Rice month kicks off with rice tasting in Region 8

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT)- A Region 8 bank is kicking of "rice month" with a sense of taste.

From eleven to one, a variety of delectable rice dishes filled the main lobby of Region's Bank off of Highland Drive in Jonesboro.

Karie Gibson, a member of the Craighead County Farm Bureau Women's Committee, says they've been holding this event for more years than she can remember.

"This is for promoting rice for the month of September. The Rice Council, twenty years ago, said September is rice month. So, we're out here today to provide individuals with different types of items that are made with rice and rice krispies."

Karie says the main purpose of this event is to raise awareness within the community about farmers and the job they do, "We want to let everyone know that we've got farmers out there working just as hard as they can day and night to harvest the rice in their fields. So that people will appreciate all that farmers do in our area."

Kim Watkins is the wife of a rice farmer and a resident of Craighead County.

She has participated in "rice taste" day for more than ten years, now.

She says Karie's right and people don't really understand what a farmer does.

"I don't think people are aware of how hard farmers work. I don't think they're aware of the long hours they put in. That it is a twenty-four hours a day, seven day a week job. I don't think people realize that."

Kim says taking time out to stop and acknowledge the day not only pays tribute to our local farmers, but our history.

"We do this to make the community aware of it's agricultural heritage. Even though we live in metropolitan area. It may be a small city, but it really is a rural area with lots of farm families and agriculture makes a big base of it's income."

Kim says many people don't even realize how much rice is produced in the state.

"We have lots of farmers in this area that raise rice. There's lots of farmers in the state of Arkansas that raise rice. So, we're out just promoting rice during the harvest season."

Twelve different types of rice dishes ranging from deserts to main dishes and snacks were available for people to try.

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