Meet the $2 Million Ham

By Mike Pomranz |

© Kentucky Farm Bureau

People around the world love pork products, but apparently not as much as they do in Kentucky. At this year’s Kentucky State Fair, an award-winning ham was auctioned for a record–breaking $2 million.

Let’s not get up in arms about the exorbitant price tag just yet though. No one is retiring on his or her single–day ham earnings. State fair tradition dictates that all the money goes to a charity of the bidder’s choice. Hermitage Farm LLC and Republic Bank funded this year’s winning bid—which also means it’s unlikely the meat will end up stashed in someone’s refrigerator.

The final bid even surprised the ham’s producers. Beth Drennan, who, with her husband, co-owns the company that brought the multimillion-dollar ham to the fair, told Modern Farmer, “It normally sells for about $60, so it’s a bit amazing to us.” While it is amazing and record breaking, insanely high bids for these hams aren’t without precedent. The average price for the state fair’s prize pork has averaged almost $545,000 over the past 10 years.

All this makes the Missouri State Fair’s 2014 ham auction sound downright quaint. They broke their state record by selling this year’s Reserve Grand Champion Ham for a mere $7,200. With a price like that you might as well serve it up on Wonder bread with yellow mustard!

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