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Creating quite a stir

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FFA students help make burgoo for Farm Bureau meeting

By BEN CARLSON

The burgoo was boiling nicely Monday afternoon behind Eagle Lake, thanks to an old-school recipe and a dozen helping hands.

The recipe was courtesy of Davey Warford, whose family has been the brains behind the burgoo apron for decades of Kentucky Farm Bureau annual meetings.

The hands were courtesy of six Future Farmers of America students from Anderson County High School, who bore the task of stirring the delectable concoction for nearly 10 hours before it was served.

Doing so helps the students earn extra credit for class and to raise funds to travel to the annual FFA convention, scheduled this year for Indianapolis.

“We like doing it,” said student Samantha Wilson, shielding her eyes from the wood smoke wafting from beneath the cast iron pots.

Warford, whose family owns the pots and the recipe for making burgoo was described by the group of men on hand to help as the “head man,” and with good reason.

He is the third generation of Warfords to oversee burgoo preparation for the bureau’s annual meeting, which is held on the second Monday in October each year.

“I’m the third generation to do this,” Warford said as he stoked the hungry fire beneath one of the three burgoo kettles that each hold about 40 gallons of burgoo.

Having the students on hand is a necessity, Warford said, because the burgoo has to be stirred constantly from the time it’s started at 8:30 a.m. until the last drop is served about 6:30 p.m.

“Otherwise, it will stick to the bottom,” he said.

When asked why only three of the kettles had a fire beneath them, Warford said the fourth was for people on a diet.

“It only has water in that one,” he joked before saying he uses it to hold cool water to add to the burgoo during the day to keep it from evaporating.

E-mail Ben Carlson at bcarlson@theandersonnews.com.