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Kentucky State Fair ham brings record bid of $4.8 million

Thanks to a combined bid, the 2021 Blue Ribbon Kentucky State Fair Country Ham was auctioned...
Thanks to a combined bid, the 2021 Blue Ribbon Kentucky State Fair Country Ham was auctioned for a record $4.8 million.(Source: Sean Baute, WAVE 3 News)
Published: Aug. 26, 2021 at 10:17 AM EDT|Updated: Aug. 26, 2021 at 9:32 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Two bidders combined their bids to set a new record for the purchase of the Kentucky State Fair’s Blue Ribbon Country Ham.

The bidding took place during the annual Kentucky Farm Bureau Country Ham Breakfast and Auction at the Kentucky Exposition Center.

After the individual bidding reached the $2.4 million mark, Joe and Kelly Craft, along with Central Bank, made a joint bid of $2.4 million each for a total of $4.8 million.

“We thought, what a better way to celebrate Kentuckians all away around than to be here this morning,” said Kelly Craft, philanthropist and former US Ambassador to Canada.

This year’s winning bid surpasses the $1 million bid by Central Bank during the 2019 breakfast. It’s also $2 million higher than the previous record-setting $2.8 million joint bid by Dr. Mark Lynn and Cyndi Lynn, along with Central Bank in 2018.

The event was not held in 2020 because of the pandemic.

Kelly Craft said the portion of the bid they donated will go toward The West End of Louisville and other impoverished areas of the state.

Gov. Andy Beshear said he was going to attend the event Thursday until he saw the most recent daily COVID-19 data. His message came via video.

“I know this event was pre-planned,” he said. “I know you’re all doing your best to stick by your safety protocols. Folks, after today, please be as careful as you can.”

Beshear also took time to thank farmers and discuss how important agriculture is to Kentucky.

Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles said Beshear should have been there.

“As an elected official, there’s no substitute for showing up to Fancy Farm Kentucky or the Kentucky Farm Bureau Ham Breakfast,” Quarles said. “No substitute.”

Politics aside, Quarles discussed how to get vaccinated at the fair and how important farmers are to Kentucky.

U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., also attended, and discussed the importance of getting vaccinated.

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