University of Florida

Hog & Ham Guidelines and Procedures

Hog & Ham Guidelines and Procedures - 2017

  1. All new participants are required to have attended the January 16 workshop in order to apply to be in the Hog & Ham program.  Youth who completed all four phases of the 2016 program (harvested a hog, retail audit, project book, demonstration) are not required to attend the Workshop (see Workshop page).
  2. Enrollment is limited to 30 youth. Because this is a one youth per one pig project, there will be no team- or group-raised pigs.
  3. Participation will be limited to 4-H members that have reached 12 years of age prior to September 1, 2016. Agents should evaluate the maturity level of 4-H'ers and use discretion in approving enrollment. If application numbers are high, priority may be given to older 4-H'ers.
  4. County Agents must fill out a Hog & Ham participant application form and mail or fax it so that it is received by Friday, March 24 (fax # is 352-392-9059). We will review the applications and notify agents by Friday, March 31 of who has been selected. Youth who participated in the past and dropped out without completing every phase of the program might not be allowed to participate the following year.
  5. Youth selected to participate should select pigs which should weigh about 100 to 120 lbs at the time of weigh-in weekend. Pigs should be weighed-in over the weekend of Friday, April 28 through Monday, May 1.
  6. Youth may elect to attend the UF Pig Selection Day on Saturday, April 29.  At that time youth will draw for an order to select pigs to purchase from UF.  If youth are interested in attending this selection day, be sure to indicate such on the application form so enough pigs will be available.  This is not a required portion of the program.
  7. All participants who bought a non-UF hog should email Dr. Carr,, the weight of the pig on Monday, May 1. 
  8. If less than 30 total participants have been weighed in as of 5:00 p.m. on Monday, May 1, we will notify additional participants of their eligibility. Registration and weigh in of additional participants must be complete by Monday, May 8.
  9. The $70.00 registration fee and Projected Cost Analysis Sheet are due after the initial hog weigh in and should be given to the county 4-H or Livestock Agent in charge. Checks should be made payable to the Florida 4-H Foundation.
  10. During the growing period, feel free to contact Dr. Carr with questions concerning health and growth of project pigs.
  11. Registration fees and projected cost analysis sheets should be sent to Chad Carr at the Animal Science Extension Office to arrive by May 12. Registration fees received late are subject to additional fees.
  12. Registration fees that will arrive more than one week late (May 22 or later) will require a $15 late fee. An additional $15 will be due for each month passed ($30 if received after June 22, and $45 if received after July 22). The initial registration fee and any applicable late fee are still due even if a youth cannot bring a hog to harvesting week (pig dies, family conflict, etc.).
  13. Each 4-H member will be responsible for the following:
    • Producing a market hog weighing over 240 pounds (target is industry average of 260#) from a starting weight of 100 to 120 lbs.
    • Harvesting hog, processing carcass, and wrapping final retail cuts.
    • Participating in a retail/restaurant audit.
    • Completing a Project Book
    • Preparing and presenting a Power Point demonstration or illustrated talk.
  14. The appropriate amount of 2017 Project Books and Retail Audit forms will be mailed to the counties after a confirmed number of youth have weighed in a pig.“Scratch” versions can be downloaded from the main Hog & Ham page.
  15. During the feeding/growing period, participants will complete a retail audit during which they will compare pork products at different types of grocery stores and restaurants. More details are given at the workshop.
  16. Hogs will be harvested at the University of Florida Meats Lab on Tuesday, August 8.  Carcasses will be cut up on August 9 and 10. Details for the processing days will be discussed at the January Workshop.  Participants may bring retail audit forms to harvesting for informal review and feedback (note that Retails Audits are not due for scoring until Project Books are due).  If there are less than 20 participants, all carcasses will likely be processed on August 9.
  17. The final weight does NOT have to be measured before harvesting. The carcass weight will be measured using calibrated scales in Gainesville and participants will calculate the final weight using a standard dressing percentage. If the live weight is being monitored during the growing period, the target live weight is 260 lbs.
  18. Pigs with carcass weight less than 165 lbs. will receive significantly less points for carcass score. (A 165# carcass weight corresponds to ~230# live weight.) Participants are expected to complete all segments of the project regardless of carcass score.
  19. If the hog carcass is condemned, the 4-H member will forfeit the carcass portion of the project and be ineligible for overall awards. However, the 4-H'er should still complete the project book and retail audit and prepare a demonstration/illustrated talk.
  20. All hams, bellies, and sausage links will be left at UF for smoking.
  21. Completed project books and retail audits should be checked and signed by the Extension Agent or 4-H coordinator by to August 18, 2017. Project books are due in the office of Chad Carr by August 25.
  22. Each 4-H member must write and mail a thank you letter in his/her own handwriting to all donors. A list of donors will be provided at harvest. It is the responsibility of the Extension Agent to ensure these notes are written and sent.
  23. A demonstration or illustrated talk involving some aspect of this project or pork production will be required of each 4-H member and will be given on September 2. Youth should use Power Point for any visuals as opposed to posters. Demonstrations by Intermediates (12 and 13 as of September 1, 2016) should be 3-12 minutes, and those by Seniors (14 and over as of September 1, 2016) should be 5-12 minutes. Individual participants may pair up to give a team demonstration.
  24. Hams, bellies, and sausage that were left in Gainesville for smoking will also be picked up on demonstration day, September 2.
  25. Bellies will be returned whole. There will likely be an option to have them sliced for a specified cost per side.
  26. The 4-H members and their Extension agents or designated leaders are encouraged to be present at the Demonstration Contest.
  27. Assisting with all phases of the Hog & Ham program will be the responsibility of all agents, 4-H coordinators, designated leaders and extension specialists involved in this program.
  28. Premium money or special awards will be given to the top 3 overall placings if money is available. Agents and volunteers are encouraged to solicit donations for premium money, awards, trophies, and project funding.
  29. Trophies or plaques will be given to the Champion and Reserve Champion. Ribbons will be given to those placing 3 - 10. The remaining placings will be on the modified Danish System of Blue, Red and White ribbons.
  30. Each County Extension agent and 4-H coordinator or designated leader involved in this program will be expected to help in some capacity.
  31. University Meat Laboratory management or Extension Specialists will not be responsible for theft, damage, or other losses of pork cuts in cure.
  32. The University of Florida Extension Specialists or University Meat Laboratory management will not be held liable for Accidents or Injury to parents, leaders, 4-H members and Extension agents (and 4-H coordinators) while they are in the meat laboratory. Members are covered by 4-H insurance.
  33. For those counties west of the Suwannee River, it will be necessary to come through the Agricultural Inspection Station. In order to avoid problems, you will need to provide proof of ownership for the pigs and a valid Florida Drivers License (Driver - for Proof of Intrastate transport). Indicate that your destination is the University of Florida for slaughter. Health papers or transportation permits are not required for transport within the state.


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