Riceland Foods, a cooperative of family farmers, not only sponsored part of the conference, they provided us with an insulated lunch bag filled with Riceland products! Here's a few facts about Arkansas Rice:
- Arkansas is the nation's number one rice-producing state.
- Arkansas produces almost 50% of U.S. rice.
- Arkansas farmers grow an average of 1.5 million acres of rice each year.
- Arkansas total economic impact from rice equals over 25,000 jobs and over $6 billion annually.
- Arkansas rice provides thousands of acres of migratory waterfowl habitat.
- Arkansas has designated rice as its official grain.
- Arkansas's top agricultural export is rice.
I'll have to admit, it seemed a little like Christmas when I pulled each item out of the lunch bag!
I can't wait to try the recipe for Brown Rice Cornbread--perfect for celebrating the fact that September is National Rice Month!
Brown Rice Cornbread
1 cup cooked Riceland Natural Brown Rice
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/4 cup honey
2 large beaten eggs
1 cup cream
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup semolina flour
1/4 cup pickled jalapeno peppers (finely diced)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup whole corn kernels
1/4 cup unsalted butter
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat a 10-inch cast iron skillet in the oven. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, except for the butter, and mix together well with a spatula. Melt the butter in the hot skillet,then pour off the excess into the batter and mix in well. Turn the oven down to 375 degrees F. Pour the cornbread mixture into the skillet, place in the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool slightly, carefully remove from the skillet and place on a wire rack to cool until ready to eat.
Happy Rice Month!