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National Rice Month Spotlight:  Rice State Activities

Final in a series of three articles this week highlighting upcoming USA Rice NRM promotions

dp-blake gerard-140829ARLINGTON, VA -- Across the rice producing states, National Rice Month (NRM) promotional events and activities are held to celebrate the harvest that is underway in most areas, and show support for farming families that contribute to the rice industry.  Below are some of the highlights USA Rice is involved with that you can expect to hear about throughout the month.

The Arkansas and Louisiana rice industries will arrange for local food bank donations and convene at the state capitals for NRM proclamation signings by their governors.  The Louisiana event is scheduled for September 17 and the Arkansas event for September 19.

USA Rice is continuing school outreach by working with Missouri rice growers to hold classroom learning events at three elementary schools and one high school in the New Madrid County Central school district, as well as an event at an elementary school in Cape Girardeau on September 16 and 17.

In Mississippi, the Annual Rice Tasting Luncheon on September 19, sponsored by Delta Rice Promotions, Inc., will attract more than 1,500 people to celebrate NRM and sample nearly 300 different rice dishes.  USA Rice will exhibit at the luncheon and provide attendees with rice recipes, educational information, and promotional items.

The Louisiana Rice Promotion Board is a sponsor of the Annual Louisiana 5-K Rice Run on September 20, which celebrates the many nutritional and economic benefits of U.S. rice. Nearly 200 runners participated in last year's race and participants received rice nutritional information and promotional giveaways.

The Arkansas Rice Council is sponsoring the Rice and Ride Carbo Dinner on September 26, the night before the Big Damn Bridge100 bike race in Little Rock.  The event is expected to attract 400-700 attendees and will serve gumbo, chicken and rice, and other rice specialties.

All month long, high school seniors in rice producing states will be conducting their own U.S. rice promotions to enter the annual NRM scholarship contest, sponsored by Dow AgroSciences.  Teens will plan creative activities to promote U.S.-grown rice, NRM, and the importance of rice in their state.  Be on the lookout for promotions going on in your state and support our scholarship applicants.

"It's important to take advantage of National Rice Month to tell our story," said Blake Gerard, a Missouri rice producer who will be conducting the classroom lessons in Missouri.  "U.S. rice has a great story to tell - healthy, nutritious, safe, economically and environmentally important for the country, and grown right here in the U.S.  Not only do our activities help drive those messages home, I think they contribute to a sense of pride I hope all U.S. rice farmers feel for what they do."

Photo caption:  Gerard will take rice to the head of the class


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