Farmers showcase hams and eggs -, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Farmers showcase hams and eggs

February 17, 2004

Valdosta - Edward Lucas thinks he has the best hams in Lowndes County. "We're looking forward to getting the champion ham," said Lucas.

But whether or not he takes home the blue ribbon depends on one man. He's judging the 54th annual Ham and Egg show. "Down through the years, we've learned what type of hogs to grow for meat, and what type we should grow for lard," said Lucas.

They all look delicious, so what sets one ham apart from the rest? Judges are looking for one important quality that makes all the difference. "He's checking for the best smell," said Calvin Willis, Lowndes County Extension Agent. "He probes the joints of the ham to get the scent, and uses his trained nose to sniff out those good qualities, flavors, and aroma."

And while it takes a good nose to spot the winning ham, choosing the prize egg takes a good eye. "They use a candling device to look through the egg at the clarity for anything dark or not normal," said Willis.

Ham and egg shows have faded in most South Georgia towns, but these farmers are keeping their show strong. "We think we'll have it bigger and better and even some state categories in the future," said Willis.

So farmers like Lucas can continue the tradition, and bring home another blue ribbon for his collection.

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