If you are interested in participating in the 4-H Country Ham Project it is now time to sign up. The project will not begin until January, but organizers like to know how many raw hams they will need to purchase because of the large number of 4-H’ers across the state who participate in this event.
Each member will receive two raw hams for the price of $55 (which is typically the price of one cured ham). The hams will arrive in January at the Shelby County Extension Office on a Saturday morning. There will be participants from five counties that will meet at the office to select and prepare the hams for hanging in the ham house. Once the hams are seasoned they will be hung until spring.
Participants usually return to Shelby County during spring break to clean the hams and rehang them.
Right before the state fair in August the youth will once again clean the hams and choose the one they feel will stand up to judging as the best at the fair and prepare it to be entered into the contest. The ham that is not selected will be given to the participants to take home.
On the first Thursday of the fair, youth from across the state will gather to present a speech on one of the following topics. The junior age group has the topic “The Steps to Curing a Country Ham” and the senior age group will present speeches titled “Dried Cured Hams of the World.” The speech is a requirement to receive the second ham. If the 4-H’er does not give a speech then they forfeit the second ham and those are then used by other 4-H clubs for fundraising activities.
If you are concerned about giving a speech in front of an audience, don’t be. Participants will give the speech in front of the judges only; no one else is allowed in the room.
4-H’ers who have participated in the past say that it is a very enjoyable project that does not require a lot of time and helps them connect to how things were done in the past. It has not been that long ago that almost every family in Henry County would work together to prepare hams for the winter that they raised on their farms. This is a great project to keep the heritage of our farming community alive.
If you would like to receive a ham contract please call the office at 845-2811 or e-mail email@example.com.
Upcoming 4-H events
Nov. 2 – Photography Club begins at the Henry County Extension Office from 3:30 to 5 p.m. If you have a digital camera please bring it with you as well as your memory card and extra batteries. If you do not have a camera; don’t worry. We will let you borrow one.
Nov. 7 – 4-H Dog Club will be meeting at the Henry County Animal Shelter with dogs at 5:30 p.m. Please have your dog on a leash, bring their favorite treats, and a copy of their current rabies vaccination. If you plan to attend please call the office at 845-2811 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nov. 9 and 16 - Beginning Counted Cross-Stitch Class at the Henry County Extension Service from 3:30 to 5 p.m. All materials will be provided for you at no cost. Please call 845-28ll or e-mail email@example.com to sign up.
Nov. 14 – Horse Club Meeting at the Henry County Cooperative Extension Office at 6 p.m. New members are always welcome. Check out our website at firstname.lastname@example.org
Nov. 15 – Beginning Cooking Club at the Henry County Cooperative Extension Office from 3:30 to 5 p.m.
Nov. 21 – Shooting Sports monthly meeting at the Henry County Extension office at 6 p.m. New members are welcome. Check out our website at email@example.com
Nov. 20 – 4-H Country Ham Project. Would you like to learn how to cure a country ham the old-fashioned way? This is the project for you. This project will meet three to four times from January until August. Each 4-H’er will prepare two country hams. This project has a fee of $55 for the two raw hams and a contract must be signed by a parent and received in the office by this date. If interested, contact our office for more details.
If you are interested in participating in any 4-H clubs or activities please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Henry County Extension Service at 845-2811 to be added to the appropriate mailing list.
Learn more about what the Henry County Extension Service has to offer you by signing up on our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/pages/Henry-County-Extension/157488554329713.