It gives the youth opportunity to “learn and earn” from their 4-H and FFA animal projects. Over $240,000 was raised this year to help provide youth with a solid financial start in agriculture.
- Volunteers have to work together over 10,000 hours during the week, building relationships, meeting new people and developing a sense of community.
- Thousands of people enjoy seeing agriculture and domestic displays in a wholesome atmosphere.
- The Manheim FFA Children’s Farm Show and TSC Discover Dairy is a great opportunity for the community to learn about our “Farm To Fork” agriculture system.
- Giving Back: The Manheim Food Pantry is supported by the Manheim Young Farmer Food Drive during Farm Show week and the “door step” pick up during the parade Wednesday night. This year more than 24,246 lbs pounds of meat was donated through the Friday night Youth Livestock Sale of livestock to the Central PA Food Bank and the Manheim Food Pantry. We are grateful for your past support and invite you to join us for the next Manheim Community Farm Show. Glenn Stoltzfus, President of The Manheim Community Farm Show
ABOUT the Manheim Community Farm Show
The Manheim Farm Show grounds are located at 502 Adele Avenue (next to Manheim Central High School) , while food stands are located along the avenue in the vicinity of Manheim Central High School Rettew Field and Veterans Memorial Park.
Its annual date is set as the first full week of October the week following the New Holland Fair.
Admission and parking are free.
Manheim’s present-day Farm Show was launched in the early ’50s, when the Community Farm Show Association was reorganized (for a second time). According to the book, Manheim Revisited, the tradition of holding a Farm Show in Manheim dates to the 1920s when it was first held in the basement of the Waughtel Moving Picture House on West Ferdinand Street. Two years later, large tents set up on Market Square played host to the show.
The show disbanded for several years, but returned in 1931 under the leadership of Ammon H. Bucher. For the next 10 years, the show operated out of tents on Market Square and on properties owned by local businesses. Amusement rides were added to the event during this period.
After reorganizing in the ’50s, the show continued on Market Square, as well as at the Fire Hall, Scout Hall and on property owned by Spahr’s Garage. The focus of the Farm Show returned to showcasing animals, arts & crafts, sewing, cooking and baking projects, and farm-related equipment.
Today, the association maintains fairgrounds that are located between Manheim Central High School and Chiques Creek. The location has its challenges. In 2011 Tropical Storm Lee caused the Chiques to overflow its banks and deposit up to 4 feet of water in the fairgrounds’ buildings. Volunteers spent the next month cleaning and readying the buildings for the upcoming Farm Show, which went on without a hitch. Prior to the Farm Show, the association gave back to the community by welcoming the borough to use the property as a distribution center to aid those affected by the flooding.
Two years later, flooding overwhelmed Manheim during the Farm Show , causing many Farm Show activities to be relocated or canceled. But, Manheim vowed to forge on. The good news is that the fairgrounds continue to grow and improve. A new Exhibit Building was completed in 2013 and a remodeled and enlarged Champions Livestock Show Arena debuted in 2017.
As in other communities, volunteerism is what drives the success of Manheim’s Farm Show. But, even before the Farm Show gets underway, fundraising is ongoing through such events as a April chicken barbecue and a July golf tournament. During Farm Show Week, volunteers donate an estimated 10,000 hours to their hometown event.
Twenty eight food stands, which are operated by civic and community groups, generated nearly $110,000 last year, which was redirected back to the community.
One such food stand is operated by the Farm Show Committee, whose expertise is French fries. In the days leading up to the Farm Show, volunteers peel 6 to 7 tons of the freshly dug spuds that are donated by Walnut Run Farms. They are hand-cut at the stand in order to ensure freshness. Earl Moyer, who volunteered for the effort for 50 years (and chaired it for a large chunk of that time before “retiring” in 2015), shared the following observation with Rochelle Shenk (for the Lititz Record Express): “That’s what makes them so good. Plus, we do our fries the old-fashioned way – we fry them in lard.” Nearly 200 volunteers are involved in keeping fairgoers plied with fries.
Of course, fries and milkshakes go hand-in-hand at the Farm Show. In Manheim, the stand to hit for a shake is operated by the Manheim Brethren in Christ Church. Last year they sold more than 14,000 milkshakes!
While Manheim Young Farmers don’t operate a food stand, they do make a significant contribution to the Manheim Food Pantry by conducting a food drive during Farm Show Week. The Manheim Food Pantry and the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank also benefited from the 72 animals totaling more than 20,000 pounds of meat that were donated to them through the Youth Livestock Sale.
Like the Manheim community, the Farm Show is also deeply rooted in tradition. A queen is crowned Monday night, and baked goods are auctioned a night later. There is a parade Wednesday evening, Benefit auction Thursday and the FFA & 4-H Youth livestock auction Friday.
Innovation helps the Farm Show offer new exhibits and events each year. A new theme-basket competition and auction, cooking demos and a Make and Take Tent of crafts made their debut over the last two year. Chainsaw, blacksmith and marble rolling artists were in action too. And, the Children’s Farm Show, which is sponsored by the Gospel Sing offering, and the new Discover Dairy educational exhibit, sponsored by Tractor Supply, has proved to be very popular with the youngest attendees (and their parents) as it provides hands on entertainment to explain the farm-to-fork food system.
2018 Manheim Community Farm Show’s 65th Year! Click this link to learn more about our history:
SPECIAL THANKS to the twelve Manheim Central senior and junior volunteers for their day of service at the Farm Show.