Valdosta Daily Times

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February 20, 2013

Judges seek the best in Ham & Egg Show

VALDOSTA — After years of work by farmers and months of curing, state and federal agriculture officials inspected 55 cured hams and more than 60 dozen eggs during day one of the 63rd Annual Ham & Eggs Show and Sale at the Lowndes County Civic Center Tuesday morning.

Joshua Dawson was lauded as the grand champion when his ham received top honors, while John Miles was honored as the reserve champion. Diamond Wallace’s ham earned her the title of 4H grand champion.

Marlene Clark earned the title of grand champion in the egg competition; Valaria Lucas won reserve champion; Abbie Phillips took third place, and Martha Lucas took fourth.

After county extension office completed its usual September delivery of hogs to be processed for this year’s show, a second trip was required in October to transport the rest of the 30 hogs submitted to a Fort

Valley meat lab for curing, said Extension Agent Jake Price. This year's show was enhanced by a larger focus on education, said Price.

 “We have a presentation from the Georgia Department of Agriculture on egg candling and grading,” said Price. “Usually the judges are stuck in a dark room by themselves and no one can see what they're doing. But they're bringing candling to light, so to say, and participants will get to see what goes into inspecting the eggs.”

Kathryn Bennett demonstrated egg candling and grading. Dr. Claudia Dunkley, University of Georgia poultry specialist, presented a lecture on “Backyard Flock Management,” and Dr. Glenwood F. Hill lectured on curing hams before the 30-time Ham & Egg Show judge began inspecting the submissions.

The Ham & Egg Show continues today for its second and final day, starting with a luncheon and ending with a show sale and auction.

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