The 68th Annual Thurmont & Emmitsburg Community Show will be held on September 6-8, at Catoctin High School, 14745 Sabillasville Road in Thurmont. During this event, the Catoctin FFA Alumni & Supporters Livestock Sale will be held on Saturday, September 7, at 7:00 p.m. in the Ag Center area and will be celebrating their 50th year. The sale began when Calvin Sayler, a Catoctin area farmer who lived on a farm in Rocky Ridge and who was a Hereford cattle breeder and Catoctin FFA Alumni member, felt very strongly that the Thurmont & Emmitsburg Community Show should have a beef cattle sale. On September 13, 1974, the first beef cattle sale was held when seven Catoctin FFA Alumni, 4-H and/or Grange members exhibited nine cattle. Four of the seven are still living for the 50th Anniversary: Gwen Long Kuster, Patty Keilholtz Kerns, Mike Baust, and Rodman Myers. William G. “Bill” Baker was the auctioneer, and Bob Valentine was the chair for the first year and for the next 49 years. Under Bob’s leadership and the livestock committee, both the show and sale expanded over the years with the addition of sheep, swine and goats.

This annual event has been a highlight of the Thurmont & Emmitsburg Community Show—the largest community show in the State of Maryland. The 49th annual sale in 2023 grossed $95,000, which was the highest ever in its history. Thanks to Calvin Sayler for his vision to make this annual show and sale a reality! Any individuals or businesses are welcome to attend and support local 4-H and FFA members selling their livestock projects during this anniversary year.

In addition to the 50th anniversary of the Catoctin FFA Alumni & Supporters Livestock Sale, the 20th anniversary of The Ridenour Lamb award will be celebrated. This award started 20 years ago in memory of Rebecka (Ruby) Ridenour. Rebecka loved showing her 4-H projects, the Community Show, and helping youth with their projects. Although Rebecka showed many species of animals, her favorite project was sheep—this is the reason the Ridenour Lamb award is given to the third-place sheep overall in the show. The recipient is given a pre-determined amount by Rebecka’s daughter, Ashley Ridenour Zimmerman, and all proceeds from the sale of the Ridenour Lamb go to the Ridenour Scholarship Fund.

The Ridenour Scholarship is annually awarded at the Catoctin FFA Chapter’s awards banquet and is typically given to a student pursuing a nursing degree—to carry on Rebecka’s passion for nursing and caring for others.

Also, on Saturday, September 7, at 6:30 p.m. by the Agriculture Center barn, there will be a gathering for any previous recipients of the Ridenour Lamb or Ridenour Scholarship to celebrate the 20th anniversary. If you still have your Ridenour Lamb banner, please bring it to the gathering.  To commemorate the 20th year of the Ridenour Lamb & Scholarship, along with Rebecka’s passing, make plans to attend the Beef, Sheep, Swine and Market Goat Sale on Saturday night, September 7, at 7:00 p.m. in the Agriculture Center to support the Ridenour Lamb & Scholarship

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