LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The annual Kentucky Farm Bureau (KFB) Country Ham Breakfast famous for politicians, pork and, of course, the live auction didn’t disappoint. 

What You Need To Know

  • The 58th annual Kentucky Farm Bureau Country Ham Breakfast took place at the Kentucky State Fair

  • The country ham auction raised $5 million

  • The money will go to charitable organizations across the state

  • Central Bank, along with Kelly and Joe Craft, placed the winning bid

Bidders eagerly fought for the chance to bring home the Grand Champion country ham. When it was all said and done, the ham, weighing 17.25 lbs., was won with a combined, record-breaking bid of $5 million from Central Bank and Joe and Kelly Craft. The prized pork was produced by Ronny and Beth Drennan of Broadbent Country Hams in Cadiz.

The bank and the Crafts will each donate $2.5 million to charity. This was the second consecutive year that the Crafts and Central Bank combined bids to win the ham. Last year, the pair had a combined bid of $4.8 million.

“We hope that the proceeds from our winning bid, which will be donated to UK Athletics, UK Health Care, UK’s Gatton College of Business and Economics, Transylvania University, St. Elizabeth Hospital, and the Kentucky Derby Museum, will greatly improve the lives of Kentuckians,” said Luther Deaton, President and CEO of Central Bank.

The Crafts plan to help families and communities throughout the state devastated by natural disasters this year. Kelly Craft made no comment about her rumored bid to run for Kentucky's highest office as Governor.

In a statement, the Crafts said, “Following the recent floods in eastern Kentucky and the ongoing recovery in western Kentucky, it’s more important than ever for all of us to put our best foot forward and take care of our neighbors in communities across Kentucky.”

The KFB also announced it has awarded grants to Christian Appalachian Project, God’s Panty and Mountain Cattleman’s Association to help rebuild eastern Kentucky following the massive flooding. The grants are made possible through the KFB for Kentucky Relief Fund.

In its 58 years, the Kentucky Farm Bureau Country Ham Breakfast has raised more than $23 million for nonprofit organizations and charities. 

A protestor stands, smiles with a sign that reads ‘Ky Farm Bureau Big On Discrimination (Spectrum News 1/Diamond Palmer)

This year’s breakfast also brought a dozen protestors who showed up outside of where the breakfast happened. Many of them chanting things like ‘Kentucky Farm Bureau stop the hate’. 

Protestors called for KFB to stop discrimination that includes anti-LBTQ+, anti-union, anti-people of color, anti-teacher, anti-choice and pro death penalty. Tamarra Wieder, state director of Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates was among the protestors.

“The Kentucky Farm Bureau has a legislative booklet that is filled with discrimination and hate. We don’t believe most of the Kentuckians know what they’re paying for when they get their insurance at the Kentucky Farm Bureau. So this is an important opportunity for all groups that work on intersectional issues for justice and equality. We want to come and point out these devastating policies that the KFB supports,” said Wieder.

In the last two years, protestors claim KFB has hidden their policy book from people including paying insurance customers.

The Fairness Campaign, ACLU Kentucky, Planned Parenthood, Jefferson County Teachers Association, Louisville Showing Up For Racial Justice and UFCW Local 227.

The Kentucky Farm Bureau has not made a comment.