Steve Hutton - MS Fair Commisioner

Steve Hutton resides in the Madison area and is a native Mississippian. He has more than 30 years of experience in managing professionally developed high-attendance events. In 2007, he founded Momentum Events, Inc. which serves clients like nationally renowned Christian Speaker Steve Farrar and Christmas on Ice presented by Baptist Health Systems. Hutton also owns Covenant Homes. In addition to his own company experience, Hutton has worked as the Vice President of U.S. Men’s Ministry for Promise Keepers and as the Tournament Director of the PGA Tour Southern Farm Bureau Classic.

 

The mission of the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce is to regulate and promote agricultural-related businesses within the state and to promote Mississippi’s products throughout both the state and the rest of the world for the benefit of all Mississippi citizens. The goal of the Fair Commission is to promote agriculture and industrial development and to assist farmers in growing better livestock and agricultural products. 

 

The average age of farmers, nationwide is 50 years old.  In Mississippi, the average is 62.  The State Fair is an opportunity to grow agriculture among the youth.

 

The Fair Commission consists of seven people, including Andy Gipson, Agriculture Commissioner; Roy Hidgon, MS Livestock Commission; Dr. Gary Jackson, MSU Extension Service; Mayor Chokwe Lumuba; Jean Massey, MS Department of Education; Glen McCollough, MS Development Authority; Paul Smith, Governor’s appointee.

 

The largest focus of the Fair Commission include the State Fair and Dixie National Rodeo.  These events are special funding agencies since they receive no funding from the state.  The funding for these events comes from the rent generated from all the other activities that happen at the Collesium, Equine Center, and Trademart.

The Mississippi Fairgrounds Complex covers over 100 acres and hosts more than 700-event days per year. With various facilities for exhibitions, trade and consumer shows, you’ll find all the elements to make a truly successful event, along with Mississippi’s tradition of hospitality. The complex is an integral part of beautiful downtown Jackson, where the charm of the old and new South blends to form a modern city with a wealth of activities and cultural attractions.

 

The challenge for the Fair Commission had been attracting events when the facilities are sub par.  In the last several months, practices have been put into place to make things better.  Improved lighting, general maintanence and painting, efficient staff responsible for specific areas within the complex are just a few areas that have been improved.  All of these improvements have been cost saving and have long term benefits.

 

The highlight of the commission is the construction of the new trademart.  It proved to be more cost effective to build new versus remodel the old building.  The new trademart will be completed in March of 2020.  The new Mississippi Trade Mart at the State Fair Grounds in Jackson is designed to attach to the existing Mississippi Coliseum, expanding the functionality and flexibility of both facilities. The three trade halls can be configured to provide a seamless connection to the Coliseum’s arena floor, allowing for larger trade shows and events than possible in the current facility.  A “front porch” across the main facade creates a generous entry into the facility while also providing a large, covered space for exterior events and opens onto a new plaza that is shared with the Coliseum. The lobby features two cafes as well as a reception area for smaller events.