LITTLE ROCK, AR -- Rice is one of Mississippi’s top exports, a driving force in the region’s economy and the backbone of its culinary culture and history. Kyle Voong, a senior at Brandon High School in Brandon, Mississippi, breaks down a comprehensive overview of rice’s role in both his home state and country in his National Rice Month scholarship video, “A Sup-rice-ing Presentation
Using clever puns and wordplay, Voong composed and recorded a catchy hip hop track that explores what kinds of rice are grown in the U.S., its nutritional benefits, its economic impact, and even a step-by-step recipe for omurice, a kind of Japanese omelette.
While Voong is no stranger to video production, having produced and edited several videos for other school projects, this is his first foray into music composition.
“Combining these two things, one that I’m really familiar with and the other that I’ve always liked but never dipped my toe into, was a really interesting challenge for me,” said Voong.
He also values the knowledge he gained about U.S. rice during his research, especially concerning the nutritional benefits of brown rice.
Voong is in the middle of college applications, but his top choice at the moment is Rice University in Texas—a decision due, in small part, to his scholarship video. “The inclusion of Rice University in the song was just tongue in cheek, but once I started delving more into my college search, I’m really attracted to all the opportunities they have there.”
The grand prize of $4,000, sponsored by Corteva Agriscience, will go a long way toward achieving that goal, and Voong expressed how grateful he is to everyone at USA Rice and Corteva last week here at the USA Rice Outlook Conference annual Awards Luncheon. “I also want to thank the wonderful people in the Brandon High School offices, because without them I don’t think I would have known about this really fun and enjoyable competition.”