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It’s time to ham it up

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By Cathy Toole

It is time to sign up for the Country Ham Project. This project begins when the raw or green hams arrive at the Henry County Cooperative Extension Service office, usually on a Saturday in the middle of January.
When the hams arrive there are stations set up where youth and adults prepare the hams with a mixture of salt, seasonings and brown sugar. They are then wrapped and hung in the ham house until spring. Around spring break the 4-H member’s hams are cleaned and then rehung to go through the summer sweat.
The week before the Kentucky State Fair, 4-H’ers clean the hams and polish them so that they are ready to be entered into the state competition. On the first Thursday of the fair 4-H’ers from across the state will gather to give a speech on a given topic. Youth only compete against other 4-H’ers that are born in the same year and there are only three people in the room that the speeches are given. While speeches are being presented, the hams are also being judged. Last year there were over 650 participants. At the end of the day everyone comes together for the awards ceremony.
All 4-H youth must prepare two hams at the cost of $55,  according to the guidelines of the project. If you are an adult and would like to join us you are welcome to do so. This year we are offering adults to cure one ham at the cost of $30.00. The price for two hams remains the same at $55. This was a very popular project last year, so if you are interested please do not delay in signing up. The contracts for the 4-H Country Ham Project are now available at the following website www.henrycounty4h.com. All contracts and checks are due to the office by Dec. 6th. If you have any questions please call the office at 845-2811.