Here’s a fun fact about Concordia: We are no stranger to farming and community events. Until the 1950s, we operated a working farm to help support what was then the Concordia Orphanage. And anyone who has ever been to one of our last 180+ annual summer festivals knows we love being a part of our local community!
Recently, Concordia President and CEO Keith Frndak befriended one of those community members – but not the type of friend you might expect… A cow at the Butler Farm Show!
The Butler Farm Show, which started in 1948, is a summer staple for residents of Butler County and beyond. Keith took part in the Farm Show’s Celebrity Dairy Showmanship competition on August 14, showing a brown Swiss cow that belongs to David Shultheis of Karns City, Pa.
The Celebrity Dairy Showmanship competition has been a part of the Butler Farm Show for five years. It is organized by Cara Stephenson, a Farm Show volunteer who has been involved with the Farm Show her entire life.
When the celebrity competitors arrived at the Dairy Tent, they were taken by a team of young 4H members to meet their cows and receive a crash course in dairy showmanship. They were taught how to hold the cows’ halters, walk the cows around the tent and pull the cows into line. Even though they learned on the spot, all of the celebrities showed their cows well.
After some big smiles from the contestants and a dairy trivia giveaway for the audience, the winner of the 2015 Butler Farm Show Celebrity Dairy Showmanship contest was announced: Rachel Laughlin, the 2015 Butler Fair Queen.
The other competitors were Kevin Boozel, a candidate for Butler County Commissioner, Rachel Laughlin, the 2015 Butler Fair Queen, Madeline McEachin, the Rodeo Queen of North Washington, Ashley Sherman, a former Sergeant in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard, and Sue Vogel, the District Manager of the Butler County Conservation District.
The competition was judged by Jake Booher, the Senior Class Showmanship winner, and Robin Peters, the 2015 Butler County Dairy Princess.
The Concordia family’s involvement in the Butler Farm Show doesn’t end with dairy cows, however. Dairy Princess Robin Peters’s mother, Lona Peters, has been an aide and mentor at Concordia for about 15 years, working in the Personal Care department. She works with residents every day and helps them to bathe, eat and get ready for their day, as well as listening to their stories.
The Peters family, which also includes Steve and Brooklyn, won the Butler Farm Show’s 2015 Eagle Bowl. The long-time dairy exhibitors from Connoquenessing are the third generation of their family to receive the Eagle Bowl Award.
“I’ve been involved in the Butler Farm Show my entire life,” Lona said. “I was even born on the last day of the Farm Show!”
The Eagle Bowl has been awarded annually since 1952 by the Butler Eagle to the Butler County farm family that participates to the greatest extent and with the highest degree of success in the Butler Farm Show. The family is picked based on the quality and variety of their entries, as well as their good sportsmanship and volunteerism during the festivities.
The Peters have been involved in many different areas of the Farm Show, including showing dairy cows, livestock, market sheep, pigs, rabbits, photos and vegetables. After three generations winning the Bowl, the Peters keep coming back because the families that participate in the Farm Show are so close.
“It’s an extended family at the Farm Show,” Lona said. “It’s a nice, family-friendly atmosphere. There is definitely a little competition, but everyone is still friends.”
Lona is just one of the MANY awesome staff members who are committed to those we serve. For general information on Concordia’s locations, care levels and services, call our Administrative Headquarters at 724-352-1571. Looking to join the Concordia family? Visit the Careers section of our website today!
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