Friday, Dec. 6 is the last day to sign up for the 2019-2020 4-H Country Ham Project.
4-H members throughout the state spend several months preparing their hams for the Kentucky State Fair, where commercial country ham producers judge their meat.
To sign up for the project, youth and parents must complete the Country Ham Project Agreement and pay the $60 fee. Starting sometime in January, youth will meet to start curing their hams. This year they will be curing them in the Adair County 4-H Ham House. Youth will also have to attend regular meetings to complete the required six hours of trainings to learn about hams and the curing process. In August, the ham will be taken to the Kentucky State Fair to be judged and youth will give a speech.
After the Hams are Cured
Youth are required to give a presentation on any aspect of the project such as nutrition or value added. In addition, the processors evaluate ham on such factors as leanness, shape, appearance and aroma. The combined presentation and judging scores determine the overall winner. This takes place during the Kentucky State Fair.
Youth develop valuable technical merit, communications, research and organizational skills from the
presentations. Persistence and responsibility are among the traits 4-H members develop during the nine months they cure hams at the processing plant. Youth also learn to appreciate the importance of value added to a raw commodity and all participants also receive a State Fair premium.
Participants pay a $60 fee. This year, each youth will be able to keep both hams or keep one of the hams and the second ham will be auctioned off at an event. The livestock club will get 10 percent of the sale to use with the club and 10 percent will go to the Ham Scholarship. Auction money will be divided equally between the members who participate in the ham project.
The deadline to sign up for the country ham project is December 6, 2019.