FFA’s Ham, Bacon, Egg sale draws crowd
and rewards student efforts in agriculture
AUGUSTA — For the Hampshire County FFA members, the proceeds at the end of their annual Ham, Bacon and Egg sale —206 items sold Saturday — were just the culmination of a months-long growing experience.
“I like learning about the whole process of how to cure the hams and bacons and how everything works,” said FFA member Brittany Nelson during the sale. “I like learning about how it turns out in the end.”
Then there was the sale itself.
“I’m feeling good,” Nelson said. “There’s a bunch of buyers here; it’s going good so far. Thanks to all the buyers for coming today.”
Fellow FFA member Ryan Long agreed that he enjoys the process and the event. He added that his work with FFA is challenging.
“It takes a lot of hard work and responsibility, from buying your hog to getting all the feed and raising it yourself and keeping it healthy,” he explained. “There’s a lot of stress (behind the scenes at the sale), especially with our advisors – they do a lot.”
The Grand Champions for each category were: Sydney Park, grand champion eggs; Hannah Corbin, grand champion ham; and Madison Bohrer, grand champion Bacon.
The Reserve Champions were: George Smith, reserve champion eggs; Kirston Sowers, reserve champion ham; and Destiny Snyder, reserve champion bacon.
The sale included the champion products, grade A eggs, prime hams, prime bacons, choice hams, choice bacons, good hams, good bacons for each FFA member and various FFA participant ham and bacon donations for the FFA fund.
“Both of my nephews are selling tonight. One’s a senior and one’s a freshman – one with ham, bacon, and eggs and one with just eggs. It looks to me like prices are down a little bit, but they’re still healthy,” said attendee Debra Champ who explained she had seen higher sales, but the sale was still great.
“It’s wonderful to see everyone turn out for the kids. I think it’s really nice to come out and recognize the kids for all the work they put in. it’s a fun event and the kids are proud of all of their work. It’s a good community event and we have businesses from everyone in the county and everywhere from Mineral County to Virginia.”
The sale, which is held annually in the Augusta Fire Hall, sees a consistently large crowd and this year was no different. With a packed house, the products sold for good prices including $675 for one of the Grade A eggs and around $90 per pound for Hannah Corbin’s grand champion ham.
“I think it’s going amazing. We’re all up in the twenties and thirties and I think we’re going to make a good profit, like we do every year,” said FFA member Natalie Spaid. “Everyone came out and it’s been great.”
Spaid donated a ham and bacon this year to Hampshire FFA’s general group fund to benefit the members for their national conventions and banquets. She explained that members have the option to donate some of their product to benefit the group at large.
“I also know a lot of people are surprised by how much money we make,” she added. “I want people to know that none of us are going out and buying clothes. This is to further our agricultural career, to buy the hogs and feed, and it goes right back into Ag. It’s funding the future farmer’s of the community.”
The funds that each FFA member receives go to each individual student, which ultimately is mostly used for their work with FFA according to the members. Along with the participating youth, parents in attendance also felt the Ham, Bacon, Egg sale was a good community event, for a good cause.
“I think it’s going very well. The children are getting a lot of support form the community,” said attendee Jeanne Milleson. “It’s a proud moment. It’s nice to see them put all of the effort in and then get a nice reward. Thank you to the community for coming out and supporting the FFA kids.”
Buyers and sellers alike felt the sale was positively received and yielded a good turn out.
“It looks like there’s a pretty good turn out. It looks like the quality of the meat is pretty good and it’s bringing good prices,” said Jeffrey Whitacre, who usually buys a couple products each year for the last 15 years he has attended the FFA’s annual auction.
Whitacre noted, however, that beyond the high quality produce individuals can enjoy, the sale often brings together the community around a likeminded cause and allows everyone to gather together.
“(My favorite thing) is just seeing old friends and people you hardly ever see,” he concluded.
FFA’s Ham, Bacon, and Egg sale is held every year and information on the group and their upcoming events can be found on their website, www.hampshireffa.com. o