Meredith Williams named
Miss Arkansas Rice 2012-13
This past August, Meredith Williams, 18,
daughter of Bill and Ruth Williams of White
County, was named 2012-13 Miss Arkansas
Rice. Bailey Dillinger of St. Francis County
was first runner-up and second runner-up
was Bailey Davis of Craighead County.
Representatives from seven counties participated
in the state contest after winning
their respective county contest. Other contestants
were Stephanie Palmerin of Arkansas
County, Brooklyn Devazier of Cross County,
Elizabeth Pack of Lonoke County and
Ashtyn Lowry of Monroe County.
Contestants were judged on their rice promotion
activities, rice cooking skills and
knowledge of the rice industry. Meredith’s
recipe was Pineapple Rice Delight.
The Miss Arkansas Rice program encourages
youth interest in rice and publicizes the
importance of the Arkansas rice industry to
the state’s economy. Prizes doubled for this
year’s contest, with Miss Arkansas Rice
receiving $1,000, first runner-up $500 and
second runner-up $300. Each contestant that
competed in the state contest received $100.
$1.3 million donated
to fund UCCE specialist
Barbara Allen-Diaz, University of California
vice president for Agriculture and Natural
Resources, is pleased to announce that
the California Rice Research Board has
agreed to fund a UC Cooperative Extension
specialist position for six years.
I want to thank the California Rice
Research Board for being the first. This innovative
partnership between the agricultural
community and UC Agriculture and Natural
Resources recognizes the immediate importance
of rice research and the need for this new funding model, says Allen-Diaz.
The $800 million rice industry makes California
the second largest rice producer in
the nation. UC conducts research on weed
control, pest management and variety testing
for rice crops to keep California growers
competitive in the world marketplace.
The rice specialist was identified as a priority
position for UC ANR in our position
planning process, and the Rice Research
Board has taken a bold step to enable us to
launch this position sooner rather than later,
Allen-Diaz says. This generous gift by the
Rice Research Board will enable UC ANR to
begin recruitment immediately, and the sixyear
commitment gives the position stability.
After six years, UC ANR will assume financial
responsibility for the position.
This specialist position, which will be
based in the Department of Plant Sciences
at UC Davis, will help UC ANR fulfill its
mission as well as serve rice industry needs.
Hiring outstanding academics to do
research and deliver new knowledge is critical
to the sustainability of farmers and to the
future of California, says Allen-Diaz.
To discuss potential partnership opportunities
to fund academic positions, contact
Cindy Barber at Cynthia.Barber@ucop.edu or (510) 987-9139.
LSU AgCenter helps improve
Internet access in rural areas
For residents in 18 parishes where broadband
Internet is underused or unavailable,
LSU AgCenter personnel are providing information
to show the value of high-speed
The AgCenter’s broadband Internet education
and awareness initiative, called Connect
My Louisiana, shows the value of being
connected to the Internet, said Dwight Landreneau,
LSU AgCenter associate vice president.
The program’s staff in the designated
parishes provides classes to introduce residents
and business owners to broadband Internet
resources and to show them how they
can be used to improve their lives.
One of the newest products available to
those without broadband access is called fixed
wireless. If a provider will come in, make
the investment and put up the tower, then
they can blast the signal all over the place.
Residents and businesses get a small antenna
to receive wireless Internet. The speed has
been very good, and it is economical.