Henry County cattle farmer David Neville’s “Kentucky Hemp Dog” represents years of work and his crusade to serve something truly local at the Kentucky Cattlemen’s Association tents at the Kentucky State Fair.
“People have really been fussing the last two or three years that we can’t get local beef into the Kentucky State Fair,” Neville said. “We really want to do a Kentucky Hemp Dog to get the buzz where people will try it.”
For decades, the dogs and burgers sold on the fairway were trucked in from out of state. Frozen burger patties or hand-carved rib eye steaks from Sysco, GFS, and other food distributors. But this year, Neville and the Cattleman’s Association hope fair goers will heed the spirit of the fair to seek out a locally-grown and processed beef dog instead.
“This is the first time a guaranteed Kentucky steer will be in the hot dogs,” said Dave Maples, Kentucky Cattlemen’s association executive vice president. “Consumers want to know where their food comes from and what the story is behind it.”
Until recently, the lack of small to mid-sized processing plants like the family-owned Webb’s and the new Trackside Butcher Shoppe in Campbellsburg have been the missing link between local meat and the consumer, Maples said.
“It just about makes me sick that we haven’t been able to get something going,” Maples said. “We need to support our farm families and rural communities.”
Besides the meat, all commercial hot dogs contain a “filler” material to bind the meat together. “Filler” can consist of several different chemicals and proteins, several of which have names almost impossible to pronounce,…but not Hemp Dogs!
All of the “filler” proteins in these dogs come from ground hemp seeds, also known as “hemp hearts,” and it adds amazing texture to the bite. A dash of hemp oil melds flavor and adds smoothness, and gives amazing health benefits like Omega-3 and Omega-6 heart-healthy fats.
Hemp oil, hemp protein and hemp hearts are all in the product line of Victory Hemp Foods, a company cultivating 100 acres of hemp in Shelby, Oldham and Henry County, Kentucky.
“I’ve never seen it used anywhere in the world in a meat product. We are breaking ground on industrial hemp. Hemp in the hot dog increases the protein and gets you all nine essential amino acids.”, said Chad Rosen, owner of Victory Hemp Foods.
The Kentucky Hemp Dog’s story starts with steers in Henry County grazing on organic pasture before “finishing” up to 1,250 pounds on non-GMO corn ground in Bagdad, Kentucky. Trim cuts from Neville’s Capstone Farms beef flow into the sausages smoked in Paynesville at Webb’s Butcher Block.