The 49th annual Wetzel County Ham, Bacon, and Egg show and sale will be held Friday, March 10 at the Mollohan Center, located on the Wetzel County 4-H grounds, and although the event is held on just one night, it's safe to say that Wetzel County's youth have been fervently preparing for months. The event will include members of Wetzel County 4-H groups, as well as members of the Wetzel County Schools' FFA clubs.
"We go through the process of cutting and smoking our hams and bacons, and then we all individually work on trimming our meats for the show," Sydney Hoyle, Hundred High School FFA member, said about her most recent preparations.
However, the hard work doesn't end there. Hoyle noted that herself and her fellow FFA members also then have to send out personal invitations before the sale night, in anticipation of drawing buyers to the event.
From left are Justin Bassett, Alex Bassett, Deanna Davis, and Rebeckah Barnett.
However, the hard work of being in 4-H and FFA, and preparing for these events, is worth it. Obviously the youth would not be doing what they do, if this was not the case. Several Valley High School FFA members noted their favorite, different parts of the sale. Justin Bassett said he enjoyed processing the hams, while Rebeckah Barnette and Deanna Davis said their favorite part is raising the animals. Alex Bassett said he enjoys the trimming process.
Despite all the different reasons for liking what they do, the VHS members all have the same idea in mind when it comes to spending the money they acquire from their sales: furthering their education.
Justin Bassett said he wants to continue his education in the area of coal mining, while Alex Bassett and Deanna Davis both said they want to put some funds toward college. Davis also said she would like to purchase more hogs.
Barnette said she hopes to continue her education at Fairmont State University.
Valerie Soles, HHS FFA member, said her favorite part of the show is going to the actual state sale, "and spending time relaxing after working hard on my hams and bacons."
Through the experience, all of the students get the opportunity to learn valuable lessons about raising livestock, processing animals, and preparing meat and eggs for show.
"This will be my fourth year of Ham and Bacon, and I've learned a lot about the process of preparing meat for the show," noted Annie Fox, the president of Hundred's FFA chapter.
"However probably the most useful lesson I've learned happens every year on sale night," she added. "Learning how to interact with the public confidently will be an invaluable skill for the rest of my life."
Refreshments prior to the show start at 6:30 p.m. that evening, while the sale will begin at 7:30 p.m. Fifty hams, 50 bacons, and 10 dozen eggs will be sold. Meat products will be bid on and sold by the pound. Eggs will be sold by the dozen.
Exhibits will be on display by approximately 4 p.m. At this time show attendees will be able to appraise all exhibited products and decide on the exhibits that best suit their tastes.
The hams, bacons, and eggs on display will all be the products of Wetzel County 4-H and FFA youth. All hams and bacons have been processed and prepared in state approved facilities. Prior to the sale, a panel of out-of-county judges will evaluate the exhibits. The ham, bacon, and dozen of eggs determined to be of the highest quality will be named Grand Champion. he runner-up in each category will be given the title of Reserve Champion. All exhibits will be graded by the judging panel.
Meats graded prime and choice, the two highest classification of meat products, will be eligible for the sale. The top 10 dozens of eggs will be auctioned off. The highlight of the sale will be the auctioning of an FFA Carhartt Jacket, whose proceeds will go toward a scholarship fund set up to benefit Wetzel County youth.
A number of college scholarships will be awarded to Wetzel county seniors during the night of the show from money generated in past sales.
If you are not able to be at the sale but wish to make a purchase, please contact one of the following FFA advisors: John Smith (Magnolia), 304-455-1990; Adam Weekley (Valley), 304-889-3151; Scott Ash (Hundred), 304-775-5221.