60 Years of Educating, Inspiring, and Entertaining
The 60th Annual Thurmont & Emmitsburg Community Show opened with the 40th Annual Community Flag Ceremony at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, September 9, 2016, at Catoctin High School. Being its sixtieth year, former Maryland State FFA Officers from Thurmont, Emmitsburg, and Catoctin High Schools, were cited for their contributions that helped to strengthen our community’s agricultural awareness and expansion over the years.
The Community Show is sponsored by civic-minded and community-concerned business people. No admission is charged to the public. The show has many different parts, all of which either educate, inspire, or entertain the show-goer, as intended in the Community Show’s mission statement.
The Opening Ceremony on Friday evening kicked off a weekend of civic dinners, entertaining concerts, baked goods and livestock auctions, farm animal shows, good-natured contests, community organization and business exhibits, and exhibit entries of artistic ability, craftsmanship, culinary talents, and gardening or farming aptitude.
It’s a little overwhelming to take in all of the aspects of this show. You must experience the different parts to truly appreciate the grandness of it and to soak in the heritage that is celebrated within it.
For example, for the past seventeen Community Shows, Harold and Peggy Long of Long-View Farms have been donating the hog that is sold at the livestock auction during the Community Show to benefit the FFA Scholarship Fund. Their grandson, David R. Young, a senior at Catoctin High School, shows this hog. Carol Robertson, president of the Catoctin Colorfest, Inc., has been buying it for the last eight years. This year, she purchased the hog for $10.50 per pound. It weighed 249 pounds! That’s $2,614.50 going into the FFA Alumni Scholarship Fund. Carol Robertson chuckled as she said, “I had just been to the grocery store and spent $1.89 per pound for pork. Then I went up there [to the livestock auction] and spent $2,600 on a pig. It’s gotta be a good pig. Best pork ever!”
That same hog was then taken to the Westminster Livestock Auction, per Carol Robertson, to be resold. That sale money is then given to the Thurmont Food Bank. So, both organizations benefit.
Maxine Troxell of Thurmont has been entering baked goods into the Community Show for years. She has won countless champion and reserve champion ribbons. The sales of her cakes and pies have generated thousands of dollars that benefit several organizations, including the Catoctin FFA Alumni, the Catoctin FFA Chapter, and the Thurmont Grange.
In addition to entering baked goods in the Community Show exhibits each year, Maxine often enters one of her dogs in the annual pet show. The pet show is a long-time Community Show favorite. It is free to enter your canine companion or feline friend in this contest, where the “Longest Whiskers” and “Waggiest Tails” are two of the categories judged.
During this year’s opening ceremony, current Maryland FFA State President Ellie Grossnickle and current Maryland FFA State Secretary Amanda Farmer thanked Community Show President Rodman Myers, Community Show Vice President Robert “Bob” Valentine, Community Show Secretary Brian Hendrickson, and Community Show Assistant Treasurer Cathy Little, for sixty years of the Thurmont & Emmitsburg Community Show.
Daniel Myers shared that his grandfather, Rodman Myers, and William “Bill” Baker started the Community Show sixty years ago. Rodman was Master of the Thurmont Grange and Mr. Baker was the high school Vo-Ag teacher, spending half of his school day at Thurmont High School and the other half at Emmitsburg High School. Bill and Rodman each served as co-chairmen of the Community Show for thirty years. The Emmitsburg Grange and Emmitsburg FFA had a Community Show until 1969, then moved it to Catoctin High School, where the show combined with Thurmont to become the Thurmont & Emmitsburg Community Show.
Robert Valentine was a ninth-grade student at that time, and has been a participant in, and later, an officer of, the Community Show for the entire sixty years. Bob is vice president and chairman of the Annual Beef, Sheep, Swine, Goat & Dairy Show that is part of the Community Show.
Becky Myers Linton was the first FFA Chapter Sweetheart at Thurmont High School in 1957. At that time, she was escorted by Robert Fraley, the 1957 Thurmont FFA President. As they did sixty years ago, they both walked on the stage at the 60th Anniversary Opening Ceremony, wearing the same FFA jackets they wore then.
Any past Thurmont, Emmitsburg, or Catoctin FFA Chapter Sweetheart or FFA Ambassador in attendance at the ceremony stood to be recognized.
Past officers of the Thurmont, Emmitsburg, and Catoctin FFA Chapters, who also served as officers with the Maryland State FFA, were the honorees, awarded with a certificate of appreciation during the ceremony. Terry Shank, Maryland FFA Executive Director, spoke about the honorees, stating, “The National FFA has a vision of engaging members, building communities, and strengthening the agricultural community. This vision is truly lived out through the individuals we are recognizing tonight.”
Honorees included: Woodrow Wills, 1930-31 (Thurmont); Ray Valentine, 1937-38 (Emmitsburg)—his son, Randy Valentine, attended the opening ceremony and sponsors the annual Dairy Cattle Fitting and Showing category in his father’s honor; Guy Krom, 1939-40 (Emmitsburg); Eugene Long, 1943-44 (Thurmont)—the oldest living past state officer in the area, turning ninety in March; Charles Free, Jr., 1958-59 (Thurmont); Joe Kuhn, 1960-61 (Thurmont); Susan Weimer Trice, 1973-74 (Thurmont and Emmitsburg High Schools combined to represent Catoctin High School at this time); Michael Wiemer, 1975-76; Naomi Weimer Knight, 1976-77; David Harman, 1979-80; Barry Burch, 1980-81; Susan Flanagan Greubel, 1981-82; Todd Levering, 1983-84; Margaret Flanigan Klemme, 1984-85; Brian D. Glass, 1985-86; Dana Gates Cessna, 1987-88; Stacey Troxell Ridge, 1988-89; Sterling “Gene” Bollinger, III, 1989-90; Karen Young Myers, 1989-90; Michael Gates, 1990-91; George Bollinger, 1991-92; Ray Martin, III, 1992-93; Missy Willard Donnelly, 1996-97; Gary Bassler, 1997-98; Mark Valentine, 1997-98; Jessica Troxell Valentine, 1998-99; Shaun Shriner, 1999-2000; Karen Mueller Jacobs, 2001-02; Melissa Sharrer, 2001-02; Julie Roop Tingue, 2004-05; Annie Delauter Bentz, 2006-07; Bridget Hoffman Nicholson, 2007-08; Carrie Wivell, 2008-09; Tyler Yoake, 2009-10; Tyler Donnelly, 2011-12; Daniel Myers, 2013-14; and Ashley McAfee, 2014-15.
Representing Frederick County Agriculture, Catoctin High School graduate, Megan Millison, was recently named the 2016 Miss Maryland Agriculture. She has also served as the Frederick County Farm Bureau Ambassador and former Catoctin High School FFA Ambassador.
Among several candidates, Maybelin Cruz was selected as the 2016-2017 Catoctin FFA Ambassador.
With the Opening Ceremony complete, the Baked Goods Auction immediately followed.