Seven Pendleton County FFA members participated in the annual South Branch Area FFA Ham, Bacon and Egg Show and Sale held March 17 at Moorefield High School.
Sixty-one FFA members, representing Pendleton, Petersburg, Moorefield and East Hardy chapters, sold 218 products (93 hams, 96 bacons and 29 dozen eggs) for $128,374.70. Pendleton’s FFA members collectively took home earnings of $16,878.40.
Two Pendleton County FFA members received top honors for their exhibits.
The grand champion eggs were exhibited by Selena Hedrick. Her champion eggs were purchased by Falcon Transportation of Petersburg for $1,000.
Bailee Kiger’s 23.36-pound ham was chosen as reserve champion. Lovers Lane Farms, Hinkle Trucking and Potomac Highland Construction of Moorefield purchased the ham for $40 per pound.
Hedrick also exhibited two prime hams and two choice bacons. Her 18.53-pound ham was bought by Grant County Bank in Petersburg for $32.50 per pound and her 18.93-pound ham was sold to Warner’s Coin Laundry in Franklin for $35 a pound. Greer Lime Company of Riverton purchased Hedrick’s 7.8-pound and 6.5-pound bacons for $60 and $70 per pound, respectively.
In addition to her winning ham, Kiger sold a prime ham and two prime bacons. Her 23.3-pound ham fetched $30 per pound from Rockingham Coop of Dayton, Virginia. Her 6.5-pound bacon was bought by Mountain View Veterinary of Moorefield for $70 per pound with her 5.9-pound bacon sold to Lovers Lane Farm in Moorefield for $80 a pound.
Other Pendleton FFA members participating in the show/sale were as follows (name, item, price per pound and purchaser):
Caleb Armentrout — 20.59-pound prime ham, $32.50, Murphy’s Fencing in Franklin; 21.43-pound choice ham, $30, Greer Lime Company; 7.49-pound prime bacon, $80, Hinkle Trucking of Circleville; and 6.8-pound prime bacon, $60, Greer Lime Company;
Lydia Heavner — 20.96-pound prime ham, $37.50, James River Equipment of Harrisonburg, Virginia; 20.86-pound prime ham, $32.50, Pendleton Community Bank of Moorefield; 7.99-pound prime bacon, $60, Farm Credit of Moorefield; and 6.1-pound choice bacon, $100, French Brothers Dairy of Woodstock, Virginia;
McKenna Hedrick — 17.95-pound prime ham, $27.50, Greer Lime Company; 17.31-pound prime ham, $30, Warner’s Coin Laundry; 6.11-pound bacon, $75, Seneca Rocks RV Resort in Seneca Rocks; and 5.57-pound choice bacon, $80, Allegheny Farm in Seneca Rocks.
Lindsey Smith — 22.2-pound prime ham, $35, Warner’s Coin Laundry; 21.75-pound prime ham, $35, Pilgrims CCP Team of Moorefield; 7.32-pound prime bacon, $70, Greer Lime Company; and 6.9-pound choice bacon, $70, Greer Lime Company; and
Makayla Tingler — 16.71-pound choice ham, $32.50, Murphy’s Fencing; 16.65-pound choice ham, $30, Greer Lime Company; 5.25-pound choice bacon, $70, Faithful Friends Animal Clinic in Franklin; and 5.2-pound choice bacon, $80, Greer Lime Company.
Ryan Poling, a Moorefield FFA member, exhibited the reserve champion eggs. Mountain View Veterinary purchased the eggs for $500.
The champion ham, weighing 24 pounds, was exhibited by Kelsey Clark, Petersburg FFA member, and was purchased by Falcon Transportation for $85 per pound.
Jordan Teets of East Hardy FFA exhibited the grand champion bacon. His 6.15-pound bacon was purchased by Grant County Bank for $175 per pound. Diamond G Farm of Petersburg paid $60 a pound for the reserve champion 5.75-pound bacon exhibited by Olivia Bible of Petersburg FFA.
Pendleton FFA members had to choose a pig(s) to raise by last June. The pig was fed over the summer, getting it to the ideal weight of between 260 and 280 pounds. In November, the pigs were taken to slaughter. The slaughtered hogs were then transported back to the school where the meat was processed in the vo-ag’s meat room. The hams and bacons were pulled for curing for the annual show in March, and the rest of the hog’s meat was processed.
To prepare a ham or bacon for the ham/ bacon show, the meat was cured with a brown sugar cure mix for two days per pound, or a minimum of 45 days, at a temperature of 36° to 45°. (For any ham or bacon over 30 pounds, an additional two days per pound was added to the curing process.) To stabilize the hams and bacons and to end the curing process, the temperature was increased to 55° for 20 days. Then the meat was dried for 11 days at 90°. Once the curing process was completed, each ham and bacon was trimmed, shaped and smoked. Each FFA member had two hams and two bacons participating in the show and sale.
The eggs and smoked hams and bacons were taken to Moorefield one day prior to the sale where a panel of neutral judges judged the 218 entries from the three counties. The hams and bacons were judged into three different qualities – prime, choice and good.