KFB's 57th Annual Country Ham Breakfast Brings Record-Breaking $4.8 million for Grand Champion Ham

Posted on Aug 26, 2021
Back row left to right: John Sparrow, Drew Graham, Mark Haney, Eddie Melton, Will Gregory, Beth Drennan, Ronny Drennan, David Beck.  Front row left to right: Sharon Furches, Vince Marrow, Ambassador Kelly Craft, Miss Kentucky Haley Wheeler, Luther Denton, Commissioner Ryan Quarles, Mark Wheeler.

Louisville, KY (August 26, 2021) – The 57th annual Kentucky Farm Bureau (KFB) Country Ham Breakfast brought in a record-breaking $4.8 million bid for charity. The Grand Champion Country Ham auction is a KFB state fair tradition dating back to 1964. 
 
Several of Kentucky’s top businesses and individual donors participated in a lively round of bidding for the ham, which weighed 17 lbs. and was produced by Ronny and Beth Drennan of Broadbent B&B in Kuttawa, KY. In the end, a combined bid from Kelly Craft, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, and Central Bank won the prized ham.

“Joe and I are thrilled to experience for the first time this unique tradition hosted by Kentucky Farm Bureau every year to benefit Kentucky charities,” said Ambassador Kelly Craft. “Our commitment of $2.4 million will focus on issues of economic and community development across the Commonwealth, with a special focus in West Louisville. Joe, a Hazard native and myself a Glasgow native, know that when Louisville does well the rest of the state does well, and vice versa. A rising tide lifts all boats, and all Kentuckians regardless of their station or geography have a stake in our collective future.”
 
Craft plans to donate her prized country ham to Dudley’s on Short in Lexington where owner Debbie Long will feature a country ham item on her menu and 100% of proceeds will go to charity.
 
Luther Deaton, President and CEO of Central Bank, said “Central Bank is thrilled to be the co-winner of this year’s Kentucky State Fair award-winning country ham. We are grateful to Kentucky Farm Bureau for hosting this event and providing us with the opportunity to celebrate Kentucky agriculture while supporting charitable giving. It’s an exciting way to give back to our communities and we are proud to be a part of this tradition during the 57th year of the country ham auction.” 

Proceeds from Central Bank’s winning bid will be donated to various charities and non-profit organizations including multiple University of Kentucky entities, Keeneland Sponsorship (Ashland Stakes), Transylvania University, Lexington Urban League, Horizon Community Funds of Northern Kentucky, St. Elizabeth Foundation, EKU Athletics, Kit Carson Commons (Richmond), Derby Museum Gala, LHome (Louisville), and Louisville City Stadium.
 
In addition to the auction, attendees of the breakfast were served a Kentucky Proud breakfast as they listened to speeches from some of Kentucky’s top officials, including Senator Mitch McConnell, Senator Rand Paul, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles, and a video address from Governor Andy Beshear. Haley Wheeler, Miss Kentucky 2021, displayed the award-winning ham for breakfast attendees.
 
This morning’s ceremonies were hosted by Mark Haney, President of Kentucky Farm Bureau. During his remarks, he highlighted the work of Kentucky Farm Bureau throughout the state, especially in light of the recent challenges amid the COVID-19 pandemic. “It is a true honor to be back to celebrate our 57th year of the Kentucky Farm Bureau Country Ham Breakfast and Charitable Auction. While this past year has been a challenge for folks across our state, we have continued to work hard at KFB and that is evident by the support we’ve seen today at this great event. We are looking forward to another successful year at Kentucky Farm Bureau and are glad we could celebrate the best of Kentucky agriculture today,” said Mr. Haney.
 
Also during his remarks, Mr. Haney presented two KFB commercials that recently began airing, including “More Than Insurance: WiFi” which highlights the KFB program to provide WiFi access from the parking lots of nearly 200 KFB locations across the state, and “More than Insurance: Hunger Initiative” which highlights KFB’s donation of hundreds of thousands of dollars for the Kentucky Hunger Initiative. 
 
Including today’s winning bid, the Kentucky Farm Bureau Country Ham Breakfast has raised more than $18 million for nonprofit organizations and charities since 1964.