4-H Country Ham Project

University of KY Meat Science Extension has something they call the 4-H County Ham Project that teaches youth how to make a country ham. This is about a 9-month project that starts with a fresh, or green, ham and ends up with a county ham that is shelf-stable and worth a fair bit of money.

Think about the value of a protein source that doesn’t need any refrigeration and enhances the flavor of anything that is included with it. I would willingly pay for someone to teach me how to do this. I know there are food laws that make it difficult for places that are not state inspected to offer this. I’m sure there are ways around this. Imagine a place I could go where someone would “help” me prepare a green ham. Afterward, I would pay them to store it for me in the proper conditions. The ham would be tagged as mine and when it has reached it’s cured & aged state I would go pick it up.

Curing meats is rapidly becoming a lost art and I applaud this effort to save this skill. Personally I don’t know anyone that has ever cured meat. If I can find a way to do this anywhere near me I will give it a try. We are planning on getting a whole hog (butchered into parts) and I may risk one of the hams to see if I can do this.