2013 Kentucky State Fair roundup

Posted on Aug 30, 2013
A big crowd, a good contingent of business and political leaders and a fat price for the prized pork marked KFB’s 50th annual Country Ham Breakfast at the State Fair. Nearly 1,600 people were on hand to hear some top political officials speak and watch as Yum! Brands Foundation  made a winning bid of $350,000 for the 13.3-pound ham from Harper’s Country Hams, based in Hickman County. That amounts to $26,315 per pound.

Miss Kentucky Jenna Day displays the blue ribbon ham from Harper’s.
Miss Kentucky Jenna Day displays the blue ribbon ham from Harper’s.

A Yum! Foundation official said the charitable donation would go to the Fund for the Arts while the ham would go to Dare to Care. This marked the first time Yum! participated in the auction.  Chief competitors were PNC Bank and 21c Hotel.

KFB now has helped raise more than $6.8 million for local charities, educational institutions and non-profit organizations through the auction’s 50-year history. All money raised through the auction is donated directly to the charity of the winning bidder’s choice.

 

Allegiance, a foursome from Edmonson County, won the Gospel Quartet contest and performed at the KFB luncheon. From left are Daniel Bolton, Aaron Renfro, Charles Richards Jr. and Shaun Stice.
Allegiance, a foursome from Edmonson County, won the Gospel Quartet contest and performed at the KFB luncheon. From left are Daniel Bolton, Aaron Renfro, Charles Richards Jr. and Shaun Stice.

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, Governor Steve Beshear, U.S. Senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul and Agriculture Commissioner James Comer were the guest speakers. Kentucky Congressmen Brett Guthrie, Thomas Massie, John Yarmuth and Andy Barr also were on hand along with Lieutenant Governor Jerry Abramson, all of the state’s constitutional officers, leaders of the House and Senate, dozens of other legislators, University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto and University of Louisville President James Ramsey.

Veteran farm broadcaster Jeff Nalley of Owensboro’s WBIO said the ham breakfast audience represents a tribute to Kentucky agriculture.

Taylor County won the Pride of the Counties top exhibit award. Here, KFB President Mark Haney presents an award to Taylor County Judge-Executive Eddie Rogers. KFB First Vice President Eddie Melton is behind them and to the right are  KFB Insurance Company Executive VP Brad Smith, KFB Federation Executive VP David S. Beck and 2nd VP Fritz Giesecke. The lady at right is Sherry Kerr, Occupational Tax Clerk for Taylor County.  Front row from the left are Debbie McNear, Executive Secretary to the county judge-executive; County Treasurer Melissa Williams and Alisha Nelson, Executive Director of Taylor County tourism. Back row from left are Tony Smith, the county government’s information technology specialist; and magistrates John Gaines and Dr. James Jones.
Taylor County won the Pride of the Counties top exhibit award. Here, KFB President Mark Haney presents an award to Taylor County Judge-Executive Eddie Rogers. KFB First Vice President Eddie Melton is behind them and to the right are KFB Insurance Company Executive VP Brad Smith, KFB Federation Executive VP David S. Beck and 2nd VP Fritz Giesecke. The lady at right is Sherry Kerr, Occupational Tax Clerk for Taylor County. Front row from the left are Debbie McNear, Executive Secretary to the county judge-executive; County Treasurer Melissa Williams and Alisha Nelson, Executive Director of Taylor County tourism. Back row from left are Tony Smith, the county government’s information technology specialist; and magistrates John Gaines and Dr. James Jones.

“The fact that all these political leaders feel they must be there says a lot about what agriculture means,” said Nalley, who has attended many of the breakfasts during his 32-year career in farm broadcasting.

Speaking at the podium just a few feet away from Senators McConnell and Paul, Governor Beshear drew applause when calling for Congress to pass a farm bill.

“We need to stop the partisan bickering in Washington and pass a farm bill,” he said. “It’s a critical safety net for farm families that transcends agriculture to the entire economy. We need a farm bill.”

A few minutes later during his turn at the podium, Senator McConnell told the large audience “we will get a farm bill done. In my view, we will have a multi-year farm bill.”

The Senate Minority Leader drew loud applause when he concluded criticisms of the Affordable Care Act by saying “the solution to Obamacare is to pull it out root and branch.”

Front row from left: Harper’s Country Hams co-owner Dolores Harper, Sydney Bright, Miss Kentucky Jenna Day, Angela Osting of Yum! Foundation, Barbara Sexton-Smith of the Funds for the Arts and Jennifer Osborne of Yum! Brands. Back row from left are Harper’s Country Hams co-owner Brian Harper, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer,  KFB Executive Committee members Fritz Giesecke, Eddie Melton and Mark Haney, Governor Steve Beshear, KFB Executive VP David S. Beck and KFB Commodity Division Director Mike Tobin.
Front row from left: Harper’s Country Hams co-owner Dolores Harper, Sydney Bright, Miss Kentucky Jenna Day, Angela Osting of Yum! Foundation, Barbara Sexton-Smith of the Funds for the Arts and Jennifer Osborne of Yum! Brands. Back row from left are Harper’s Country Hams co-owner Brian Harper, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, KFB Executive Committee members Fritz Giesecke, Eddie Melton and Mark Haney, Governor Steve Beshear, KFB Executive VP David S. Beck and KFB Commodity Division Director Mike Tobin.

Senator Paul expressed his frustrations with the federal debt and its effect on the nation. “When your 26-year-old is living in your basement because he can’t get a job, it’s because we’re drowning in debt,” he said.

Senator Paul had many nodding their heads in agreement as he reiterated his objections to sending foreign aid to nations hostile to the U.S.  “Our power doesn’t come in sending more money and tanks to countries that despise America,” he said. “First, we have to borrow money from China to send it to Egypt.”

Mayor Fischer spoke about Louisville’s acclaimed local foods initiatives and then, with the dozens of state legislators listening, said he would push for a constitutional amendment allowing cities to conduct local referendums for issues such as a special option tax that could be targeted for economic development.  He said he avidly supports that concept “as an investment in our economic future” but believes that voters should decide for themselves.

Other highlights of KFB Day at the Fair were the gospel quartet contest, Pride of the Counties award ceremony and the luncheon in the South Wing. Also, KFB Insurance Company was among a group that purchased the reserve champion steer at the 4-H and FFA Sale of Champions.

Tagged Post Topics Include: 21C Hotel, 4-H, Affordable Care Act, Andy Barr, Brett Guthrie, China, Commissioner of Agriculture, Dare to Care, Egypt, Eli Capilouto, FFA, Fund for the Arts, Greg Fischer, Harper's Country Hams, Hickman County, James Comer, James Ramsey, Jeff Nalley, Jerry Abramson, John Yarmuth, Kentucky Country Ham Breakfast, Kentucky Farm Bureau, Kentucky State Fair, KFB Day at the fair, KFB Insurance Company, Mike Tobin, Mitch McConnell, Owensboro, PNC Bank, Pride of the Counties, Rand Paul, Sale of Champions, Steve Beshear, Thomas Massie, WBIO, Yum! Foundation