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Winning hams bring high price

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Two Tennessee State Fair champion country hams that were sold at auction Monday at the Annual FFA Ham Breakfast in Nashville brought a whopping $8,900.

Buyer, Jack Stites of J&S Construction Cookeville, paid $4,500 for the first ham sold, a country style trim product, while Farm Credit Mid-America bought the second State Fair champion entry, a packing house trim ham, for $4,400.

The two champion hams were entered in the State Fair annual ham competition by David and Betsa Bolden of Lynnville. The country style trim entry was a product of David Bolden and the second ham was entered by his wife Betsa.

Sponsored by the Future Farmers of America and held at the State Fair, the $30 per plate breakfast attracted more than 550 attendees including U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper (5th District), a host of Tennessee state senators and house members, a number of locally elected officials and a prominent list of state business and community leaders from one end of the state to the other.

Chelsea Rose, Tennessee FFA Foundation executive director and the primary organizer of the event, said proceeds from the breakfast, which has now become an annual event after the inaugural breakfast last year, are contributed to the FFA Foundation to help fund a number of programs that serve the organization's youth membership.

Rose said the event was created as an effort to help bring together political and business leaders with leaders of the state's agriculture industry and added that the funds contributed by sponsors of the breakfast and those buying tables and individual tickets help fund programs throughout the state in which FFA is involved.

Jeff Aiken, president of the Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation, was the keynote speaker for the event.

The Tennessee State Fair which opened last Friday for a 10-day run will close Sunday, September 18. The State Fair, now more than 150 years old, has been held at the same site on the Nashville Fairgrounds since 1906.

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