4-H Country Ham Project – Curing Ham at the Extension Service
By: Lloyd G. Saylor, County Extension Agent for 4-H Youth Development: The Kentucky 4-H Country Ham program is a program that helps youth to develop applicable real world skills in two ways. First, youth learn about the process, history, and science of curing hams. This process briefly covers issues such as food safety, meat production, basic chemistry principles, and food preservation. After the actual process of curing their hams (each youth receives two hams) with a local expert on the process, the youth select their best ham and exhibit it at the country ham contest at the state fair. At this contest they are asked to give a speech and answer questions pertaining to the process of curing hams and their experience. This and the quality of the ham both help to determine a winner in the various age categories.
With participating in the 4-H Country Ham program, youth are also eligible to compete for a 4-H Country Ham Scholarship. Forms are available at the Extension Service. A registration fee of $55 includes the purchase of 2 country hams to cure. Deadline for signup is November 28th. For more information contact the Butler County Extension Office at 112 E GL Smith Street, Morgantown or call 526-3767. Educational programs of the Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service serve all people regardless of race, color, age, sex, disability, or national origin.