TCHS FFA students earn top rankings at State sale
Two Tyler Consolidated High School students earned top rankings in the 70th State FFA Ham, Bacon and Egg Show and Sale held at the State Capitol Complex on March 11.
Freshman Justin Williams sold his Reserve Champion ham to Gunnoe for $1,725 while Senior Nathan Billiter sold his Reserve Champion bacon to O.V. Smith Co. for $1,260.
“It just goes to show that hard work pays off in the long run,” said Billiter
The auction featured the top 50 hams, 50 bacons, and 10 dozens of eggs of those entered and raised $37,395 for state FFA students. Of those numbers, the Tyler County Chapter sold 13 bacons and 11 hams.
“I believe if we want the agriculture industry to grow in West Virginia, we must have the younger generation coming into the profession,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Walt Helmick. “After taking part in this program, I saw firsthand that all young people in FFA see that there are financial rewards possible in farming. I congratulate this year’s entrants for a job well done.”
The sale was first observed in 1941, but some years were skipped during World War II. The sale has generated more than $1.2 million in the seven decades it has been conducted. FFA students frequently use the money they earn from the sale to help pay for college, or roll it into their next FFA livestock project.
All entries are produced in commercial-grade facilities, and inspected and certified by the Meat & Poultry Inspection Division (MPID) of the West Virginia Department of Agriculture (WVDA).
The top six projects of the night and their sale prices were: Grand champion ham, Ashley Cain, Cameron, $6,900 purchased by Kroger; Grand champion bacon, Ashley Cain, Cameron, $2,400 purchased by Gunnoe; Grand Champion eggs, Gabriel Pagano, Cabell Midland, $1,000 purchased by Kroger; Reserve champion ham, Justin Williams, Tyler Consolidated, $1,725, purchased by Gunnoe; Reserve champion bacon, Nathan Billiter, Tyler Consolidated, $1,260, purchased by O.V. Smith Co and Reserve champion eggs, Lathe Ueltschy, Valley High School, $800, purchased by the Nichols family.
Resource Marketing, Inc. have provided free auctioneer services for the show for many years. Kroger Mid-Atlantic, Tasty Blend Food, and WVDA provided ham and bacon biscuits for refreshments.