Grant Stoesser of Dayton, Texas, was named the National Grand Prize winner of the USA Rice Federation's National Rice Month scholarship contest. Grant is a sixteen-year-old home schooled junior in high school who comes three generations of rice farmers.
He was presented with the $2,000 scholarship earlier this month at the USA Rice Outlook conference in Little Rock, Ark.
Grant, who was the first place NRM scholarship state winner for Texas, was selected from among several national applicants based upon his outstanding promotional efforts during National Rice Month.
Among his activities were scheduling proclamation signings with local officials declaring September as Rice Month in his community; designing and distributing NRM posters to businesses throughout his community; visiting local grocery stores and restaurants to distribute promotional materials and encourage them to promote rice; speaking to various community organizations about the importance of rice to the local economy; conducting various educational programs including poster contests and presentations to grade school students; passing out rice recipe samples to customers at local grocery stores; garnering media coverage on local radio stations, television programs and newspapers and agricultural publications; coordinating a field trip for elementary school students to his family farm to demonstrate rice processing; and developing his own television commercial encouraging people to support their local rice farmers and by eating more rice.
Additionally, NRM scholarship state winners also did an excellent job promoting National Rice Month: Arkansas state winners Allison Waldrip of Moro (first place) and Danielle Howard of Brinkley (second place); Texas state Ashley Schmidt of Halletsville (second place); and Louisiana state winners Leonard Hebert of Maurice and Valerie Bouillion of Kaplan (tied for first place) and Andre Greene of Kaplan (second place).
All three Louisiana winners are Vermillion Parish Rice Ambassadors, a group of high school students whose mission is to promote the rice industry while developing leadership, business and social skills.
USA Rice is a federation of U.S. rice producers, millers and allied industries working together to address common challenges, advocate collective interests, and create opportunities to strengthen the long-term economic viability of the U.S. rice industry.