Sep 23, 2022
CROWLEY, LA – As you may be aware, September is National Rice Month (NRM), and over the last two weeks, the Louisiana rice industry has been actively celebrating the occasion from every corner of the state.
The celebrations started on September 14, right here in Crowley, “The Rice Capital of the World,” when Mayor Tim Monceaux signed an official NRM proclamation. Festivities continued through the weekend with the annual rice donation to Second Harvest Food Bank made possible by the Louisiana Rice Growers, Falcon Rice Mill, Farmers Rice Mill, and Supreme Rice Mill. Representatives from the city, Second Harvest, the International Rice Festival, and local growers and millers gathered to announce news of the donation.
“Sharing locally-grown, nutritious rice is a tradition for our industry, and something that allows us to give back to our community and provide for our neighbors in need,” said Robbie Trahan of Falcon Rice Mill.
Ana Moresi, with Second Harvest, thanked everyone for the generous donation that would support their mission of fighting hunger in southwest Louisiana. As a bonus, Ana and her team were invited to ride on a combine with farmer Christian Richard and witness rice harvest from the driver’s seat. The day ended with the Annual Rice and Gravy Cook-Off recognizing the best of the best in local cuisine, all made possible by the wonderful grain we celebrate this month.
In Monroe on Tuesday, Kennedy Rice Mill delivered a pallet of rice to the Northeast Louisiana Food Bank. On hand at that event were representatives from the food bank, 4Sisters Rice, and local growers.
“It’s rewarding to know our industry can help make a difference right where we live,” said Meryl Kennedy, CEO of 4Sisters and chair of the USA Rice Millers’ Association. “Food banks around the country serve as great partners in making sure these donations reach those who need it most.”
Yesterday, the Calcasieu-Cameron Rice Growers Association held their annual NRM Rice Cook-Off at the Port of Lake Charles. Area high school students compete in multiple categories, and winners, including the creator of the best “Heart Healthy” dish, receive prize money. Every contestant takes home a rice cooker donated by Farmers Rice Mill in Lake Charles, and gets a tour of the port to gain an understanding of the economic value and services provided, including the critical role the port plays in shipping local rice around the world.
“For more than thirty years, the U.S. rice industry has capitalized on this dedicated month by promoting domestic rice and encouraging consumers to think about the hard work that goes into getting this nutrient-dense grain all the way from the field to their forks,” said Trahan, who also is chair of the USA Rice Domestic Promotion Committee. “We want everyone to develop a better appreciation of U.S.-grown rice.”