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Dixie National Sale of Champions

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January 9, 2020

Announcer: Farm and Family is a production of the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

Amy Myers: Today we're talking about Dixie National Sale of Junior Champions. Hello, I'm Amy Myers and welcome to Farm and Family. Today we're speaking with Dr. Dean Jousan, Mississippi State University Extension 4-H livestock specialist. Dean, the Sale of Champions takes place at the conclusion of the Dixie National Junior Round-Up. First tell me, what is the Dixie National Junior Round-Up all about?

Dean Jousan: Dixie National is a showcase of the livestock industry in Mississippi. During the Dixie National Junior Round-Up, 4-H and FFA youth exhibit their livestock project animals in the largest Junior Market livestock show in Mississippi. This year the Junior Round-Up will start on Thursday, January the 30th and go through Thursday, February the 6th, and we'll be on the fairgrounds in Jackson for all of these events.

Amy Myers: Now that we know more about the Dixie National Junior Round-Up, how do youth qualify their animals to be in the Sale of Champions?

Dean Jousan: Over the course of the Dixie National Junior Round-Up, we have four market livestock shows. So during those shows, the Champion and Reserve Champions of the Junior Market Steer Show, Junior Market Lamb Show, Junior Market Swine Show, Junior Mississippi Bred Barrow Show, and the Junior Market Goat Show, those champions are singled out to be involved in the Dixie National Sale of Champions and become eligible that way. That's a great reward for those exhibitors of those animals for doing a great job of raising them throughout the year. All together we can end up with 43 to 49 animals because we also include our overall Grand and Reserve Grand Mississippi Bred animals.

Amy Myers: In addition to the sale itself, the Sale of Champions' Promotion Committee awards several scholarships.

Dean Jousan: That's right. In addition to raising money towards the purchase of these animals, the committee gives out 37 scholarships. And this year that total scholarship value will be 58 and a half thousand dollars. The first type of scholarship that's awarded are given to high school seniors who do not have an animal in the sale and who do not win any other type of scholarship. Scholarship applications are looking at the grade of the young person, their involvement in the animal projects, financial need, things of that nature. And each of those 25 scholarships are $1,500.00 a piece.

The second scholarship are our Premier Exhibitor scholarships. These are six contests that take place during the course of the Dixie National Junior Round-Up on beef cattle, dairy cattle, sheep, swine, meat goats, and dairy goats. There's a big education component that goes into those contests. And then the exhibitor can also earn points with the animal that they show in each of those six contests. The winner of each of those scholarships gets a $2,000.00 scholarship.

The final scholarship is earned by the animal's performance in the shows. So we have the Junior Auction to sell our market animals and we have our Supreme Animal scholarships to award scholarships to our purebred registered type cattle and also some commercial animals. So our Supreme Animal Champion beef bull, beef heifer, dairy cattle, and dairy goat, commercial beef heifer, and commercial meat goat doe will each get a $1,500.00 scholarship.

Amy Myers: Talk about the makeup of the committee and the work they do to ensure a great sale each year.

Dean Jousan: Our committee consists of probably 35 or so men and women from all around the state of Mississippi who just genuinely care about development of Mississippi youth. Some of these people are knowledgeable of livestock, but some just realize the benefit of being involved in the 4-H and FFA Livestock Programs, and the character and the things that those youth develop. They work tirelessly throughout the year, making contacts, going to see people, to give of their finances and their resources to help support the sale every year. A lot of times we'll have some of our highly elected officials pool together funds to even help try to purchase an animal.

Amy Myers: The sale is held every year in the Trade Mart building on the fairgrounds in Jackson. What are the plans for the 2020 Sale of Champions?

Dean Jousan: The 2020 Sale of Junior Champions will take place in the Trade Mart building. It'll be on Thursday, February the 6th. We'll have a sale reception that starts at 10 o'clock that's open to anyone, and then at 11:30 is when we start the sale. We'll present our scholarships and then we'll move right into the auctioning off of our champion animals.

Amy Myers: If people want to learn more about the Sale of Champions, such as how to become a buyer or contributor, where should they go?

Dean Jousan: Go to your favorite internet search engine. Type in Mississippi 4-H Livestock Program, click the top link and then select Youth Livestock.

Amy Myers: Today we've been speaking with Dr. Dean Jousan, 4-H livestock specialist. I'm Amy Myers and this has been Farm and Family. Have a great day.

Announcer: Farm and Family is a production of the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

Department: Ctr 4-H Youth Development

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