65th Farm Show kicks off with special guests, crowning of queen

By on October 10, 2018


Pictured (left to right) are 2018 State Fair Queen Elizabeth Voight, 2017 Manheim Community Farm Show Queen Emily Witmer, 2018 Manheim Community Farm Show Queen Marie Bryant, and 2018 Manheim Community Farm Show Alternate Queen Ligeia Stern. (Photos by Rochelle Shenk)

What better way to celebrate Lancaster County Ag Week than with a visit to the 65th annual Manheim Community Farm Show? Activities kicked off Monday with the opening ceremony and crowning of Farm Show royalty. Activities continue through Friday.

“The Farm Show brings everybody together at this time of the year. It gets better and better every year. It means a lot to this area as a whole, but it also means something different to everyone,” said Manheim Mayor Scot Funk. “There’s the social aspect, the parade, the effort student put into raising and showing the animals, and the food-funds raised at the food stands stay within the community,”

As she prepared to crown her successor, 2017 Farm Show Queen Emily Witmer reflected on her year as queen.

“I’m sad to end my reign, but excited to see what the new Queen will do,” she said, “Farm Show Week was a busy time, followed by preparations for the State Fair Queen competition in January. It was an honor to place in the top five of 58 competitors. After that, things slowed up, and in May I had the opportunity to help educate elementary students at Manheim Christian Day School about the importance of agriculture.”

Marie Bryant, a 2017 Manheim Central graduate and sophomore at Penn State’s Capital Campus, was crowned 2018 Farm Show Queen. She is in the Capital College Honors program and a member of Sigma Alpha Pi. A member of the Manheim Farm Show’s Junior Board, she is employed by Balmer Brothers Farm, Manheim. She plans to graduate from PSU with a major in animal science and hopes to begin a career in the dairy industry. Ligeia Stern, a Manheim Central senior, was selected as Alternate Farm Show Queen.

Anna Haldeman was crowned 2018 Junior Queen with Faith VanHanxleden as the alternate. Natalie Brommer was crowned Farm Show Princess with Celene Gingrich as the alternate. Two of Gingrich’s sisters were crowned Junior Princess and alternate. Ginetta Gingrich was crowned Junior Princess, while Savanna Gingrich was named as the alternate.

2018 Pennsylvania State Fair Queen Elizabeth Voigt of Fredericksburg, Lebanon County, was on-hand to celebrate the opening of the Farm Show. Prior to being named the State Fair Queen, she served as the Lebanon Fair Queen.

“I’ve been involved with the Lebanon Fair since I was eight-years-old,” said Voigt. “I’ve shown animals and became involved in clubs such as 4-H and the Junior Angus Association. Through the Fair and as State Fair Queen I’ve met so many people and have had the opportunity to share what I’ve learned about agriculture.”

Pictured is the entire court (front row, left to right) Farm Show Alternate Junior Queen Faith VanHanxleden, 2018 Farm Show Princess Natalie Brommer, 2018 Farm Show Alternate Princess Celene Gingrich, 2018 Farm Show Junior Princess Ginetta Gingrich, and 2018 Farm Show Alternate Junior Princess Savanna Gingrich; (back, l-r) 2018 Farm Show Junior Queen Anna Haldeman, 2018 State Fair Queen Elizabeth Voight, 2017 Manheim Community Farm Show Queen Emily Witmer, 2018 Manheim Community Farm Show Queen Marie Bryant, and 2018 Manheim Community Farm Show Alternate Queen Ligeia Stern.

Sharing information about agriculture and how food goes from farm to fork is part of the Farm Show’s mission. Greg Hostetter, deputy secretary, PA Department of Agriculture, reminded those at the opening ceremony that agriculture has a $135.7 billion economic impact on the state’s economy, representing 18 percent of the gross state product.

He also presented Gary and Judy Zurin with the Fair Ambassador Award. The couple has been active on the Farm Show’s board and committees for a number of years, and they helped launch 4-H in the Manheim area.

Farm Show director Deb Seibert announced that a $5,000 grant from Tractor Supply Company and the National FFA were used to fund the Discover Dairy Center, an interactive display in the dairy cattle barn. In addition to learning about the science and technology of how a cow produces milk, visitors to the display will also have an opportunity to meet a dairy farmer and sample Kreider’s ice cream.

“The Farm Show is a great place to celebrate your anniversary. Every year we see a show, and we have our choice of 24 places to eat (food stands operated by local organizations). Manheim Farm Show is the best week of the year &tstr; we have a lot of volunteers who help make it happen,” said Farm Show president Glenn Stotlzfus, who celebrated his 24th wedding anniversary with wife Melanie on Monday.

Activities including woodcarving and blacksmith demonstrations, alpaca obstacle course, and the Children’s Farm Show continue throughout the week. Canned goods for the Manheim Food Bank will be collected during the Farm Show parade Wednesday evening and throughout the week at the Children’s Farm Show area. Last, but certainly not least, is the Farm Show food, including the “must-have” milkshakes and fries.

A detailed list of events and activities is available at manheimfarmshow.org. Information is also available on the Farm Show’s Facebook page.

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