Champion Ham Fetches $600,000

A team from Louisville-based Republic Bank submitted the top bid for this year’s Kentucky State Fair grand champion country ham (displayed in photo by Miss Kentucky Ann Blair Thornton).

The ham auction is the traditional end of the annual Kentucky Farm Bureau country ham breakfast at the fair.

Republic Bank was the top bidder at $600,000 for the nearly 17 pound ham, produced by Broadbent B&B Foods in western Kentucky.

Republic executive Steve Trager (left) will select the charities to receive the auction proceeds.

“Historically, what we’ve done is education/health care (charities). That’s kind of been our focus. Those are certainly some needs in Kentucky and we’ll earmark this for those types of entities,” he said.

Last year’s champion ham sold for $1.6 million, when Trager and Dr. Mark Lynn, founder of Dr. Bizer’s Vision World, combined their bids.

Trager says he’s not sure what he’ll do with the ham. In past years, it’s been served at philanthropic events.