|Founded by||Czechoslovakian and Polish Hashomer Hatzair members|
The kibbutz was established in 1942 by members of the Hashomer Hatzair movement who immigrated from Czechoslovakia and Poland. Its name refers to the first furrow ploughed in a field. The analogy was presented in Avraham Herzfeld's speech about settlement in the area: He saw the establishment of the kibbutz as being the first of many. Due to its location near Wadi Ara, the kibbutz was on the front line during the 1948 Arab–Israeli War and was attacked by the Iraqi Army.
Galam Ltd., a company that produces starch and glucose for the food industry, is based in Kibbutz Ma'anit. In 2010, Galam recorded annual sales of $137.6 million, half of it from export. After developing a new natural sweetener derived from the stevia plant, the company signed a contract with Corn Products International, which grows and processes stevia in South Africa.