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Program 1409

1. Broadbent Hams
2. Happy Jack Pumpkin Farm
3. Our Mims Retirement Haven
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Trigg County

For more information:
Broadbent Hams, 257 Mary Blue Rd., Kuttawa, KY 42055, (800) 841-2202

Producer, videographer, editor: Brandon Wickey
Audio: Charlie Bissell

Home Cured

Broadbent Hams

Farmers in Western Kentucky have been refining the art of the country ham for a century or more, competing for local bragging rights at Trigg County’s annual Ham Festival. On this edition of Kentucky Life, we visit a family-run operation whose ham and other products have also earned state, national, and even international recognition.

In 1966, Smith Broadbent III of Cadiz decided to go retail with his family’s country ham. Slow-smoked and cured with honey, salt, and sugar using recipes and techniques handed down through generations, each Broadbent ham takes six months to a year to produce. The results have included more grand championships at the Kentucky State Fair than any other ham producer—Broadbent’s is the only producer to win the title at least once in every decade since the 1960s—as well as enthusiastic endorsements from reviewers like the late food critic James Beard. Broadbent has also won several national cured meat championships. And the company’s pepper bacon has won international specialty food competitions by beating out various exotic patés and duck and lobster creations.

Broadbent Hams is now owned and operated by Ronny and Beth Drennan, who bought it in 1999. While holding fast to the company’s proud tradition (and winning more awards), they have expanded the product line to include flavorful options like maplewood cinnamon or sun-dried tomato bacon. Broadbent’s also offers such accompaniments as beaten biscuits and jam as well as “city” hams, sausages, cheese, and even bourbon chocolates.

Our tour of the Broadbent facilities took place in the company’s hometown of Cadiz. In the summer of 2008, the Drennans celebrated the grand opening of new expanded quarters just across the Lyon County line in Kuttawa.

Franklin County

For more information:
• Happy Jack Pumpkin and Produce, 966 Hickman Mill Rd., Frankfort, KY 40601, (502) 320-1064

Producer: Dave Shuffett
Videographers: Dave Shuffett, David Dampier
Editor: Dan Taulbee


Happy Jack Pumpkin and Produce Farm

Host Dave Shuffett visits another family-run, farm-based business in our next segment to see how one former tobacco producer has made the transition to a new economic base.

At Happy Jack Pumpkin and Produce Farm outside Frankfort, the crops now include the namesake variety of pumpkin, strawberries, peaches, a variety of vegetables—and family fun. Owners Richard and Lee Ann Jones have embraced agritourism with a seasonal corn maze, you-pick-it days, a petting zoo, hayrides, and other events. In 2007, Happy Jack was even the site of a roots-music festival whose organizers plan to make it an annual summer happening.

Bourbon County

For more information:
Our Mims Retirement Haven, 2810 Millersburg Ruddles Mill Rd., Paris, KY 40361-9367, (859) 484-9582

Producer: Andrea Hummel
Videographers: Darius Barati, Michael DePersio

For the Girls

Our Mims Retirement Haven

When Jeanne Mirabito took in a former champion filly named Our Mims in 1999, she found a friend ... and a calling. At her farm in Bourbon County, she now runs a retirement home for former broodmares where the horses are pampered and can still feel productive. Believing that horses are happiest when they have jobs and regular human contact rather than being put “out to pasture” to fend for themselves, Jeanne makes sure her charges have a regular routine and provides lots of opportunities for them to meet their human fans.

Our Mims, the Eclipse champion 3-year-old filly in 1977, raced for Calumet and ended up being sold in the farm’s dispersal sale in 1990. When Jeanne met her, Our Mims was facing a bleak future: She had been turned out into a depleted cattle field to compete for sparse vegetation. Jeanne fed her for a while, then acquired her with the help of ReRun, an organization that helps find homes for retired racehorses (and which Kentucky Life visited in Program 708). After Our Mims died in 2003, Jeanne decided to continue working with retired broodmares. The care of these “house ladies” is supported through boarding fees for other horses cared for at the farm, merchandise sales, and donations.

One of Jeanne’s goals for Our Mims is to complement and support the work of other thoroughbred rescue and adoption organizations. Another example is the Old Friends Retirement Home in Midway, which specializes in stallions. Kentucky Life featured it in Program 1218.

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