Hampshire, Hampden, and Franklin Agricultural Society
The autumn cattle shows that used to take place on New England town commons were part of a tradition that goes back to the early English Harvest Home festivals. The major local cattle shows were arranged by the Hampshire, Hampden, and Franklin Agricultural Society, which was formed to promote agricultural education and scientific agriculture. Their first cattle show was held in Amherst in 1864. The choicest animals, vegetables, fruits, and crafts were brought together, and it was a day for feasting, awards, and speeches.
Excerpted from Tales of Amherst by Dan Lombardo and published by the Jones Library.