Fancy Farm

Live Updates From Kentucky's Fancy Farm: Grimes, McConnell Trade Barbs

Aug 2, 2014

  Update 3:45 p.m.: James Comer Is Running for Governor

As he did the day before, Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer took jabs at 2015 gubernatorial candidates.

This time, though, he also said he's officially running for governor in 2015.

— JL

Update 3:25 p.m.: McConnell Draws Obama, Grimes Parallels


Jennifer Moore is Board Chair of Emerge Kentucky, an organization that trains Democratic women to run for political office. Moore is a founding Partner of Grossman & Moore PLLC Injury Lawyers in Louisville. She travels to west Kentucky today to be a part of the KET broadcast of the Fancy Farm Picnic tomorrow and speaks with Kate Lochte on Sounds Good about how Emerge Kentucky trains women and her forecast for Fancy Farm.

John Paul Henry

Organizers expect a larger than usual crowd at this weekend's Fancy Farm Picnic in Graves County. The 134 year-old event has evolved from old-timey political stump speeches to a shout-fest as spectators try to overpower the speaker.

In 1975 the Fancy Farm Picnic was a little more refined. In fact, it was quiet enough to hear a flash bulb pop during then-Presidential Candidate George Wallace’s speech. Wallace survived an assassination attempt in 1972 that left him paralyzed below the waist.

WKMS File Photo

The Fancy Farm Picnic’s political chair Mark Wilson says Democrats and Republicans offered positive feedback following a conference call to encourage a more civil atmosphere at this year's picnic.

The rural church in Fancy Farm that's home to Kentucky's premier political event has been approved for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Kentucky Historic Preservation Review Board approved the designation for the St. Jerome's Catholic Church complex on Friday.

Former Kentucky State Senator Greg Higdon, now President and CEO of the Kentucky Association of Manufacturers, seeks policy solutions around the growing workforce needs of manufacturers. These needs include recruiting more students into workforce development programs; developing a curriculum spanning secondary and postsecondary education to produce a more work-ready adult graduating and more. The Fancy Farm native’s career trajectory has put him in Frankfort for work, but Higdon returns to western Kentucky each weekend and he visits Kate on Sounds Good to talk about his latest progress.

The politicians had their time behind the podium at Saturday’s Fancy Farm Picnic. The crowd's chants were heard en-masse. But, individual's cast ballots. So, contributing Producer John Paul Henry spoke with some Fancy Farm attendees away from the political speaking and asked them two questions:

  • How has the Government affected you in the last year, good or bad?
  • What value do you think the stump speeches at Fancy Farm add to the political process?

Hear their answers:

US Senate

When Senator Mitch McConnell faces off against prospective general election opponent Alison Lundergan Grimes at this year’s Fancy Farm Picnic, it will be the first time the Republican has met his Democratic challenger this far in advance at the event.

US Senate

Sen. Mitch McConnell and Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes have both confirmed they will speak at this year’s Fancy Farm Picnic in Graves County.

The event will mark the first face-to-face confrontation between the two since Grimes, a Democrat, declared her candidacy for McConnell's seat earlier this month.

Lieutenant Governor Jerry Abramson's assertion that the Fancy Farm picnic is no longer a relevant political event has inspired a growing backlash.

In remarks reported by CN2, Abramson dismissed the picnic, saying it's too rowdy. But Agriculture Commissioner James Comer, who emceed this year's event, says when statewide officials skip the picnic, as Abramson did this year, it hurts the church and community that put the event on.

"Fancy Farm just isn’t about politics, it’s a church charity event and it’s a huge economic draw for people in Western Kentucky,” Comer says.