Grand Champion Ham fetches $350K at auction; politics also on the table
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- This year's Grand Champion Country Ham auction fetched $350,000. The Yum! Foundation put in the winning bid. The proceeds will benefit the Fund for the Arts.
Before the auction, tradition and politics took center stage. Guest speakers for the breakfast included Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear, U. S. Senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul, and Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer.
The Country Ham Breakfast is receiving national attention as the whole nation is watches the U.S. Senate race unfold between Alison Lundergan Grimes and Sen. Mitch McConnell.
Grimes only took a handful of questions as she was swarmed by local and national media. She did say the Affordable Healthcare Act needs tweaking, adding that there are "some good things" about the bill, and that there's work still to be done to fix it.
Meanwhile, Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear and U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell don't see eye-to-eye on President Obama's health care plan, which will go into effect in the coming months. Beshear said, "Through it, we're going to make insurance available to the very first time in our history to every single citizen in the Commonwealth of Kentucky." McConnell's response was, "So, governor, the solution to Obamacare is to pull it out root and branch."
Sen. Rand Paul spoke on ending aid to Egypt and on the growing debt in the U.S., saying anyone can log on to debtclock.org and watch the debt spinning out of control. He referred to the country as "drowning in debt."
Two potential Democratic candidates for the governor's race in Kentucky in 2015, former auditor Crit Luallen and current auditor Adam Edelen, haven't made concrete decisions yet. They say right now, they're focused on supporting Grimes.
At the first charity auction in 1965, the prize ham sold for $124.
Dr. Mark Lynn and Associates bid $300,000 for last year's 18-pound ham. Over the past five decades, the Kentucky Farm Bureau has helped raise more than $6.5 million for local charities.
A sellout crowd of 1,600 attended the annual event. Breakfast included more than 5,400 eggs, 400 gallons of milk, 30 gallons of sorghum, 20 gallons of honey, and 450 pounds of country ham from Kentucky farmers.
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