Scholarship opportunities await high school students in rice-growing communities as they head back to school. September is National Rice Month (NRM), and the USA Rice Federation is sponsoring a scholarship contest to encourage rice promotion and support education.

High school juniors and seniors whose families are directly involved in the rice industry are eligible for the USA Rice NRM Scholarships. To qualify to win, students must run a promotion in their local community during September with U.S.-grown rice as the central theme.

The contest will be held in the six major rice-growing states: Arkansas, California, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and Texas. Nine scholarship prizes totaling $10,000 are available. The grand prize is a $3,500 scholarship. Additional prizes are: second place, $2,000; third place, $1,500; fourth place, $1,000; fifth place, $750; and sixth place, $500. Three honorable mention prizes of $250 each also are available. The grand prizewinner and a chaperone will also receive an expense-paid trip to the 2008 USA Rice Outlook Conference, December 7-9, in Little Rock, Ark., for the scholarship presentation.

Initiated by an act of Congress in 1991, September marks the eighteenth annual National Rice Month celebration when America salutes its rice farmers, millers and everyone involved in the U.S. rice industry.

For more information, tips on planning NRM promotions and a scholarship application, visit the National Rice Month Scholarship information page.