3-26-13 Dual champion makes history at 70th State FFA Ham, Bacon and Egg auction

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CHARLESTON — Ashley Cain of Cameron High School became the first entrant in the State FFA Ham, Bacon and Egg Show and Sale to take the top spot in both the ham and bacon categories during the 70th incarnation of the event. It also marked her third year running as the grand champion in the ham category.

The auction featured the top 50 hams, 50 bacons and 10 dozens of eggs of those entered and raised $37,395 for state FFA students.

“I believe if we want the agriculture industry to grow in West Virginia, we must have the younger generation coming into the profession,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Walt Helmick. “After taking part in this program, I saw firsthand that all young people in FFA see that there are financial rewards possible in farming. I congratulate this year’s entrants for a job well done.”

The sale was first observed in 1941, but some years were skipped during World War II. The sale has generated more than $1.2 million in the 7 decades it has been conducted. FFA students frequently use the money they earn from the sale to help pay for college, or roll it into their next FFA livestock project.

All entries are produced in commercial-grade facilities, and inspected and certified by the Meat & Poultry Inspection Division (MPID) of the West Virginia Department of Agriculture (WVDA).

The top six projects of the night and their sale prices were:

Grand champion ham – Ashley Cain, Cameron, $6,900, purchased by Kroger

Grand champion bacon – Ashley Cain, Cameron, $2,400, purchased by Gunnoe

Grand champion eggs – Gabriel Pagano, Cabell Midland, $1,000, purchased by Kroger

Reserve champion ham – Justin Williams, Tyler Consolidated, $1,725, purchased by Gunnoe

Reserve champion bacon – Nathan Billiter, Tyler Consolidated, $1,260, purchased by O.V. Smith Co.

Reserve champion eggs – Lathe Ueltschy, Valley High School, $800, purchased by the Nichols family

Sponsors of the show are the WVDA, West Virginia Department of Education, Governor’s Office and Carhartt. Ronald Morrison Auction Services and Resource Marketing Inc. have provided free auctioneer services for the show for many years. Kroger Mid-Atlantic, Tasty Blend Food and WVDA provided ham and bacon biscuits for refreshments.

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