Ag Commissioner Andy Gipson Reports Record Breaking 2022 Dixie National
Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce Andy Gipson reported that the 57th Annual Dixie National Livestock Show and Rodeo was a record-breaking success. The Dixie National Livestock Show and Rodeo, the largest livestock event of its kind east of the Mississippi River, brings in millions of dollars to the state and local economy. This year’s Dixie National successes included record ticket sales for the Dixie National Rodeo, record livestock sales at the Sale of Junior Sale of Champions, and the completion of a new water well serving the Mississippi State Fairgrounds.
“The 2022 Dixie National Livestock Show and Rodeo was marked with much success. I am pleased that rodeo fans purchased a record amount in tickets. We also had the largest ever Sale of Junior Champions, which benefits the 4-H and FFA youth. Additionally, the Dixie National Parade was bigger than ever, with spectators lining the streets by the thousands,” said Commissioner Gipson. “Newly added attractions such as the Spring Edition of the Mississippi Ag and Outdoor Expo held by the Foundation for Mississippi Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks; Dixie National Rodeo Days; and the Dixie National Corral enhanced the overall experience of those that attended.”
The 2022 Dixie National Rodeo schedule was extended to take place over two weekends giving rodeo fans more opportunities to experience the fun-filled family event. Ticket sales were at an all-time high, as fans gathered to watch as nearly 800 cowboys and cowgirls from across the U.S. and Canada competed for the more than $200,000 purse that was up for grabs.
For over 40 years, the Mississippi Fairgrounds has partnered with Harper & Morgan Rodeo to bring the annual Dixie National Rodeo to spectators from around the country. Scotty Lovelace, CEO and Owner of Harper & Morgan Rodeo said, “The Dixie National Rodeo was a huge success! The refurbishment of the Coliseum and grounds, the new Trade Mart, the rodeo suites, the updated signage and the date change to two weekends, all contributed to the Commissioner and Harper & Morgan Rodeo Company seeing our vision come to fruition. I would personally like to thank the staff of both the Mississippi Ag Department and the Mississippi Coliseum, along with Harper & Morgan Rodeo company’s personnel for all their dedication and hard work. A huge thank you to all of our partners and sponsors, from the largest to the smallest, in particular Southern AgCredit, Mississippi Ag and Ram Rodeo. The Dixie National fans are the best and their support resulted in record breaking attendance at the 2022 Dixie National Rodeo.”
This year 1,538 Mississippi 4-H and FFA youth exhibited 2,262 head of livestock during the Dixie National Junior Livestock Round-up. Forty-six of the animals were sold during the Sale of Junior Champions grossing a total of $448,500. This set a new record sale total over the 53-year history of the Sale. Additionally, the Sale of Champions Promotion Committee awarded 39 scholarships totaling $61,500, bringing the total scholarship money awarded since 1993 to nearly $1.1 million. The open livestock shows were also a success this year. A record number of participants from across the U.S. showed over 1,100 head of livestock.
One year ago, a one-hundred-year ice storm occurred during the 2021 Dixie National leaving no water on the Mississippi State Fairgrounds for thousands of livestock and visitors. Shortly following, the Fairgrounds began drilling a water well to avoid this issue in the future. The well, which serves the State Fairgrounds, was completed in February. This kind of project typically takes two to three years from concept to completion, but less than a year after approval the twelve-inch valve was opened on the new fully-operational deep well water system supplying fresh well water across the State Fairgrounds.
“We drilled the well, made improvements and additions to our water distribution system, put in a water treatment process and pressurized tank, and added additional and expanded electrical infrastructure which will include a backup generator. As a result, this year’s Dixie National Livestock Show and Rodeo had fresh, reliable water with greater pressure than the same event one year ago. According to our well operator, we pumped an estimated half a million gallons of well water in a period of ten days during the Dixie National Livestock Show and Rodeo,” said Commissioner Gipson.
Much work goes into planning and coordinating the month-long event, which includes a variety of livestock and equine shows along with the Dixie National Rodeo. The Dixie National Rodeo was recently named a Top 5 Medium Indoor Rodeo of the Year by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association and was broadcast nationally on the Cowboy Channel.
“I am proud of the success of the 2022 Dixie National Livestock Show and Rodeo. None of this would have been possible without the support of our many sponsors including our Title Sponsor Southern AgCredit, Harper Morgan Rodeo, and our loyal fan base and supporters. Coordination of an event of this magnitude and caliber takes much planning and work. The Mississippi State Fairgrounds staff, led by Director Michael Lasseter, is to be commended for working the long hours it takes to ensure all of the details came together. I want to thank everyone who made this year’s record breaking Dixie National a success,” said Commissioner Gipson.
The dates for the 58th Dixie National Rodeo will be held February 10-18, 2023. For additional information as it becomes available, visit www.dixienational.org and follow the Dixie National Livestock Show and Rodeo page on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.