4-H, FFA students raise thousands in ham auction

Champion bolsters family’s legacy

Lauren Sweeten proudly displays her champion ham during the county fair's $-H FFA Ham Auction July 31. Sweeten's ham was auctioned at $500.

Lauren Sweeten proudly displays her champion ham during the county fair's $-H FFA Ham Auction July 31. Sweeten's ham was auctioned at $500. Photo by Dean Asher.

This year’s Callaway County Fair 4-H FFA Ham Auction drew in big numbers, with hams selling upwards of $525.

“We brought pretty good numbers this year; it was more than expected,” said county 4-H leader Steve Hartman. “Callaway County has a lot of good supporters. I’d like to thank them for what they do.”

Fifty-two cured hams were put on display and sold off to the highest bidder this year, bringing in a combined total of more than $20,000. Each student received the funds for their ham, minus two percent that went to the fair. Six hams were donated by their purchasers back to the fair this year to be used in Saturday morning’s country ham breakfast.

Lauren Sweeten, a New Bloomfield native currently attending Moberly Community College in Columbia for elementary education, sold the champion ham — a 20-pounder rated highly by judges on categories including eye appeal, aroma, meatiness and trim — for $500, which she said will help pay for school. Bennie Young of Young’s Welding was the lucky bidder for Sweeten’s ham, as well as four others. Sweeten also submitted the reserve champion ham.

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