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Arcadia Rodeo Announces Groundbreaking for New Mosaic Arena

It is with great Pride the All Florida Championship Rodeo Association announces the groundbreaking of our new home, Mosaic Arena, will be held Friday, January 6.  Construction will commence immediately with an estimated completion date in the fall of 2017.

The Mosaic Arena will feature 7,796 seats, approximately 1,600 more than the historical arena providing more comfortable seating for all attendees.  Ample parking, faster more convenient ticketing and expanded concessions will also be a draw for patrons wanting a centralized venue to attend the “Granddaddy of Them All”, as well as many new events.  Four new VIP areas will provide attending dignitaries, donors and sponsor another incentive to participate. Two 20 stall barns will allow new equestrian event opportunities and The William “Kayo” G. Welles Florida Cowboy Museum will be a destination for history buffs providing even more community tourism.

The Board of Directors, volunteers and building team have worked diligently to ensure the transition into the new arena is smooth and the success of the Arcadia Rodeo continues. Every inch of this facility has been meticulously planned to not only improve upon an already successful rodeo but to be a five star facility our grandkids can enjoy with pride.

It will be bittersweet to leave our current arena. Built in 1959, we have made countless memories here. That long history is not just ours but belongs to our entire community.  With this expansion we build upon the foundational history built so soundly by our forefathers using their traditions and memories to create more into future generations.


Naming Donors 

Ben Hill Griffin, Inc.                  Doyle & Debbie Carlton, III
The William G. “Kayo” Welles IV Family
Terry and Susie Welles

Diamond Donors

Tom and Jan Hollingsworth      R. Dean Hautamaki       Ryals Cattle, LLC      First State Bank of Arcadia
Arcadia Stockyard     Turner Realty Co.     HB Harvesting    Desoto Ag & Auto    Arnold Simonsen
Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services       Desoto Chrysler Dodge Ford Jeep
VB Cattle Co. – Vose & Dixie Badcock     Eli’s Western Wear, Inc.     The Vaughn-Jordan Foundation, Inc.

Gold Donors

        Hurlburt Foundation      Louis & Gertrude Morgan Foundation     James S. & Frances Parker
Don T. & Cynthia Hall    Elk Hammock Ranch   Creighton Construction     Peace River Distributing
The Kevin and Lynn Shelfer Family      In Memory of Cary F Carlton    Angela Carlton

Silver Donors

    Fussell Meats, LLC      Florida Fertilizer Co., Inc.      Matt & Jackie Condo      Bethel Farms, LLLP
David Carlton      Womack Sanitation      Correct Care, LLC      William & Kay Wise      Carl Sharp
Ron Jones      Kirk & Rae Malcolm      Brian Phillips           Smuggler’s Enterprizes, Inc.
Ray Hautamaki

Bronze Donors

Arcadia Gun Club                                   Miriam Bjuman                        Gary Heiberg                         Andrea Macko
Barkett Law                                             Dennis Brown                         Robert Heustis                       Shelley McPhail
Cowboy Church                                      Jimmy Barrera                         Michael Hill                            Daniela Miartus
Florida Outdoor Properties, Inc.             Jacqueline Bourland                Shirley Hill                             Judith Miller
In Memory of John R Wall                      Thomas P. Butler, Jr.               Robert Hookailo                    Sandra Miller
Anthony & Ruth Blumenthal                    Mickey Callanen                      Ellis Hudson                          Linda Milligan
Walter & Elaine Brown                            Dr. Barbara Carlton                 Heather Hurley                      Edward Montegari
Rusty & Amanda Cox                              Linda Clarkson                        Linda Jones                           Edward Napoleon
Alfred & Nancy Higginbotham                 Carroll Carvel                          Richard Jones                       Judy Narutowicz
Douglas & Carolyn Holder                      James Colburn                        Thomas Jones                      Edmond Nole
Buddy & Sandy Mansfield                       Michael Collin                         John Kelieher                         Isabel Norton
Ronald & Debra Neads                           Thomas Cook                         Laurie Kirkpatrick                   Ronald Norvell
Marshall & Charlotte Orr                          David Coonan                        Butch Knuppenburg               Tomasz Nowak
Roy & Ruth Quinn                                   Thomas Cory                          Lloyd Lavailey                        Harold Orr
George & Tina Skestos                           Lorenzo Dixon                         Michael Lennie                      Cathy Payne
Rosalina & Joseph Stier                          Karen Dunbar                         Sonja Limer                            Duncan Person
Bill & Linda Strickland                              Mary Ellen Dunne                  Steven Lindahi                        Don Poppenhager
John & Jan Sullivan                                 Scott Engel                             Harvey Long                          Jim Price
Billie & Marty Vasek                                 William Farley                        Robbie Lucas                         Virginia Pringle
Willie & Annie Wood                                Naomi Farr                             Andrea Lundin                        Megan Richardson
Wittmer & Linehan                                   Robert Feuerborn                   Kay Lyons                              Michael Roush
Elaine Ackley                                           Judith Hadden                        Kenneth Mann                        Polly Rowan
Shawn Agnini                                           Eric Hagerstrom                     Peter Matton                           Victoria Schell
Darlene Shall                                           Doug Shearer                         Beverly Smith                          John Steile
Bradley Swenson                                    Terry Tingley                           Nancy Triggs                           Riguey Valencia
Kathleen Van Hauwe                               David Van Wagnen                Christopher Verney                 John Vice
Jim Vroman                                              Heather Waldron                    Carl Walker                             Maureen Walker
Cindy Watson                                           Kenneth Westfall                    Betty Whitis                             Randi Willis
Jean Woods                                             Diane Young                           Jason Zalva












Click on any photo below to enlarge view


The Arcadia All-Florida Championship Rodeo


Arcadia All-Florida Championship Rodeo, Inc. is a non-profit organization that dates back to 1952. It is the oldest rodeo organization in the state of Florida which has evolved from its pioneer beginnings to a national sport drawing top cowboy athletes from all over the nation. The Rodeo’s signature event is the three-day annual March Rodeo. Participants compete for purses and points aiming for the “Super Bowl” of rodeo, the National Finals held annually in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Rodeo Association also hosts a variety of sporting events throughout the year including a Youth Rodeo Series, WRCA Ranch Rodeos and a Memorial Day Barrel Race.


About The Mosaic Company and The Mosaic Company Foundation


The Mosaic Company is the world’s leading producer and marketer of concentrated phosphate and potash, two essential crop nutrients. Driven by its mission to help the world grow the food it needs, Mosaic is committed to strengthening global food security and protecting critical water resources. The Mosaic Company and The Mosaic Company Foundation make investments in and partner with best-of-class leaders in the focus areas of food, water and local community investments. More information about Mosaic is available at www.mosaicco.com and www.mosaicindesoto.com.

Arcadia Rodeo Hires Executive Director



Katherine Marks, Executive Director
124 Heard Street, Arcadia, FL 34266
(863) 494-2014

Rodeo Association Melds Past with Future Hiring Marks. This year the Arcadia All Florida Championship Rodeo Association operated in its 87th year, but this isn’t an old fashioned entity stuck in the past. Earlier this year the association announced plans to build a new arena in which the association intends to grow their traditional Pro Rodeo Association event and attract new events into the community. The increased tourism created will add to the $1 million economic impact generated by the association’s traditional annual rodeo in DeSoto County. Leading this effort is the association’s new Executive Director, Katherine Marks. She is the association’s first fulltime executive director and will be responsible for the association’s transition into the new arena and melding their rich history with their future growth. Marks’ is uniquely qualified for this challenge.

Raised in Kentucky, she participated in rodeos as a youngster in barrel racing, pole bending and breakaway calf roping. She graduated from the University of Kentucky with a degree in Equine Management. Marks’ began her professional career as a sales representative with Brumfield Hay and Grain, soon attracting the attention of a major breeder who enticed her to change her career path to barn manager. In 2011 , Marks moved to Florida following her husband’s career and ultimately became the Communications Manager at Peace River Valley Citrus Growers Association. She served in this position for two years where she honed her
experiences to include all the needed job acumens to become the Arcadia All Florida Championship Rodeo Association’ s
executive director.

The Association has partnered with community individuals and businesses to make this dream a reality. Mosaic Arena, which will be located adjacent to the Turner Agri-Civic Center, is a state of the art facility, made possible thanks to a lead grant by The Mosaic Company Foundation, as well as other major donors and members of the local community. The Rodeo Association has partnered with the county to operate the two facilities with the intent of attracting larger multidimensional events to the area, thus benefiting DeSoto’s economic landscape. Other major donors include Ben Hill Griffin, Inc., Doyle & Debi Carlton and the William G. Wells IV “Kayo” Family. Thanks to these and many additional supporters, the project is estimated to create 70 contractor jobs and $9.5 million in economic benefit during the construction phase. The Capital Campaign has raised over $5 million, with a goal of$8 million.

Association president, Judge Don T. Hall and the other association directors have been looking forward to the new arena since the current facility was heavily damaged in 2004 during Hurricane Charley. He notes, “The association has been working towards this new arena for years. This year we have been focusing on assuring our business is prepared for this transition as a leading and cohesive community partner. Mrs. Marks completes this process and will be the point person for the board of directors in this landmark expansion.” Upcoming events include the DeSoto County Ranch Rodeo to be held July 31 and August 1. The event will begin at 7 p.m. with gates opening at 5 p.m. Tickets will be sold at the gate and will be $10 for adults and $5 for children under 12.

A Youth Rodeo will be held September 19, November 21 and December 122 at 10 a.m. Admission is free. A Pro Rodeo Cowboys AssociationRodeo will be held October 17 and 18. Gates will open at 11:00 a.m., show starts at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are $15.00 general admission with free admission for kids 10 and under. Junior High and High School Rodeo teams will compete in two upcoming events. The Junior High Rodeo will be held October 24 & 25 . High School will be held November 14 & 15. More details for this and all events can be found at www.arcadiarodeo.com.


Arcadia All-Florida Championship Rodeo Unveils Plans for New Mosaic Arena


The Arcadia Rodeo will soon have a new home that will bring additional opportunities to benefit DeSoto County and the Rodeo community. With support from The Mosaic Company Foundation and other donors, the Rodeo has entered the public support phase for their capital campaign.

Plans for the new Mosaic Arena were unveiled as part of opening ceremonies for the 87th annual Arcadia All-Florida Championship Rodeo, which ran through March 15, 2015. The new $6 million arena will be made possible thanks to a $3 million grant from The Mosaic Company Foundation, as well as support from other major donors and members of the local community.

The new 7,796-seat Mosaic Arena will provide increased capacity and functionality for the Arcadia All-Florida Championship Rodeo, as well as provide new opportunities to host other community events. This new state-of-the-art facility will attract more participants and spectators to DeSoto County – improving the economic landscape by benefiting local businesses and civic organizations. The construction of the new facility is also expected to have a regional economic impact of more than $9.5 million.

“Given the success of the rodeo, a new arena is something the DeSoto community has contemplated for many years. We are grateful to our many donors including The Mosaic Company Foundation,” says Don T. Hall, Arcadia Rodeo President. “This is a significant undertaking and we are pleased the Foundation, donors and community-at-large share in our vision for a vibrant DeSoto County.”

The signature three-day Arcadia Rodeo event each March is an important economic driver for DeSoto County and an estimated 94 percent of attendees travel from outside the county to attend the event. The 2014 event attracted almost 16,000 visitors and brought approximately $1 million in economic benefits to the area.

“The Mosaic Company Foundation is delighted to partner with the Arcadia All-Florida Championship Rodeo to provide greater opportunities for DeSoto County through this new venue,” says Bo Davis, Sr. Vice President, Phosphate Operations and board member of The Mosaic Company Foundation. “This is an important economic development project in Arcadia and a great community partnership.”

The facility that currently houses the rodeo and other events was built in 1959 and has aged to the point where renovations or repairs are no longer cost-effective; this will be the rodeo’s third home. Construction on the new arena is slated to begin later this year adjacent to the Turner Agri-Civic Center. The two buildings will complement each other to attract new events to the area.

Construction of the new arena will employ an estimated 70 contractor jobs during the construction phase. After the arena is operational, the facility and rodeo will be managed by an executive director who will oversee the day-to-day operations of the facility, supervise a small contract staff for special events, manage ongoing fundraising efforts, construction of the arena, marketing, and all ongoing business affairs.