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By JoEllen Black/Richmond News
One of the largest crowds in more than 10 years packed the Eagleton Center for the fair’s country ham breakfast Tuesday. While organizers were pleased with the turnout, they were clearly ecstatic with sale prices for hams by county 4-H and FFA members.
“I think it was a fabulous sale,” said county 4-H coordinator Nancy Coleman said. “We thank the merchants and farm people that bought. They really supported the kids.”
Bidders spent nearly $10,000 on 26 blue-ribbon country-cured hams, averaging to $21.25 per pound – a marked increased from last year’s average of $18.98 per pound. Proceeds from the auction went back to the exhibitors.
“It was a first time in a long time that so many hams went over $20 (per pound),” said Rodger Fitzwater, a long-time worker of the breakfast and auction.
“It was like, bing, bing, bing, bing and just kept going,” described Coleman on how bids spiked up.
Zane Renfro of Millville 4-H was pretty happy with the outcome, too. Renfro, 9, a second-year contestant to the auction, received grand champion for his 17.5 lb. ham with a price of $33 per pound, second only to a $37 ham bid for Cassidy Layman of Richmond FFA.