By USA Rice
LAKE CHARLES, LA – Yesterday, the Calcasieu, Cameron & Beauregard Rice Growers Association and the Port of Lake Charles held their 20th Annual Louisiana Rice Cook Off contest to celebrate National Rice Month. The contest is held annually to promote the value the local rice industry plays in Southwest Louisiana, and to highlight the variety of healthy dishes that can be made with rice.
Contestants represented 17 area middle and high school Family and Consumer Science Departments, with dishes submitted containing a minimum of one cup of rice in the recipe to participate. Awards were given for the top three dishes overall and the top Healthy Choice dish, and each contestant received a new rice cooker donated by Farmers Rice Mill.
The students met with local rice farmers, ag extension agents from Louisiana State University, Port of Lake Charles staff, and local dignitaries while the contest was being judged. They learned about the nutritional value of rice as a food source and played rice fact trivia and other educational games to test their knowledge about rice and the U.S. rice industry.
“In addition to celebrating National Rice Month, the event gives us a chance to share with students the importance of the rice industry to our local economy and the impact it has on the entire region,” said Adam Habetz, president of the Cal-Cam Rice Growers Association. “It’s a great way to involve our younger generation in learning more about rice, while giving them the opportunity to show off their cooking skills with their favorite rice dish.”