2016-17 Miss Arkansas Rice Announced

Aug 29, 2016
From left: Libby Thornhill, Madison Gibson,
and Dawsyn Smith
BRINKLEY, AR -- Craighead County 16-year old Madison Gibson was named Miss Arkansas Rice at the state contest last Saturday.  She is the daughter of Scott and Karie Gibson of Jonesboro.

The first and second runner-ups were, Libby Thornhill of Cross County and Dawsyn Smith of Jackson County, respectively.

Contestants were judged on rice promotion, rice cooking skills, and knowledge of the industry. Representatives from ten counties participated in the contest -- which has been held for 55 years.  The other contestants were Torri Dumond of Arkansas County; Kristen Lanni of Jefferson County; Chloe Griffith of Lee County; Lacy Smith of Lonoke County; Libby Wilkison of Monroe County; Alexandria Rawls of St. Francis County; and Gabriella Winkler of Woodruff County.

Contest judges were Keith Cleek, Regional Program Associate Family and Consumer Science, Cooperative Extension Service; Helena; and Judy Riley, retired Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service, El Paso.

The goal of the Miss Arkansas Rice program is to encourage youth interest in rice cookery and rice promotion as well as to publicize the importance of the Arkansas rice industry to the state's economy.  Prizes for this year's contest were: Miss Arkansas Rice $1,000, first runner-up $600, and second runner-up $400.  Each contestant that competed in the state contest received $100.

The Arkansas Rice Council sponsors the annual contest in cooperation with the Arkansas Farm Bureau and the Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service.