First ham project ends in great success

Drew Weatherly grins at the crowd after learning he was the junior champion and grand champion at the 2021 Henry County Fair.

I participated in the 4-H country ham project at the 2021 Henry County Fair for the first time in August. Back in March, Staci Foy, our 4-H leader, gave us information on this project and I took it home to my parents. My mom immediately said she wanted me to be a part of the event. I will admit I was not excited at all. However, after we started going to Clifty Farm to cure and age our hams, it turned out to be fun. We were allowed to go into the ham house and be a part of the curing process. This was my favorite part. We did this once a month. When our hams were cured, it was time to select our best ham and then take them to the auction. Different business owners, farmers and family members would be there to bid on the hams. Before the auction, Foy was there to announce the winners for the best hams, record books and speeches. I won the high scoring ham for the junior division as well as best record book. Then it was time to name the overall grand champion for the entire event and she called out my name — Drew Weatherly. I couldn’t believe it. I had just won overall grand champion ham. I knew my face was red because I was so excited and really surprised. During the auction, my ham sold to Leon and Shirley Rogers for $800. I had asked a few other businesses to attend the auction, but they had other obligations, so instead they gave me donations. We added that to my total along with the money I won for overall grand champion. I left the auction with around $1,200 that day. Thanks to the Rogerses for supporting me at the auction. Also, thanks to 4-H and Clifty Farms for giving kids like me this opportunity. A few weekends ago, I was able to go to the baseball card show with my dad and take my own money, then I put the rest in my savings account. I can say for sure that my mom won’t have to convince me to do the country ham project again next year. I will be the first person to sign up every year until I am a senior.

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