Sanderson Farms and the PGA Tour’s Sanderson Farms Championship have signed on as title sponsors of the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame’s annual induction weekend, it was announced at a press conference Monday.

“We are excited to take part in an event that highlights the accomplishments of Mississippi athletes and encourages our young, aspiring athletes to work hard and follow their dreams,” said Lampkin Butts, president and chief operating officer of Sanderson Farms.

Lampkin Butts talks about MSHOF induction sponsorship. Credit: Elwin Williams

The 2017 induction weekend is set for August 4-5. The induction banquet will be held at the Jackson Convention Complex on August 5 with a reception at 5:30 p.m. and meal and program to follow at 7.

Said Bill Blackwell, the MSHOF executive director: “We thought it was important to have a Mississippi company as the sponsor for an event that honors the world class athletes this state continues to produce. We are so pleased that Sanderson Farms agreed to be that sponsor.”

The agreement is apparently a one-year deal but Blackwell said, “We are certainly hoping that this will turn into a long-term association.”

Sanderson Farms for several years has sponsored an exhibit on the Sanderson Farms Classic on the first floor of the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum.

Said Butts, “We think this association is a natural fit for our company and our golf tournament.”

The Sanderson Farms Championship, which will be held Oct. 23-29 at the Country Club of Jackson is Mississippi’s only PGA Tour event. Last year, the tournament raised approximately $1.25 million for Blair E. Batson Children’s Hospital.

Among the 296 sports luminaries who have been inducted into the MSHOF is the late Robert Morgan, 38-year executive director of the Sanderson Farms Championship, who died last week at the age of 86.

Said Butts, “I believe Robert would be smiling if he were here today. I know he would approve of what we are announcing here today.”

Sanderson Farms, Inc., founded in Laurel in 1947, is the third largest poultry producer in the United States.


Tickets to the 2017 MSHOF Induction Weekend are available at or by calling 601 982-7284.

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Rick Cleveland, a native of Hattiesburg and resident of Jackson, has been Mississippi Today’s sports columnist since 2016. A graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi with a bachelor’s in journalism, Rick has worked for the Monroe (La.) News Star World, Jackson Daily News and Clarion Ledger. He was sports editor of Hattiesburg American, executive director of the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame. His work as a syndicated columnist and celebrated sports writer has appeared in numerous magazines, periodicals and newspapers.
Rick has been recognized 13 times as Mississippi Sports Writer of the Year, and is recipient of multiple awards and honors for his reporting and writing.