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Protests erupt at State Fair Ham Breakfast, 3 arrested

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Posted at 10:43 AM, Aug 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-22 14:48:57-04

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (LEX 18) - — Protests erupted Thursday at the Kentucky Farm Bureau Country Ham Breakfast at the State Fair and three people were taken into police custody following a disturbance.

The annual breakfast features an auction of a prized ham with proceeds going to charity. The Kentucky Fairness Campaign frequently protests the event, citing Kentucky Farm Bureau's fees going toward organizations that they say are anti-choice, anti-LGBTQ and anti-teacher.

After refusing to leave the event, Fairness Campaign Director Chris Hartman was taken into custody along with two others.

The ACLU posted photos of the incident. Hartman also livestreamed his arrest on Facebook.

The prized ham sold for $1 million according to event organizers.

Kentucky Farm Bureau released the following statement:

“Kentucky Farm Bureau is proud to have welcomed 1,500 guests to today’s breakfast that celebrates the best of the Farm Bureau—our commitment to Kentucky agriculture and philanthropy. We are proud of today’s tradition because KFB Loves Kentucky. In its 56-year history, the ham breakfast and auction has raised nearly $14 million for Kentucky charities and nonprofit organizations, including $1 million today.

We have no comment on the incident, which took place outside of our event. Kentucky Farm Bureau plays no role in law enforcement decisions at the State Fairgrounds. In regards to our organization’s policy manual, all of the Federation’s policies are set by the grassroots membership of the Kentucky Farm Bureau in a democratic process that begins at the county level and culminates in a state convention. We discriminate against no one and we follow the law. Any assertions to the contrary are false.”