Annual scholarship video contest features new sponsor, better prizes

2019 winner Kyle Voong

USA Rice President Betsy Ward presents the 2019 National Rice Month video contest grand prize to Kyle Voong — photo courtesy USA Rice

The annual National Rice Month Scholarship Video Contest is up and running with a new sponsor, American Commodity Co., and a revamped website full of information and tips on making and submitting a great video.

Open to graduating high school students from Arkansas, California, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri or Texas, the contest asks students to create a video that in 3 minutes or less, shines a light on this versatile, tasty, home-grown grain.

“Educate, entertain and tell us why you think rice is special — to you, to your state, or to the world,” according to the website.

Three guaranteed scholarship prizes, sponsored by ACC, totaling $10,000 will be awarded. The grand-prize winner will receive a $5,000 scholarship and a trip with a chaperone to the annual USA Rice Outlook Conference, the second-place winner receives a $3,000 scholarship, and third place receives $2,000.

“The scope of the video contest has grown each year, not just in the number of participants but also in the quality and inventiveness of the entries,” said ACC President & CEO Chris Crutchfield. “We’re impressed with how this promotion broadens the reach of the U.S. rice story to these young consumers and storytellers, and we were happy to step up as sponsors to help make them achieve their higher education goals. One of ACC’s core values as a company is to inspire young leaders, and this program is a perfect fit.”

Last year’s grand prize winner, Kyle Voong, graduated from Brandon High School in Brandon, Mississippi, and is headed to the University of Southern California this fall to study neuroscience. His video was a musical take on all things U.S. rice that included a cooking demonstration of a favorite family rice recipe.

“I was by no means an expert on rice before my participation in the competition, but the NRM video contest gave me an opportunity to immerse myself in a new subject,” Voong said. “I not only learned facts about rice, but I was also able to refine my skills in editing, research, and video production.”

Entries are judged on creativity, quality and effectiveness in telling a story about U.S.-grown rice. They are due by Oct. 31.

Based in Williams, California, ACC is a full-service handler and marketer of milled and paddy rice, including all types and varieties of short- and medium-grain rice produced in California.

This article originally appeared in USA Rice’s “The Daily.”