Manheim Farm Show: Bringing Families and the Community Together for 60 Years

Every autumn, Manheim comes together to celebrate its agricultural heritage at the Manheim Community Farm Show. The annual show is held on the grounds next to Manheim Central High School, in Manheim, Pa.
In 2013, the Manheim Community Farm Show celebrated its 60th year, as well as the completion of its new exhibition building. The new building was completely paid for by the community; there were no county, state, or federal funds used in the building’s construction.

The overall theme for the farm show includes family, farming and community coming together. Marlin Becker, Manheim Farm Show’s president, said this in his 2013 welcome letter:
“The Manheim Community Farm Show exists to promote agriculture, crafts, and competition in a friendly environment that encourages family values and cooperation. We have chosen to keep the policy of free admission and free registration for all exhibits. We do not have games of chance, as many fairs do, to provide operating revenues.

“As you visit the farm show, we encourage you to support the food stands, which are operated by non-profit organizations in our community. A percentage of the food stand profits provide our source of operating revenue. Bring your family and join us for this great event that brings our community together. Consider what we believe to be the positive strengths of the Manheim Community Farm Show.”
Indeed, there are 22 civic and church groups that had food stands in 2013. Each stand specialized in a particular food item, such as turkey barbeque, grilled cheeseburgers, milk shakes, and funnel cakes.

Here are some fast farm show facts from the president’s 2013 welcome letter:

1. Food stands have earned over $107,000. All of these monies raised stay in Manheim
2. The farm show allows teens to make money from their animal projects. Area teens raised a total of $154,000 in 2012
3. Volunteers put in over 5,000 man hours during farm show week
4. The Manheim FFA Children’s Farm Show teaches the public about the Farm-to-Fork agricultural system.
Agriculture and Other Activities
Agriculture is the backbone of this community’s farm show. And teens, who belong to any Lancaster County 4-H club or FFA chapter, and attend the following schools, are invited to exhibit their show and sale animals: Manheim Central, Donegal, Hempfield, Elizabethtown, Manheim Township, and Warwick.

The following livestock can be exhibited at the farm show:
1. Beef
2. Dairy beef
3. Dairy
4. Swine
5. Sheep
6. Goats
7. Pygmy goats
8. Rabbits and cavies.

Youth demonstrate skills in animal husbandry, project completion, and showmanship by entering their animals in the Manheim Farm Show.

Not only is the farm show a great place to eat delicious food and see show-quality animals, it’s also a place to see concerts, check out various exhibits, and watch parades. Some of these activities include:

1. Antique tractors
2. Arts and crafts exhibits, including photography, models and woodworking
3. Demonstrations
4. Floral exhibits
5. Needlecraft and handiwork exhibits
6. Major contests: Farm show and baby parades, the food safety poster contest, farm show queen, farm show junior queen, and farm show princess contests.

Hondru Auto and many other local businesses contribute to the farm show’s success. Hondru supports the livestock auction and provides the vehicles that are used in the farm show’s parade.
For more information, go to the farm show’s website, http://manheimfarmshow.org.