The Rice Stuff Gets the Royal Treatment

Number 57 superimposed over photo of combine and grain cart in mature rice field
Podcast listeners go behind the scenes of the largest and oldest agriculture festival in Louisiana
Nov 08, 2022
ARLINGTON, VA – Episode 57 of the award-winning The Rice Stuff podcast takes listeners behind the scenes to the largest and oldest agriculture festival in Louisiana, the 85th International Rice Festival.

Podcast co-host and USA Rice vice president of communications and domestic promotion, Michael Klein was once again in Crowley, Louisiana, for the celebration of all things rice with colleagues Kane Webb and Deborah Willenborg, and he shares a festival report with co-host Lesley Dixon.

In addition to Klein’s observations of the festival experience, including his work as a judge in the cooking contest, he shares an interview with the woman responsible for running that Rice and Creole Cookery Contest, Letha Vincent, and no fewer than three International Rice Festival Queens.

Kathryn Shea Duncan and Caroline Elizabeth Hardy, the 81st and 84th International Rice Festival Queens respectively, visited with Michael in Crowley to talk about the festival and what their titles meant to them.  And then, Klein sat down with the newly-crowned 85th International Rice Festival Queen, Sadie Renee Zaunbrecher.

“The entire experience is really fantastic,” Klein said.  “The contestants in the queen’s contest and past queens are all very impressive young women, the cooking contest is stacked with talent and creativity and a love of rice and feeding people that is front and center.  The entire festival is a massive undertaking.  The organizers and the people of Louisiana should be very proud of the event, and I know I am thankful that I have been able to attend the last few festivals.”

New episodes of The Rice Stuff are published on the second and fourth Tuesday of every month and can be found on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, and online at