The Mountain State’s TRUSTED news source.

Click here to stay informed and subscribe to The Charleston Gazette-Mail.

Click #isupportlocal for more information on supporting our local journalists.

Learn more about HD Media

WATERFORD - Wednesday night was a long one for several members of the Waterford High School FFA organization, as they stayed up all night preparing for their annual hog roast."We went to Pine Ridge (Meat Processing in Fleming) at 1 (p.m. Wednesday) and picked up the hogs and have been at it since," Brady Campbell, president of the school's FFA chapter, said Thursday afternoon.Campbell helped to, among other things, season the meat, put it on the roaster and barbecue it. Between Wednesday and Thursday afternoon, he slept for just one hour - from 6:30 to 7:30 a.m. Thursday."But it's worth it," he was quick to say.The hog roast has been held for about three decades, FFA adviser Matt Hartline said. The lunch is always held during National FFA Week as a way to thank community members for their support."We fed over 600 last year," he said.Six hogs weighing about 200 pounds each were donated by Brady Campbell's family, which operates a hog farm in Waterford. Baked beans, mashed potatoes, sauerkraut and a variety of desserts were served up by FFA members Thursday. Hartline said about 80 percent of the food was donated.The food was free, but donations were accepted at the door for the family of a former Waterford High School FFA member whose father recently passed away.Hartline said there are 46 students in FFA and about 25 of them volunteered to help out with the lunch. If any of them question why the hog roast is necessary, he's quick to remind them."I tell them, 'I'll give you 70,000 reasons why this is important,'" he said, noting that in the past year, the community has given about $70,000 to the organization through donations and fundraisers.Senior Laura Whalin said she enjoys encountering those who have supported the group face to face during the hog roast."I just think it's an awesome way to see people who have contributed to our chapter," she said.One group that supports the FFA is the Washington County Soil and Water Conservation District office. The agency assists the students with soil-judging contests. Kathy Davis, a stormwater specialist, was at the lunch with a handful of her co-workers."This is nice," she said. "It gives the community a chance to see how hard these kids work."

Recommended for you