Students sell off wares at ham and bacon auction

PARKERSBURG – More than a dozen Wood County Technical Center students and FFA members gathered Friday for the 65th annual Little Kanawha Ham and Bacon sale at the Parkersburg Municipal Building.

Kari Brown, an agricultural instructor at the Wood County Technical Center, said about 15 students participated in the sale, showcasing their agricultural efforts from the last eight months.

“It is a huge effort,” she said. “The students raise the hogs. We do all of the processing except the slaughter. We smoke the hams and bacons, all at the Tech Center facility.”

The pieces are judged and awarded prizes based on quality and preparation. The items are then auctioned, with the money from each sale going to the student whose item is sold. On average the meat brings in about $8-$11 a pound, but can sometimes go much higher.

Brown said the eggs are gathered by students from their flocks, usually two or three days before the auction, and depending on quality can fetch a bid of $50-$350 a dozen.

All food items are inspected and graded to ensure high quality, she said.

Brown said the annual event is a labor of love for the students. Many of them will take what they learned through the center’s agricultural program and apply it to their future careers.

“I did this growing up,” she said. “A lot of my friends became meat inspectors. It is just endless the job possibilities coming out of this program.

“It is a lot of work and it is worth the effort,” Brown said.

Brown said this year a student achieved what she called the Triple Crown.

“For the first time we had someone win grand champion in two categories and reserve champion in the other, a triple crown of sorts,” she said. “Austin Alatorre won grand champion for ham and eggs and reserve champion for bacon.”

In the bacon sale, Alatorre’s ham was sold for $39 a pound to Bridgeport Equipment. Reserve champion Stephanie Giffin’s ham was sold for $19 a pound to Glenn Rhodes Trucking.

Travis Baker’s grand champion bacon was sold for $60 a pound to Jim Ash. Alatorre’s reserve champion bacon was sold for $30 a pound to Rick Neal.

In eggs, Alatorre’s grand champion eggs sold for $125 to Bridgeport Equipment. Hunter Gessel’s reserve champion eggs were sold for $65 to Dave Watson.

Overall, the hams sold for $6,618.20, bacon sold for $3,644.10 and the eggs sold for $400 for a grand total of $10,662.30, Brown said.