The annual National Rice Month Scholarship contest received a major update last year, and while the focus is the same — creating awareness for U.S.-grown rice — the methods moved into the 21st Century.
“The contest went to an all video format last year and competition was fierce,” said Betsy Ward, USA Rice president and CEO. “The creativity and quality of the student videos telling the story of U.S. rice was astounding, and I know the judges struggled to choose a winner out of the field of 18 entrants.”
Scholarship contest entrants are encouraged to use video and photography to tell the story of U.S. grown rice. Creative students can also use PowerPoint, Prezi, or any visual presentation tool, so long as the total run time of the piece does not exceed three minutes.
High school graduating students from rice-growing states — Arkansas, California, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and Texas — are eligible for the three scholarship prizes, sponsored by Dow AgroSciences, totaling $8,500.
The grand-prize winner will receive a $4,000 scholarship and a trip with a chaperone this December to the awards ceremony at the 2017 USA Rice Outlook Conference in San Antonio, Texas. The second-place winner will receive $3,000 scholarship, and third-place $1,500.
Contest entries will be judged on creativity, quality, popularity, and effectiveness in promoting U.S.-grown rice, NRM, and the importance of rice in the student's state. Total run time of the video should not exceed three minutes. Sample topics include: rice production, nutrition, sustainability, and marketing/promotion.
Entries are due Oct. 31.
For more information and to submit an entry, visit the NRM scholarship page (http://www.thinkrice.com/scholarship/).