County youth recognized at annual Dixie National Sale of Junior Champions

Published 6:41 pm Sunday, February 25, 2024

This year, 1,225 4-H and FFA members across Mississippi participated in the Dixie National Junior Round-Up Livestock Shows, showing 2,084 head of livestock. These students competed for the opportunity to participate in the 55th annual Sale of Junior Champions.

The Sale of Junior Champions, one of the highlight events of the Dixie National Livestock Show and Rodeo, is an auction where livestock exhibitors winning champion and reserve champion in the Junior Round-Up Market Divisions sell their animals and scholarships are awarded.

“As the state’s No. 1 economic driver, as well as our largest industry and largest employer, agriculture is key to solving Mississippi’s workforce development challenges and getting more young people involved in work opportunities,” said Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce Andy Gipson. “I strongly believe our ag and youth livestock programs through 4-H and FFA are key. These programs are the best youth and workforce development programs in the state.

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“The Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce recognizes the hard work and dedication of these young people. They are our future leaders. Thousands participated in the Dixie National Junior Round-Up Livestock shows, and at the Sale of Junior Champions, we celebrated the best of the best. I am proud of all the students from across our great state who worked hard all year to raise these animals and show at Dixie National. Congratulations to our 2024 winners and scholarship recipients.”

Those participating in the Sale of Junior Champions were several student members of the Lafayette County 4-H, who were recognized for their achievements. Wilson, Ann Fleming and Taylor Leflore, Reserve Grand Champions of the Heavyweight Market Goat Show, Champions of the Mediumweight Market Goat Show, Champions of the Light Heavyweight Market Goat Show and Reserve Champions of the Light Heavyweight Market Goat Show, as well as William Allen Flournoy, Grand Champion of the Mississippi Bred Division 3 Market Hair Sheep Show, participated in the sale.

The final Sale of Champions featured a record 53 champion market animals, including eight steers, 17 hogs, 12 goats, 12 lambs and four hair sheep. The preliminary sale total was $484,010.

The Sale of Champions Promotion Committee raised $61,500 in scholarships, totaling almost $1.2 million in scholarship money since 1993.

This year, scholarships were awarded to 39 student participants of the Dixie National Junior Round-Up Livestock Shows.