Students prepare ham for competition in Greenbrier Co. - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Students prepare ham for competition in Greenbrier Co.

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Local students learn a time-honored tradition and skill: curing ham from pigs they raised themselves.

4-H and FFA students from both Greenbrier East and West are working hard this week, trimming and preparing their ham for the "Ham, Bacon and Egg" show at the WV State Fairgrounds.

At the show the 80 students working on the project in Greenbrier County will show and hopefully sell their country-cured ham and bacon.

It's a way for them to earn some extra money and ideally, put it toward their education or next year's competition.

John McCutcheon, a project supervisor and Greenbrier County extension agent for West Virginia University, said students can learn a lot from this.

"It is a project that teaches them a skill that probably went back to their grandparents, and great-grandparents," he said.

Not only does it teach students responsibility, long-term project management, but it gives them life skills and strengthens relationships, he said.

"They're learning how to cure meats and it's a family thing. Everybody's learning how to do this process and working together. I think if we do anything we're keeping a family function together here," McCutcheon said.

Students spend nearly a year on this project, from start-to-finish. They raise the pigs, then after slaughter work on curing, trimming, and eventually selling to see the whole process.

The country-cured ham and bacon will be up for sale at the show in the West Virginia Building at the state fairgrounds on March 28.

McCutcheon said last year the sale earned around $90,000.

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