Lancaster farming. (Lancaster, Pa., etc.) 1955-current, October 22, 1994, Image 50

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    818-Lancaster Farming, Saturday, October 22, 1994
York County Society Celebrates Farm Women’s Day
York Co. Correspondent
GLEN ROCK (York Co.)
What do you give 40 Farm Wo
men for breakfast?
Several platters-worth of pan
cakes, six dozen doughnuts, three
dozen bagels, three gallons of
orange juice, a couple trays round
ed with assorted fresh fruits, and
more cups of coffee than anyone
bothered to count.
That was the menu for the
York County Society of Farm
Women’s breakfast, held Friday,
October 14, at the home of former
county and state president, Naomi
Bupp. Following breakfast, the
Society members toured the
noted Red Lion area weaving
firm operated by the David Kline
family, which specialized in
reproductions of historic cover
lets and floor coverings woven on
antique jacquard weaving mills.
The breakfast was the county
Society’s way of celebrating State
Farm Women’s Day, first estab
lished by proclamation of the
governor in 1984. Eighty years
ago, on, October 14, 1914,
Somerset County farm wife Flora
Black founded the first Farm
Women Society, as a way for
often isolated rural women to fel
lowship and educate themselves.
Fellowship and friendship
remain at the top of the list of
Former county and state president Naomi Bupp, standing, hosted the Farm
Women breakfast. She chats with Group 25 members, from left, Betty Abel, Mary
Lou Steii Ruth Mellinger, Dorotl Abel and Ruth Ann Sto>
Good food, fellowship and conversation kept breakfast lively for, from left, Miriam
Hull and Florence Sprenkle, Group 5, Mildred Ferree.'Emma Hutcheson and Miriam
Young, Group 34. Bringing second helpings was Lois Manifold, a vice-president
elect of the county group.
reasons why members join the
Society of Farm Women, accord
ing to both long-time and recent
ly-joined members who enjoyed
the sociable event.
“You meet so many great peo
ple,” says Carolyn Neal, Group 1,
the York County Society presi
dent. A dairy farm woman from
Dillsburg, Carolyn joined her
local society in 1977 after attend
ing meetings as a guest of her
“I just stayed with the group.
They’re neighbors, they’re
friends, they’re my adopted
mothers,” she adds with a wide
smile. “One of the worst things I
ever had to do was first stand up
in front of the Farm Women
group and talk. Now it doesn’t
bother me a hit.”
Those leadership skills are
also valued by county secretary,
Trudy Reichard, Group 18, of
Seven Valleys. A member since
1961, Trudy joined farm Women
in part because, with four small
children, she felt a “need to talk
to some other adults.”
“We were new to the area then,
and when the group formed I
hoped they would invite me to
take part. It has been a real joy to
make new friends and to leant
skills like being able to speak to a
group,” adds Trudy.
Treva Stiles, Glen Rock, the
county treasurer, is another mem
ber of Group 18. With a mother
and several older sisters active in
various Farm Women groups, it
was just natural for her to join.
“Mother’s Group 11 always
had so much fun at the things they
did. But when I was ready to join,
their membership was full, so
Group 18 became a sort of ‘splin
ter’ society,” she recalled.
“Farm Women is like an
extended family. You have so
many new experiences—like
serving 40 people breakfast,”
Treva laughed, busy pouring pan
cake batter onto a sizzling grill.
One of the newest members
enjoying the breakfast was
Gladys Bankert, who joined
Group 18 less than a year ago on
an invitation from a friend.
“I enjoy it, and I’ve met a lot
of new people,” says Gladys,
whose family produces turkeys
for Longacre poultry firm. Her
new Farm Women sisters quickly
identified her organizational
skills and have put her in charge
of arranging bus tours.
“It was an opportunity to do
things 1 never expected to do and
to meet and make friends with
women from all over the county”
related Pat Palmer, Shrewsbury,
president of Group 20 and a for
mer county secretary. “And I was
a timid child; Farm Women really
brought me ‘out’ personally.”
Like many members, she was
introduced to Farm Women by a
friend. Then, and still the
youngest in her group, Pat trea
sures the craft skills she has
learned through her group,
including quilting.
County second-vice-president
elect Lois Manifold left her Farm
Women membership lapse sever
al years ago, due to responsibili
ties with the family’s dairy and
crops farm. No longer actively
farming and with her children
grown, Lois rejoined because of
“the friendship of everyone.”
“We’re interested in many of
the same things,” she says of the
Aireville-area members of her
group 21. “Our group does food
stands and some farm sales as
fundraisers to support the Delta
Food Bank. We team crafts and
have speakers. And I do enjoy
attending the conventions in dif
ferent counties.”
After more than 40 years of
membership in Group 11, Glen
Rock Farm Woman Crystal
Brenneman remains enthusiastic
about being part of the sisterhood
of the Society.
“It’s a good time; fellowship,
sharing, giving.”
Treva Stiles, York County Farm Women president, pre
pares pancakes for members Mildred Bupp, right, and
Crystal Brenneman, among the 40 members who enjoyed
the state Farm Women’s Day Breakfast.
Farm Women Propose
By-Laws Change
York Co. Correspondent
GLEN ROCK (York Co.)
while political entities at various
state and national levels debate
the merits of term limitations, the
Pennsylvania Society of Farm
women is considering eliminating
elected-office restrictions.
“The present by-laws state that
you cannot succeed yourself in an
office, at any level,” explains past
state president Naomi Bupp, host
for the county Society’s October
14 State Farm Women’s Day cele
bration bredßfast. “Adopting the
proposed by-law changes will
allow an officer to continue in a
Another of the several - pro
posed by-laws changes would rec
ognize the changing face of the
state’s rural society by stating that
Farm Women members should
have an “interest in agriculture,”
but not specifically involved in
production farming.
Several members of the York
Society gathered informally for
the breakfast social agreed that
Farm Women membership is
falling due to changes in society.
Rural women are no longer isolat
ed in their homes, as they often
were in 1914, when founder Flora
Bupp from Leslie Baker, pres
ident of Group 31, was a mini
ature, carved, and painted
replica of the Pennsylvania
Society of Farm Women
Cookbook. The cookbook
wps Naomi’s project during
her two-year term as state
president. More than 18,500
cookbooks have been sold to
benefit the Society’s scholar
ship fund.
Black organized the first Society
of Farm Women group in Somer
set County.
“Young people have other
interests and many of the women
work over the day. We’re getting
older and don’t want to go out to
meetings at night,” expressed on
long-time member of Group 25,
from the Wrightsville area.
Farm Women Society mem
bership numbers in many counties
have been slowly decreasing as
farms go out of business and
young women pursue outside
careers. Most local societies once
limited membership to 20 or 25,
because of holding meetings in
homes, and many had waiting lists
to become part of the organiza
' “When I joined, you had to
come to a meeting; then miss the
next one while your membership
acceptance was voted on,” says
Trudy Reichard, county secretary.
‘Today, you can join most groups
right away.”
One member reflection on the
the generational changes that
have altered not only Farm
Women membership but also
society as a whole, pretty much
summed it all up: “We’re just too