September marks 25th annual Arkansas Rice Month

September marks 25th annual Arkansas Rice Month

September ushers in 25 years of Arkansas "Rice Month" celebrations. Contests, food donations, proclamations.

September marks the twenty-fifth annual Rice Month in Arkansas. The Arkansas Rice Council will hold events throughout the month to help promote the top rice-producing state and support local agriculture. The rice industry will also donate over 100,000 pounds of rice to the Arkansas Rice Depot to help feed hungry Arkansans.

Thanks to a new partnership with the Department of Education to raise awareness in the top rice-producing state. Students enrolled in Future Farmers of America or Family and Consumer Sciences classes are eligible to win $500 towards their national convention by participating in the "30 tweets for #ArkansasRiceMonth" contest. Contest details as well as a list of tweets are available by visiting arkansasricemonth.com.

The Rice Council has also partnered with Charlie Southern, a Southern apparel brand based in Fayetteville, Ark., to create a rice t-shirt and promote local agriculture among a younger crowd.

"Young people are vital to the rice industry," says Steve Orlicek, Arkansas Rice Council President. "They are our future growers and consumers with the capacity to communicate and advocate for rice in a way that cannot be overlooked."

All Arkansans can participate in the Twitter contest for a chance to win $500.

The Arkansas Rice Council recently partnered with Arkansas Farm Bureau and the Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service to crown Lynnsey Bowler of McCrory as 2015 Miss Arkansas Rice. Each year, counties select a Miss Rice to promote rice in their county and to compete for the state title.

"Growing up in rice country, I take pride supporting a locally grown product." Bowler said. "In order to continue feeding a growing population, we have to recognize this industry and the farmers that produce our food supply." A McCrory native, Bowler is the first Woodruff County Queen to win the state title.

Governor Hutchinson will formally proclaim September as Rice Month at the State Capitol on September 21. The proclamation states that "Rice production, processing, merchandizing and related industries are vital to economic activity in Arkansas."

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