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Miss Catfish 2017


Katherine Swafford is 2017 Miss Catfish

BELZONI, Miss. – Katherine Corrine Swafford has been named Miss Catfish for 2017 at the World Catfish Festival. Katherine is the 19-year old daughter of Ronald and Tracy Swafford and resides in Cleveland, Mississippi. She is a sophomore at the University of Mississippi where she is pursuing a degree in communication and speech disorders with a goal to work in the mission field in Africa helping abused children learn to speak properly. Katherine is a member of the Kappa Delta Sorority, the Gamma Beta Phi National Honor Society, National Society of Collegiate Scholars, the University of Mississippi Dean’s List, Campus Crusades, and FURR (Feline Rescue and Rehome). Katherine was sponsored by J & L Fish Farm. She succeeds 2016 Miss Catfish Mary Morgan Mohamed.

Mollie Katherine Keys was selected First Runner-up in the annual competition, the results of which were announced on the steps of the Humphreys County Courthouse.

She is the 19-year-old daughter of Jennifer and the late Richard Keys of Ridgeland, Mississippi. She is attending Mississippi State University where she is an Interdisciplinary Studies major. After graduation, Mollie aspires to be a pediatric nurse practitioner. She is a Dean’s List and President’s List scholar. Mollie is a member of Kappa Delta and serves as Vice President Standards. She was named Madison County’s Miss Hospitality in 2016. Mollie was sponsored by Country Select/Consolidated Catfish Producers.

Selected Second Runner-up was Gabrielle Nichole Merchant. “Nikki” is the 19-year-old daughter of Paul and Tammy Merchant of Greenwood, Mississippi. Since graduation from Central Holmes Christian School, she has been attending Holmes Community College where she is majoring in communication. At Holmes, she is involved in the Connection Show Choir, Ambassador, Hall of Fame member, SGA representative and BSU representative. She was sponsored by Delta Cat Fisheries.

Mari Bess Carter was named Miss Congeniality by her fellow competitors. Mari Bess is the 17-year-old daughter of Lacey and Scott Myers of Yazoo City and Joey Carter of Belzoni, Mississippi. Following graduation from Manchester Academy, she plans to further her education at Mississippi State University. While in high school, Mari Bess has been the recipient of numerous scholarships. She was sponsored by Five Mile Fisheries.