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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Kentucky Farm Bureau's (KFB's) 50th annual Kentucky State Fair Grand Champion Ham brought $350,000 Thursday.
Louisville-based Yum! Brands Foundation placed the winning bid for the 13.3-pound ham produced by Harper's Country Hams of Clinton, Kentucky. $350,000 for a 13.3-pound ham is the equivalent of approximately $26,315 per pound.
"For us, it is very, very important as a company and as a foundation that we give back to the communities where we live and work," said Angela Osting, Manager of Yum! Foundation & Global Community Investment.
Osting announced during KFB's 50th annual Country Ham Breakfast and Auction in the South Wing of the Kentucky Exposition Center that Yum! Brands Foundation's charitable donation would be given to the Fund for the Arts. Osting also said the grand champion ham would go to Dare to Care.
"Partnering up with the Fund for the Arts, who is a great community partner of ours in reaching and education children, we thought this would be a great way to go about it," Osting said.
KFB has helped raise more than $6.8 million for dozens of local charities, educational institutions and non-profit organizations over the auction's 50-year history. All money raised through this auction is donated directly to the charity of the winning bidder's choice.
"There aren't too many times in your life when you can say you helped raise $350,000 by the end of breakfast," said Mike Tobin, KFB's commodity director and ham breakfast event coordinator. "This was definitely an exciting morning."
The ham auction's humble beginnings -- a respectable $124 winning bid at the first event in 1964 -- have grown exponentially in recent years. The average price of the auctioned ham over the last 10 years is now nearly $545,000, according to Kentucky Farm Bureau.
The annual ham breakfast wouldn't be complete without politics. Sen. Rand Paul, Sen. Mitch McConnell, Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes were there just to name a few.
McConnell and Grimes, both running for Senate, spoke separately to the media on their stance with Obamacare.
"The big story is about UPS dropping coverage for spouses of their employees," McConnell said. "This is a train wreck. The term train wreck was used of the Chairman of the Committee in the Senate that authored the bill."
"I'm troubled by many provisions of the affordable care act but I don't think we throw the whole baby out with the bath water," Grimes said. "I think we have to work to fix it instead of 40 times working to kick youngsters off their parents insurance or deny people coverage because of pre-existing conditions."
The ham is being donated to Dare to Care.