Kentucky Farm Bureau Ham Breakfast Review

BB ham

Every year, Kentucky Farm Bureau hosts a traditional Kentucky ham breakfast. The event takes place roughly one week after the Kentucky State Fair begins. “The Ham Breakfast celebrates agriculture and brings together urban and rural Kentuckians from every part of the state.” (KFB) This year, the tradition celebrated its 53rd anniversary, and had 1,600 attendees. The breakfast tradition began back in 1964, and to date has raised nearly $9.3 million dollars for organizations and charities across Kentucky.

Broadbent’s B & B Foods has won the Grand Champion Ham Blue Ribbon 17 times including our latest win this year. The wins have not all been consecutive but the bidding prices for these hams continue to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for Kentucky charities. This year’s buyer was Central Bank, with a winning bid of $600,000 which they decided to split among 6 organizations and charities. Some may not realize but, it is actually the auction winner who decides which organizations the money bid is donated too.

Throughout our purple ribbon success (in this contest the blue ribbons are participation ribbons), we have set multiple records for the dollar amounts of the winning bids. Back in 2005, just a decade ago our ham broke a new record by bringing in $500,000 from First Southern Bank. Then that record was smashed by the $1,600,000 paid for the 2010 Grand Champion Ham. The record didn’t last long before in 2014, the Grand Champion Ham fetched a whopping $2 million dollars when purchased by Hermitage Farm, LLC and Republic Bank. That record has yet to be broken. Each year it is anyone’s guess as to what dollar amounts the bids will jump to during the Ham Breakfast auction, but we look forward to it each year.

Just for fun, let’s put a little perspective on this year’s winning bid. At $600,000 for a 17.38-pound ham, it comes out to right at $34,522 per pound. Online at you can purchase a similar ham cured in the same fashion and around the same size for merely $72.00. That means to get that same dollar amount we would need to sell 8,334 hams, and that’s not considering our initial cost for the hams. Sometimes it is overwhelming to think of how much money our ham’s fetch, but then again it is all for charity and that kind of money can bring some pretty amazing changes for those Kentuckians touched by this blessing.

Horse Racing & Country Ham, Kentucky Traditions

Churchill DownsBroadbent Award Winning Country hamTradition is one of the great aspects of the Kentucky Derby. Since 1875 Churchill Downs has been the home of the Derby.  It was started by Meriwether Lewis Clark, Jr., the grandson of William Clark of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.  England’s horse racing inspired him to begin this famous Kentucky tradition.  Broadbent’s methods of Dry-Curing Hams come from those same English roots and have been handed down many generations.  Country Ham and the Derby are a steadfast Kentucky Tradition.


Over 150,000 people will attend the derby each year.  The attendees will be quite a mix of celebrities and commoners. Ladies and Gents alike will be sporting the latest fashionable and trendy spring attire.  Country Ham will definitely be on the menu.  It is a time honored tradition that is always in fashion.


Another common fact about the derby and country ham:  The derby is often called the “run for the roses” because the winner is blanketed with 554 red roses.  Kentucky’s annual Grand Champion Country Ham is surrounded by a dozen roses each year at the Famous Charity Auction at the Kentucky State Fair. Broadbent Country Hams have been named the “Grand Champ” 16 times.


In 1973 Secretariat ran the fastest race ever coming in just under 2 minutes at 1:59.4.  But your party is guaranteed to last much longer than that when you serve up Broadbent Derby party selections such as:  traditional country ham, mint julep, bourbon chocolate and Kentucky’s Derby Pie®.  Infusing Kentucky traditions into your derby party allows you and your friends to enjoy the entire race day experience.

Broadbent’s prized ham auctioned off for $2 million at this year’s Kentucky State Fair

The Million Dollar HamAt this year’s Kentucky State Fair, Broadbent’s Ham was six times more valuable than gold.
The 15.89-pound Grand Champion Ham sold for $2 million on August 21. That same day, 16 pound of gold would have been worth just over $300,000.

Last year’s ham sold for $350,000, and the bidding quickly topped that at Kentucky Farm Bureau’s 51st annual Country Ham Breakfast & Auction.  Enthusiasm mounted as the price rose from $400,000 to $600,000 to $900,000.  Then a timeout was called.  Kentucky Department of Ag’s Warren Beeler sprinted from one end of the room between Steve Trager of Republic Bank and Steve Wilson and Ryan Bridgeman of Hermitage Farms and Bridgeman Foods, conferring with the bidders and making sure his ears weren’t lying to him.

A historical deal was in the works.  The rival bidders had joined forces, bidding $1 million each, totaling a record $2 million dollars for the prized ham.  The money will now go to charities of the buyer’s choice.
The ham was auctioned off after being crowded the Kentucky State Fair Grand Champion Ham, Broadbent’s 16th year winning the crown.  Broadbent’s has come a long way from our humble beginnings. In 1967, Broadbent’s won its first Grand Champion, and the ham was auctioned for $825. This year we broke the record we set in 2010 when our ham sold for $1.6 million.

We’re the most decorated ham in Kentucky, but why take our word for it? Check out what folks in the media have to say…


“Record sale: Broadbent grand champion ham yields $2 million at KFB auction.” Times Ledger, Princeton, Ky. August 23, 2014. 

“Grand champion ham brings $2M.” Wave 3 News. Louisville, Ky. August 21,

“Ham upstages politicians at annual Kentucky Farm Bureau Ham Breakfast.” WHAS 11 News, Louisville, Ky. August 21, 2014.

“A high-priced ham.” The Courier-Journal. Louisville, Ky. August 22, 2014